D.L. Stewart: I’m calling a personal foul on the basketball blabbers

March Madness has come to an end now that we’ve dribbled into the middle of April and I’m going to miss it. I’ll miss the dunks. The alley-oops. The mystery of how referees can call defensive players for a foul even though they stood like statues while some 270-pound opponent ran over them on the way to the basket.

And, much to my chauvinistic surprise, I’m especially going to miss the women’s games, which finally proved to me that basketball can be exciting without all the showboating, chest-thumping and under-the-basket sumo wrestling.

What I’m not going to miss are the basketball blabbers, the yakkers television networks inflict upon viewers such as myself who don’t care what a bunch of gray-haired ex-jocks pass off as wisdom, solely to make the telecast stretch long enough to cram in several dozen more commercials.

There’s the pregame blather, during which one analyst might declare, “The Armadillos have a great defense and the Meerkats will be lucky to score more than four points in this game.”

Followed by the halftime blather — after the Meerkats have scored 97 points — when the same expert explains, “Clearly, the Armadillos’ defense doesn’t have the athletic ability to stop the Meerkats.”

I can avoid most of that jibber-jabber by tapping the mute button. But my finger’s not always quick enough to silence the courtside chatter of “reporters” asking insightful questions during the game such as, “Coach, you’re behind by 97 points. What are you going to do to cut into the lead?”

Apparently they’re hoping the coach, who was so clueless in the first half, will tip off his second half strategy and reveal, “We’re going to run a double trap, half court zone, reverse matchup defense. And on offense all the shots will be taken by our point guard. (I keep hoping for, “Our strategy is to score 98 points more than they do in the second half, Dumbo.” Or, even better, “Obviously we don’t have a chance in hell of winning this game and I can’t wait for it to end so I can get to the hotel bar for a double shot of Pappy Van Winkle.”)

To conclude nonsense with banality, the game ends with a player from the winning team having a microphone stuck in his face and being asked, “You were behind 97 points at halftime. How were you able to come back and win this game?”

To which the player offers the requisite response: “We never gave up because we all love each other.”

Some viewers must like all that stuff. But my mute button poking-finger and I are looking forward to the off-season. We need the break to rest up for the football blabbers.

Contact this columnist at dlstew_2000@yahoo.com.

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