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Archive for Monday, February 12, 2007

Keegan: How to translate Tournese

February 12, 2007

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The NCAA men's basketball tournament, the greatest sporting spectacle of all, tips off four weeks from Thursday.

Even the best event is not without its blemishes: postgame press conferences. Get ready for coaches stroking coaches' egos on your televisions.

First round

Winning team coach: "First, let me say that's a very well coached team we just played. I'd like to congratulate coach Shlabotnik and his players on a fine season."

Translation: "Man, am I glad coach Shlabotnik doesn't cheat to get players. If we could face stiffs like that the next five games, we might win it all. You think I'm getting my ring kissed now, you ain't seen nothing yet."

Losing team coach: "Well, we gave it all we had. I'm so proud of my players. Every one of these kids is on course to graduate."

Translation: "We just lost by 60 points, so I'm going to run a misdirection play and see if that works better than our sets worked tonight."

Second round

Winning coach: "Quite frankly, that's not a No. 7 seed we just played. They should have been a No. 3 or a No. 4 seed. They're that good. We were fortunate to get out of here with a win."

Translation: "If we played them 100 times, we'd beat them 100 times."

Losing coach: "I don't want to hear about us being young. Our youth had nothing to do with us losing this game. It's March. Freshmen are sophomores by March. I refuse to use our youth as an excuse."

Translation: "You do realize the reason we lost is we're so young, don't you?"

Sweet 16

Winning coach: "It's no fluke they were the Cinderella story of the tournament."

Translation: "We were awful today. It's a good thing we didn't face a legit team."

Losing coach: "I've never been around such a hard-working group of kids. I love this university."

Translation: "Now it's time to parlay this run into a new job so I can buy even better players."

Elite Eight

Winning coach: "Let me start by saying their coach does it the right way. He doesn't take any shortcuts. I really respect that."

Translation: "I won't blow the whistle on you if you don't blow the whistle on me."

Losing coach: "We just lost to a team coached by a man who does it the right way and doesn't take any shortcuts."

Translation: "Deal."

Final Four

Winning coach: "It's too early to celebrate. We haven't reached our destination yet."

Translation: "If none of the players get injured in a bar fight tonight, I think we're going to win this thing."

Losing coach: "We ran good offense and got good shots. We just weren't knocking them down."

Translation: "Don't look at me. It's not my fault the players choked."

National title game

Winning coach: "It's all about the kids."

Translation: "Can I coach or what?"

Losing coach: "Time to hit the recruiting trail. I think if tonight taught us anything, it's that we need to get quicker."

Translation: "The only reason they won is they have better players. I'm still the better coach."

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