By Marc Daley
Normally I take a look back at the week that was. Specifically, I take a look at who screwed up and who came to play, but considering the tragic events that took place in Tucson on Saturday I think we need a healthy dose of perspective instead.
Politics and sports have always been rife with debate but since the Internet and the abundance of talk radio we have gotten away from civilized discourse into full-blown rage that isn't backed up with verified information. We have potential Presidential candidates marking states with gun sights just because they don't agree with her position on health care reform. We have journalists getting killed in hotel rooms. We have sportswriters answering their phones to the sounds of vitriol because they dared to go against the grain in voting on a poll. We have fans taking up a cause of a star player's eligibility with the fervor that used to be reserved for political prisoners who were unjustifiably jailed for their beliefs.
The bottom line is that we need to relax. Health care and economic policies aren't worth getting death threats over. An ineligible player doesn't mean your team's season is in the tank. And guess what? If some player makes a game-winning shot does that mean you're going to get a raise? Your sick relative will make a miracle recovery? Your kids will feel safer in school or ace a critical test? And if that player misses does that mean you're going to lose your house or you won't be able to feed your family? Unless you're the person who was foolish enough to bet your paycheck on the outcome of a game then the answer should be pretty obvious.
I'm not saying we should all join hands and rise in a chorus of "Michael, Row the Boat Ashore". Disagreement – healthy disagreement – founded this country and has provided a lot of advancements in critical areas of life. Name-calling and overzealousness have brought about little progress and usually leave a wake of damage after it's all over including the shouting. So when Florida meets up with Tennessee and if the Vols lose on Tuesday, accept it for what it is. Bruce Pearl isn't the Antichrist and Scotty Hopson isn't an overrated malcontent who should be drawn and quartered. If North Carolina misses the Tournament Roy Williams isn't a blatant choke artist whose kids are probably meth-heads.
The bottom line is if those things happen those teams just weren't good enough. And that happens sometimes.
Here's this week's Top 25. Duke is still number 1. And last I checked Mike Krzyzewski wasn't turning water into wine. He's just a really good coach.
- Ohio State
- San Diego State
- Texas A&M
- Brigham Young
- Kansas State
- Notre Dame
- Michigan State