“Dee-Fence–Dee-Fence”!

On the TUNNEYSIDE of SPORTS April 1, 2013 #430 Up next…”Dee-Fence”—“Dee-Fence”!

After further review…The month of March now has faded, yet the “madness” continues in NCAA basketball as we enter its final (whew!) week. We’ll steel ourselves for a last round of the droning   “Dee-Fence” cheer, or the letter D-picket fence rebus held up by feverish fans. Does that ceaseless shouting really help their T*E*A*M play better defense? Do the players on the court become more technically adapt because the fans are reminding them to do so?

Perhaps that endless screaming is a way for the fans to let off steam and create excitement for their players. Of course, you never hear the word “offense” or “dribble-pass-shoot” chanted; those skills are essential to scoring. Defense has become the Holy Grail in college basketball. How did the plan of preventing an opponent from scoring vanish? There’s not much evidence of defense throughout the NCAA, with a few exceptions.

The style of play is far different in today’s game.  Finesse and outmaneuvering the opponent has given way to a more physical contact game than Mr. Naismith had in mind. The “dunk” is not my favorite style of play. If you are taller than six feet, it requires little more than jumping with your hands up. The lay-up (remember that term?) is gone. Even a player on a breakaway is likely to slam it through the hoop; thus the expression “slam-dunk”–so much for shooting the ball.  The accent now is on individual feats of athleticism.

Superstitions abound in sports. A player about to shoot a free-throw will bounce the ball several times according to his ritual of readiness. And today, toward the end of a close game, you see players on the bench locking arms. While it may not help their teammates on the floor, it is deemed a show of unity. Moral support, perhaps, but isn’t that sort of behavioral voodoo best left to the fans?

The TV monitor at the scorers’ table plays a prominent role in today’s game. Some replays are acceptable for accuracy. However, for determining whether or not a foul is flagrant, the replay in vogue in today’s game may open a door that might never be closed.  Let’s keep the game among the ten players and the three officials on the floor!

Will you log-in with your concerns about today’s basketball madness?

To contact Jim go to www.jimtunney.com or email him at jim@jimtunney.com.


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