Been traveling a lot. (No…not the Tyler Hopswalk kind of traveling) Busy with work. Only so many hours in the day to keep the blog updated.
I was at the game last night. Saw the “disgraceful” (sarcasm) sign that the baseball player held up at halftime. Didn’t think twice about it. All I could make of it was that it was a picture of Hansbrough’s bloodied nose from last season with some comment about him finally wearing the right color.
Hell, I actually appreciated an athlete from NC State caring enough about the game to show up on Wednesday night. (I don’t expect the Technician to run any stories about the situation since they obviously must be folding their presses in light of their budget crunch which evidently means that they can’t afford to print newspapers.)
I was listening to 610 WFNZ’s Primetime with the Packman on Thursday afternoon and was pretty surprised at how big of a deal this ridiculously insignificant item has been made into. Packman does a pretty fantastic job of nailing a lot of things related to the NC State Basketball program and does a super job of keeping people off of irrelevant topics (like Herb Sendek, etc). So, I was disappointed in their interest in this pile of nothing.
I just don’t understand how holding a picture of an event that actually happened – and was witnessed by millions on national television nonetheless – is that big of a deal? For over a year the local and national media have re-played and re-run the awesomeness that is Tyler Hansbrough (just wait until he farts!) by treating his incident with Gerald Henderson as a badge of honor. Now the topic is suddenly taboo?
(While we are on the topic of broken noses, media and fan hypocrisy, and total irrelevancy, we can’t pass up the opportunity to link to this classic entry that you cannot miss and is particularly special in light of the components of this ‘controversy’.)
The only thing that would make the treatment of Hansbrough’s nose (and feelings) more ridiculously slanted would be if Hansbrough had some kind of control over the initial incident and could have actually prevented it from happening. Now, that would be wild and even more interesting that you never hear about that from the media?!
You know…like if Carolina was up big on Duke during that game and didn’t need the points and Hansbrough was trying to run up the score on Duke and rub salt in their wounds when he had his nose broken? You know…like if the specific situation was that Carolina was up by 12 points with 14 seconds remaining in the game and Hansbrough – who shouldn’t have been on the court in the first place – rebounded a Bobby Frasor missed free throw and instead of kicking the ball out to let the clock expire he wanted to play tough and physically position himself for more points with a posterizing dunk in the face of the Blue Devils?! You know…something like that!
A set of facts like that which the world is never made aware of despite the litany of attention around Hansbrough’s nose-breaking would really be a damning nail in the coffin of media hypocrisy, wouldn’t it? Or, what if Tyler Hansbrough had been given a technical foul in a game last year in Raleigh for losing his temper and taking a wild swing at the head of an NC State player in the middle of a play where NC State got a rebound? Wouldn’t that be something of interest that may have some relevance to people’s feelings for the great “Psycho T”?
Additionally, could you imagine if a State student or athlete had shouted some kind of gross, racially charged slur instead of holding up a picture with a harmless caption? Wow!? We may have gotten just as much local coverage as when a lily white UNC-CH student shouted stereotyped racial remarks on national television at Maryland players because the Terps had the audacity to actually beat the Tar holes. (Link to the national media who covered the story since the local media wouldn’t dare say highlight the ‘open-mindedness’ of the liberal zoo that is Chapel Hill).
Remember a couple of years ago a random person in the RBC crowd ALLEGEDLY made a crude remark about a member of Chris Paul’s family who had recently died? That undocumented remark became the cornerstone of a highly critical column in the News & Observer by everyone’s favorite, Barry Saunders. Yet Saunders, who makes his living finding racism in everything from the sun rising to the color of stale Corn Flakes, didn’t write a peep about the folks in Chapel Hill’s racially-charged comments earlier this year against Maryland. Odd.
In the midst of all of the pettiness and hypocrisy, we’d like to tip our hat to the good people at 850 The Buzz who had enough common sense to post the following comments in today’s blog entry on the topic.
Of course, let me also point out that the holier-than-though attitude is tiresome from all parties involved. If North Carolina fans want to get upset because a member of the baseball team had some fun at the expense of Hansbrough, then I have a request for the next “Late Night with Roy” these fans attend. Don’t laugh it up with your boys when people representing the athletic department dress up like a backwoods redneck with a straw hat during a “Dating Game” skit.
For those of you keeping score at home the following are some summarized rules as we have learned them from recent events:
(1) Pictures of actual, real-world events are off limits and are criticized by local media.
(2) Alleged, undocumented crass comments by an unseen fan in an arena warrants extreme criticism in the state’s major newspapers.
(3) Documented, racially charged criticisms on national television by fans of one school against the players of another do not carry the same criticism as point #2.
(4) Documented, racially charged criticisms on national television by fans of one school against the players of another does not merit the level of criticism that showing a picture of something that actually happened warrants.
(5) Multiple athletes and representatives of the Athletics Department of one school can participate in mocking skits that perpetuate hurtful, racist and socio-economic stereotypes in a capacity-filled arena without any mention or criticism of the behavior by the media and local sports radio. The skits last as long as 5 to 10 minutes and draw raucous laughter from the ‘open-minded’ and enlightened elite that watch them.
(6) A single athlete from a different school cannot show a picture of an actual, real-world event for 15 seconds in a capacity-filled arena without being ridiculed and criticized by the same media that ignore the behaviors in point #5.
(7) Fans and student bodies in arenas and football stadiums in the area are allowed to participate in derogatory organized cheers and chants that degrade the value of the degree of another institution (‘If you can’t go to college, go to State!’) and that school’s curriculum (‘start your tractors’, moooooo, ‘cow college’, etc) with no mention of ‘crossing the line’ while showing a professionally taken photograph of a real-life event represents ‘classlessness’.
You got all of that? If you are new to North Carolina…welcome to our version of the ‘main stream media’.
Post-script: For reference, here is the link to our take of of the Hansbrough vs Henderson situation when it happened.
With 14 seconds to go in today’s Duke/Carolina game – and with the game firmly in the hands of the Tarheels who had a 12 point lead – Duke’s Gerald Henderson connected with a forearm across the bridge of Tyler Hansbrough’s nose on a put-back attempt after a rebound of missed Carolina free throw…
Hansbrough rebounded a Bobby Frasor missed free throw with 14 seconds left and instead of kicking the ball out to let the clock expire he was playing tough and trying to physically position himself for more points – preferably on a dunk in the face of the Blue Devils. What was Duke supposed to do? Just allow Tyler Hansbrough to go up for a posterizing dunk on a play that never needed to happen in the first place (why was Hansbrough on the court up 12 with 14 seconds to go)?
It was unfortunate. But, it was also uncontrollable at that speed and in that situation.
No. Wait. I take that back. It was completely controllable. All Hansbrough had to do was kick the ball out to a guard to hold for 14 seconds instead of trying to get some nasty slam designed to rub salt in Duke’s wounds. Or, all Roy Williams had to do was to not have his starters in the game up 12 with 14 seconds. That would have controlled the situation.
But…of course…Hansbrough has the unalienable right to play hard and the Duke players aren’t given that same right? Why is that Tyler Hansbrough has the innate right to be intense and playing extremely hard at the end of the game but nobody else is allowed to do the same thing?
Ironically, it is the very Tyler Hansbrough who is involved in this situation that literally took a swipe/swing at the head of Brandon Costner in the Tarheels visit to Raleigh earlier in the year. Hansbrough barely missed conncecting with Costner, but did that somehow diminish the “combative and confrontational action” of taking a blatant swing at an opposing player in behavior that IN NO WAY was related to the play of the ball?