Perhaps it’s a new phenomenon, or perhaps I’m becoming more curmudgeonly, but it’s gotten that I cannot abide watching the aftermath of NCAA basketball games. It’s almost a certainty now that, in the event of a close game, at least one player on the losing team will wallow about on the floor, covering his face and grimacing and crying like, well, a big fat baby. It’s especially nauseating when juxtaposed with all the camera-mugging, muscle-flexing, gang-posing, I’m-a-big-man-because-I-play-with-a-ball boisterousness that defines most modern college athletics.
On the other hand, I suppose this dissonance is captured, for college basketball, in a single image: the spectacle of muscular, tattooed, seeming warriors strutting about in baggy silk culottes that might as well come with a matching man-purse.
But even if you dress like a sissy, need you act like one? I understand it’s an important game, and that you desperately want to win, and that you yearn for victory with all your precious, over-inflated heart. But man up. The other team was better. Or maybe just luckier. Or maybe you should have practiced your free throws harder last summer. Whatever the reason, the gods of basketball have found you wanting. So pull up your big-girl panties and get over it. And if you’re going to cry like a big overgrown sissy, at least have the self-respect to do it in the locker room.