Reasons To Back Memphis

This observer picks Memphis in the NCAA championship. Not because he likes Memphis, nothing could be further from the mark. Memphis is the choice because it is the non-traditional power overcoming all the biases against non-state universities and schools that are not considered by the herd as traditional powers.

Memphis is not at all likable, with players like Joey Dorsey who use intimidation more than finesse to get their way. The sight of Dorsey towering over and glaring at a Tennessee free throw shooter is one I won’t soon forget. Their coach, John Calipari, is a whiner personified, a man who recruits controversial players, the kind of person you like to see get canned and have his team placed on probation.

The pick for Memphis is for all the schools that have to work twice as hard to get recognition, that don’t get first choice at state monies to beautify their campuses, that have to fight the rural legislators and the big state university like dogs for recognition, that have to convert “state” fans to “hometown” fans or have to work or park next to state fans every day in their own communities.

Go get ’em, Memphis. Beat the stereotypes.

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Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.

One thought on “Reasons To Back Memphis

  • April 7, 2008 at 4:10 pm
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    I picked Kansas to win the tournament in the brackets I filled out and submitted to several different contests. This, of course, made me very popular with my UofL friends, and the UK people I work with. Not.

    I have Memphis vs. Kansas in the final. Once again, the comments were tongue in cheek and smack oriented. How could a UofL fan pick Memphis to do anything? How could I pick David Padgett’s ex-school to win it all? Where was my Cardinal pride? Was I a closet JayHawk fan in Tiger clothing? None of the above could be further from the truth. I bleed red. I also am a realist. I picked UNC to knock the Cards out of the Big Dance, figuring “Hans” would have a big game. Voila! He did…much to my disapointment. I would have gladly had that side of my bracket trashed for a Cardinal win…but, sadly..it came to pass. Why Kansas? I’ll give you 5 reasons, and we’ll see how close I am around midnight.
    1) I liked the way the JayHawks started the season. 20-0. In a tough conference. With balanced scoring.
    2) Brandon Rush came back. Even though it was because of a knee injury in May, he wanted a shot at the title. He’ll probabaly go pro if they win Monday night…I hope he stays.
    3) Love that backcourt. With Rush is Mario Chalmers and Richard Robinson and they had two good
    backups in Collins and Stewart, until Stewart got injuried in warmups a few days ago.
    4) TV. I watched the JayHawks win the Big 12 title, and was impressed with their tenacity and ability to handle the pressure. If I hadn’t, I might have picked them to lose to UNC.
    5) Athletic front line. Their big guys can get up and down the court and can get out and guard outside. The days of the “battleship in the paint” center is over. Ask UCLA, or Georgtown.

    So, there it is. A lot of the things I listed above could apply to Memphis or several other schools as well. It’ll be fun to watch tonight, and I hope this time next year it is the Cards preparing for Monday Night. Toss it up and let’s get it started.

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