Saturday, March 24, 2007


Georgetown's Jeff Green shoots over Vanderbilt's Ross Neltner during the second half of their NCAA East Regional basketball game Friday, March 23, 2007 in East Rutherford, N.J. Georgetown won 66-65. (Caption & Photo stolen from AP/Winslow Townson)

Columnist Sally Jenkins of the Washington Post has a doozy up today. And by "doozy" I mean a piece of crap with many inaccuracies which I will detail below.

Just a note: I sent this to the fine folks at Fire Joe Morgan, so if they post all or part of this, that is more than fine with me.

But first, allow me to set the stage. Georgetown and Vanderbilt Universities are playing a basketball game to see who will get to be in the final 8 of the NCAA men's college basketball tournament. With about 16 seconds left Vanderbilt scores a basket and is up by one point. Georgetown gets the ball. After a timeout, they bring the ball in bounds and pass it around a bit. The time is winding down and they pass it to their best player who has yet to foul out, Jeff Green. Jeff Green gets the ball, dribbles it a bit. Then spins around and, with 2.5 seconds left in the game, shoots the ball into the basket. Georgetown wins.

So, now, here is Jenkins' column from the Washington Post:

The Vanderbilt defenders were so thickly crowded around Jeff Green that only a gray-clad shoulder was visible.

When Jenkins says "gray-clad shoulder" she is referring to the fact that many Georgetown players wear their jerseys over gray t-shirts. The "gray-clad shoulder" part is Jeff Green's gray t-shirt peaking out beneath his jersey. Now here's why this is lousy journalism: Yesterday, Green didn't wear a t-shirt under his jersey. His shoulders were bare, not "gray-clad" at all. This, in my humble opine, is piss-poor. It took me under five minutes of searching to verify my belief that Jenkins was full of crap. Thats five minutes Jenkins clearly didn't spend, otherwise she wouldn't have written the above line as the FIRST LINE IN HER COLUMN. A photo of Jeff Green last night is above. He clearly isn't wearing a t-shirt.

As Green rose in the air and put the final shot up, his body seemed to perfectly express what it means to be clutch -- the responsibility of it, and the weight of it -- as players hung all over him.

I have no idea what this means. All I know is it's pretty barfy sounding.

This is what it means to be clutch: You still kiss it off the glass, with three guys doing your laundry right on your back.

Ignoring the vaguely stupid laundry comment, it was a great job by Green to take the team on his back blah blah blah and win the game in the final seconds. Except for one thing: he traveled. I mean, he really obviously traveled. While standing with the ball, he established his right foot as his pivot foot, and then after waiving his left foot all over the place, he takes a step with the right. The rules say you can't do that. Its called traveling with the ball, and when you do it you forfeit your rights to the ball. The ball goes to the other team, and in this case, with 2.5 seconds remaining on the clock, and Vanderbilt winning the game by one point, it means that Green and all his holy clutchness just lost the game for his team.

Yet somehow, Jenkins goes through her whole column without mentioning this. For anyone who watched it, even the muttonheads at CBS caught it. They went through the tape just following the game and it clearly showed Green moving his pivot foot before releasing the ball. I mean, it was obvious.

The Washington Post's Mike Wise, in his (over-done fanboy) column published the same day, actually addresses the topic:

There were cries that Green had not reestablished his pivot foot, and therefore traveled. But basketball minds much wiser than us surmised you can't make a call like that to end a taut thriller.

Who are theses smarter basketball minds? Clearly they don't have a problem with things like "rules." How much time is on the clock? Under a minute? OK, everyone, no more "rules." Apparently its clock-dependent system, like the NFL video replay rule. Except in college basketball, if there is under a minute remaining in the game, instead of all plays being reviewed, all rules disappear. Players are allowed to do whatever they want.

I'm not making this up! Check out the NCAA rulebook, rule 25.164.23-R:

Should the score of a game be close (see rule 3.243-Z for definition of "close) and less than one minute of time remain on the gameclock (see rule 8.5765-P-F for definition of "gameclock") all rules are null and void.

OK, I was making it up. This doesn't stop Jenkins, who, unfortunately, continues:

The final sequence went like this: Green regained control of the ball, found a slit between Foster and Neltner, spun and exploded upward. He one-armed the ball toward the basket, and banked it off the glass.

Ha ha! Silly Washington Post editors. I bet Jenkins is going to have a few words with you after she sees her column in print. With some google searching and some password guessing I was able to find Jenkins' column in its original and complete form. What she really wrote was this:

The final sequence went like this: Green regained control of the ball, found a slit between Foster and Neltner, spun, took two steps without dribbling the ball, should have been called for traveling, therefore losing the game for his team, and exploded upward. He one-armed the ball toward the basket, and banked it off the glass. My editors are stupid poopy-butts with no sense of humor and small penises.

The clutch player simply finds a way to make the ball go in. As the shot dropped, and the final seconds expired, the Georgetown players surrounded their clutch player for a mass hug. One thing about the clutch player: His teammates appreciate him for who he is.

Unlike other players who are not appreciated for who they are. Like Patrick Ewing, Jr. who is appreciated for being Patrick Ewing. Or Jesse Sapp, who is appreciated for being Warren Sapp. Or DaJuan Summers who is appreciated for being Zor, God of Thunder, King of All Booty.


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