In honor of Valentine’s Day, I thought I would share five things I love about the 2010-2011 Iowa Men’s Basketball team. Yeah, I would probably love them a little more if they had won last night, but that’s life. No, this isn't going to be a post in the vein of "All Stanzi All The Time" for those of you for whom that wasn't your cup of tea. I should also put out the disclaimer that I haven't actually been able to watch more than maybe 120 minutes of game time this whole year. I'm not dedicated enough to DVR any basketball team, and I work third shift. So don't judge me without asking yourself how many games you would watch if they all tipped off between midnight and 6am.
1 – Flirtation. This group of young men are not dependable yet. They can give you multiple Maygasms one night and fail to perform the next. You never know what to expect, but they’ve shown us just enough of the good stuff to make us come back hoping that we get it again. Sure, sometimes when it comes to scoring, they can’t get it up, but the “1” at the beginning of the score board has been used this year. In the future they might be able to get the big numbers up consistently. At least we can hope so.
2 – Appreciation – I’m a firm believer in the concept that pain makes you appreciate pleasure more. So is it any wonder I love this team? Going undefeated would be so boring. I’ll take the excitement of Item #1 over a boring undefeated season any time. Ok, that’s a major lie. But I do appreciate every win this year. I even appreciate the effort the team usually puts out, and I definitely appreciate Fran and his ability to show emotion.
3 – Entertainment – Yeah the team can be entertaining at times, but I’m really talking about the entertainment that I’ve gotten from BHGP as a result of the team this year. From Horace E. Cow’s “Fran Graphs” to the proliFRANation of Fran related puns, it’s been amusing more often than not. I’m also entertained by the mood swings we get in the live threads and wrap ups from game to game and possession to possession. You people crack me up and I wouldn’t trade you for a tournament spot. (Okay, that might be a bit of a stretch).
4 – Perspective – Basketball isn’t the most important thing in the lives of those of us to whom it isn’t an occupation. It’s not worth kicking the dog over a bad loss, although throwing cats is usually acceptable regardless of sporting outcomes.* A poor performance by a bunch of young men on a basketball court isn’t worth being more depressed than a club kid on a Monday morning after a weekend ecstasy bender. Conversely, a thrilling Big Ten road win isn’t necessarily worth calling in sick to work and partying like it’s 1999 for a few days. I think most of us are doing well taking the ups and downs in stride, and this team is pretty good at forcing us to do so or be an emotional mess.
5 – Commitment – I know that there are obvious flaws in this team. From talent to execution there is room for improvement. One area I don’t really sense lacking is determination and commitment. I don’t anticipate this team giving up like last year’s team seemed to. I think that Fran and the players are committed to working hard through the end of this season and doing what they need to in the offseason to be better next year. I’m also proud to call them my team. As much as I want to gouge my eyes out reading the live threads of games, this is still my team and I’m committed to supporting them for the foreseeable future.
*I don’t actually advocate any form of animal cruelty, I just don’t like cats.