If you sort of squint at this clip of an Adriatic League basketball game’s dramatic finish, you can almost pretend the Croatians (in white) are Duke, the Serbians (in black) are Butler… and Gordon Hayward’s shot goes in.
The uniforms are even the right colors! (Kinda.) You may want to turn down the volume, though, as Croatia/”Duke” is, distractingly for my analogy, clearly the home team. Also, the pre-shot sequence is all wrong; a Krzyzewski-coached team would never be so undisciplined as to forget to play defense with time still on the clock, because they were too busy celebrating their previous shot; and I’m thinking the sequence isn’t exactly going down as one of the Top 5 moments in European sports history. But still. Like I said: you have to squint. And use your imagination. And then sigh, and think about those what ifs.
Here’s a wild guess. When Emmert hangs ‘em up as NCAA president — in five years, in a decade — we might remember him as the guy who successfully bucked all the guys out there in the fuchsia sport coats, the bowl officials, and finally jammed into place some sort of football playoff.
“I happen to be one that thinks it’s inevitable we’ll have a playoff,” he told me in a conversation about 18 months ago.
That could be something modest, like the plus-one format that wouldn’t materially affect the bowls, or it could be more dramatic, something like an eight- or 16-team fiesta. …
Talking football playoff back then, Emmert referred to “illusory arguments” like missed class time.
“I’d like to be one having shaped that,” he said of a playoff, the words now sounding almost haunting, “rather than having it shaped by others.”
Welcome to Indy, Mark Emmert. You’ve got a lot of shaping ahead of you.
Withers also seems to tentatively broach the topic of the Sports Bubble, noting that Emmert’s new job will require him to “help set a course for college athletics that keeps schools from a vast sinkhole created by fiscal irresponsibility rampant nationwide” (Withers adds: “Good luck with that”) and to “try to steer college sports away from the cliff where it often appears to be headed.” Withers also writes that “it’s almost inevitable [INEVITABLE!!! -ed.] that [Emmert's] big issues will surround money and the viability of today’s structure of college athletics.” If and when a football playoff happens, Withers writes, “it will be because it’s a big revenue-producer. That won’t solve the myriad financial problems of college programs, but it will come partly in response to them.”
Brendan Loy is a 31-year-old attorney, erstwhile journalist, and veteran blogger in Denver, CO. He formerly blogged as the "Irish Trojan." Brendan's wife, Rebecca Loy, also 30, is a stay-at-home mom in Denver. Brendan and Becky have three daughters, whose blog nicknames are "Loyette," "Loyacita" and "Loyabelle." More info here. Several others blog here in The Guest Room.
The Living Room Times is named after Brendan's old school newspaper, circa 1993-1999. All viewpoints are welcome and vigorous debate is encouraged, but to combat spam and trolling, you must be registered to comment. You can read the "blog rules" here. View alternate mastheads here.