Friday, January 11, 2013

The Plague of Injuries and the Death of Enjoyment

Is it just me, or does the Men's NCAAB season seem more boring this year?  I can honestly only recall a couple games where I thoroughly enjoyed to watch the gameplay, and that was either because it was a team I hated getting beat by a team I love, or because there were just two true top 25 teams going at each other.

But really, have there been that many fun games to watch as compared to last year?  For the people that know me closest, they would be surprised about what I'm about to admit, but I need to say it because it just has to be said by someone like me.

UK was fun as hell to watch last year.  Not just because each player was dominant, but because it was one of the greatest teams in NCAA history, in my opinion.  They were just unstoppable.  The reason why it pains me to admit this is because I can't stand UK, maybe due to the fact that I grew up around hearing nothing but IU and UK fandom (we won't go into the other reason just yet).

My point is that last year, college basketball was fun to watch.  There were better players, better teams, better rivalry games, and most importantly, less injuries.

What is going on with the injuries lately?  Just this past week two of the most crucial big men in the country have gotten injured.  Bowers from Missouri and Kelly from Duke, not to mention the Lehigh injury of McCollum, the Behanan injury to UofL, the early year IU injuries, Michigan's Horford and Bartelstein, UNC's Mcdonald, the list literally can go on and on for these injuries this season.

It definitely seems like more than usual to plague the NCAAB, at least all at once.

What is this going to do to some of the top teams?  I know for sure for #1 Duke it will cause them to struggle until they get Kelly back.  He has been one of the most underrated dominators in the nation this season with his ability to knock down 3-pointers with someone in his face, but also defending, helping with transitions, and just being tall.  At 6'11" and able to be that sort of triple threat is huge, especially for a team ranked #1 in the nation all across the board.  Reports have been stating anywhere from 2-4 weeks out, optimistically.  With their big game Saturday at #20 NC State, are we going to see the undefeated, top ranked Blue Devils witness their first loss for the year?  It definitely is possible, especially with Kelly out of the mix.

But what does this mean for the rest of the teams?

With Laurence Bowers out for #10 Missouri, their foundation will surely be shaken.  He will be missing at least 2 games, and is their key player.  Averaging 28.4 minutes a game, 16.8 ppg, 6.9 rpg, and 1.1 apg it doesn't look good for them.  With the game against Florida coming up, I'd like to see him be healthy and ready to play for a good game of basketball.  It will be interesting to see how they play through these next two games against Ole Miss and Georgia.

With #2 Michigan missing one of their bench players in Horford, we might get to see exactly how they fill the "deep" label everyone is giving them on Sunday against #15 Ohio State, where they will most likely need it to shine the most this season.  This injury to Horford will most likely not play as significant a role as Duke without Kelly, or Missouri without Bowers, but it will still be a tough game as will their game against #8 Minnesota on the 17th.  Not every game can be a cup cake for Michigan, B1G conference play had to start at some point.

What will happen the rest of the year?  Was it just a little bump in the 2012-2013 timeline for this injury plague?  Let's hope so for the sake of enjoyment on the game.  I want to watch an exciting NCAA tournament in March, and I fear this won't happen if these players keep getting injured.

One last thought before I'm done:

It's never good when a player gets injured, no matter the team, no matter the size and ability of team, and no matter what sort of rivalry your favorite team might have with them.  After browsing a few of the forums on sports sites (especially bad on, I noticed a lot of people cracking jokes at the expense of a player getting injured.

Is that really necessary?  Why would you ever want to make fun of a player getting injured doing the thing they love doing.  Apparently, these people don't like to watch basketball, or any sport for that matter, when it's at it's best.  That is when two teams are playing a close game, with all members healthy and at their best.  For me, that is a deal breaker on if I respect your knowledge of the game.  Taking the situation of an injury and turning into a joke not only shows how disrespectful and immature you are, but it also reflects on the organization in a poor way.

1 comment:

  1. Really good article. Anyone who laughs at a player of a rival team for undergoing a major injury is foolish. You never pull for players to get hurt