March Madness List Mania

So here we go — another addition of List Mania from The Brewhouse.

For those not in the know, List Mania is an ode to former Kansas City Star and current Sports Illustrated columnist Joe Posnanski, who famously wrote lists until one day, many years ago, he wrote a column saying he would never list again…

So here goes…

Five quotes about March – and basketball

1. “The invention of basketball was not an accident. It was developed to meet a need. Those boys simply would not play ‘Drop the Handkerchief’.” – James Naismith

2. “Indoors or out, no one relaxes in March, that month of wind and taxes, the wind will presently disappear, the taxes last us all the year.” — Ogden Nash

3. When it’s played the way is spozed to be played, basketball happens in the air; flying, floating, elevated above the floor, levitating the way oppressed peoples of this earth imagine themselves in their dreams.”
— John Edgar Wideman

4. “Beware of the ides of March.” — William Shakespeare

5. Consider the rights of others before your own feelings, and the feelings of others before your own rights.” — John Wooden

Five great pieces of journalism (with links)

1. Bill Self and Confidence, By Joe Posnanski | Sports Illustrated

Joe Posnanski goes poetic about the things that make Bill Self the best college basketball coach in America.

2. The Soul of Basketball, By Kent Babb | The Kansas City Star

A must-read for native Kansans and basketball fans.

3. The Burden of Being Myron Rolle, By Wright Thompson | ESPN.com

ESPN.com’s Thompson crafts a beautiful look at one of sports’ most fascinating athletes.

4. Limits of Rahmism, By Peter Baker | The New York Times

An inside look at Obama’s Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel — and his struggles to implement the president’s agenda.

5. K-State’s Clemente grows in big picture, By Sam Mellinger | The Kansas City Star

Great storytelling from The Kansas City Star’s newest sports columnist.

The top 5 all-time leading scorers in KU basketball history

1. Danny Manning, 2,951
2. Nick Collison, 2,097
3. Raef LaFrentz, 2,067
4 Clyde Lovellette, 1,979
5. Sherron Collins – 1,822

One man’s Final Four prediction

1. Kansas
2. Kentucky
3. Duke
4. New Mexico

Five things that might only interest me

1. Time Magazine has contributors named Joe Stein and Joel Klein. That always makes me chuckle.

2. Heard a great a joke the other day. Where does the Royals’ Alex Gordon keep all his baseball equipment? … wait for it… The Hurt Locker.

3. This time of year, it sure does seem like most people forget James Naismith was born in Canada.

4. The American professional sports leagues are great. But is sure does seem that in terms of passion, regional pride and traditional cheers, the NCAA Tournament is awfully similar to the World Cup.

5. In the brilliant HBO documentary, “Magic & Bird: A Courtship of Rivals”, (it premiered last week) they spend a few minutes talking about Dennis Rodman’s controversial take on Larry Bird. Rodman was playing on the Pistons at the time, and he said that if Bird was black, he’d just be another guy.

Shortly after, Isiah Thomas said he agreed with Rodman, heightening the drama. Rodman’s argument seems a little absurd, but then again, it does seem that, in general, the mainstream media play up the exploits of white stars.

It all made me reflect a little bit on sports and race. And of course, these days there seems to be another element. For instance, if NBA star Dirk Nowitzki was American — and his name was Derek Knight — would he be hyped more?

Five questions

1. Does anybody realize MLS is about to go on strike?

2. Is anybody else bummed that Jennifer Hudson is going to re-record “One Shining Moment” (thus, replacing the Luther Vandross version) for the NCAA?

3. Does anybody have a better “narrator voice” than HBO Sports’ Liev Schreiber?

4. Who is busier in March – accountants or Joe Lunardi?

5. He was a boy, she was a girl, can I make it anymore obvious?

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