BIRMINGHAM–The Final Four (Final 48) is the best sporting event in Alabama (excluding college football). It is better than the Super Six for a host of reasons. More teams, more energy, it is loud, climate controlled and tons of non-stop action spanning five days. Did I mention loud? The energy in the building game after game gives this the feel of a true championship. The BJCC is an amazing venue to crown a champion. Too bad Legion Field is a dump or Birmingham would really have something to brag about.
Good sportsmanship is a tradition?
The public address announcer during the Final Four games Wednesday regularly read a good sportsmanship announcement. The crowd was reminded that good sportsmanship is a tradition of Alabama high school athletics. And for the most part it is. I have watched hundreds of basketball and football games, and could count on one hand the times I’ve thought a player displayed poor sportsmanship (I’m thinking of Cullman High School and one player that ended up at Bama.) I could not count the number of times parents have displayed pathetic behavior.
From the random parent yelling profanity at the officials to the mother of one basketball player screaming that a rival player was so ugly she fouled people with her face, parents set the wrong example for their children. Booing and expressing outrage is part of the game experience, but there is a line crossed when parents get personal with officials and players. Children learn by watching, and what they see at many games on the court is great conduct. What they see in the stands leaves much to be desired. No complaints about how the crowd behaved today at the BJCC. One of the advantages of it being loud is you can’t hear the random loudmouth.
Frantic 66 seconds
Dora trailed Ramsay 26-17 at halftime, but rallied to take the lead 41-40 with 1:06 left in the fourth. Furious play followed and saw Ramsay miss a jumper, get the rebound, get fouled and miss both free throw shots with 33 seconds remaining. Dora was fouled and drained two free throw shots to extend the lead 43-40. But the game wasn’t over. Ramsay tied it 43-43 with a long three-point shot at the 18 second mark. Dora quickly pushed the ball up the court and took the lead with a tip-in with four seconds left. Whew. Now that is basketball.
Maybe the Unviersity will improve its basketball program with a coaching change and this kind of enthusiasm could return to the Capstone.
One can dream.