Saturday, April 4, 2009

The Usual Suspects

As the NCAA basketball tournament wraps up in the next few days, Charles P. Pierce finds it lacking.

Why, then, did this year's tournament.....seem to have about it the musty, fusty aroma of those days when UCLA won it every year? Because instead of UCLA winning it every year, there are now between five and nine UCLAs that can win it every year. It's just as sterile and dynastic as it used to be.

This damn thing is a destination event now. In 1974, I recall there being two rows of media at courtside. In 1977, at the Omni in Atlanta, my ticket for the championship game cost nine bucks. Now, the whole Final Four annually is subsumed by that odd lot of suits and haircuts that infests every major sporting event. The luxury-box crowd has come to town, and the event has suffered for that.

We are now back in the tedious dynastic years, except that we now have Tudors, Stuarts, and Plantagenets, and not year after year of the House of Windsor. There are no usurpers any more. Four times the predictability and, yes, four times the boredom.