Monday, March 05, 2007

Broken Nose

Tyler Hansbrough will probably play in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament despite breaking his nose during the blood-filled final seconds of No. 8 North Carolina's victory over 14th-ranked Duke on Sunday.
Read the whole article and you get to this line:
[North Carolina head coach Roy] Williams also said that Hansbrough injured a tooth earlier in the game and will probably need a root canal after the season ends.
Yeah, that was likely from the first "inadvertent" elbow/forearm Hansbrough took to the face.

I love the Sports Guy's take:
4. I don't mean to pile on Billy Packer here -- OK, maybe I do -- but when you're already considered to be one of the biggest apologists on the planet for Duke basketball, is it really a good idea to keep making excuses for a Duke player after he just threw a malicious elbow at Carolina's best player with 15 seconds remaining in an 12-point game? That was one of the strangest sequences I've ever watched in a televised basketball game. Here's a rough transcript (I'm doing it from memory):

(We see a replay of Gerald Henderson measuring Hansbrough, flying over from six feet away, then delivering a Macho Man Savage-type elbow into Hansbrough's face one second after Hansbrough had already been stripped of the ball.)

Packer: "Yeah, he was going for the ball ... that was NOT intentional."

(We see another replay of the same thing from a different angle -- this time, it looks like Henderson could potentially be arrested for what just happened.)

Packer: "See, from that replay, there's NO QUESTION that Henderson was going for the ball ... that was definitely an accident.)

(Jim Nantz thinks about mentioning that Hansbrough had already been stripped of the ball before Henderson even raises his elbow, realizes that he has to announce games with Packer for the next four weeks, doesn't want it to be awkward, decides against saying anything at all, starts day-dreaming about the Masters.)

Packer: "Nope ... no way. He was going for the ball."

(Cut to a replay of Hansbrough walking off the court with his face broken in half.)

Packer: "Jim, if anything, that was probably Hansbrough's fault for going after Henderson's elbow with his face ..."

You get the idea. We have media criticism rules at ESPN, so I have to tread carefully here ... but have you noticed that Packer somehow turns himself into a major story before EVERY NCAA TOURNAMENT? As I wrote a couple of years ago, I was watching an Indiana State Final Four game from the '79 tournament and they made a big deal before the game about how Packer had publicly attacked Indy State's credentials for the entire tournament, and now they were in the Final Four and he was eating a little crow -- they even showed an awkward interview with him and Larry Bird after the game. This was 28 years ago!!!!!! What chain of events needs to happen for CBS to replace him with a more palatable, more enjoyable, agenda-less lead analyst? Does 100 percent of the country have to band together and say, "We're tired of this guy?" Or are we good at the current number of 97 percent?
And then:
Congrats to Coach K for questioning why Hansbrough was still in the game and inadvertently using Isiah Thomas' "he was asking for it" defense. And the Duke fans wonder why everyone hates Duke. If the roles were reversed, and this had happened to McRoberts, Coach K would have shown up for the news conference covered in McRoberts's blood, fighting back tears, urging for the offending UNC player to be suspended for the entire ACC tournament and basically looking like Jackie Kennedy in Dallas after the JFK shooting. God, I hate Duke.

1 comment:

Jeremy said...

Packer is hillarious. Earlier in the second half of this game, Hansbrough has the ball on the baseline and sets up a turnaround fadeaway jump shot, nails it, and Packer, all knowing Packer says something like, "He was actually looking to pass the ball back out but couldn't find anyone open so he had to put up the shot." It's amazing how all the players, coaches, and referees have given him total access to their minds so that he can give us the skinny on every decision made during the game and every decision almost made during the game.

Just think how much we would love the NCAA tournament if Billy Packer wasn't involved with it anymore.

Sports guy is right on all the way around about this one.