I canâ€™t imagine comparing Kelvin Sampson to Santa Claus will make me popular in media relations, so Iâ€™ve decided to bypass the annual Christian tradition and present you with a column centering around the traditional Seinfeld holiday, Festivus.
For those who donâ€™t watch Seinfeld re-runs religiously, Festivus is the untraditional holiday that centers around wrestling the head of the household, a sturdy aluminum pole, and the ever-so entertaining airing of grievances.
Since I’m pretty sure Sampson would pin me in a heartbeat, and the only aluminum thing I have is in the shape of a 12 ounce can, I present to you my Hoosier Basketball airing of grievances.
â€œAnd at the Festivus dinner, you gather your family around, and tell them all the ways they have disappointed you over the past year!â€ – Frank Costanza
My first grievance is the Hoosiers’ inability to defeat Butler, Kentucky or Duke. Outside of Butler, the Hoosiers werenâ€™t expected to beat any of the teams, but it would have been a pleasant surprise to upset Kentucky or Duke. The only reason I even discuss the possibility of an upset is because of how close the Hoosiers came in both contests.
My next grievance is as broad as Shawn Kempâ€™s waistband (ironically, the same size as Santa’s). What Iâ€™m referring to is the lack of stability at the point guard position. Imagine if you were describing IU to someone outside of the state. Who would you say its starting point guard is? Would it be Earl Calloway who plays like a Jaguar that canâ€™t go under 90 mph? Would it be freshman Armon Bassett who was playing in prep school this time last year? Maybe 5-foot-8 Errek Suhr? The point being (ha-ha), the Hoosiers have yet to have a point guard emerge from the cluster and play as a consistent leader. Woe is me.
For the past two seasons during Midnight Madness/Hoosier Hysteria, A.J. Ratliff has thrown down dunks that would make Vince Carter blush. Then the season starts, and Ratliff acts like he got a cease and desist order not to throw one down. I wish Ratliff would play aggressively and attack the rim like I know he is capable of. Iâ€™m not asking for three Hoosiers to huddle in the lane and let Ratliff dunk over them on a breakawayâ€¦but I would like Ratliff to posterize at least one Big Ten opponent this season. While I’m at it, let’s make it Purdue.
My last grievance doesnâ€™t have much to do with the current Indiana Hoosier team. Itâ€™s a grievance that has been boiling over for years. It’s very unlikely and might be a longer shot than a Bracey Wright three pointer, but I wish IUâ€™s athletic department would at least acknowledge Bobby Knightâ€™s milestone. He is about to become the most winning coach of all-time in college basketball, and the fact that he gathered a majority of those wins in Bloomington warrants at least a departmental nod. A press release, or a mention at the next home game, or something. Iâ€™m not saying they should give the guy a bronze statue on top of Assembly Hall, but they shouldnâ€™t act like they never met the guy either.
There are myriad (you like?) other grievances I could air, but instead Iâ€™d like to hear some of yours. Post comments and air your grievances reflecting the Indiana Hoosiers, or me, whichever one floats your aluminum pole this holiday season.