An Open Letter To The National Collegiate Athletic Association

The following is a copy of my letter to The National Collegiate Athletic Association regarding their men’s basketball tournament which got underway this past Tuesday night with four play-in games and started in earnest at noon on Thursday.

Steven H. Spring

March 21, 2013

Dr. Mark Emmert
President & CEO
The National Collegiate Athletic Association
P.O. Box 6222
Indianapolis, Indiana  46206

Dear President Emmert,

As the NCAA men’s basketball tournament gets underway Thursday and Friday, I hope you or a member of your staff can answer two questions for me.  One, why has your organization decided to make every arena holding a tournament game impossible to tell apart from one another, with the exception of the host city’s name along the end lines of the court and occasionally shown on the scorer’s table electronic advertisement board?  Since CBS, TBS, TNT and TruTV are advertising that they are showing every game in full this year, one can become mesmerized by watching numerous games on indistinguishable courts, all sporting either your NCAA logo, basketball logo or 75th tournament anniversary logo.  But then again, that’s your goal isn’t it, to have viewers captivated by staring at nearly identical basketball courts, all sporting virtually innumerable matching logos?

I am alarmed by the sheer number of NCAA logos that appear either on the court, courtside or on the television screen.  We are brainwashing our children with the constant barrage of television advertising and your tournament is a perfect example.  As someone who watches many of the old television shows on DVDs, I have noticed that hour-long shows from the late 1950s and early ‘60s were fifty-two minutes long.  Now days, a show of this length is at best only forty-four minutes.  This represents a one hundred percent increase in the number of commercials per hour.  When you consider how the networks now routinely use pop-up ads to advertise up-coming shows and product placements in their shows, we are being inundated with commercials.

After watching several of the second round games on Thursday, I decided to make a list of every NCAA logo I noticed while watching one particular game.  The following is the list, and most likely is not all-inclusive:

Three logos on the court itself, including the enormous one at mid-court,
Three logos on top of each backboard,
Two, sometimes three logos on the scorer’s table electronic advertisement board,
Two logos on the bunting along press row behind the scorer’s table,
Two logos on the floor in front of the scorer’s table,
Two logos on the sideline reporter’s microphone,
One logo at the base of each backboard support,
One logo on each player’s uniform,
One logo on every coach’s suit jacket,
One logo on every referee’s shirt,
One logo on every chair on each team’s bench,
One logo on every chair behind the scorer’s table,
One logo on each team’s shoe scuffing pad,
One logo on every bucket of Gatorade,
One logo on every cup of Gatorade,
One logo on the scores of different games at the top of the television screen,
One logo is flash very quickly on the television screen when every reply is shown,
And one logo is flash during every commercial break on the television screen as the score    of that game is given.

I did not attempt to count the number of logos shown at half time in the television studio behind and in front of the commentators as there were so many different NCAA, network and university logos displayed along with videos being played that one could become nauseated by it all.

My second question concerns the four play-in games, now referred to as the first round.  Why are there two sixteen seed games, one thirteen seed game and one eleven seed game?  Why are these four games not all sixteen seed games, with each winner playing the four number one seed teams?  Why are the eleven and thirteen seed teams forced to play one more game than every other team seeded the same as or lower than them in the tournament?  This makes no sense, and lacks fairness.  I hope you can provide an explanation to my questions.

Sincerely,

Steven H. Spring
The Ohio State University, Class of ‘87

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Baylor Bears’ Hideous Uniforms

Never in my life have I rooted against a sports team because of their uniforms; however, that all changed this weekend while watching an N.C.A.A. national quarterfinal basketball game between the Kentucky Wildcats and the Baylor Bears.  The uniforms worn by Baylor were hideous.  They quite possibly are the ugliest uniforms ever worn by a sports team.  Besides being repugnant, I do not believe that I have ever seen a bear with tiger stripes.

America in general has become a country that cares very little about its appearance and now that attitude has permeated our sports culture as well.  Pride might be one of the seven deadly sins; however, the complete lack of self-respect in one’s appearance should be cause of great embarrassment not only to the individual, but also to society as a whole.

Steven H. Spring

 

 

 

 

The Powerful Influence Of The N.C.A.A.

With the first two rounds of the men’s basketball tournament about to conclude this afternoon and late in the evening, I am astounded by the immeasurable number of N.C.A.A. logos that appear either on the court, court-side or on the television screen.  We are brainwashing our children with the constant barrage of television advertising and the N.C.A.A. tournament is a perfect example.  As someone who watches many of the old television shows on DVDs, I have noticed that hour-long shows from the late 1950s and early ‘60s were fifty-two minutes long.  Now days, a show of this length at best is only forty-four minutes.  This represents a one hundred percent increase in the number of commercials per hour.  When you consider how the networks now routinely use pop-up ads to advertise up-coming shows and product placements in their shows, we are being inundated with commercials.

After watching a few of the first round games on Thursday, I decided to make a list of every N.C.A.A. logo I noticed while watching a particular game.  The following is the list:

Three logos on the court itself, including the enormous one at mid-court,
Two logos on top of each backboard,
Two logos on the sideline reporter’s microphone,
Two logos on the bunting along press row,
One logo at the base of each backboard support,
One logo on each player’s uniform,
One logo on the scores of different games at the top of the television screen,
One logo at either end of the electronic scoreboard,
One logo along the baseline just below the electronic scoreboard,
One logo during every commercial break on the television screen as the score is given,
One logo on every chair on each team’s bench,
One logo on every chair behind the scorer’s table,
And one logo is flash very quickly on the television screen when a reply is shown.

In addition to these logos, each coach has some sort of lapel pin that I assume has an N.C.A.A. logo on it.  It also appears that there are four replicas of these pins alongside the two logos on the bunting along press row.  Even though I watch these games on HDTV, I have yet been able to determine exactly what these pins are, but most likely include some sort of N.C.A.A. insignia.  I did not attempt to count the number of logos shown at half time in the television studio behind and in front of the commentators as there were so many different N.C.A.A., network and university logos displayed along with videos being played that one could become nauseated by it all.

Seven or eight years ago, the ABC television network aired a special hosted by John Stossel entitled Hype, which addressed the issue of the effect that television has on us.  I found one segment especially alarming.  In this particular segment, Mr. Stossel had a group of kindergarten age children sitting in front of a wall of each letter of the alphabet, each letter written in a different font.  When Stossel would point to a letter, every child would scream out the same thing.  For example, when he pointed to the letter “g,” every child screamed Kellogg’s.  These children knew just by looking at the font of a single letter that it represented a particular product.  We have brainwashed our children with the constant barrage of television advertising and not only is no one doing anything about it, but commercials are becoming ever more dominate in our lives.

Steven H. Spring
The Ohio State University, Class of ‘87

 

 

 

 

Cincinnati-Xavier Basketball Riot

The riot that broke out at the end of the Cincinnati-Xavier basketball game should be reason enough for the NCAA to finally crackdown on trash talking in all sports.  Civility and sportsmanship has long since been abandoned in not only in American sports but in our society as a whole.  Xavier All-American guard Tu Holloway was quoted as stating after the game that “We’ve got a whole bunch of gangsters in our locker room.”  Is this really the image the NCAA and our universities want to project to the youth of America?

This type of boorish attitude has probably been around for a very long time, as I am old enough to remember watching the beating and hospitalization of several Ohio State basketball players by the Minnesota Golden Gophers on February 7, 1972, but it was glorified by the Miami Hurricanes football team during the 1980s, when that program relished its image as gangsters and hooligans when it wore combat fatigues on the way to the 1987 Fiesta Bowl.

Sad as this brawl was, this type of brutal behavior is probably more reflective of the violent culture of America.  Be it this nation’s warmongering military-industrial complex down to all those shoot ‘em in the head to receive bonus points video games (which were first developed by the military to train its soldiers for combat) parents give their children for Christmas, America has become a very sadistic nation.  The brawl in Cincinnati is just the latest example of a society gone wild.

Steven H. Spring