NCAA Tournament

Cardinal classic: The basketing of balls

This column originally ran March 26, 2009.

On many weeks this column is a place of complaining, so much that a person reading sometimes might worry that I had a sickness of the feelings. But this week is different!

You see, for several days now, the great conclusions of the American collegiate basketball sport have been already upon us. Oh, I am very excited. If you were standing near to me rather than reading these printed words, you would touch the bumps of geese on my arms and know my enthusiasm for the great Basketing of Balls!

I have always found these games to be of much interest. Firstly, there is the fast pacing, with the many runnings about. “See! The basketballers have all run to one end,” you might say, with happiness. But soon they will come back, one of them bearing the ball for prompt basketing. It is always with the entertainment.

And if one of the basketmen successfully places the ball into the net of the enemy, that is the most exciting of all. If I am at the Basketball House when this happens, I stand up from my seat to thank that person for basketing so successfully. Sometimes I lift my hands above my shoulders. Others do this too. Often, I see that their arms also have the goose’s bumps—how excited we are then!

There are many ways of basketing in the game of balls that bears its name. Simplest is when a player close to the enemy basketnet inclines the hand and tips the ball into the ball receptacle. It looks much like laziness, but do not be deceived! This basketing can be very beautiful to behold, with the grace of the basketers in their competitive ballet. I also like very much when the player throws the ball with both hands toward the basketnet, and even more when the player throws from very far away. “Will the ball be basketed successfully?” we all wonder then.

But there is no time for questions! Soon the ball will be moving toward the other basketnet, and the ballmen will follow it. Such is life. Did the visitors of the Basketball House stand up to express thanks? Maybe.

My very favorite basketing is when one basketer will jump very high with his ball and place it directly in the basketring (sometimes to hang from the basketring in celebration!). The people watching the basketballings then will jump up and down and sometimes slap their hands at each other. Do not be alarmed! It is always the way with the great basketings. Such enjoyment then!

The players will often get very excited too. If one basketman has touched another man where he must not, then the one he has offended will be permitted to attempt basketings free of harassment, sometimes having many scorings in doing so. And of the scorings in a bastketball match, how many? No one can say! But not more than one thousand.

Last weekend was my time of maximum basketball excitement. For you see, the squadron of basketmen from our campus had overpowered the squadron of a distant university in the making of successful basketings. Such joy at that moment! If ever we meet the students of that university, we will remind them of the shaming they suffered at the hands of our skillful basketmen. Their cheeks will darken to remember the embarrassment.

But then just days later: Another great shaming! But this time our basketmen suffered their own humiliation at the hands of an enemy squadron of basketballers, and so now we must forever avoid the students of another, mightier university, who will pound their chests at us to show their victory in the trials on the polished floors of wood. Such shame!

Even so, I will continue to enjoy the rest of this year’s basketballings, knowing in my heart that by next year we will once again be ready to support our squadron in their runnings about and to thank them for their many successful basketings. So now let us give another cheer for our team of basketers and shout with much vigorousness:

“Hooray for Campus Team! The team for us!”

Sorry, Matt is loooong gone, so if you really want to comment on this column, you’ll have to email

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