Random Sports Contrarian Comments


I’m watching the NCAA Basketball Tournament on CBS and sometimes my mind begins to wander. Not sure if it’s my ADD, play related, the amount of advertising done on commercial TV in the 21st century or the over reliance of the outside shot. I hear various obscure colleges and universities mentioned during the coverage, especially during the first few rounds and my active mind begins to ponder certain questions. Where’s Creighton located? Or Lehigh? Are they East, South or West of Chicago? Is Weber State in the Southeast and Belmont west of the Rockies? Are they large institutions? Do they have a dedicated following? What’s their academic forte? Public or private?

Why not have CBS (or other media coverage providers) supply a little background about the schools? I shouldn’t have to go to Wikipedia every time I want to learn a little about a school competing in the Men’s NCAA Basketball Tournament? A little more education and knowledge about those schools competing? Am I asking too much? Could we provide a little education during the broadcast besides who may be turning pro, how many games someone has started in their college career, rebounding averages, or other roundball factoids.

Or perhaps do what they do for major college football games, where each competing university get about 30 seconds to help promote their university brand. 

Are underhanded free throw shooting more effective? More touch on the ball?



According to Wikipedia, NBA star Dwight Howard shoots about 58% from the free throw line for his career. That’s not a bad percentage as a member of your junior high basketball club but sports writers, especially off the record would claim that’s inferior for an NBA star. Especially one who has had several years to improve his accuracy from 15 feet away without a hand in his face.

Rick Barry, who used to play in the NBA, shot free throws underhanded at a percentage that exceeded 90. That’s less than 10 misses per 100 attempts during NBA contests. Has Mr. Howard ever considered attempting his free throw the same way? I’m not suggesting his accuracy would mimic Mr. Barry’s, but this approach has generally helped other basketball players significantly improve their free throw accuracy. Would Dwight, and other NBA players for that matter choose to avoid underhanded attempts from the free throw stripe because it lacks machismo? Is there a perception among NBA players that this technique is old fashion or too girly?

Perhaps some pro basketball players who really see the need to improve their free throw percentage may want to consider this technique at the charity stripe. Imagine LeBron James switching to this approach and increasing his effectiveness and improving his points per game average. Many players would say, “if LeBron can do it, I certain can give it a shot.” Would that not become de rigueur among NBA players?


Some sports fanatics or NFL diehards get bored after the Super Bowl – they don’t know what to watch on TV. College basketball is too far away from the NCAA tournament to garner a lot of interest and the NBA and NHL may amuse them sometimes but may not necessarily fill the NFL void. 

I have a suggestion, switch over to European football. Of course, among the football sports, European or World football is the only game where the foot is the primary tool used for success and might be just what the sports doctor ordered to fill the emptiness at the end of another NFL season.

You have the Bundesliga (German league) which is building in popularity and street cred among European football aficionados. The Barclays Premier League, England’s answer to the Bundesliga and among the most popular for many years including some of the greatest footballers from around the globe. And don’t exclude two other incredibly popular football leagues in Europe – Italian Serie A and Spanish La Liga. These two leagues contains some of the greatest teams in the world including AC Milan, Juventus, Real Madrid and FC Barcelona. Someone interested in this fast moving game could find much action and entertainment after the big game is celebrated in America.

On second thought, why wait until the NFL playoffs and Super Bowl have finished? These leagues begin in the fall so there’s the option to switch to European football during the season if your fantasy team is not doing too well, you get tired of Red Zone coverage or you need a respite from the announcers on CBS or FOX. I’ve found alternating between the American and European football during the fall and early winter months is the thing to do until after the Super Bowl because then it’s pure European football until my wife can’t take it any longer. Once you get in this mode of choosing the best “football view” of the day or evening, there may be no turning back.

Kevin Schwarm

I have over 25 years of professional experience in business, information technology (IT), and customer service. Industry experience in retail, medical insurance, higher education, non-profit, financial services, and property and casualty insurance. Customer focused professional interested in providing value (save time, money and aggravation) by evaluating and analyzing information, services and products with a unique perspective.

3 Responses

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