Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Foul Play

“And one!” You can hear this little ditty on any basketball court at most pick-up games around the world.  I’m often put off by this ridiculous impulse.  Yes, it has become an impulsive knee-jerk reaction hoping to dictate a referee or fellow player if you’re in a game where you make your own calls.  It truly is a manipulative scheme used by weak players in my opinion.  But before I jump into pissing a bunch of people off, let’s agree on where this awful saying came from.  An And 1 is a free throw awarded to a player who is fouled while scoring.  So what is a foul?  A personal foul is when you make contact with a player illegally.  Makes sense, if a defender initiates illegal contact on an offensive player then that offensive player should be rewarded.  My dilemma personally concerning all this is the word reward.  A player is rewarded the and1 if they are fouled and score, but why.  I understand if the infraction causes the player to miss the shot, however, rewarding a player for making a shot with contact is where I personally stray from the majority opinion.  The reward for scoring while being hit on the arm or wrapped up is that you scored and are stronger than your puny opponent.  This idea of rewarding a player for scoring through contact has created many of ugly things in the basketball world including the flop, which I hate.  If it were up to me anytime a player yells “and 1” or obviously flops to appear to draw contact I’d subtract a point.  The idea that you get rewarded for being fouled has created an ugly, slow game full of big egos.

You see it all the time, someone thinks they are good enough to finish on a 1 on 2 fast break and throws his or her head back or even themself to the floor after blowing a not so smart layup on two defenders.  When no whistle is blown they forget about the ball that is still in play and either give the ref the stank eye or begin whining like a teenage girl who just had her cell phone taken away or is grounded from going to the Selena Gomez concert.  This leaves the other team to run down the other end with an advantage because the cry baby is still on the other end of the court pleading his or her case.  How many points are made off fast breaks after a big defensive play because someone thinks they are owed a foul call?  How many games are slowed down because of arguments over foul calls?  I say shut up and play and if you can’t finish against some light contact get in the weight room. 

Now, on the defensive end fouls are suspect if you ask me.  If someone is going to score and you intentionally stop them, not making a move on the ball, but wrap them up or something they should just be given the points they would have gotten because you’re a punk who can’t play D.  The same is true of picks, if you run into a pick set by someone and your team fails to call it out, don’t throw yourself to the ground and sit up in astonishment that you didn’t get a call, dust off and get back on D or get in the weight room. 

This reward ideology concerning the foul has ruined the game if you ask me.  There is an entire population of people now who have perfected the art of selling a foul, also known as flopping.  You should be penalized for selling a foul because after all we are playing basketball, not taking acting courses.  I play in a rec league, actually something a bit more than a rec league here in Indy (GTBA,Indy’s Best Rec League) and cannot quantify the frustration felt as I watch many play the ego-centric foul game.  In this league we actually have someone known for his flops, here's looking at you JVA, he has mastered the flop and much to my dismay actually gets calls from the refs.  I say boo to this and say yea to the weight room!  All this deserving a foul call or trying to manipulate someone into giving you a foul call is trash, play the game and shut up.  Those are my two cents which I am sure will have many a panty all in a wad.  “And one!” shouldn’t be something you expect rather a nice little surprise, but unfortunately too many see fouls as something they deserve or can earn like a boy scout badge thus the pick-up game or  rec league has been reduced to a bunch of debaters who wear sweat-wicking t-shirts, expensive shoes, and feel entitled to be given something they actually don’t deserve. 

I’d imagine there will be screams of “And one,” as minds digest this writing feeling they have been wronged or fouled by my words and to them I offer no condolence, however, could lend you a hand in the weight room anytime you feel like it. 

And for your entertainment, see below.

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