This is the point where I tell you that I'm old school. I'm 34 going on 74. I don't like showboating and the antics we see from today's athletes. I was raised in a small town in Illinois and was taught that if a player shows you up you throw him a high hard one.
Now I don't think Adams was intentionally taunting or showing anyone up, but it came across that way. I like his fire and enthusiasm, but he's taking it too far when on more than one occasion he failed to get back on defense because he was too busy playing to the crowd and pounding his chest.
I'm surprised Lute Olson put up with it. He's one of the classiest in the business and if he had enough depth on the bench I suspect Adams would have sat more than he did.
From all accounts Adams is a great kid. He's a terrific ball player and I love watching him play. I like his leadership and enthusiasm, but he needs to know when enough is enough. Late in the game the Cats were up by 10 and Adams blocked a shot that flew into the crowd. It was a terrific block, but it hardly warranted 20 seconds of screaming and repeated chest bumps.
My fear is that it will come back and haunt Adams or the team. I fear that we'll see a ref "T" Adams up for similar behavior. The wrong ref may not want to see a 19-year old kid screaming and flexing after a dunk. Even worse an opposing player may take offense. I fear a hotheaded opponent may mistake youthful exuberance for taunting. I'd hate to see an ugly incident arise because of Adams' "enthusiasm".
Adams is good for this team. He's a leader and a sparkplug. In some ways he's the anti-Stoudamire. While Stoudamire gets too down on himself, Adams gets too high. Both players need to come down just a hair. I'm sure Olson will correct this. I have a feeling that Lute and Adams will discover the delicate balance.
This brings us to Joe Horn. For those of you who missed it, after his second touchdown catch Horn brought out a cell phone he had stashed by the goal post and made a phone call. He claims he was calling his family to see how they liked the game, but we all know this was not about family. This was about the spotlight, this was about Joe Horn. This was another example of how many of today's athletes don't respect the game.
Maybe I'm just getting old, but it's getting out of control. Horn is just trying to outdo Terell Owens and his Sharpies, pompoms and 50-yard line dances. I hate the Cowboys as much as the next guy, but when Owens was dancing on the Star I was rooting for a Dallas player to just lay him out.
I watch sports for competition. I don't need to see taunts, dances and outlandish behavior. If I wanted that I'd watch wrestling. The me-first attitudes of today's athletes are a real turn off. My feeling is that no player is bigger than the game, sadly I appear to be in the minority.
As Schu would say, moving on…
I have lived in Tucson for a little over five years and I am finally going to buy football season tickets. I have bought into what Mike Stoops is selling. When I first moved here Dick Tomey was the coach and I liked what I saw, but I couldn't afford more than the occasional game. Then John Mackovic was hired and I knew what was in store. I was all too familiar with his act at Illinois. Although he did a decent job with the Illini, most fans were not sad to see him bolt for Texas.
Stoops is another story. He's exciting and a real leader. He's got me excited and I'm jumping on the bandwagon. I'm putting my money where my mouth is and I now own a pair of tickets in the south endzone.
Speaking of the Illini, I have a bone to pick. Every time I watch a game the announcers sound positively puzzled that Dee Brown's shots are not falling. They are astounded that he's slumping. What kind of preparation do they do? Don't they know he can't shoot? He's a terrific athlete. He's a great defender and gets to the hoop, but there is a reason he's shooting 34% from the field and 31% from three-point land.
Brown reminds me a lot of Frank Williams, minus Williams' ability to hit clutch shots in the crunch. Williams was not the greatest shooter, but he made things happen when it counted. Brown has not shown he can do that. I always wonder why they draw up plays for Brown late in games when he just isn't a very good shooter. Let him create. Let him drive and dish. Leave the shooting to someone else.
[This is Steve Karls' first contribution to Cat Tracks. In case you could not tell, he is originally from Illinois and has recently moved to Arizona. He has adopted the Wildcats, but is still stinging from the Elite Eight loss in 2001.]
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