CBS

My Sitcom Bar

One of my favorite things about sitcoms is that the main characters always hang out at the same place. It seemed so cool to me as a kid. All your friends meet up at the same location every day without ever making plans and just shoot the shit in a hilarious manner, seemed like the perfect life. One downside to working in the television industry is learning that the reason for a “hangout place” isn’t based on anything in reality, but rather a way to save money since the less shooting locations there are, the cheaper the cost. 

I’ve always wanted a sitcom hangout of my own and with all due respect to the Central Perk, Monk’s Diner, and Chubbies, I want my hangout to be a bar. There is just something more appealing about a place to meet up for a pint with your friends to bitch about your day at work, relive great moments, and maybe play a game of darts or pool. Plus the added bonus of becoming a “regular” where the bartenders know you buy name, give you special deals, and let you pay your bar tab whenever you want cause they know you’ll be back. A young professional’s life is busy and stressful. We worry about our jobs, having enough money to pay rent, our future, etc. It does not leave us much time to sit back and relax with our closest friends.

Besides my roommates, I sometimes go weeks without seeing some of my closest friends in Los Angeles. Our lives get so busy that we’re too tired to do anything during the week, which leaves us only the weekends to hangout. The problem there is that weekend trips come up, taking them out of town, or they have a lot of things to catch up on since it is their only time off or they’re too tired from a long week to hangout. The point is that the weekends are limited and not always ideal to spend a lot of time with friends.

This is why I’m on a quest to find my own sitcom bar. A place where my friends and I can meet up for an hour or two during the week when we’re free. A bar to call our own, so that no matter what we’ll always have friends to share a beer and shoot the shit. Before I decide on a place, I thought it would be best to take a look at some of the best sitcom bars in television history in order to structure my search.

HIMYM-MACLARENS

I’m all about a bar being below street level, no matter how slightly below that may be.

MacLaren’s Pub – How I Met Your Mother 

Television’s best Friends replacement made the smart move of having a bar be its main hangout instead of a coffee shop. As far as sitcom bars go MacLaren’s is pretty solid. It has nice booths, which is always a plus. If you’re going to convince everyone to come to the same bar all the time, then it should be a comfortable spot. The coolest aspect of the bar is the fact that it is below street level. Any bar that has this feature scores huge bonus points in my book. Another bonus to MacLaren’s pub is that it seems to bring in a lot of beautiful single people, based on the number of romantic relationships, or conquests in Barney’s case, that got started there. However, the best thing MacLaren’s has going for itself is convenience. It is literally located directly under the main apartment where half the characters live. A convenient location is key to a great sitcom bar. It cannot be a chore for people to get to or else they will lose motivation to keep coming back.

It is not a perfect sitcom bar though. It is pretty small. I would prefer a more spacious bar if I’m going to hang out there all the time. Plus the characters never sit at the bar, another bad sign. If you’re going to become a “regular” at a bar, then you need to get along with the bartenders and the other regulars. This way you don’t need to wait for your friends in order to show up at the same time. You can just head straight to the bar and tell the bartenders about your shitty day. The final nail in the coffin though is that it does not appear that MacLaren’s has any bar games. This is a huge deal breaker for me. Any place with darts and pool has my attention. If there is shuffle board, then I might try to live there. 

Ultimately, although it is a pretty cool bar, MacLaren’s is not the sitcom bar for me.

MC

Crowley’s – My Boys 

This is one of the lesser known sitcom bars considering that the show it comes from, My Boys, was an overlooked and underrated show for the four seasons it aired on TBS. A much more spacious bar then MacLaren’s, which that alone puts it ahead, but the greatest part of Crowley’s is that it not only has bar games, darts and pool, but also a large collection of board games. As a self professed board game geek this is an amazing attraction. The opportunity to drink and play Risk, Operation, Scrabble, Categories, or any other various games is hard to pass up. There is also a great neighborhood feel to Crowley’s. It is not trying to pretend to be a gastropub or a trendy club or a hipster haven, it is just happy being a neighborhood bar.

my-boys-cast-photo-crowleys

There really isn’t a downside to Crowley’s. If I’m nitpicking, then I suppose one of my arguments against MacLaren’s holds up against it too. The bartenders and staff were not a big part of the show, so it is unclear what kind of relationship there is to be had on that front. But it hits the rest of my criteria and earns plenty of bonus points. Did I mention it has a slew of board games? Crowley’s is just about the perfect sitcom bar and a great example to use while searching for mine.

Paddy’s Pub – It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia 

A good dive bar makes it easy to judge it by its cover.

A good dive bar makes it easy to judge it by its cover.

I love me a good dive bar and it does not get much more divey than Paddy’s. Our first sitcom bar where not only do we know the bartenders and staff, but they are the five main characters on the show. This combined with what is sure to be cheap beers, if they even remember to charge me at all, makes Paddy’s an ideal location. The great thing about dive bars is that you do not feel any pressure to dress up or make a good impression. People go to a dive to throw back some cheap beers and escape life for a little while. You can wear whatever you like and do whatever you like within the context of the law.

The problem is that not everybody can get on board with the dive bar experience. They need cleanliness and proper lighting while they’re drinking. Pretentious bastards. Plus I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen a customer in Paddy’s besides Rickety Cricket. A good sitcom bar should feel slightly private and certainly provide an atmosphere that makes it easy to talk. But it should also sometimes have a lively, fun and young crowd to provide the opportunity to meet some new people. Preferably the attractive, intelligent, funny, and wild future Mrs. Demetrio. Sadly these reasons keep Paddy’s from being able to jump Crowley’s and take the Yellow Jersey as my lead, ideal example to follow for my quest.

But it does have live music…

Cheers – Cheers

Before the executive producers of My Boys start celebrating for creating my ideal sitcom bar, they need to check themselves and bow down to the king, Cheers. It may be the obvious and boring answer, but that doesn’t mean that it is the wrong one. Boring, obvious answers are almost always the right answer, we just do not like to admit it cause it is boring and obvious.

 

As a kid I used to sneak out of my room to watch re-runs of Cheers on TV Land. It played the entire series weeknights and I watched all 271 episodes in order. I took away two things, one it is the best sitcom ever made and two, Cheers (the bar) is the most magical place on Earth. The theme song says it all, “where everybody knows you’re name.” Those five simple words is all the criteria one needs when searching for their own sitcom bar. Besides that the bar actual has a lot of great features. It is below street level, which I already mentioned is a huge bonus. Cheers is very spacious and has a great lay out, a big square shaped bar in the middle that makes it easy to carry on conversations with anyone at the bar, and it’s own side game room to get super competitive with your friends while allowing you the comfort of not everyone in the bar seeing you throw a hissy fit after scratching on the 8-ball. Plus it is a place that allows you to do something as crazy as this…

It is just the perfect bar and the best example to use in my search for a sitcom bar. In the weeks to come I’ll be going out to various bars in LA to see how close they come to meeting my criteria, based on the things I like from all my favorite sitcom bars. I’ll share my findings and then you can help me choose what will finally become my sitcom bar. I look forward to sharing this quest with you and finally getting to the place where everybody knows my name.

Advertisements

Friday Mailbag: TV Edition

The traditional television season is coming to a close and while that does not carry the same significance as it did 10 years ago, let alone 30, I still thought it would be a good excuse to breakout the mailbag to see what is on everyone’s mind. As always these are actual emails from actual readers.

This week at Upfronts NBC did everything short of holding a ticker tape parade to celebrate finishing first in the key demo, 18-49. Is it too cynical of me to suggest they shouldn’t be celebrating inflated ratings due to Sunday Night Football and the Winter Olympics? – Johnathan, Boise. 

There is a lot swagger around the Universal lot this week. Yesterday I saw the Big Chief himself, Bob Greenblatt, strutting to the Commissary in jeans and his sleeves rolled up. After a decade plus of being the laughing stock of the Big Four I think a little celebration is deserved. However, I do agree with your assessment, there is no getting around the fact that the victory was earned on the back of three horses, Sunday Night Football, Winter Olympics with an assist to Bob Costas’ pink eye, and The Voice.

NBC is partying like it is 1994.

NBC is partying like it is 1994.

As much as Greenblatt would like to crow about Sound of Music and The Blacklist, the former is a once a year event and the latter is still unproven without The Voice lead-in. The Blacklist will not bomb next year without The Voice like Revolution did, but it will be battling to get 2.0 or higher on Thursday nights next Spring. The post-Super Bowl slot has not been fruitful since Grey’s Anatomy in 2007, in-fact this year’s combo of New Girl and Brooklyn 99 both saw diminishing returns after its post-Super Bowl episodes. But in today’s landscape there are no more big hits and NBC has found stability. It will ride the wave of event programming, next year’s Super Bowl replacing the Winter Olympics, and combine it with old friend Dick Wolf to remain much more successful compared to years past. Don’t be surprised to see the Peacock make it back-to-back first place finishes next year.

What was the best new show of the last Broadcast season? Is there one that has Hall of Fame potential? Will there ever be another Hall of Fame broadcast show launched again? – Joe, Boston. 

Brooklyn 99 certainly has Hall of Fame potential, but after that it gets sketchy. I loved Trophy Wife, but it was losing steam towards the end of what turned out to be its only season, so it is hard for me to commit to saying we lost a Hall of Famer before its time. The two most hyped programs, Marvel Agents of SHIELD and The Blacklist, lack any substance to go with all of its flash and even another great performance from first ballot Hall of Famer, James Spader, can make up for it. Each new season seems to bring a ton of disappointment with it, but I remain optimistic that things will improve, from a quality standpoint, as networks realize that the big ratings are just never going to be there again. Based on Universal Productions this year’s crop of pilots is markedly better than last year’s. Both David Caspe and Tina Fey return to television. Grey’s alums Katherine Heigl and Kate Walsh return with vehicles shaped perfectly for them, in State of Affairs and Bad Judge respectively. There is hope on the horizon.

As Broadcast networks once mighty power has been sucked away the past decade by cable and now streaming devices, its one saving grace has been comedies. Is it just me or is that now gone as well? Christina, Kansas City. 

I agree Christina, I have enjoyed Broadcast comedies a bit better than cable in the past few years and I also agree that it too has now switched in the favor of cable. The best broadcast comedies going into next season are, Big Bang Theory, not my cup of tea but its ratings are impressive and people do enjoy it, Parks and Rec, entering its 7th and final season without an official air date, The Middle, enjoyable yet forgettable, The Goldbergs, ditto, New Girl, up-and-down third season buoyed by the return of D-Dub Jr., and  Brooklyn 99, flashed a ton of potential with its season end run.

Broad City has helped turn the tide in favor of cable comedies.

Broad City has helped turn the tide in favor of cable comedies.

 Compared to what is going on in cable, Louie, the most poignant and interesting comedy on TV, Broad City, the comedy with the biggest laughs, and Veep, the best comedy on TV. And it is clear that the tides have turned without me mentioning the still hilarious It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The League, Girls, which I’ll admit improved in its third season, the strange uniquely funny Portlandia, and if you believe in fickle Emmy categories, Shameless. Outside of ABCs offensive batch of new comedies there is some support coming for Broadcast. My biased view is pumped to welcome Mulaney to the fall schedule Sunday nights on Fox. Having seen both Bad Judge and Mission Control’s pilots I can say both are loaded with potential. And even though I was disappointed in the pilot of Tina Fey’s new series, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, I still trust the people involved to figure things out and eventually create a very funny series out of it. We’ll revisit this battle in a year to see how it has changed.

Please tell me the Warriors didn’t make a huge mistake by firing a coach whose entire team loved him and would run through a brick wall for in favor of an unproven Broadcaster turned Belle of the Ball because Phil Jackson wanted him to be his puppet coach for him in order to avoid the grueling travel of the NBA schedule? – Matt C., Santa Monica 

Damn it. How did this get in here? Television questions only. I don’t have time to placate your Warrior worries Matt C. from Santa Monica.

**Warning these next few questions are Arrow specific and contains some spoilers, so skip over if you do not want to be spoiled or if you’re an idiot and not interested in the series. 

 

Where do you put Arrow Season 2 on your list of all-time seasons? Is it Pantheon worthy? – Arthur, Cincinnati file_178947_1_arrow_season_2_poster

Good question. I’ll need some time to reflect before I can properly rate it, but I will say that it definitely lands in my top 10 fantastic seasons and I mean “fan”tastic literally. Look, there is no comparing Arrow to shows like The Wire, Sopranos, Mad Men, or Breaking Bad. It has completely different goals and aspirations. If I were to compare it to another show it would be Lost. In its day Lost was on Game of Thrones level of anticipation, hype, and excitement. People broke it down like a thesis paper, but in hindsight it was not much more than  fan-serving, high concept entertainment. It was not trying to make big sweeping statements about society or discover a deeper meaning in life. It was simply trying to keep fans on the edge of their seats with twists and turns, action, and love triangles to get Shippers hot and bothered. Arrow does the same thing, but actually makes some more nuanced, profound observations on society, specifically greed, desire, social and fiscal class disparity, and how we are defined as people. This season packed in a lot of narrative and highlighted Oliver Queen’s journey from a killer to a hero that was capped off in the finale this week. Excellently executed as well, may I add. 

How worried should we be about the status of Caity Lotz for Season 3 of Arrow? Why has it not  been announced that she has been upped to Regular? Shouldn’t have this been down by now? What is going on? Do we need to riot if this doesn’t happen by the Fall? – Jana, Vancouver

I cannot be robbed of Oliver and Sara time.

I cannot be robbed of Oliver and Sara time.

Excellent question, Jana. But let’s not panic quite yet. The fact that Sara Lance survived this season is a good sign. I was a bit surprised that her life was not once in peril the entire episode and the lack of a conversation between her and Oliver in the wake of their apparent break-up. Arrow has a lot of masters and characters to serve, which is why I was hoping for more bodies to drop other than Moira Queen’s. In an ideal world Roy and Laurel would die heroically and our remaining, much more interesting characters would have something to grieve moving forward. I do not want Arrow to become too soapy or sappy with its love stories, but I would like some more time to explore Oliver’s romantic entanglements.

He seems to fall in-and-out of relationships rather quickly, which makes sense given everything that he has been through. I too would be grasping for anything that I thought would make me happy, especially if Caity Lotz and Summer Glau are involved, and yet be scared to commit due to the demons I carry around. But just a few weeks ago he asked Sara to move in with him and then got dumped. I would’ve liked to see more of his reaction to this as I thought it was a big step in his character progression, but the show seemed to be sweeping it under the rug.

This is the only Black Canary I'll ever recognize.

This is the only Black Canary I’ll ever recognize.

In fact the show did not do well by Sara/The Canary at all in the last few episodes, between the heavy handed approach to showing her that she is a hero, to not explaining why she was back and then randomly inserting the League of Assassins back in her life, to then having her get on a boat with said League and no one seeming to have a big issue with her leaving for an undetermined amount of time. Where the hell was Oliver for this decision? Why couldn’t he say good-bye? Damn it, Jana, now you’ve got me mad too.

I don’t want to watch Laurel become the Canary. It makes no sense. Sara has years of training by the most deadly organization in the world. Laurel is a bumbling, idiot, drunk attorney who ruins every story she is in, please, please don’t let her become a part of team Arrow. Not after the awesomeness that was Sara and Caity Lotz. Please Marc Guggenheim, don’t make me suffer through this ordeal. Please Ali Benmohamed, Caity Lotz’s agent, take whatever deal CW offers you for series regular status. Actually check that, damn it CW, don’t cheap out on me. Please offer Ms. Lotz whatever she wants. Don’t ruin your hit show. Please, please, please. Otherwise you will have to deal with Jana and I rioting your headquarters.

On a scale of 1-10 how cruel was Arrow to us Olicity, Oliver and Felicity, shippers? – Dave, Salt Lake City

Pretty rough, I must admit, as a Saliver I was not that pissed off about the fake out. In fact I was relieved, not that I’m against Felicity and Oliver being romantically involved, more so that this confession came out of nowhere and was on the heels of Oliver just asking Sara to move in with him. It felt false for Oliver to admit something big like this out of the blue and was much more satisfied that it was part of a plan to end Deathstroke. I have no doubt that the endgame goal is to get Felicity and Oliver together, but I hope they do not take the traditional narrative of dragging out a will they/won’t they between them till the very end. I would much rather see them actually date or at least hook up some time in the next season .

 

** This concludes our Arrow portion of the Mail Bag. 

Seriously though, is Kerr going to rely too heavily on the Triangle? Won’t that limit some of Curry’s creativity? And isn’t having a high basketball IQ different for broadcasting than coaching? Isn’t a big part of it gaining the respect and love of your players? – Matt C., Santa Monica

Alright, alright Matt C. I will address your precious Warriors. It is a highly risky move. A big part of Kerr’s appeal is how badly Phil wanted him to coach the Knicks, but I do believe that part of that was having a former player he could control in order to coach the team without actually coaching. Look at who is backup choice appears to be, Derek Fisher, falls into the same camp as Kerr. I do think that the Triangle will give the Warriors more stability on offense and that Kerr will not solely run it, so you guys will be difficult to defend. Mark Jackson’s offense was Vinny Del Negro bland and relied far too heavily on Curry high pick n’ roll and Iso post-ups on perceived mismatches. These plays are so common and therefore easier to defend. With the amount of shooting the Warriors have there is no excuse for having this bland of an offense. I think it will see marked improvement next season. The question marks are will these players work as hard on the defensive end as they did for Jackson. We will have to see. If they do though, I think the Warriors rise past the Rockets and Blazers into the top-four of the West giving them a better path to the Western Conference Finals. You happy, Matt C. from Santa Monica?

How bad was the How I Met Your Mother finale? Worst of all-time? And how happy are Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld to be off the sitcom finale snide? – Joan, Tulsa

Again, don’t want to be a prisoner of the moment, but if How I Met Your Mother followed the Dinosaurs blueprint of causing their species to go extinct, I think it would’ve gone over better with fans.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/briangalindo/dinosaurs-the-most-traumatizing-series-finale-ever

And am I the only person in the world that actually enjoyed the Seinfeld finale and found it to be a funny, unique way to end a sitcom, while also being a fitting ending for those characters. Count me as a Seinfeld finale defender till the day I die.

Why aren’t more people talking about Orphan Black? More importantly why aren’t more people talking about Tatiana Maslany and what an amazing performance she is giving? I’m shocked and disappointed that you’ve not done a Women I Love article on her yet. – Angela, Detroit

Keep smiling Tatiana. You're a first ballot Hall of Famer.

Keep smiling Tatiana. You’re a first ballot Hall of Famer.

I just finished season one of Orphan Black this week, so give me some time on the Women I Love article because you’re right I’m absolutely in love with Maslany. I do not want to go into specifics of the show because it is a must watch. Maslany is giving a Sandy Koufax-esque acting performance. This is the fastest I’ve ever seen anyone wrap up Hall of Fame status. I do not even need to see how the rest of the series plays out, I’m ready to give it to her now. Everyone, please make it a priority to watch this show immediately. Mad Men, Veep, and Game of Thrones is coming to a close in a couple weeks and there is not much quality TV on the horizon this summer. The first season is only 10 episodes and you’ll breeze through them. Consider this a decree, watch Orphan Black or never get a mailbag again.

 

 

Late Night Monotony – CBS Plays It Safe

CBS made official this morning what so many people had been speculating since David Letterman announced his retirement last Thursday, Stephen Colbert will take over the Late Show reigns next year. It is the logical choice, Colbert is part of the CBS/Viacom family and has been wildly successful with his arch-conservative parody Colbert Report. He brings the kind of social media cache that the networks have become all about with the Jimmys, Fallon and Kimmel. Colbert is a brilliant guy and he will definitely deliver a consistently funny product, but will anyone care?

Colbert is set to take the reigns starting next year.

Colbert is set to take the reigns starting next year.

Blue Ocean Strategy by W Chan Kim and and Renee Mauborgne is a book that conceptualizes a strategy to make competition irrelevant. The cornerstone of the strategy is to value innovation. By seeking a new, original product a company can make its competition irrelevant. It requires looking beyond demand and giving people something they didn’t know they wanted. By hiring another funny, intelligent middle-aged white guy CBS put itself in the same ocean as every other late night network, broadcast and cable. This makes the market highly competitive and Colbert is going to need to be that much better in order to succeed.

It does not come as much of a shock considering that CBS isn’t exactly known for its innovation, but in a twisted way much of their success has come from accidentally imploring a Blue Ocean Strategy. Over the past decade the other three broadcast networks, Fox, ABC, and NBC, have tried to get out in front of the the digital revolution and create programming designed for the millennial audience. The problem is that they greatly overestimated our generation’s interest in watching live television and chose innovative style over substance. CBS, on the other hand, went the opposite direction going with nostalgic throwbacks, multi-cam traditional sitcoms and police/investigative procedurals.  And it has worked like gangbusters for the most watched network since the turn of the Millenium. Now the other networks are trying to follow suit and have more CBS style programming in its schedule.

The only two men brave enough to employ a Blue Ocean Strategy.

The only two men brave enough to employ a Blue Ocean Strategy.

Unfortunately CBS is either unaware of its strategy or unwilling to apply it to its Late Night programming. Well, actually, still not entirely true. It does produce the most innovative of all late night programming in The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson. Improvised monologues over pithy jokes about today’s hot topics. A gay, robot skeleton sidekick named Geoff Peterson as its Ed McMahon. Absolutely no prepared interviews with its guests. Ferguson has applied the blue ocean strategy to turn the late night genre on its head and it is the only one that I can actually sit through an entire episode of week to week. Sure the other shows have more viral videos that are funny the next day, but as a whole the shows are difficult to watch and 75% of the interviews are brutal to watch in its glaringly rehearsed structure.

The success and creativity of Ferguson’s show makes it even more frustrating that CBS chose to simply follow the same formula with Colbert. It could’ve been an opportunity bring a woman back to late night. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were both pipe dreams considering both are producing multiple shows this upcoming season and the latter still has a final season of Parks and Rec to get through. Chelsea Handler’s style is a bit aggressive and I’m not sure if she is likeable enough to host on her own. Ellen Degenres, coming off a successful Academy Award hosting gig, could’ve been an excellent out of the box choice. A lesbian hosting the Late Show almost 20 years after her coming out announcement helped drive her sitcom off the air would make for a great story. It would’ve been easy for her to stand out among her peers and bring in a new audience.

How much fun would it be to have these two on our TVs every night?

How much fun would it be to have these two on our TVs every night?

But simply choosing a host that stands out was not the only way CBS could’ve spiced things up. A change in format would make for a breath of fresh air. Perhaps something simple to start out like moving to a co-host format. A funny pair that can work off one another, say Key and Peele for example. Imagine them moving their sketch format to the big time on CBS and adding interview segments, and musical and comedic acts to it. Now that would create a buzz and become must watch TV. Perhaps they could’ve Godfathered Jon Stewart to do the Daily Show on CBS every night. It could remain exactly the same just add an extra guest and a musical act. Next to Ferguson and the Colbert character, Stewart is the best interviewer, so it would not hurt to give him more time with each guest. Even better, get rid of the traditional taped in front of a studio audience format all together. Take the show on the road, film more sketches, do more walking around town and talking to real people bits that still work, just like at Billy Eichner’s Billy on the Street for evidence. If the networks are really looking for more viral videos, then this format change will allow for it.

Perhaps when Colbert’s premiere date approaches we’ll learn that he has his own ideas on how to innovate the tired old format. I certainly wouldn’t be surprised by anything he might do as host, but as of right now it seems like CBS is happy treading water in the Red Ocean rather than taking a chance and swimming for the Blue.

Justice Demetrio

Justice Demetrio has been in hiding after eliminating Valentine’s Day. He received countless death threats, mostly from Newlyweds, but his high paid security team has given him the all clear to get back on the bench. Just in time too as this case needs a rushed ruling. NCAA

Case #000000005 The People vs NCAA Basketball Conference Tournaments

March is the best month of the year. The main reason being March Madness. As a young lad. Justice Demetrio looked forward to Selection Sunday with the same anticipation as Christmas Day. He had a giant white board with a NCAA bracket and he filled in the teams as Greg Gumble announced them. Then with each game of each round he would advance the winners until there was one team left to put in that Champions spot.

It was always a magical time of year, especially when the tournament would fall on his birthday. If someone asked him a would you rather have March Madness or Christmas when Justice Demetrio was a kid, the choice would’ve been March Madness. The tournament has remained important even as he’s gotten older. I high school, class was optional during the tournament. Though somehow the deans did not get that same memo. The year that he discovered CBS’ online feature that allowed you to watch out of market games was on par with discovering the magic of masturbation. In college, his dorm room was transformed to a NCAA Command Center with more TVs than a BWW.

The best example of March Madness Magic? It actually makes people excited to see Greg Gumble.

The best example of March Madness Magic? It actually makes people excited to see Greg Gumble.

 

The magic has never worn off. If only this magic could be expanded, so we can experience more of it. Enter, conference tournament week, which is really almost two weeks leading up to Selection Sunday. In theory conference tournaments make sense. Let’s take the magic of March Madness and boil it down to each conference, so it happens 28 more times. The problem is that the regular season becomes diluted.

It does not impact the bigger conferences as much since most of the teams involved in the tournament would make the big dance anyways. But for the smaller, one bid, conferences these tournaments are particularly cruel. Billy’s Alma Mater, Boston University, dominated the Patriot League in its first season in the conference. It finished two games clear of second place American. But since the Patriot league will only get one team into the tournament, due to national rankings, Boston U is one game away from seeing its March Madness dreams erased. How is this fair?

The big conferences are also affected by this as the conference tournament tends to carry more weight with the selection committee. It forces teams to play on back-to-back nights, something they never do in the regular season or in the national tournament. Since only one team wins it, the tournament guarantees most teams another loss on its record, which could hurt its seeding.

Plus these tournaments happen less than a week before the national one, which means teams that run the gauntlet have less than a week to rest up after playing three nights in a row. Some teams even have to play four games in a row in the bigger conferences. This leaves teams fatigued heading into the tourney and those tired legs could affect the outcome of tournament games.

Verdict: 

It is time to eliminate conference tournaments. Both the regular season and March Madness are watered down because of these despicable events. America likes to place huge importance on playoffs or tournaments because it creates more exciting events. Most major football, soccer to the ill-informed, around the world decide its league champions by who won the regular season. It is logical, since being the best team over an entire regular season is much harder than winning three or four games in a row. Playoffs should not be eliminated entirely, but it must be earned through a long and grueling regular season.  As it stands now, the NCAA basketball regular season matters very little.

March Madness is also hurt by these conference tournaments. Not only because it tires out the competitors, but it also takes away from the novelty of the event. The NCAA Tournament should be special, sacred even We should not see anything else like it. The fact that conference tournaments gets lumped in with March Madness shows the damage done. Justice Demetrio cannot sit by idly and watch his favorite sporting event get ruined by this sacrilege. In the words of the infamous Roberto Duran, “No mas.” Congratulations to all the teams who won their conferences regular season, welcome to the Big Dance.