Everybody loves a mixed metaphor, right? Right. Well here’s one for the ages. Boxing terms for how to win in the ring are: 1) By Decision; 2) by Technical Knock-Out; and 3) By Knockout. Last night, in the Sweet 16, No. 1 and undefeated Kentucky KO’ed, decisioned and TKO’ed, i.e., they utterly destroyed West Virginia. The score after about 8 minutes was 18-2; the score at half-time was 44-18, and the final score was 78 – 39. That’s a margin of 39 points, and it wasn’t that close. One sports writer said that it was a “public reprimand.” That, sports fans, is a win by decision, technical knock out AND by a knockdown knockout.
Most everybody had Kentucky winning, but not by 39 points! We all thought that West Virginia would give Kentucky a game; but after their brash and boastful freshman point guard boldly made a moronic miscue with his mouth, it was more than over before the game even began.
So here’s what happened. Freshman guard Daxter Miles Jr. declared that his team would beat Kentucky in the Sweet Sixteen. OK. So if that wasn’t dumb enough, the WAY he said it was even dumber. Dumb and dumber, right? The poor, misguided kid from West Virginia said this, and I quote:
[I] salute them to getting to 36-0. But tomorrow they’re gonna be 36-1.
Talk about being a false prophet. Chris Chase from www.USA.com writes “For The Win.” In his blog, Chris said that there are three rules for making sports predictions as an athlete:
- Don’t make predictions.
- If you’re going to make a prediction, be the best player on your team about to play in a game against an evenly matched opponent.
- Ignore No. 2 and only pay attention to No. 1.
Daxter Miles Jr., (did I say he was a FRESHMAN, meaning he’s got more in his heart than he has between the ears in his head), disobeyed all three of these rules during a talk with the media on Wednesday, making a guarantee that the undefeated Kentucky team, to whom he gave “props” and a “salute” to, would be 36-1 after his Mountaineers were done with them on Thursday night. Wrong answer. And the sad part is that Miles didn’t ever score! Not ‘nare a point! Pitiful.
You can play hard and play smart and just plain play, and still lose. But West Virginia neither played hard nor smart, and got obliterated in the process. I mean! West Virginia got beat up and beat down and beat all around from the jump. Miles’ mouth got his team beat badly, and it didn’t’ have to go down that way. Oh yes, West Virginia probably would have lost to Kentucky, but not like that! It was a good ‘ole fashioned whuppin, and all West Virginia Coach Bob Huggins could do was watch.
Kentucky is not just a good team, they’re a VERY good team, and some would even say they’re a great team; maybe and possibly the best college team ever? That’s fairly debatable. And for West Virginia to act arrogant and virulent was like waving a red flag in front of a bull. It was like an angry alley cat playing with a rag doll. I mean, the game, and I stayed up to watch this one, was like watching a senior beat up on a sixth grader. It was like the Varsity playing the middle school intramural team. It was like the jocks verses the nerds — with no pads — in the back parking lot littered with broken bottles, bashed in bear cans and busted bricks. And to return to our mixed metaphor, it was like a heavy weight going 15 rounds with a fly weight, minus the mercy rule. In other words, it was pretty ugly.
And so the moral of the story is that “discretion is the better part of valor,” which is usually taken to mean that caution is better than rash courage or that discretion is the best kind of courage. We take this from Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part I when Prince Hal finds the cowardly Falstaff pretending to be dead on the battlefield, the prince assumes he has been killed. After the prince leaves the stage, Falstaff rationalizes “The better part of Valour, is Discretion; in the which better part, I have saved my life.”
So let’s all learn the lesson from Daxter Miles, Jr.; being bold doesn’t mean you have to be stupid. Do your talking on the court.
I’m just sayin’.