The first quartet of Sweet 16 games will be played tonight. It’s Butler-Syracuse and Kansas State-Xavier in the West Region, and West Virginia-Washington and Kentucky-Cornell facing off in the East Region.
We have previewed each game here at MSF, and each has its own elements that makes it intriguing and provide the expectation of a compelling matchup.
The two matchups that I am most looking forward to are Butler against Syracuse and Cornell against Kentucky. The Bulldogs and the Fighting Andy Bernanrds are the clear underdogs in their respective matchups, and many people including me believe that neither team has been given the national credit that it has deserved throughout the season.
There are variety of reasons for this, including conference affiliation, historical school success, and the media markets in which they reside; but there also may be something else bubbling just below surface, another reason why fans in general look at Butler and Cornell as fighting extreme uphill battles against teams led by the likes of Wesley Johnson and John Wall.
That’s right, whiteness.
You see, Butler’s top two players are Gordon Hayward and Matt Howard, both very good and underrated players with a complexion just a shade darker than an elephant tusk. Cornell, similarly, is led by the powderiffic inside-outside combo of Ryan Wittman and Jeff Foote.
So in honor of Hayward, Howard, Wittman, Foote, and the other caucasian sensations lining the benches of Butler and Cornell, I present to you the first post in a new series you’ll see pop up periodically here at MSF: Memorable Moments in Goofy Whiteness.
To kick off the series, I’m going to highlight 7 of the most historic and infamous examples of white people doing what we do best: being goofy…and white.
Why 7? Well, because it’s the goofiest of all the numbers. It’s like the Rik Smits of numbers. It’s tall, it’s awkward, it’s off balance and always looks like a gentle nudge from 6 or 8 could knock it over pretty easily. Plus, I bet the number 7 can’t dance.
So it’s the perfect number for our purposes today.
These are listed in no particular order, and at the end of the post you can vote on which of these is the most memorable moment of goofy whiteness.
1. Mark Madsen’s Speech and Dance
The minute you saw the title of this post you had to be expecting this one to be included. It is clearly the odds on favorite to win the poll.
If we wanted to put 97 seconds of video in a time capsule to forever capture the essence of goofy whiteness (redundancy intended), this might just be the perfect video to use.
2. Christian Laettner Blocks…Nothing
Look, Christian Laettner had an inexplicably awesome college career and was even a part of the greatest basketball team ever assembled, the 1992 Dream Team (even though it should have been Shaq.) And his Dukies were responsible for pulling off one of the great upsets in NCAA Tournament history when they knocked off Grandma-ma and the undefeated Runnin’ Rebels in the NCAA title game.
Yet, there is this picture, proving that no matter who won or lost the game, the UNLV players were sure as hell going to look cooler in the process.
Image source: SI Vault via @si_vault
3. Jeff Foster – Where Amazing (Whiteness) Happens Video
When I first saw this video, I could not stop laughing. Way to do us all proud Jeff.
This is why, unless your name is Dirk Nowitzki, white dudes haven’t been taking last second shots since Bird retired.
4. Larry Bird’s Greatest Dunks
And speaking of Larry Bird, for those of you born after he retired, did you know he could dunk? The video below proves it.
It also proves that one surefire way to know that you are a goofy white guy is when you have a YouTube video purporting itself to be your greatest dunks…and it’s only 21 seconds long.
Of course, Bird is generally exempt from being lumped in with the Mark Madsens and Jeff Fosters of the world because, well, he is one of the greatest basketball players to ever play, was ridiculously clutch, and didn’t dance in public (or probably in private, for that matter).
Still, I had to include him. He’s the like the patron saint of white basketball players.
5. Google Image Search for “Chris Kaman”
Before I get snarky and condescending, let me say that Chris Kaman is a really good player. In fact, he may be the most underrated center in the NBA. 18.7 points and 9.1 boards a game is nothing to sneeze at.
However, “good” and “goofy white guy” are not mutually exclusive terms. It is entirely possible to be both (See: Bird, Larry). And all it takes is one Google image search for Chris Kaman’s name to provide all the evidence necessary that this dominant low post leviathan is also the personification of all things goofy white.
There are many pictures to choose from on the first page of image search results for Kaman’s name. I chose this one, because it includes another player who proves that “good” and “goofy white guy” are not mutually exclusive. Dirk Nowitzki is one of the 10 best players in the NBA, yet that does not stop his drives to the basket from having less grace than Joe Biden.
Image source: DroppingDimes.com
Now, you may be looking at this picture and wondering why I consider this so goofy and white. Think about a couple of things and look at the picture below.
- This is what white people look like when they try to drive to the basket and pay homage to Michael Jordan by sticking their tongue out.
- Kaman is apparently not coordinated enough to move his feet and keep his eyes on his man at the same time.
- It is hard to tell whether Dirk is trying to push off, Kaman is trying to shove Dirk off balance and towards the baseline, or whether they are about to hold hands and begin fox trotting the rest of the way to the basket.
You see, for purposes of contrast, the picture below shows what happens when two guys who can actually jump over a phone book meet up in the lane.
Image source: Vivagoal.com
6. J.J. Redick Airballs a Layup
And while we’re on the subject of taking it to the tin, there is this…which really needs no further discussion.
Just watch the video, point and laugh, and then move along.
7. Adam Morrison Crying
No discussion of J.J. Redick would be complete without talking about the guy to whom he was most often compared while in college: Adam Morrison.
Remember this? Yeah, that actually happened.
Despite clearly not being the best or most talented players in the country, Redick and Morrison were celebrated as the Great White Hopes of Basketball. Hell, the Charlotte Bobcats even drafted Morrison third overall in hopes that he could be the second coming of the Hick from French Lick.
He wasn’t, of course, which the Bobcats should have known the minute they saw this:
Image source: Queen City Hoops
And of course we can’t forget that Morrison’s partner-in-media-grab-ass Redick also got teary eyed on the court during his final game. Isn’t that cute? No. It’s goofy. And decidedly lame (and white…I probably cried at my last high school game too).
Seriously, how in the hell could Michael Jordan, the most badass competitor of all time, draft a guy who cried on the court?
We all remember when Michael burst into turns while hugging the NBA championship trophy following the death of his father. That would have been a reasonable excuse to bawl while still on the court, but Michael waited until he was in the locker room…and let his emotion out only after winning a title.
Morrison loses a tournament game and cries like preteen girl upset that the Twilight cast canceled their mall tour.
BONUS: Three Tools Appear on Outside the Lines
I’m not sure there is anything more imbued with goofy whiteness than this picture.
Image source: Deadspin
Let’s see…a great athlete is having a great start to the season and what is the result? Three white guys (who couldn’t make it from first to home in the time it took me to write this post) go on national TV to talk about whether it is reasonable for a blogger to publicly discuss the possibility that the player’s numbers are not natural.
Look, turds, just because you’re goofy, white, and suck at sports doesn’t mean you should go around trivializing real athletes’ accomplishments with your inane discussions about the merits of how to cover them.
Sorry, it needed to be said.
And now it is your turn to chime in. You have been given 7 Memorable Moments in Goofy Whiteness (plus a bonus!) and your first task is to choose the goofiest and the whitest:
Finally, I know there are multitudes of great, goofy, white moments that I left out. The comment section is yours for links, pictures, videos, and stories of more white dudes doing what we do best.