Sweet Sixteen Game Commentary: Nonfalsifiable and Otherwise

This is a very special edition of game commentary in that it contains a little bit of information pertinent to the games actually being played. Hence, for convenience, it is divided into the subsections “Pertinent” and “Nonfalsifiable,” with the latter being more portable to not this particular 2013 March Madness season, but usually only applicable to basketball.


You may be wondering how it came about that I have the wherewithal to develop a list of pertinent commentary. This section has received an “assist” from the Wall Street Journal (Small Talk Sports Metaphor Definition (TM): an “assist” is when somebody else helps you do a thing — so it’s kind of like what the word means in civilian life, with the crazy sporty twist that it’s a noun!). The slight drawback is that the WSJ is a mainstream media organization finally waking up to vague and/or nonfalsifiable sports commentary phenomenon, and may be about to blow our cover, but whatever it’s nice to see my ideas in the WSJ (again). (<–Small Talk Self-Promotion (TM))

As the kids say, go read the whole thing, but highlights include:

  • The word “chalky,” which you can use to describe this tournament, refers to how quickly the odds are changing and originated from old-school gambling with human bookies setting odds on chalkboards.
  • Ken Pomeroy runs a sports statistics site that is apparently authoritative and well-known, so try to name-check kenpom.com. My suggestion is you do this while piggybacking on someone else’s knowledgeable sports comment: If there are numbers in it, agree and be like, “Oh yeah, I think I saw that on kenpom.com.”
  • “Tempo-free defensive rankings” is a concept, but I admit that even after reading this post I have no idea what it means. But you don’t have to know what a phrase means in order to say something like “It’s all about [phrase],” and from context clues I am pretty sure you can use “tempo-free defensive rankings” in that blank spot. If challenged, you can give a little ground and say something like, “Ok, it may not be *all* about tempo-free defensive rankings, but you have to admit it’s at least partially about them.”
  • Louisville’s Russ Smith “might be the best player left in the tournament, and he’s definitely the best character.” WSJ has more on that in the unlikely event you give a shit.
  • Rooting for Duke makes you a douchebag. WSJ doesn’t use the d-word because it is still a mainstream newspaper, but there is clearly douche between the lines. Even I knew that, not because of sports, but because of knowing Duke fans. Ugh. More like Douche fans, amirite? (SMALL TALK SPOILER (TM): Yes. I am right)


As always, this was developed partly in consultation with actual males.

  • When someone fails to catch a ball: “Ooo, you gotta catch that.”
  • When someone scores a three-pointer (which they do by sinking a basket from outside that big circle on the floor there): You may shout a positive-word portmanteau that includes the word “three.” Examples: “Threemendous!” “Threelicious!” “Threedle-dee!” “I’m going to go look in the threesaurus for another word for good!” Etc.
  • “Did you see that?”
  • “That was quite something.”
  • “Wow.”

Now you are threepared. Heh.


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