Sunday, March 15, 2009

Kevin Fischer's Whack Job Conspiracy of the Week

In a moment of sublime lucidity last week I must have missed Kevin Fischer's asinine assertion that there was some conspiracy engineered by the WIAA to keep schools from southeastern Wisconsin out of the state basketball tournament. You see, because the WIAA is headquartered in Stevens Point, they clearly have an anti-Milwaukee bias.

The only evidence for this Fischer can conjure are supposed conversations he's had over decades of involvement with high school sports. No names, no titles, no locations -- just hearsay.

Fischer's engaging in the laziest form of sports commentary -- it's all the ref's fault! Given the shallow depths Fischer treads in the rest of his opining, this should probably come as no surprise -- but it doesn't make it any less wrong.

If the quality of basketball in southeastern Wisconsin was as good a Fischer claims it is, then the the sectionals in that area would be an annual Thunderdome-esque Royal Rumble from which a victor would emerge that would simply breeze through the rest of the podunk, hill-billy "out state" competition -- the Wausau's, the Green Bay's, the LaCrosse's and, yes, the Oshkosh's of the world.

But none of this is what Fischer's really steamed about.

Milwaukee basketball isn't as dominate now as it was has been in decades past. That's not to say the quality has diminished in Milwaukee, it just means that good basketball is being played all over the state now. There's simply more parity and it has been that way for while now. Oshkosh didn't become a hotbed for basketball -- don't forget the West girl's team won a few championships not too long ago -- in the last decade overnight: the coaches at both schools took years to build their programs. It's probably a good bet that something similar is happening at other schools around the state.

Now that seems like the far more reasonable and likely explanation. Granted, it certainly isn't as sexy as "The WIAA hates Milwaukee," but Fischer tends to operate on the "Why say something reasonable when you can say something loudly?" principle, so ... there you go.

Oshkosh North will be going down to Madison for the tournament next week -- and anyone who suggests their path to state was paved with anything other than their ability to hit clutch shots and play strong D down the stretch, well -- we already went over that earlier this weekend.

Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe good coaching, supportive parents and the hard work of kids all over Wisconsin isn't the reason that some teams make it to state and some teams don't. May it is an elaborate scheme concocted in a windowless black tower in Stevens Point where the evil WIAA plots to keep Milwaukee and environs down. If that's the case, then why doesn't Fischer use his influence in the state legislature to call for an investigation. Put your money where your mouth is and use up some of your employer's political capital to uncover this vast rural conspiracy to rob suburban Milwaukee of their birthright.

That would require a little bit of leg work on Fischer's part, however, and it's far easier to talk a big game than lace up the old sneakers and break a sweat.

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