Redemption: NCAA Basketball & NBA

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Webster’s defines redeem as “to get or win back” thus, redemption is defined as “the act, process, or an instance of redeeming”.  The latter had been the underlying theme of the NCAA Tourney as the 2017 Champions North Carolina Tar Heels began their journey through the brackets.  After last year’s heartbreak of being on the wrong end of a buzzer beater…college basketball fans were all but convinced the fellas in powder blue were on a mission to get to the desert….and by golly Redemption was the name of the new sheriff in town!

As usual, it generated a lot of chatter amongst pundits, professional and otherwise.  Ahh, the backdrop of drama to what is already a dramatic event!  And we all know attention grabbing titles are a must…even when more appropriate varieties are staring us in the face. A not-so gentle reminder to remember fundamentals of the game…guard the inbounds guy….would certainly have applied but “Redemption” prevailed.  I digress….

For the sake of argument, I’ll keep it in context & take a look at others who could easily fall into the Seeking Redemption category…..

o   One good turn does not deserve another.  Staging a comeback from down 3-1 in a series is nothing short of spectacular—ask the Cleveland Cavaliers.  Following it up by flipping the script in the next round?  Not so much. Golden State may have learned the lesson Mrs. Woods taught her son Tiger at a young age….once they are down, put your foot on their throat—sounds harsh, yet in sports, this mentality has infinite value.   


o   That other team from Cleveland should heed this approach too.  The 3-1 lead held by the Indians in the World Series was trampled by a young Cubs team determined to bring a better than 100 year drought to a screeching halt….


o   My hometown Caps are hopeful.  Translating yet another stellar regular season into hoisting the Stanley Cup would be the redemption the Verizon Center faithful have been longing for…..


o   I can think of no other way to redeem oneself from being Exhibit A of “one of the best players to never win”…then donning a green jacket on the second Sunday in April.  Congratulations to Sergio Garcia on his Masters win!


o   Summertime breakups tend to be followed up with periods of self-reflection. After his basketball bffs, Kevin Durant & Serge Ibaka went west & northeast, respectively…many wondered how OKC’s Russell Westbrook would handle the news.  Wonder no more!  The MVP debate became background noise weeks ago…it’s Russell—without question and definitely without sharing!


o   Patriot fans had been chomping at the bit for the sight of Commissioner Goodell handing the championship trophy to owner Robert Kraft…the ultimate redemption!  Congrats on the win!  That’s not quite how it works though folks…can’t have one without the other.  In order to be redeemed, something had to have transpired.  In this case, New England remained relatively unscathed by their quarterback’s four game suspension….fooooorrr wrongdoing in Deflategate!  See how they are intertwined?  The win & trophy are a matter of record….the mental asterisk is too!


o   Fingers are crossed for LPGA golfer Lexi Thompson to bounce back from a devastating start to the season.  A television viewer having a weigh in on the outcome of a tournament is one of the most asinine occurrences ever!  An offense missed by the officials during the course of play….is a wash, period!  Speaking of those Tar Heels.... whether Michael Jordan pushed off on Utah’s Byron Russell for the game winning shot has long been bar room fodder.  Jordan has famously asked...was a foul called?….he couldn’t be more right---fodder is what it shall remain! 

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