In response to the coverage of the Arizona vs. Georgetown game, I was inspired to write a little note to the people who work at ESPN. I figured I might as well share it with the whole Tucson community:
I am writing to you from Tucson, Ariz., and quite frankly, I am more than a little bit irritated with your show. Not only do I speak for students at the University of Arizona, but also for people on the entire West Coast as a whole. My question for you is: when are you going to give us a little respect?
Last night, I watched Arizona play more than just decent basketball against No. 5 Georgetown. In fact, they played an awesome game Ÿ especially considering we were the underdogs. As I was happy that ESPN was airing the game, at the same time, I knew the broadcasting was going to have the same ol' East Coast bias Ÿ none of which was in Arizona's favor. This amazed me, since at one point in the game, Arizona had a 17-point lead over Georgetown Ÿ but on the East Coast, I guess that's no big deal.
All that seems to have mattered was Allen Iverson's big 40-point game (never mind the fact that he wasn't even on the winning team). Sure, he is an exceptional player, but how about Ben Davis, Miles Simon and Joseph Blair's contributions of 17 points each? Or how about Joe McLean's performance (13 points) in a time of need? And what about Reggie Geary's incredible ball handling?
Arizona is equally, if not more so, as impressive as your Big East teams. And then there's the fact that the Arizona game did not even come on live until the Kentucky vs. Maryland game was officially over Ÿ never mind the fact that it was a complete blowout.
To make things worse, in the middle of the second half, the Iowa vs. Connecticut game somehow found its way onto the network, interrupting the Arizona game. I guess the fact that ESPN2 was already carrying the game wasn't enough.
And finally, to put the finishing touch on everything, I turned on "Sportscenter" later that night after the game, and not surprisingly, there weren't even any highlights from the game. What was I thinking? Why would anyone possibly care that Arizona, a West Coast team, beat a No. 5 team to win the NIT?
I can only come to the conclusion that you guys on the East Coast must hate us out here, plain and simple. It's like "Arizona who? Do they have a basketball team?" Never fails, we just don't get any respect for our ability as a basketball team. Really, the only team in the Pac-10 that you guys even consider to be worthy of your time is UCLA, and they have already lost two games in a row (can we say "overrated"?).
It's time you guys wake up and realize what kind of a basketball team Arizona really is. And coming from a student who attends practices weekly, I'll let you know that a "team" is exactly what we have down here. These players are working together, passing the ball and evenly distributing the points amongst one another. This year, Arizona has a team which defines the meaning of teamwork. Never mind the fact that we aren't rated . never mind the fact that Damon Stoudamire is gone ... and never mind the fact that no college basketball magazine lists us as getting past the first round. What's important is that come the end of the season, a lot of people are going to be talking about Arizona, saying good things which we Wildcat fans knew a long time ago.
The truth is, rated or not, Arizona just may be the team to beat this year, and I don't want to be the one to have to say "I told you so." People out here care about basketball just as much as you guys on the East Coast, and I think it's about time somebody starts listening. I don't think seeing more Pac-10 highlights and a little more respect is asking too much. Do you?
Sarah San Jule
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