Count ’em Out

One of the most popular rhyming phrases used by sportscasters and sports writers during the month of March is “One and done.” The expression is used most frequently to describe basketball players who leave college after one year of eligibility for a lucrative career in the National Basketball Association, though it has also been applied to teams who make the NCAA tournament and are eliminated after losing the first game.

The snide who reside in press boxes or courtside might even use those words when teams underperform. For instance, this year “one and then undone” could apply to the Duke Blue Devils who were devilishly done in by allowing 65 points in the second half against South Carolina on March 19th. In one way, however, it may be good training for any Duke players who leave before graduation because NBA teams regularly give up over 100 points a game.

The rim rhymers and post poets who move on to “Two and through” and “Three and flee” could give some hope to the downtrodden who have been tearing up their bracket sheets and pulling out their hair by inserting some catchy lines into their patter that might trickle down to the players by exhorting them to defend their end of the court by becoming a “pain in the lane.” Picture cheering sections encouraging players with “Leap and keep,” “Steal and deal,” “Block and rock,”  “Learn the burn,” “Take and break,” “Peel and wheel,” “Feed and lead,” “Get it back– then attack,” and then  “Pass it and cash it.”

Although players earning double doubles in assists and steals may not impress NBA scouts, they do double the pleasure of coaches wanting to reach the Final Four. College athletes with eyes dazzled by the prize would be advised to fix their gaze on the goal and adopt a motto even Abe Lincoln would favor: “Four and score.”



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