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Joe Sherborne hungry man, like donut. Photo by Ian Fieldmann

UMBC Basketball: What’s that about?

Happy April Fools’ Day! You are reading an article written for our April Fools’ edition of the newspaper, The Deceiver. This is a work of satire.

UMBC was established more than fifty years ago, and our basketball team has been a hot topic for approximately one of those years. To see what all the hubbub was about, I decided to attend a real live basketball game. Well, I intended to but, you know how these things go. I got pretty tired and then decided to curl up on the couch with 30 Rock and Ben and Jerry’s instead. But my boyfriend went, so I got the deets anyway and am, like, so excited to share them with you!

UMBC threw down against Hartford in a hot and sweaty battle royale where only one team would emerge victorious and move on to the next round of pre-March Madness madness. The game started off with high energy. Fans swarmed the student section, yelling things like “go team!” and “Tara, please, take me back I’m sorry I cheated!” School spirit had never been on such high display on UMBC’s premises.

At the tip-off, UMBC seized the ball — or, wait, was it Hartford? No, definitely UMBC. I think. Anyway, the Retrievers seized the ball and drove down the court, dribbling the buoyant orange globe all over the lacquered, oatmeal brown court. The ball bounced loudly, filling the stadium with sharp echoes, like a tall butch queen splitting firewood in a tin shed, but less titillating. The echoes seemed to confuse the other team, as Hartford players swiveled their necks constantly and kept running in different directions. It was as if instead of playing a zone defense, they were on some sort of … man-to-man plan. Weird. Anyway, UMBC took advantage of this shortcoming by throwing the ball right into the little net-hole that players are always aiming for. They got three points for that one, but then Hartford got the ball for some reason and turned around, running toward a different net and eventually scoring a two-point conversion.

Things were looking bleak for UMBC. There was a lot of back-and-forth ball throwing that was not very interesting until something huge happened: corruption. Yes, you heard me. Out of nowhere, the referee took the ball away from the Retrievers and gave it to Hartford! For no reason! And then Hartford got to shoot at the net without any defensive players. They even paused the clock during all this. To figure out what was going on, I decided to reach out to a basketball expert: my dad. My dad coached recreational basketball ten years ago, so I figured, who better to answer my questions? I sat down and called him on the phone. He didn’t answer. Double weird.

After over an hour of basketball, I was pretty upset. From the looks of it, not even one player did that cool move where you spin a basketball around on your fingertip. To make matters even worse, players kept trying to steal the ball away from the other team, which, if you ask me, is totally not what sports are about. Sports should be about having fun. Even up by five points at the end of the game, the Retrievers did not look like they were having fun. Instead, the players shrieked and yelled, jumping up and down like some sort of battle ritual. And, honestly? They were all kinda … sweaty. It was — in a word — gross.

If you’re thinking about attending a basketball game at UMBC, you should. From what I’ve seen, it would be surprising if our team wasn’t the top three in the whole country. After a long day of classes, try something new. March across campus to the Event Center and go crazy. Scream from the stands and paint your face yellow or black … err, actually, please don’t. Throw popcorn at the players, smell the body-stench of the hundreds of people crowded into one stadium, and, most importantly, enjoy yourself. But if you can lounge on your couch with a book and a stiff drink while your S.O. sends you pics from the game, do that instead. Always do that instead.