Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim just won his fifth Big East championship, but in the eyes of this Pittsburgh fan—one who has seen the Panthers lose four championship games in the past six years—this one was decided before the game even started.
Ever since Boeheim conducted a profanity-laced press conference Wednesday night after a college journalist irked him by criticizing player Gerry McNamara, the Big East tournament has been an ESPN love fest about Syracuse.
Tonight was no exception. Obviously, I’m bitter right now about the loss. But I’m left with no choice put to chastise Boeheim for whining (and swearing) like a liberal—and not having to suffer any consequences.
Had Pittsburgh’s Jamie Dixon put on a show like Boeheim—whose words had to be bleeped out—he most certainly would have been reprimand, either officially by his school or through criticism in the press.
Boeheim, however, was celebrated. Repeatedly throughout the tournament Boeheim’s tempter tantrum was cited by ESPN personalities as a motivating moment. Perhaps it was, but that doesn’t make it right.
I appreciate Boeheim’s subsequent remorse about swearing, but it doesn’t change my view of him as a colossal whiner.
Take tonight, for example. He was chewing out the officials every time the ball changed hands. And it worked. The game was stopped on several occasions to review replays—all at the urging of Boeheim. And when it counted most—down the stretch—officials failed to call blatant fouls on Syracuse players. When the Syracuse-friendly ESPN announcers point out such things something is wrong.
Was it Boeheim’s whining that propelled Syracuse to four straight wins? Either that or there was a predisposed desire on the part of the Big East to see McNamara—and the throngs of followers he brings to every game—go out on top.