AS WE ALL AWAIT WHAT WE HOPE TO BE A POSITIVE ANNOUNCEMENT FROM MSD, I offer these introspective and retrospective thoughts/observations intended as a bit of comedic relief to all of our hyper-stressed selves:

It usually begins around mid-February and accelerates as the top spot in the ACC regular season conference race is pursued and finally captured. Its omnipresent usage, fed by generations of brain-washed journalists trained and steeped in arrogance and ignorance at one of our sister institutions to the southeast, soon pervades the basketball universe. Its existence is inaccurately referenced and consequently validated in the minds of young, impressionable people by coaches whose high school teams are playing in regional and true State championship contests at a certain venue; e.g., "Well, I took my kids in there as soon as we got off the bus and let 'em walk around in there and look up at all those ("championship") banners to get it out of their systems, so maybe they won't be intimidated so much when we try to practice and go in there to play."

Now I know that I "shouldn't" allow a relatively minor, and from a media perspective (I guess) "expedient", vocabulary misstep irritate me to such an extreme, especially at my age and considering how much I've "mellowed" over the decades relative to a large number of topics many would value to hold far more import. I realize it's most likely a dysfunctional use of energy. Candidly because of "its" origin, I just "can't" (please read, "do not want to") let "it" go! It's a far greater aggravation than crumbs in your bed or those damned "no-see-ums" that disrupt your enjoyment of a favorite beverage at your treasured, and otherwise tranquil, hideaway.

So what is "it'? you shout... having somewhat patiently read this far. Sports fans, there is no such thing as the "regular season ACC Champion(ship)". Other conferences may have/have had a legitimate "regular season champion" based on the historical fact that they have not always held a tournament at the end of the season. Starting with the inaugural ACC season, however, and based on the founding documents agreed to by the charter members (and subsequent members), there has always been a season-ending tournament to determine the league's champion, which would represent the conference in the NCAA Tournament. Irrespective of views as to whether the regular season toils/results or the winner of a conference tournament better define any given team's ability or worthiness to represent any given league in the "Big Dance" (a subject worthy of debate to some but immaterial here), the one and only ACC Champion is determined by tournament play. The seedings/pairings for that tournament, of course, are determined by the final regular season standings. The team atop the standings is the number one seed--not the "regular season champion".

The legitimate question, then, is "From whence cometh this vexing myth?" Brethren of the Old Gold and Black, I suggest ye look to the southeast--to that source of many ills; for, many years ago, there was once a team that "brought home the bacon" (I can still visualize that headline in my hometown newspaper, yuk). Following that success, however, came years of frustration; because in a time when only the true champion danced, a need for solace was sought by those who triumphed in regular season play, yet couldn't "nose out" victory when it counted. And so it came to pass that in a murky area not far beyond the Durham ditches, the myth was conceived, and then birthed in a most nasal of twangs: "Well, we won the regular season championship". In furtherance of this silliness, banners proclaiming a nonexistent title soon began rising to the rafters, and the aforementioned journalists were sent out unto all the world to extoll the joyous tidings.

And those, fellow BSD'ers, are the facts!

So when next season, and the next, etc., etc., rolls around, as serious ACC devotees let's rid the world of this fallacious nonsense and set the record straight by sharing the facts.

Good luck with your brackets.

Enjoy watching the tournament. We'll be back soon!


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