Harvard beat McGill in inconsequential D-I on non-D-I action Tuesday night. Harvard’s web site reports this as Men’s Basketball Blows by McGill, 70-45. It’s an effort worthy of a robot. However, not all releases from university athletic departments have to be so generic.
If you remember back in the offseason, Wichita State head coach Gregg Marshall had an epic meltdown during a game at McGill on the Shockers’ Canadian tour. This is when I was introduced to the amazing work of Earl Zukerman. While most releases from the host school would feature a vanilla description of the proceedings with a more vanilla headline, the headline from McGill’s story was spectacular. Wichita coach ejected as swashbuckling Shockers rally past Redmen in spicy NCAA-CIS hoops confrontation. If everyone took pride in headline writing like Mr. Zukerman does, reading about lopsided college basketball games would be a lot more fun.
Other headlines from the foreign tours included NCAA’s Lions roar, pounce on unsuspecting Redmen hoopsters and NCAA’s Rattlers bitten by basketball Redmen as McGill snaps 12-game skid against USA teams. Occasionally, the headlines are a little too predictable. For example, Canadian U-17 hoops squad puts Australia down under in consolation round at FIBA world championship. But those cases are more than compensated by efforts such as McGill hoopsters pillage Vikes in their humble abode.
Not every effort is a home run. There are the times when Zukerman tries too hard, like The Silence of the Citadins: Daoust writes script, plays starring role as No.2 ranked Redmen hoopsters extend win streak to eight. After that mouthful, there’s not much more to read, and one longs for the past, when a simple Redmen rally to win thrilla at McGilla or Gaiters game after Moose banished from premises would leave the reader wanting.
But it’s clearly not easy producing masterful headlines night in, night out, so a little writer’s block is forgivable. Especially when you know there’s another gem around the corner like Redmen symphony performs Ode to Joyal in Quebec City.
And Zukerman’s effort after the loss to the Crimson surely lived up to his audience’s expectations. Harvard hoopsters master McGill in battle of Mensa men. True, it was partly recycled from last season’s Harvard wins hotly-contested debate over McGill in men’s hoops battle between Mensa candidates. But clearly the rosters of both teams are filled with people that have at least a 130 IQ, so that needs to be emphasized whenever the only two teams composed of geniuses battle on the hardwood.
McGill may have been badly defeated on the court, but thanks to Earl Zukerman, the Redmen dominated the Crimson in the battle of post-game stories. It’s safe to say McGill is undefeated in that regard.