Welcome to my nightmare (R)

Here I am, more or less proud owner of a funny last name myself, and STILL I cheap it out and pun on someone's name for a title.

So anyway, every year about this time I remember why I hate college basketball. I love the variety of teams, I love the upsets, I love following the scores, I love reading about it - I just can't watch it. Because, through an obvious and easily correctable rule flaw, the last five "minutes" of every god-damned game becomes a parade of free throws. The stakes are high, which makes it compelling on some level, but when you look objectively at what you're actually watching, there's more excitement in poker or chess.

Which is my explanation, Your Honor, of why I'm probably one of the only people in the world not hooked up to some Clockwork Orange-style brainwashing/torture apparatus who actually sat through today's US-Honduras game, instead of watching the NCAAs. Even Max Bretos was carrying on about how pointless the whole thing was, and the game lived down to its potential. Hunter Freeman's injury simply underscored the silliness of the whole thing.

And then in extra time, Welcome of Honduras made one of those goals that reminded us why we love this game so much. I went from "Why would an MLS team sign a foreign player who's going to miss games this year?" to "I want the Galaxy to dump Beckham and sign him, today." Not because he's such a hot prospect - after all, really, how good did Honduras look this tournament - but out of sheer gratitude. The very best play - just about the only memorable play - was saved for the very last, rewarding all of us who sat through all this.

Of course, just as with NCAA basketball, the truly smart move would have been to just skip the game and watch the highlights. I believe the word I'm looking for is "D'oh."

I still think Honduras will get embarrassed in China, but it ain't like we're contenders for the medal round ourselves - oh, Max Bretos thinks we are, but he's factoring in the three overage players we can use. And yes, we are three players away from an Olympic medal - Tim Howard, Landon Donovan, and Superman. Stop me if I've told you that one.