Nike of course has revolutionized college sports on the backs of impoverished workers in Southeast Asia. Been doing so for years now.
Partnered with ESPN Events and the 16 Nike-branded schools involved, the world's largest sports-related apparel company is dressing everyone in fancy, colorful uniforms suitable for TV viewing and calling the Moda Center and the Memorial Coliseum home for three days of run and gun fun.
Like the hype around the modern game of basketball itself, the 16-team tourney (actually two simultaneous 8-team tournaments) at Portland's two large basketball arenas, is a bit of modern overkill.
Here is ESPN's description of the event Disney created to entertain basketball junkies and sell a shitload of advertising during this first of two traditional U.S. holidays; one being a gigantic celebration of gluttony and bird-slaughter while bestowing metaphysical thanks to our lucky stars that America's initial genocide turned out so well for the white man; the second being the annual shopping and gift-giving ritual that makes America great and theoretically devoted to Christ-like goodness, if not Christ himself.
In the West we shop to prove our faith in God and his celestial sun/son, while in other Kingdoms people tend to march off to sacred cities to show respect for the Great Father, as happens in the Middle East during their sacred holidays.
Or something like that.
Anyway, you can be sure that the poor laborers of Southeast Asia won't be in Portland this weekend to watch the game they've sewn their hearts out for, though some of their bosses surely will be. It's a spendy proposition.
But that's just the way it goes, doesn't it?
I'm debating whether I should spend my last centavos to go. I'm that fucking free, mind you, though as poor as a stitcher from "over there," the one with a travel ban tattooed on his forehead.
The tourney is just across the river and the concrete-jungle parking lot from my pad here in the good old USA, so at least I don't have to buy an airline ticket and rent a price-gouged hotel room for the weekend just to get a big boner on for my team, the Mighty Oregon Ducks.
On the football front, the annual game between Oregon and OSU, or the Civil War as it is quaintly known, will be played Saturday at 4 p.m.
Oregon must win to avoid a second straight embarrassing loss to the heavily dogged Beavs.
Oregon has its QB back. If he can stay on the field the Ducks should win. Unless the unimaginable happens.
I don't want to think about it. Or, I'll put it this way. If first-year Oregon coach Willie Taggart really is contemplating jumping back to Florida next season because he misses the sunshine (which would be bad form), he'd best go ahead and leave if he loses to OSU.
Duck fans will otherwise make his life hellish.