Down-and-backs never hurt anybody

Wise Solomon.

Wise Solomon.
Image: Inset: @MSwain247 (AP)

In high school, I skipped my ninth-grade team and started on JV. It’s still – top to bottom – the most talented team I’ve ever played on. We were even better than the varsity team. But, in one game we were just going through the motions. At halftime, our coach made us do cardio in the locker room – even though we were winning – because we weren’t up by a larger margin.


This is why I’m a fan of what Arkansas-Pine Bluff coach Solomon Bozeman did Wednesday night when he called a timeout with 18:20 left in the second half of their matchup against No. 19. Iowa State just to make his team run.

The people who probably disagree with Bozeman’s move are more than likely the same ones that believe in giving participation trophies to losers. According to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, “UAPB led for nearly the first nine minutes of Wednesday’s game in Ames, Iowa, but turnovers and early foul trouble hindered the Golden Lions as the Cyclones made their big momentum swing on the way to an 83-64 victory before 12,305 at Hilton Coliseum.”

Just in case you were wondering, UAPB sucks – they’re 1-8 on the season. Last season they were 4-21. And the year before that? 4-26.

Sucking isn’t the problem here, as it’s a situation that everyone deals with at some point in life. We all suck at something. But in order to stop sucking at something, you have to first realize that you suck at it, and then you can find ways to stop being so sucky.

That’s what Bozeman did Wednesday. He saw that his team was sucking, so he sent them a message that just happened to go viral. Besides, couldn’t this team use a few extra laps?


In conclusion, I understand that this is one of those situations where many will look at this and feel like there must be a “better way” for Bozeman to fire up his team.

But, probably not.

Because, perhaps, the embarrassment of this moment sparks something in that locker room as the players will look at this as a turning point in their season. I mean, something drastic had to be done. That is, unless that team is fine with having another season in which five wins isn’t achievable.


Now that would suck.

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