March 20, 2009
When you're down 24 points to one of the best teams in the country and having little success defending an All-American forward, what's the best way to deal with that situation? If you're Morgan State's Ameer Ali, you probably answered, "imitate Randy Macho Man Savage and body slam the other team's best player."
It's bad enough to do that in a close game. But to do it in a game when your team is down 24 points just makes you look like a sore loser with anger-management issues. With that play, Morgan State earned a reputation (whether deserved or not) as a team that plays chippily and critics of Todd Bozeman once again have the ability to say, "see...!"
The play was clearly wrong and Ali deserved his ejection, but I hesitate to villify him without having watched the entire game. After all, we don't know whether Ali had a reason for doing what he did. I'm not condoning the action at all, but let's say Griffin had been talking smack, throwing subtle elbows or pulling the old arm-socket pull, then maybe I can understand where Ali was coming from. Not that it makes it right, it just makes it a little easier to take.
But, more appropriately, I think Ali was just a frustrated dude who decided to take out his disappointment on the best player in the nation ... by pulling the move Jimmy SuperFly Snuka used in Wrestlemania VI.
Greg Gumbel called it bush league. I see where he's coming from, but have to disagree, because that would be an insult to bush leagues everywhere.