Some Further Thoughts
I've seen a fair amount of basketball that I haven't commented on recently, but last night's Minnesota-Arizona State overtime game gave me pause for two reasons that I can't help but comment on:
1) Whenever there was a close up of Arizona State's students, without failure, every student in frame was making a certain obscene hand gesture that I referred to a lot here last year. (No, the foam finger version was not used.) I'm currently awaiting a reply from my ASU-alum friend Peter to my question of whether this is just some poorly designed ASU fan hand signal, or if ASU students are dirty, dirty people. I'll update you once I find out.
2) If you're looking for two teams that don't know how to close out a game, look no further than Minnesota and ASU. I can't recall an overtimve game in recent memory in which I've seen with so many missed foul shots, turnovers, poor shots, and general attempts to give the game away in the final minutes. If the final 7 minutes and the overtime period were any indication, neither team deserved to win this game.
That's all. Like I said, I'm working on an answer to my ASU question, and will update later today.
***Okay, here's that update. Thanks to my friend Peter, whose answer is quoted below. He answered my original question thoroughly in his first point, and then went above and beyond, giving a glimpse into the culture of basketball fandom at ASU. As the new Gopher Hoops Blog (Credit to Big Ten Wonk for linking up to their thorough game breakdown today) notes, there were probably less than 5,000 fans at the game. This comes as no shock to Peter, who used to spend $2 to watch Sun Devil games in a constantly empty arena during his student days. His thoughts below:
1. The hand signal that you are referring to is the Sun Devil Pitchfork. Created by connecting your thumb and ring finger and spreading your fingers slightly. Yes, it's closest cousin is the shocker and yes ASU kids are dirty (hence why the first Girls Gone Wild was made there as well as several other porntastic items).
2. My friend Dave asked why there didn't look like there were folks in the stands at Wells Fargo Arena last night. I told them it was because, simply, that despite their basketball program having increased slightly in quality the past couple of years, it's still not a big thing there. Actually a lot of things are big things at ASU. Folks just kind of do it, because it gives them another excuse to drink (whether it's at the game, before the game, or after the game).
3. This also explains why most of the student section was not wearing maroon or gold.
4. One of my favorite things of Wells Fargo Arena was the convenient placement of the ASU student section next to the (as we referred to it) opposing team 'old person' section. Which always lead to taunts of "UCLA Old People Suck!" since we were probably losing at that point in the game.
As always, thanks for this info, Peter. And for more info on that obscene gesture, check out this nice primer by Roger Ebert's movie reviewing partner. Why he's writing about this, I have no idea.