March 13, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert (55) laughs with Indiana Pacers point guard Darren Collison (2) and Indiana Pacers small forward Danny Granger (33) at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Indiana defeated Portland 92-75. Mandatory credit: Michael Hickey-US PRESSWIRE
Election season 2012 is soon upon us and, as usual, aspiring candidates are already in full-fledged "political maneuvering" mode where commentary and debate are all geared toward one objective: gaining more votes. Political correctness is at an all-time high. Flip flopping on hot-topic issues is all the rage. Say what you have to say, do what you have to do to; appease, appease, appease to meet voter expectations. Put aside personal beliefs, stretch your political philosophy to the limit, ‘cause if you don't hopes for election-day boon, quickly become election-day gloom.
No member of the Blue and Gold has said so publicly, but, as the Pacers' season nears an end, the game results are in, and it's increasingly clear that this smash-mouth bunch just isn't the political type. Interest in catering to the masses, copy catting league trends, and imploring for public attention is just not in these Pacers' DNA...
They're cryptic, yet distinguished on-court slogan? They don't care.
They don't care that most playoff 3-seeds have superstar talent.
They don't care that their coach has the countenance of your local insurance salesman.
They don't care that their team "star" can't go left.
They don't care that their starting C's feet can barely get off the ground, and often lumbers down the court like Jabba the Hut.
They don't care that their starting PG looks like your kid brother.
They don't care that their young stud is 3-4 inches taller than the average player at his position.
They don't care that their veteran PF is not even a year removed from catastrophic knee surgery.
They don't care that their backup PG isn't really a PG.
They don't care that they've got a bullish PF shooting barely above 40% from the field.
They don't care that their backup C is 6'7 and sports a ponytail.
They don't care that their big trade deadline deal brought in a redundant scoring option.
They don't care that no matter how many games above .500 they go, fan attendance proves as fickle as ever.
They just don't care. The reason they don't care is this superstar-less collection of misfits doesn't need the fanfare. It appears all they need...all they desire, is winning and restoring a once proud Blue-and-Gold tradition. If oddities & an against-the-grain approach ends up being the impetus toward reaching such a goal, then so be it.
During the lockout hysteria, the NBA talked big about bridging the gap between big-market and small-market teams. Much of the newly agreed upon CBA reflected the parity rhetoric. With Indiana flying high in the playoff mix, it would be wise for David Stern and his cronies to take notice. Perhaps Indy might even prompt the Powers that Be to consider contriving a playoff scenario where the small-market wonder battles heavy against big-market celebrity (I kid, I kid...sort of).
Something tells me, though, even if Indy did indeed have the league had on their side, they'd politely decline the assistance. Judging by their 34 wins (and counting...), and late-season blitz toward the 3-seed in the East, they don't need it. Simply put (for the 50th time), when it comes to norms, trends, and what others assert as a championship formula...they just don't care. They'll do it their own unorthodox way. They'll do it the Pacer way.