UK Papers Explain Strange Concept of "Basketball" & "March Madness" to Their Readers

Barack-Obama-and-David-Ca-007.jpg
Doing that American thing.
President Obama took UK Prime Minister David Cameron to a play-in game for March Madness last night.

As a result, newspapers in the UK had to explain just what the hell was going on. Basketball isn't big there -- it was the first time Cameron had ever seen a game -- so results were, well, scattered.

The Guardian was not only grammatically troubled, but hoops-confused.

Papers flew between the White House to ensure the prime minister was fully versed on the art of "bracketology" - where punters predict the performance of basketball teams in competitions such as the during the "March Madness" seen by the prime minister.

The Daily Mirror went all wiki with the most basic of explanations:

The basketball contest, staged by the National Collegiate Athletic Association, pits teams from universities across the USA against one another and draws large TV audiences nationwide....As befits a spectator at a US sports event, the PM - dressed in blue polo shirt and dark jeans - tucked into a hot dog, washed down with Coke.

The BBC went all BBC, just as you'd expect:

Shortly after arriving, he became the first foreign leader Mr Obama has welcomed onto the presidential plane Air Force One, as the men travelled to Ohio to watch a university basketball game.

The Telegraph employed some obscure American slang regarding the sport:

Mr Cameron is understood to have spent hours swotting up on the finer points of basketball for the university fixture between Mississippi Valley State and Western Kentucky.

His aides say he has been frantically learning about "bracketology", an American obsession trying to predict who will win basketball games....Mr Obama is a major basketball fan who has installed a court in the White House grounds and frequently goes to 'shoot hoops' with daughters at the weekends .

And the Independent, as usual, was like PETA at a circus:

Afghanistan is on fire and the leaders of the two largest Nato powers fighting there, Barack Obama and David Cameron, were headed for a college basketball game in Ohio. Popcorn and hotdogs were on the agenda.

The Prime Minster and the President were victims of bad luck. Nobody could have foretold the rampage by a US solder at the weekend that left 16 innocent Afghan civilians dead and plunged relations between Kabul and Nato into crisis once more. Until then the boys' night out seemed like a fine idea.

Obama, by the way, picks UT to lose a first-round game and Baylor to get to the Elite Eight. To be fair, Longhorn fans, he has his alma mater Harvard losing in the first round, too.


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4 comments
GlenW
GlenW

UT only got in because they're UT.

foma
foma

Buck fasketball. An American obsession, indeed... Any takers for a spot of cricket?

Now, that game is seriously tedious. Hear, hear!

Vonhaupstadt
Vonhaupstadt

It's somewhat inexplicable in Britain because they don't have all these goofy "universities" where no learning takes place. They have a few good ones, instead. And sports is hardly the focus of 4 years. America thinks it has higher education; and it's right, in a lowly sense.

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