The state's basketball tournaments just won't be the same this year, whether it be 4A or 2B, it's just not meant to be a great year for state hoops.
The WIAA in its wisdom has decided to trim the tourneys to two days and send teams packing to remote sites for the first two days of the tourney.
As a fan and as a journalist, it's just not going to be the same to not see all 16 of the teams at one site.
Just try telling those unfortunate teams eliminated at the remote locations that they are at State even though they'll never hit the road to Spokane or a dome (Tacoma or Sun).
Or for that matter, tell it to the Grandview boys and their fans, or Sunnyside Christian teams and their fans.
There's nothing better than advancing day by day on that larger-than-life stage and bracket, and enjoying the experience all the way to trophy day.
Apparently attendance has been on the decline at some of these tournament sites, but to me that's not a problem with the games themselves, but with the WIAA's placement of the tourneys.
I mean, putting a four-day tournament in the Seattle area won't draw fans who already have so many other venues and attractions to enjoy.
Just ask the NBA, they were quite content to bid adieu to the Sonics.
Place that same tourney in a smaller community or one that's a hotbed of youth hoops - like the Valley - and you'll see attendance.
Maybe the WIAA needs to trim the budget, but what about reducing staffing levels or of upping the number of business partners?
After all, the WIAA - at least in name - exists to promote school sports, not to give bureaucrats a paycheck.
The WIAA has cut hoop tourneys off at the knees. It's egregious and unfortunate.
I call foul on the WIAA.
- John Fannin can be reached at 837-4500 or at firstname.lastname@example.org