Thursday brought us the college slam-dunk championship, held at Berry Center in Cypress, Tex. The event was sponsored by Denny’s, which may explain why a pancake was heavily involved.
Actually, it was a mascot in a pancake costume, one who was brought in to provide a suitable obstacle for an awesome dunk. Well, it would have been an awesome dunk, except that Mississippi State’s Craig Sword proved hilariously incapable of pulling it off.
It’s not often you see, as the announcers noted, a pancake get pancaked, so Sword’s efforts weren’t totally in vain. Let’s view it from another angle, shall we?
The problem, of course, is that the dunker has to be able to get all the way over the pancake, because it’s too much to ask him to spread his legs wide enough to get around the mascot (although, in fairness, Sword did clear the pancake on an earlier attempt that fell short of the basket). Alternatively, the dunker could pull his legs up in something like a seated position as he passes over the mascot, but Aaron Gordon might be the only person on the planet capable of that much athleticism. Poor Sword just didn’t have the, dare we say, IHOPs.
Sword did manage a terrific dunk earlier in the competition, on a 360-degree windmill jam. It’s not fair that he’ll be remembered for the pancake fiasco, instead, but then again, most of us could never dunk at all, so life just isn’t very fair, is it?
Want more college dunk contest highlights? Of course you do! Here’s UNLV’s Ike Nwamu putting his forearm through the hoop.
The winner was Devan Douglas, from the University of Mary. No, not Maryland or William & Mary — just Mary. The pride of the Division II Mary Marauders, out of Bismarck, N.D., Douglas darn near smacked his head on the rim twice on a pair of ferocious throw-downs.
Not to get too syrupy, but it’s great to see a small-school player such as Douglas have his moment on national TV. Meanwhile, his pancake dunks may have failed, but here’s hoping Sword doesn’t take too much crepe from his pals, because he had already proved his (Butter)worth.