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Western Illinois coach Jim Molinari leads single-handed effort to bring college basketball back to the 1950’s

by Ivee West

Coach Molinari’s valiant effort against the tide of time, though endearing in its quaintness, will ultimately run into a buzz saw this Thursday at the O’rena when his Western Illinois Leathernecks play the perennially athletic Golden Grizzlies from Oakland.  Currently boasting the 13th slowest pace in Division I, Coach Molinari’s style of basketball has harkened back to a simpler time in America, when shorts were of the booty variety (for men) and basketball wasn’t much a possibility (for women).  Though it hasn’t brought a great deal of wins, the Necks have been marginally more successful than in prior years with their take-as-long-as-you-can-to-shoot-since-we-won’t-make-many strategy.

“The strategy is predicated on making the game absolutely as boring as possible so as to lull the other team into a false sense of security. Many times the neanderthal athletes on the other team forget they are even playing basketball. This is when we have them. If we were Zelda, this would be our Goron Lullabye.”

Molinari even went as far as to have peach baskets installed in the practice gym to create a sense of antiquity.

“They wouldn’t let me put them in Western Hall due to NCAA regulations, but this works well enough. I want to remind players that interesting basketball is strongly discouraged.”

Molinari also pays a local mechanic to heckle their players during games in a 1950’s style, complete with racial slurs. The Team Heckler dresses up in a suit and fedora and smokes a cigar while telling Molinari he’s “No Red Auerbach and that Nat Clifton (a forward from the 1950’s) would wipe the floor with David Gebru.”

Sadly this program had to discontinue after Molinari realized that the Heckler took up 3.4% of Western’s basketball budget and 15% of their total fan base.

“Though the Team Heckler thing was unsustainable, we still are committed to playing the most repulsive basketball ever. That is the Western Illinois way.”

 

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