Yes, the Barbarians are at the gates.
We speak of the Gates of the Boston TD Garden. With the arrival of the biggest snooze in sports, the manufactured NCAA basketball tournament, the corporations have usurped the fans and taken the home base.
Because the NCAA won't allow teams to play in Boston unless the home of the Bruins and Celtics has been denuded. No, we don't mean removing all references to beer drinking and other concessions and buinesses. We mean the NCAA has decreed, like Kubla Khan, that the pleasure dome remove its retired numbers and championship banners.
Goodbye to retired greats like Bobby Orr, Bill Russell, Larry Bird, and nearly two dozen championship banners, most recently belonging to the Bruins. The NCAA has stormed the Bastille and chopped off the heads of all great Boston players.
They are clearly keeping the young pliable drug-addled minds of college players and fans from seeing what true greatness may be.
Of course, purists will tell you that to see the winning banners of great teams will pollute the mind of those with an inferiority complex. In the liberal world of political correctness, you cannot have greatness associated with being paid a king's ransom.
When Richard the Lion-hearted had his banner taken during the Crusades, it fell to the peons to cough up a ransom to release him. Now the terrorists of the NCAA have taken the championship banners of Boston hostage, and no ransom will end the travesty.
Officials of the TD Garden and a few celebrity administrators, like Cam Neeley, watched with ceremonial grimness. We almost expected a canopy of swords held high as the folded flags were removed from the building.
The NCAA did leave Old Glory flying. But freedom of fansdom was compromised.
We salute you, NCAA, for showing how history repeats itself. Once a loser: always a loser. Once a winner, the NCAA denies your achievements.