Harrison Barnes: HYSTERIA!

Really? Is he worth all this? Don’t get me wrong: I’m a rabid Carolina fan that’s been looking forward to this day for a solid week. I even put a reminder in my cell phone, and sure enough, at 10:00 a.m. this morning a little note popped up, saying: "HARRISON BARNES!!"

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But why does everyone else care this much? He’s a talented swingman that may wind up being the best player in the class of 2010, but it’s not as if he’s some life-changing player that’ll completely alter the college basketball landscape. That player’s name is John Wall, and we’ll get to him next week.

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For now, we’ve got the Des Moines Register, providing wall-to-wall coverage of Harrison Barnes, complete with a live (and frighteningly active) Twitter Feed that almost surely signals the apocalypse. I mean, really?  Right this moment, if you type “H” into Google News, Harrison Barnes' name pops up.

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And really, this has nothing to do with Harrison Barnes, and everything to do with the dynamics of contemporary sports culture. We’re always looking for the Next Big Thing, and if there’s somebody that’s called “the best basketball recruit in the country,” it’s become a kneejerk reaction for everyone within earshot to immediately go slackjawed and find the nearest computer. But, he’s not that good, people.

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I mean, before you know it, this type of thing is going to lead to someone live-blogging the action from an Iowa high school for 24 hours straight. Oh, wait. And while that’s a blog that I’d actually really enjoy reading (Friday’s entry would be two words: “METH PARTY”), if it’s centered around an 18 year-old kid that plays basketball, I’m a little bit worried.

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Harrison Barnes is a good player, and I’m a Carolina fan. If he comes to UNC, I’ll be pretty happy, and if he goes to Duke I will be PISSED. But please, everyone else, let’s try to keep this in perspective.

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