We thought Kansas, Wisconsin didn't show up ...

Tue, Mar 23

When a team falls completely short of expectations, fans and pundits have been known to say its players "didn't show up."

It's an expression, of course, often meant to describe indifference or lack of effort. It doesn't actually mean the team didn't show up.

Until now.

The San Francisco Rumble of the American Basketball Association literally didn't show up for a recent game. A playoff game. A conference championship game.

Rather than shell out about $21,000 in travel expenses, the Rumble chose not to travel to Port Arthur, Texas, thereby handing the ABA Western Conference title to the Southeast Texas Mavericks.

"It's a sad day all around," ABA chief executive officer Joe Newman told the Beaumont Enterprise. "In a world of difficult problems, it does not match health care, Israel, terrorism or education. The world won't end with this situation, but it is sad."

The prestigious ABA finals series, pitting the Mavericks and the Kentucky Bisons, begins Tuesday night in Owensboro, Ky.