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Griner Time.
Griner Time.  | Griner, Brittney Griner, economy, misery, 40-0,

Brittney Griner led the Baylor Bears to a 40-0 perfect season. Photo by Karnegie Musa. Copyright 2012.

Griner Time. That is the name of a phenomenon that burst on our national awareness three years ago.  

Griner Time is defined as that miserable second half of a game lost in the first half. If you followed basketball at all this last season, you saw a 40-0 streak for the first time in college sports.  The old saying is the game’s not over till it’s over.  That old saying is now amended to the game’s not over till it’s over, unless you’re playing Brittney Griner. Then it’s over by the first half.

When you oppose such a phenomenon as Brittney Griner, time in the second half slows down from its normal speed to something without movement, something without succor, something that brings echoes of eternal damnation because it’s miserable, painful and never seems to stop.

The 20 minutes on the clock for the second half is both illusion and delusion when the game is already lost.  The first half was the game. Sometimes the first five minutes was the game.

A corollary of Griner Time is that the bench gets to play a great deal. The bench saw floor time in more winning games than most starters did in the land. The bench even played in the NCAA tourney, game after game. That heightens the misery.  The bench is on the floor playing your team in a game lost back in what feels like the age of dinosaurs.  Griner Time functions like a catastrophic shift such as the asteroid that hit the Gulf of Mexico 65 million years ago, or a volcanic explosion near Pompeii. With Griner Time, you find yourself in an environment that feels like you’re the next species to become extinct.

Griner Time can be applied to many economic events.  Look back to 2008.  The Fed had to innovate to replace the failed banking system. We lived through the Bear Stearns Bailout, the Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae Bailout, the Lehman Brothers Bankruptcy which triggered a global recession, the nationalization of the insurance giant AIG which insured credit default swaps, the credit market freeze, the end of investment banking in a real sense, the 2008 stock market crash, the $700 billion bailout remembered as the TARP program, and of course, the holes that we dug in Afghanistan and Iraq and poured billions as though the United States had infinite wealth.  That all happened before November 3, 2008, when Obama won the presidency.

Somebody’s bench is playing us on the court during the last 20 minutes. It feels like 20 centuries. It’s Griner Time.