It’s a funny thing that we all spout off about how we’re sooo busy and we can’t fit in another thing, and yet we fill out those NCAA basketball brackets and low and behold, we suddenly have endless time to watch every game! Not only do we watch the games, but we take time to post on Facebook about it and stalk the other people we are competing against in our brackets. But you need a cake for the church luncheon? Sorry. Can’t pencil it in!
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not judging. I’m right there with ya. It’s funny to me that I have no relevant win factor if I do well on my brackets and yet, I am devastated when one of my teams is out. But does it change the fact that I scream at the TV and hide my eyes behind a pillow in the last seconds of a tight game? No.
March Madness is about you and me taking a break from our own reality to watch kids from every small town on the planet prove that hard work and determination will get you there. It’s about believing in Cinderella moments and dancing with the big boys. It’s about cheering for the underdog, the one in all of us. Okay, so maybe it’s about winning some money in the office pool or a good excuse for going out for beers with the boys, too. But it still counts. For a few weeks, we get to spend some time talking about Eagles, Tarheels, Cyclones, and Bluejays instead of work, the insurmountable increase in taxes, and the crappy ass weather. For a brief time, we can relive our own college days and watch kids in neon outfits with unexhausted energy live dreams that make our alma-matres known and proud.
Sure, I’ve often thought the brackets would be a lot more fun if we applied them to people’s dating lives, kinds of beer, and pizza toppings, but at the end of the day, I’m pretty sure we’re really just watching for that kid in us that wants an underdog to win, or a hard worker to score that last shot, or maybe even a coach to get his due after grueling years of being blamed instead of acclaimed. We all want those moments. It’s just some people get them…and some people don’t…
As they said on the Wide World of Sports: it’s the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. Maybe we’re all just happy to watch some basketball where that’s the case, where not everybody gets a participation ribbon and a rub on the head. Maybe we like it because that’s how the real world works. Sometimes you win. Sometimes you get your ass kicked. And sometimes, you sit in the stands with your red and gold finger screaming for the home team because, well, that’s what you’re good at… or you fail miserably at your bracket picks and just cheer for the upset to screw everyone else. And, you know what? That’s how the real world works, too!
So shh…I won’t tell that you didn’t go to the cub scout meeting to watch the game as long as you promise not to tell that my TV may or may not be on during dish washing time.
Go jays! Go clones! And quick, I think you can get that next load in during the commercial!