The march towards madness

It happens every year. The marking of the seasons done by most through a calendar, nature or the facial hair of college males (No-Shave November, Febru-hairy, Mustache March, Sideburn September… the list goes on).  I admit I use all of these methods, but I use one that isn’t as common as the rest – sports seasons.  Summer is highlighted by afternoons of baseball and maybe a game or two of the NBA finals.  Fall is marked by the arrival of football filled Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Winter is welcomed by the race towards the NFL playoffs. And Spring… well, Spring is March Madness.

I understand that maybe you think my marking of the year is narrow, or maybe that, “I left so much out” and “what about the Premier League, hockey, cricket or Jennie Finch and the group formerly known as the U.S. softball team?” To this, I say, I don’t care… besides, it’s not the point of the article.  March Madness is upon us.  As you read this article, basketballs will be thrown in the air to inaugurate the true start to the tournament of 64… erm, 68 NCAA Division I basketball teams, all vying for a chance to cut down the nets and be declared champions.  A single elimination setup so incredibly democratic and yet at the same time unexpected – you win, you stay; you lose, you go home. Anything can happen on any given night. I’m getting excited just typing this. AHHhhHHHhh!!!

To which you respond, “meh.” Do not be so apathetic! Do not be so hasty in dismissing this multi-week long festivity!  There can be merit in sitting down with friends to cheer on teams you’ve never heard of in a game that you’re unfamiliar with.  You say you like underdog stories? Well, there are is matchup after matchup of Western David State versus Goliath U… and with 48 of these games you’re gonna see your fair share of Philistines fall.  You say you like heartwarming stories?  Young men and women our age have sweated and toiled years for this moment, thousands of stories and heartbreak are to be found.  You say you can’t stand Dickie Vitale?  Well, these games are broadcast by CBS! CBS doesn’t like him either!  The only places he might show up in the March Madness extravaganza are pre-game shows on ESPN or Hooters commercials.  You say you love food? Well, this is the perfect excuse to whip out (insert your favorite food here).  Mmm. Yes. That is tasty.

If you’re still not convinced you’re probably someone who doesn’t like to have fun, so never mind, March Madness doesn’t want you either.  Eh, maybe that’s harsh.  Try it out. See if it’s for you.  Maybe it’s not. That’s cool. But me, come this weekend, I will be partaking in a healthy share of the March Madness spectacle.

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Written by Daniel Penner

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