Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Madness of March Madness

                                                                                                                      Free Digital Photos
This picture was literally titled "Young Caucasian Boy While Playing Basket Ball."  It made me giggle.

Ah, March.  What a month, eh?  It's that time of the year where the snow melts before it drops again, and everyone finds an excuse to drink until they can't feel their toes while wearing a ridiculous amount of green, plastic shamrock beads ("Today, I'm Irish!"- 90% of America).  March is also one of the biggest sports months of the year, with the NHL and the NBA lighting up the screens of rancid-smelling sports bars and baseball players warming up their arms and bats they prepare for a new season.  It's all pretty wonderful if you enjoy sweaty muscles and balls... uh, wait, that didn't come out the way I intended.

                                                                                                                              The Meta Picture
There.  Back on track.

The real madness of sports all up in your March is just that: March Madness.  MARCH.  MADNESS.  64 of the NCAA's best teams come together (according to statistics and polls, at least- calm down, West Liberty fans) to battle it out for the right to call themselves champions.  It's also a wonderful time of discovery for everyone, from players to  pro scouts to that guy who eats the majority of the boneless chicken wings at Buffalo Wild Wings even though he's CLEARLY not covering part of the bill, as unknown teams get a chance to prove their abilities against schools with huge followings and athletes get to showcase a preview of their future potentials.  Glory is created.  Upsets are inevitable.  Vasectomies are had, for one reason or another.  Suddenly, your girlfriend and grandmother are going nuts, proudly donning their school colors and cheering until they get bored and wish you weren't such an asshole about HAVING to watch Harvard upset Cincinnati in the first round.  Numbers get a huge boost in adjective collaboration, with Sweet 16's and Final Fours brightly emblazoned on millions of TVs.  It's all good times.

                                                                                                                      Free Digital Photos
And here we have "Basketball Player Hold Ball For Shoot."  Such art.

Here's the thing about March Madness that always gets to me, and, mind you, it's just a silly observation from some guy probably doesn't observe enough in this world- March Madness is also one of the maddening, anger-inducing times of the year.  When I say angry, I don't mean angry angry, like punching a hole in the wall mad or seeking vengeance for your dead father rage.  Rather, I'm talking about the anger that comes with one of the biggest staples of the tourney: filling out your bracket.  Everyone gives you an opportunity to do so- ESPN, CBS, other corporations or companies that are only associated with their acronyms, sometimes offering prizes in the process.  When you sit down to fill one out, though, you begin to realize just how important it can suddenly become to your life; this is your chance to predict the future.  This is you showing off your true level of fandom for college basketball.  You know the stats, you've read the blogs and might have even taken a piss near Coach K that one time at that one place, maybe.  You've got this.  Now, you can show off to everyone that you know where the future of collegiate is heading as well as where it's been.  Who can stop you now?  Your bracket, that's who.

The only part of my bracket that didn't have a "Red Wedding" theme to it.

Your bracket doesn't give a shit about you.  Your bracket laughs at you.  No matter how prepared you were, it's there to push you when you're down.  You spent all that time, raising it from its hefty first round until it was to mature into that one team that won it all, and how does it return the favor that is the gift of life?  It maniacally crosses out 83% of your picks* and pisses on your shoes.  Oh, you thought Duke was at least looking at an Elite Eight birth?  Bitch, please.  Never heard of Stephen F. Austin University?  Yeah, your bracket is going to make you remember them now.  It just takes your ego and stomps out all the gushy parts, which is about as eloquent as I can express that feeling.

*Did you know that about 72% of all percentages are made on the spot?

I think the worse aspect about your shitty bracket is actually every other bracket created by loved ones and potential enemies.  You spent time and effort to create yours, showing just how loyal you are to the game- no, to the ideals of what makes college basketball so special and unique.  And it just sucks as all hell.  Meanwhile, grandma, with her University of Kentucky sweater and sock garters from her 1946 graduation gift on, is smoking your ass in the rankings, having successfully picked out 30 of the first 32 victors, only missing the other two because she fell asleep or [insert other old person joke here].  Then there's your twelve year-old cousin, still not quite ready for horror movies or driving a vehicle, but she definitely picked Dayton over Ohio State because "their uniforms had prettier colors." Her choices just laugh their asses off at yours, kicking sand in their faces and flexing while your ashamed bracket girlfriend just looks on, embarrassed.

And that's just how it is.  Every year.  The excitement and wonder of March Madness always walks that path to misery and foolishness, as you realize that maybe you AREN'T actually smarter than those guys on Sports Center with the crazy plaid suits.  So fuck you, March Madness, for being so awesome and horrible for my sports ego.  I need something to take my mind off of all this.  Preferably sports and/or crotch related.

                                                                                                                                                    Senor GIF
Tends to be my Go-To for a small moment of joy.

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