Written by: Melissa Harder
Confessions of a life long sports fan as we head into week 2 of the madness
Every year, without fail, I find ways to be
“sick” on the first Thursday and Friday of March Madness. The excuses are
limitless and sometimes not remotely believable but I don’t care. Hell, if I
had my way, it would be declared a national holiday in Canada but I don’t have
that power yet – world domination is still around the corner for me.
It is literally the best time of year. Ever. And I am a huge sports fan. You can ask my friends – if there is a sporting event on, I’m usually found sitting in front of my TV shouting passionately at it for one reason or another. (Did I mention I get really into any sporting event? I was at a girls AAA high school basketball final a few weeks ago and was shouting at the refs like there was no tomorrow.)
So now that my crazy sports fan credentials have been established, let’s look at why I love the madness so much:
First, you cannot buy drama like this anymore. Show me an NBA player who dives on the floor after a loose ball like his life depended on it and I’ll show you a polar bear who can juggle. It just doesn’t happen. Throw in the fact that these kids are young, cocky and willing to take the next big shot and well, anything can happen.
Second, there are 48 games in the first four days of the tournament. What? That’s insane. Every hour you have buzzer beaters, low seeds upsetting the higher seeds. Sure, sometimes it’s the announcers who make the games. Like Gus Johnson. Man do I miss him this year. He has the unfettered excitement of ten 12-year-olds trapped in one ridiculously enthusiastic body. This year I find myself calling games in my head the way I think Gus probably is from his vantage point on the couch.
Third, usually, a Cinderella is born. If you know college basketball, you know the glass slipper is going to fit one team or another. Some team is going to find a way to play beyond their perceived talent level and without giving a crap about what seed the committee gave them. Our original Cinderella was Gonzaga – and their play put that school on the map. Who knew who they were until 1999 when they made their magical run to the Elite 8? Last year it was VCU and this year it looks like it could be the NC State Wolfpack. Who knows who it will be? Who ever knows? It’s always a surprise and totally exciting to watch.
Finally, even when my team loses early (as it happened this year with Duke) I still can’t tear myself away. This is where college kids make a name for themselves. Laettner, Morrison, Pittsnoggle, Curry, Jimmer, Haywood. These names are held in college lore – part of astounding games and ridiculous runs. So I say, sorry NBA. For 3 weeks, every March, college basketball is where amazing happens.
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