Saturday, March 17, 2007

March Madness

Okay so if you don't know already I'm an insane sports fanatic! I love football, basketball, tennis, swimming, track and field, gymnastics, get the point.

I grew up playing baseball, basketball, and football. I ran track when I was younger. In my dreams I'm the number one tennis player in the world. In reality I'm number 2 in my cubicle, 2 of 2, though I plan to do something about that this year. I've played just about any sport that you can imagine, not necessarily well, but I've played nevertheless.

March Madness is the most incredible sporting event that I've ever seen. It's completely unpredictable, no matter what Bracketology program or expert commentators tell you otherwise. You throw a bunch of big name schools in with some mid-majors. You let the tournament committee give seedings (which usually don't mean much)--and you hope and prey that some no-name school doesn't slay your Goliath--if you back one of the traditional powers.

This year I just knew that I wasn't going to get into it. Syracuse didn't make it, a source of contention amongst many analysts--and more importantly me. Whatever. They are playing in that other post-season tournament, the NIT. Who cares who wins the NIT. Does winning the NIT set you up to be a top ten pick in the NCAA tournament? Not likely.

Anyway I've been watching a lot of games over the course of the last couple of days. There haven't been as much upsets as there normally is. However, there have been a lot of competitive games--including number one Ohio State being taken to overtime by rival Xavier--coming back from being down 10 in regulation.

These kids play for the love of the game. Most of them won't go on to be a pro. What does that matter? If they can hit a three to win the game, block a shot, grab a rebound--anything that can contribute to a victory--including playing to the point of fatigue--they'll do it. Some superstars are using the opportunity to get more exposure--to move up in the draft--but most of them would sacrifice anything to get to the Final Four--or to win a championship. It's all about the team. See young men on the sidelines that normally are incapable of showing emotions crying--or hugging each other. It's a world in of itself.

These kids play for the love of the game, not for a paycheck. Perhaps that's why the NBA Finals can't compare. You have millionaires competing for diamond rings--and bigger contracts. Some sprain pinky toes and refuse to play. Others are cancers that eat away at their teams--and do a disservice to the game.

Pure enthusiasm=NCAA March Madness

If I won the lottery I'd take the opportunity to go to the NCAA Final Four over the NBA Finals any day. I'm sure most basketball enthusiasts would agree.

Back to the Madness. Lets go Big East, lets go!

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