March Madness

I’m a fair weather fan.  I admit it.  I don’t follow a team or watch ESPN or read the agate or particularly care about the drama in sports.  When a team goes down I shrug and get on with my life.  I can’t understand why people get depressed or beat their wives.  It’s a game.  Hello!  I skim over the sports pages and stop to read stories of personal triumph and tragedy and bad behavior but that’s about it.  Ask me how someone played or what the score was and my eyes glaze over.  I watch the Super Bowl for the commercials.  My sports rabid husband and son think I’m a moron.  I am really only a fan of my son’s high school basketball and lacrosse teams and that’s where you’ll find me in the stands.  To get me fired up about college or professional sports it has to be down to the wire.  And that’s why I love March Madness.  Not because I particularly care about any of the teams, or am knowledgeable about the players and coaches, but because I love a good showdown where a team’s entire season hinges on one game.  I love that there are upsets and storybook endings featuring Cinderella and David and Goliath.  The fact that it can go either way on any day and that a lower ranked team can prevail over a powerhouse in a nail biting finish is absolutely the coolest thing in sports.  To endure to the Final Four and win the NCAA title takes talent and endurance and luck.  And it played out beautifully again on Saturday when Northern Iowa (who?) sent the mighty Kansas Jayhawks home in the biggest upset so far in the tournament.  I picked the game up in the second half and saw Northern Iowa ahead.  This might be a game worth watching.  I had it on in the background while I read a book.  I kept looking up as the clock ticked down.  There’s no way.  By the end of the game I was standing up two feet from the television hooting and hollering.  The underdog beats the big dog.  Panthers Rock SHOCK Jayhawks.  Whatever happens from here the scrappy team will be remembered for toppling #1 seed Kansas in one of the greatest upsets in NCAA Tournament history.  It’s a storybook ending.  I’m cheering for Northern Iowa now.  Almost makes me a fan. 

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