How I tolerate March madness.

Monday, March 30, 2015
I grew up an only child with a father who loved sports, pretty much all sports. Now, I wouldn't have sat next to him watching anything on television, let alone a sports game.

I grew up in SoCal where football was king. And what did all teenage boys want to do? Play football. So what did all teenage girls feign interest in? Yep, football.

But I actually loved college football when I was in High School. My team was the Oklahoma Sooners. I loved them and wanted to watch them in person, I even applied to and was accepted at their University just because of their football team. (Didn't go there).

So football was my game. It is still my game today - though I prefer pro.


Not so much. It's not like watching soccer where the rules confuse me, or baseball which is like having already gone into a coma and when you wake up- nothing's changed. Basketball is fast playing, the rules are pretty simple, and for those players who are not good enough to play pro, they can get great practice acting when "hit" by someone.

I still don't like watching. Until March. March madness is - for me- when the best of the best all converge into one little sheet of paper and everyone tries to bet on who will make it to the finals. For me- it's a chance to watch people who- for no other reason except love of the game- put their heart and soul into one day. For me it's a change to watch fans who are so dedicated and enthusiastic that they feel they're out there on the floor themselves. It's a chance to see players watch the final second tick off and either erupt into tears of joy- or tears of failure.

For most of these kids, this is it. No pro team waiting for them- no glory of coming home winners. For most of them this is the end of probably a lifetime of throwing free throws in the driveway in the dark- a lifetime of late nights and extra homework. For most of them they can't remember not holding a basketball in their hands, And in this one moment, for the Seniors at least, it's over. No more team. No more uniforms. Just life.

I love watching the spirit of the game here- when the only thing on the line is bragging rights and the sheer joy of a moment of celebration.

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