When your 80 year old grandfather writes the whole family an email and tells us he was Jimmered Thursday through Saturday watching BYU rock the first two rounds of the NCAA Men's BBall tourney, you know it was a good year to be really into March Madness. When your alma mater's frontman is a shoo-in for national player of the year (52 points in one GAME!) and his name inspires worship from men, women, and children of all religions even 2,000 miles away from his university, you know it was a good year to be into March Madness. When more first and second round games ended as buzzer beaters than ever and you see some MAJOR heart break played out through bizarre last-second foul shots (so sorry, Pitt), you know it was an excellent year to be into March Madness!!! Needless to say, this has been a great week, and promises to be a great month. This is my greatest source of joy this month of March:
Yes, that is my bracket. On top of my singles ward's 84-person pool. It's been up there since the second day of the tourney (I went for broke with a couple sweet sixteen upsets though, we'll see how long I remain the Queen). I worked super hard on my bracket this year, using a cool "Blind Bracket" feature from wsj.com where you picked winners based purely on strengths and weaknesses, you weren't shown the names of the teams. I still somehow ended up with BYU and SDSU in the Final Four and I took that as a sign. I rolled with all of my blind bracket picks, except I advanced Ohio and ODU more than the blind bracket said to (The Ohio bet is panning out, ODU not so much).
I FINALLY understand what Ben Herman was talking about in 12th grade when he screamed, " AHHH I love March Madness so much!" in the middle of broadcast journalism in an slightly inappropriate groan (I remember it vividly cuz I couldn't understand what would provoke that kind of frenzy). Now I know. Talking sports with guys is the best, btw, because they get so excited that they lose a lot of their cool front, one of the cutest and most refreshing things ever. My first-place rank at the top of my church pool got me a shout-out in Elder's Quorum today, every girl's fondest dream. Like you, Ben, now I can say exuberantly: I LOVE MARCH MADNESS SO MUCH!
I'll be honest, I love the drama of sports, which is why I tend to check in during tournaments and bowl series, not so much regular season stuff (unless it's BYU men's volleyball, football, or Jimmer, of course). And I only bother following college sports. One of the best lines I've heard on Sportscenter this week is, "College ball is a coach's game. NBA is a player's game." So true, and that's why I love college sports. All about the heart, the team, the learning curve, the four-year window of opportunity. Not the million-dollar contract. Any thoughts on this? It has been pointed out to me recently that I have never actually been to most kinds of pro sporting events- no NBA, NFL, NHL games for me, ever. (Baseball, yes). What can I say, I'm from Las Vegas. The closest teams are in LA!
I have been following basketball this year since the first SDSU game, I feel like that's legit. To all my girlfriends out there that are bemoaning the total absence of attention from their men this month, take it from me: it's actually really fun to delve into the game of basketball! This year, I've learned how seeding works, what "off the boards" and "in the paint" mean, how drawing fouls can actually be a recognized skill for a team, what to look for in a talented player, and how crappy Charles Barkley's predictions are compared to mine (BOOYAH). As you all know, I am an arts girl, so this a rare and awesome moment for me, this sports post. I'm just writing to let you know that I'm seeing the beauty in sports, the beauty of effort, which, if you're a guy, I probably don't have to describe you (or if you are a really awesome girl). Fun, crazy, interesting, emotional, beautiful stuff, that basketball. The month of March just shot up the charts in my book. Now here's hoping Kansas and BYU continue to shoot up the bracket...
(I just had to throw this in- it's been in my head for two weeks)