Think March Madness is Lunacy?
First, you should know: I am NOT a basketball fan. Outside of the NCAA March Madness tournament and the years my sons played youth basketball, I probably average watching about 20 minutes of basketball per year. So why do I look forward to and plan on tuning in to experience some March Madness every year?
Some non-basketball fans like the NCAA tournament for their chance to win a betting pool of one form or another. That sounds like it might be fun, but I’ve never done one.
Other non-basketball fans go through the second half of March irritated with friends, co-workers, or spouses who stay up way too late, eyes glued to the TV, unaware of their family around them. These basketball junkies drag into work late each morning and then waste hours discussing the game they saw the night before. It’s just a giant waste of time, isn’t it?
No, it’s not. I’ll let you in on a little secret. You don’t have to like basketball to love March Madness. Here’s why.
March Madness is an event filled with human drama. It is the culmination of years of young men’s hopes and dreams, sweat and dedication. It is about groups of individuals acting as one team. It is about David slaying Goliath. During March Madness you can see unknown heroes having glorious triumphs. You can hear the roar of the crowd, punctuated by everyone holding their breath to see, “Can he do it now with all eyes upon him? Can he do it now when it really counts?”
Sixty-four teams come to the tournament, hundreds of kids. (At my age they are ‘kids.’) Sure, some of them are destined to careers as pro basketball players and big salaries, but others will play their last competitive basketball game in this tournament. They play each game as if it could be their last, because it could. A loss knocks a team out of the tournament. Watch one game, any game of the tournament, and you will see that all-out, give-it-all-that-you’ve-got energy.
We live in an apathetic world. Being bombarded by bad news of disasters down the block and around the world, we grow numb. Is it any wonder that the 18 – 22 year age group use the conversation-ending, “Whatever,” comment too frequently and often seem to have lost their youthful enthusiasm. March Madness is a chance to see young men giving it their very best. Guys diving for balls, racing up and down the floor, searching for a teammate, playing every angle that they can think of, hoping against hope, down to the final buzzer.You don’t have to know the past histories of the players to see how much they care. Their passion for the game and desire to win is imprinted on every move they make, their expressions on and off the court. These are storybook moments, so important in each of their lives. It really is fun to take a moment and go along for the ride, to experience their joy or frustration vicariously by watching them play their hearts out.
So if you are one who thinks that March Madness is lunacy and basketball is a dumb sport, I urge you to flip it on and give it a look. If you live with a devoted Buckeye fan, you probably can’t help but see a bit of the basketball tournament, but do yourself a favor, sit down and watch. Really watch a game and let me know if you don’t see what I see. It’s quite a sight. Enjoy.
This guest post was written by Anne Emerick, creator of No-Work Spanish audiobooks, a new easy way to learn Spanish For more information, see NoWorkSpanish.com