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Thursday, March 10, 2005

Sportztyme!: March Madness!

I'd write a nice intro for this week's Sportztyme, but I'm too busy working on my office pool brackets.

Why is it called March Madness?

Because it happens in March, dummy!

No, seriously, what other three week event brings so many people together for a common purpose? People that normally wouldn't walk across the street to ignore college basketball will be riveted to their boob tubes beginning next Thursday. Folks who don't know a free throw from a throw rug will be pulling their hair out... wondering if Old Dominion can pull the upset on Gonzaga. Then they will go get a map to figure out where the hell those two schools are.

I have two theories about why the NCAA tournament gets so much attention from fans and non-fans alike. One is the college tie-in. Most of us went on to higher education after 4 years of what I like to call Jeopardy preparedness classes. Other folks refer to it as high school. But you have that collegiate tie in. Your school might be the underdog, or your wife's school might be the favorite. In any case, it brings out a sense of territorial nostalgia that just makes you pay attention. You know someone who graduated from the school that's playing. Or you like the mascot... or like Diane on Cheers, you pick teams based on the nationality of their symphony's conductor.

Which brings me to my second theory on its popularity: Illegal gambling. There's nothing better than tossing $5 into an office pool for a year's worth of superlative bragging rights. Seriously, how many pools have you been in where the secretary that loses every phone call and makes coffee that could fill potholes takes home a schload of cash because she picked every team "named after a birdie"?

We can't help it. It's the lure of easy money. It's a chance to recapture some of our hedonistic, carefree college memories. It is March Madness.

Don't forget to fill out your brackets.

Sportztyme! airs every Thursday.

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