Ah, March Madness. The Big Dance. “Ye Olde Collegiate Men’s Basketball Tourney,” as the young people are fond of saying. The act of 64 NCAA Division 1 men’s basketball teams doing battle with one another in a prolonged tournament for the shot of earning the title “National Champions.”
Many fans consider this event the pinnacle of the athletic calendar; the most exciting of sports competitions. I don’t think it’s rude to say that I consider these people to be complete and utter morons and an immeasurable drain on our society as we know it. While the fun of saying “Saint Mary’s really got railed in the elite eight,” is undeniable, the fact of the matter is that March Madness sucks a big one, and you’re wasting your time if you make brackets, watch the games, or care that Butler (does anyone actually go to this school?) is in the final four. Come along with me as I’ll outline exactly why this is, on a magical journey I like to call “college sports blow donkey dick road!”
The NBA Is On At The Same Time
I’m not too sure if you die hard March Madness fanatics are aware, but this league called the “National Basketball Association” airs games at the very same time as your rinky dink tournament. That’s right; featuring bonafide studs who get paid to do nothing but ball like there is no tomorrow! Multi-million dollar athletes who exclusively play basketball in their awesome lives; no shop class for these REAL men! The 6th man on some lame team like the “Murray State Racers” (a team name about as intimidating as a desk lamp, just for the record) is probably just some creative writing major or something equally useless. Meanwhile, the worst player on a really terrible NBA team (take the Minnesota Timberwolves, for example) is Darko Milicic, who is so ballin’ that at the age of 18, NBA executive board members took note of how beast he was and drafted him. And he was playing in Yugoslavia. Do you have any idea how far away that is? Like, at least 7 or 8 hours on an airplane. While the silly “final four” tournament ensues, the final games of the precious NBA season are being played out! While you were busy watching a college game being decided late in the 2nd half, you probably missed Josh Smith of the Atlanta Hawks clinching his team’s play-off spot with a game winning slam dunk. Following the game, Smith told reporters “wasn’t that like the coolest thing ever? Where are you going to find that in stupid mediocre college hoops? Absolutely nowhere.” Whether he actually said this or I just made it up is completely irrelevant; the point stands that the NBA is infinitely more entertaining than the NCAA.
Nobody Cares About “Crazy Upsets!!!”
So Murray State pulled a huge upset over Vanderbilt? Saint Mary’s overcame the incredible odds and defeated Villanova? Tennessee shocked Ohio State? This would all be well and good if these so called “insane upsets!” didn’t happen all the time. Remember that time when there was a full NCAA men’s basketball tournament and every single higher ranked team beat all of the lower ones? You don’t, because it never happened. There’s upsets, and teams winning that shouldn’t have in every tournament in college basketball history. So why cause a commotion when Cornell beats Temple? It’s just the nature of these tournaments playing out as they always do; pardon me while I let out a resounding “BORRRRRRING.”
The other obnoxious component to this are the tiresome cliches announcers spew during these upset games. “This team just showed up to the arena and wanted it more!” Really? Wow, that right there is some un-conventional, out of the box wisdom! The Georgetown Hoyas lost to the Ohio Bobcats in the first round because they didn’t want it enough; case closed. It’s not at all the fact that other factors played into the game, and Georgetown’s best players were having off nights. Nope, they just collectively didn’t care, those apathetic jerk-offs! Good thing you aren’t someone paid copious amounts of money to deliver actual analysis on sporting events! BARF.
I don’t know about you, but one question I’ve been asked ad nauseam this month from friends is “how are your brackets doing?” To which I reply “I didn’t fill one out, and if you ask me that question again I will kidnap one of your family members.” Brackets, as a concept, are completely pointless. The teams that you are making these daring gambles on have already been ranked in seed format. Duke has a high ranking because they have an exceptionally good team, and a school like Wofford has a lower ranking because they suck and “Wofford” is a make believe word. So with the knowledge of these rankings, you’re not filling your bracket out based on first hand knowledge of the teams; you’re merely re-arranging these rankings in your own stupid little way, not unlike a mentally challenged child playing connect four.
On top of that, my facebook news feed has been clogged with “well there goes my bracket!!” related posts. To these people I say: if you didn’t have the foresight to predict even the most mild upsets in your tournament, you shouldn’t have access to the internet or be able to re-produce. A brief point, I’ll admit, but I like to think that it’s valid.
Those who have heard this old person launch spittle through their television set know exactly what I’m talking about. For those fortunate ones who haven’t heard of Dick Vitale, he’s a 97 year old World War 1 veteran who was hired to exclaim nonsensical phrases ending in “baby!” or “trifecta!” while the viewer at home contemplates the benefits of stabbing their ears repeatedly with a rusty knife. I’ll say this much; as a lowly college student, I have no choice but to acknowledge and be cognizant of Vitale’s career success. He’s been a fame broadcaster for decades, been the subject of a video game nobody’s bought or heard of, and coached a year in the NBA. It needs to be said, however, that anyone named “Dick” who has written at least two books with the word “baby” in the title which aren’t about child care is almost certainly a pedophile and should probably be incarcerated just for precautionary measures.
Obnoxious School Pride
This reason may be a bit controversial due to my circumstances; attending Ohio University, a school that takes great pride in having beat the Georgetown Hoyas in the first round of this year’s NCAA Tournament. I can’t stand, however, the way students of successful college teams take credit for their team’s success. The team you follow probably busted their asses during the regular season to improve, and merely reach a level where they can earn a spot in the NCAA Tournament. Yet when they win suddenly it becomes “we did it!!!” Really? Let’s just go ahead and put ourselves completely on the level of people who have worked hard to earn distinctions for themselves. Hey guys, remember in 1969 when “we” all collectively walked on the moon for the first time? And remember how sweet it was in 1874 when we invented the telephone? Man, “we” are seriously awesome and not total douchebags in the slightest!
Well, that’s enough ranting for me. Soon enough the Final Four will be done with, and some highly anointed college studs will turn into unmitigated NBA flops the likes of which we’ve seen time and time again (Adam Morrison and J.J. Redick, anyone?). Next year while you’re filling out your brackets and talking about how Ohio State has a chance to go all the way, I’ll be following spring training news, napping, watching paint dry and grass grow; heck, anything more worthwhile than the NCAA Tournament. And one thing’s for damn sure; Dick Vitale won’t be yelling at me while I do any of those.