All day on Wednesday, I told almost everyone I encountered that it was Christmas Eve. That’s how it felt to me. That’s how it always feels to me on the day before the NCAA Basketball Tournament begins.
Just now, it occurred to me that there are a couple of significant ways that the tournament resembles Christmas. 1) It’s way too commercialized and 2) people acknowledge it and celebrate it robustly without really considering what it really means.
In other words, to use proper analogous form:
College basketball is to March Madness as religion is to Christmas.
Maybe I’m getting a little too preachy. People are free to celebrate March Madness in any way they want, or they’re free to not participate in it at all. I don’t care. It doesn’t change the way I feel about it at all. I’ve watched the tournament in multiple countries, in multiple states, in hotel rooms and bars, the house I grew up in and the house I live in now, various apartments along the way and you know what? It’s always good. Yesterday, I sat at my friend Jeremy’s house in Austin and pondered how it had been a pretty blah day for tournament action. And then we watched in wonder as Harvard ousted New Mexico.
As long as I’m hammering the Christmas analogy, I’ll add that I didn’t get everything I wanted in my stocking. I really had my heart set on a Davidson victory over Marquette and a South Dakota State upset of Michigan. We probably all counted our chickens on the Davidson game, but that turned out to be a sweater.
In case March Madness Santa Claus (a person whom I’m certain is some sort of Al McGuire-Jim Valvano mashup) is reading this, today I want a Pacific upset against Miami or a Northwestern State victory over Florida.
Photo via AnnArbor.com.
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