Look, I am so excited thinking about it that I can't even put together a coherent thought, let along a paragraph that makes sense. Did you read that first paragraph? Terrible. But I am so amped up about March Madness that I don't know what to do with myself. I am like a kid with ADD who traded his daily Ritalin for a Caramello bar and a Mr. Pibb, and now I am bouncing off the wall like a racquetball or something. Anyway, the reason I am all excited is because it is March, and that means that college basketball is right smack in the middle of its most exciting period. Over the last two, maybe two-and-a-half weeks, each individual conference has been holding tournaments to decide who will have a chance to play in the big tournament for the NCAA championship. Each conference winner gets a bid to the big tournament, and then there are like 30 or so at-large teams that are invited.
That's right. Today is Selection Sunday. Today is the day when a group of God-knows how many people in a room in Indianapolis pick which teams are going to get the 30 or so at-large bids and they give each of the 65 teams invited (Yeah, 65. Not 64. It's lame, I know. Don't get me started.) a seed and a bracket. Oh man, it gets my blood boiling. By the time the night is over, I am going to be up to my neck with brackets filled out with my predictions. My eyes will have crusted over from watching to much TV analysis and from staring at my computer reading about matchups and potential matchups for 17-straight hours. I will be sitting down and figuring out how many sick and personal hours I have available to take off Thursdays and Fridays for the next two weeks. It's like I have a fever or something. Really. Seriously. Something is seriously wrong with me and I should probably seek professional help.
The reason that I love this time of year with this particular sport is because it is the greatest drama with the smallest margins of error in sport. Well, okay. But in major sports at least. It's made for giant upsets, anybody can beat anybody at any time, and there is usually four games going on at once which just adds to the frenzy. One guy who's in The Zone from a tiny little school in rural Pennsylvania can bring down the school that Michael Jordan went to, with all of its National Championship aspirations. It's amazing. David can slay Goliath like six times in the course of one weekend. It's fantastic. You have to be on your game night after night after night or you are done. None of this five-game-series horseshit. One game. One neutral site. Win and go on. Lose and go home. Drama. Spectacle. Heroes. Villains. The whole package will be opened for all the world to see over the next three weeks. And most of these guys aren't even old enough to drink yet.
By the time this all wraps up in April I assure you that I will be a wreck of my former self. I will not have shaved in over a month. I may have showered if you are lucky. My employer will have long since considered me missing and presumed dead. The cable company will be out of business and the landlord will be taking out a second mortgage to pay the electricity bill because my TV will not have been turned off for like a month and a half. There will be pizza boxes filled with stale crusts and empty two-liters of Diet Dr. Pepper strewn about The Worldwide Headquarters. I will twice have fought off the friendly local fire department when they appeared outside my living room window with their ladder truck just to make sure that I was alive and to determine what that smell in the downtown area was. Plus, the state patrol will be a little upset about the giant cable that I have running from Jimmy James' house to my bedroom TV which is set up in my living room right next to my other TV so I can watch TWO different games at once. And if I can get my hands on a third TV (which I can) there might be a cable running down from Mikey's too. Because if one game is good, then three is enough to make me pass out.
So the morale of the story is that I ask you to please excuse me if I am a little preoccupied and smelly and acting strange in the coming month. Because it is March Madness, it's warm enough for me to open the windows so I won't notice my own stench, and I have to be within 13 feet of a TV hooked up to CBS or a satellite package at all times or I just might lose it. And it all starts today. Selection Sunday. Oh man I am so psyched.