What can I say this March is a great month for sports.
Not that March isn't usually a great month for sports but this March is made even better by the Cricket World Cup. Look! West Indies won yesterday over Pakistan so forgive me for being slightly happy for a moment. Tomorrow I can get back to cussing the islands for wasting money on this event and robbing patrons with outrageous prices at the concession stands but today........
Well today I'm trying to follow Australia vs Scotland and Kenya vs Canada. Yea not the stuff of sporting legends but every game counts towards the big picture. Thank God for the Internet which makes it possible for me to get ball by ball scores and even radio coverage and sometimes video feeds of the matches. I still remember back in the days, before the Internet, having to call home or use that Toronto Star phone service (Can't remember the name. Was it Star Phone?) which gave you match updates all at its own pace just to find out how my team was doing.
Anyway besides cricket the other great thing about every March is the NCAA March Madness tournament. To paraphrase Dick Vitale or in the immortal words of Austin Powers. Yeaaaaa baby!
You don't understand my love of March Madness do you? How often to you get to watch 32 basketball games in two days or any sporting event where in every game played each team is literally playing for their tournament life? Its win or get the bleep outta Dodge. Yea the NBA is cool especially a nice game 7 of a playoff series but March Madness that starts off with like 32 game 7's in 2 days. Now that's fantastic!
I usually take the first two days of March madness off. Why? Well its just an exceptional time of year and a great time to veg out. You don't understand my fanaticism do you? Why I'm still trying to plan how I'm going to get a decent lunch tomorrow and not miss any games from my couch.
I mean March Madness just sucks me in. This is the time of the year where I just tell people I'm ignoring them; family, friends, children it don't matter. Don't mess with my March Madness focus.
From the time the brackets are announced I'm on it. Scouring the Internet for info, entering as many free pools as I can find (the days of putting money on this thing are long gone with my College days), chatting with anyone who may have actually watched more of the season unfold than the annual Duke, UNC game and thereby is ahead of me in terms of actual knowledge of what to except from the selected teams.
Trying to answer questions like whats the record of the top ranked teams? Who are the Cinderella teams? How many number 5s will be beaten by number 12s this year? Should I choose Number 9s over Number 8s? Which lower seeded player has the most NBA ready player? Where are those cursed Duke blue bas...... ummmm I mean devils ranked? Who or where exactly are Gongaza, Creighton, Holy Cross, Xavier, Old Dominion and George Washington?
And yes it is imperative that I watch as much of the games as possible. Its intense, its dramatic, its heartbreaking, its exhilarating, its big man crying over sports whether they win or lose, its 40 minutes of pure action down to the last second.
Plus how else can I, a few months hence, objectively sit and cuss NBA teams and GM's on draft day as they overlook proven College stars for long shots and European nobodies. How else would I have known that Dwayne Wade should have gone higher in the draft or that the Raptors should have held onto Kareem Rush instead of trading him for Chris Jefferies a few years back. With any luck I'll see the NBA stars of the future and make my predictions on not just the hyped ones like Kevin Durant and Greg Oden but some more obscure small forward or super quick point guard leading a mid major with grit and determination through the first round.
It gets no better than this folks.
Now to get back to my biggest dilemma. How do I follow cricket scores when the computer is upstairs but the TV and couch are downstairs.