Friday, March 20, 2009

March Madness--Not Just for the Boys

Day 1 of my dappling with this blogging business, and it just so happens that I'm pursuing this writing endeavor during my school's Spring Break and during what, for me, is quite possibly the most exciting time in sports outside of LSU games and the NFL draft--It's March Madness Baby. Too bad you can't hear my best Dicky V impersonation. Too bad I can't give you a warmer welcome to my blog in my attempted Reba McIntyre voice--"Hi (said with at least two syllables), welcome to my blog. It's so nice to see you (again, you with two syllables)."

Back to today's story. Day 2 of the NCAA tourney and I'm batting 1000. Is it ok to mix metaphorically when discussing sports? Another topic for another day. Today, I'm a champion; today, my sports knowledge surpasses my husband's; today, I make the All-Star game; today, the media highly suspects I'm using performance enhancing drugs because surely I can't be this good on my own. Tomorrow, I may wake up to the reality of my usual crash and burn bracketology. In ten minutes, this dream may end, but let's talk about how right now, I'm a star!

I'm sitting in front of the TV, basking in my bracket glory, but seriously rooting on #6 West Virginia to make sure the #11 ranked Dayton does not upset them. That's the magic of the tourney though, I suppose. How boring would it be with no upsets! You just have to pick the right ones. The other games currently being played are seeming to work out in my favor.
Let me explain the lengthy process involved in my success.

My bracket training has been years in the making. Unfortunately, I grew up in a house where basketball wasn't a favorite in the sports realm. We were soccer kids, but after meeting my husband, the keeper of all sports knowledge, I quickly became a fan of filling out a bracket each March and actually watching my teams tank out as the weekend progressed. This could be my year though; wait on it.

For all of the ladies out there intimidated by sports or, in all honesty, bored by your father's, brother's, spouse's, friend's passion for the games, give it a chance. You'll learn terms like "Cinderella Pick," and "bracketology," and you will surely spice up your relationship with impressive dedication to your man's hobbies. But it's not all about the guy in our lives. You'll embrace an underdog team and believe in them. You'll sign up on ESPN to compete. You won't watch every game, but you'll check updates on your phone. You'll love winning and hate losing. Try it. Sports competitions give us the chance to feel and that's what it's all about.
Picking teams for the most part can't be easier, right? National rankings are there for a reason, so your best bet is to go with the favored team, especially clear cut ones in early rounds. #1 ranked North Carolina will clearly defeat #16 Radford (who I've never heard of, no offense). The second rule, again a spicy nugget of information I learned from my other half, is that there is always a #5 vs. #12 upset--at least one. However, it's the #7 vs. #10 games and #7 vs. #8 games that will tug at you. The key here is to go with your gut. Ok, scratch that poor tidbit of advice.

Instead, do your research. This is where the "not just for the boys" comes in. Guys will spend weeks preparing for this two weekend event. They will even attempt to persuade you not to watch American Idol in order to watch in-season games. Don't let this intimidate you ladies. The key is Jay Bilas, ESPN News, 20 minutes on a bike at your local gym, the morning commencing the tourney. And hey, if you don't belong to a gym, put it on at home, break out the yoga mat, and do some crunches. Everybody wins, even your stride to a bikini body six pack.

Think about it. You too could impress yourself with what you know (or don't know and just guess) about college basketball. It's so much fun, and at the end of the day, if Oregon is in the tourney and you want to pick them for "the big dance" based on their snazzy green and gold uniforms and your love of all things ducks, it's your bracket, dang it, and there is magic in the madness!

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