It’s Madness! This tournament of college basketball teams. People go a little crazy after the tournament matchups are set in March. Back when people used to work in physical offices, sick days increased, and other surreptitious schemes proliferated so fans could watch the daytime games.
I have a friend who goes into a serious depression when his team falls, and he is a psychiatrist. The jersey shades of blue and colors of red and purple elicit emotional reactions and define for college students and alumni for whom to root or to hate. Only international football (called soccer in the US) gets crazier.
How did it get this way? For me it started in 1957 when I sat with my dad and two oldest siblings on the living room couch and watched the UNC Tarheels play for the collegiate championship against Kansas led by Wilt Chamberlain. Every few minutes my dad would jump up and wave his arms and hands pointing out something that happened in the game. A coaching lesson accompanied each dramatic gesture.
Dad was enthusiastic about sports and as he invested his time and energy in me, sports became important to me.
Then there is the alma mater. Those of us fortunate to attend college and have a positive experience invariably transfer some of that parental connectedness and loyalty to our schools. Those of us fortunate enough to attend a college or university with an exciting sports team get some sort of emotional imprint from it.
So that’s some of the foundation. Mix in colorful, exciting media presentations and throw ungodly amounts of money at it, and the madness grows. Every year 70 million fans fill out bracket choices for bragging rights for picking the most winners. Some enter contests for prizes.
Billion Dollar Bracket tells a part of this story. Many lives collide in a contest to win a billion dollars by picking all the winners in the tournament. Some are looking for riches, others for redemption, and some for shelter. See more about it and where to buy it at www.edrewbridges.com
I read. I write. I learn. I’m in a writing group and I have four published books. I’m still pretty sure I’m not Steinbeck, but my heart and soul have found their way back to where they should be.