March Madness of the Basketball Kind
This month we've been talking about "March Madness" of all kinds. I've always associated that term with basketball because I love college basketball and look forward to the NCAA basketball tournament every year. I love to watch the games, and I can catch up on my ironing while I watch. In fact, I just finished making my bracket picks for the tournament. I know they are probably all wrong, but every year, I hope I've picked enough winners to win the pool. My best showing has been third place. Even though I picked the winner of last year's tournament, I didn't pick enough winners in the earlier rounds. So I failed to place.
As I got ready to write this blog, I wondered how the term "March Madness" originated. I discovered that Henry V. Porter, a teacher and coach at Athens High School in central Illinois, coined the term when he wrote an essay that was published in 1939 in the Illinois High School Athlete.
In the essay, he described a basketball fan. I could see myself in his description. (I just have to change the "he" to a "she.")
I've quoted a portion of the essay below.
"In everyday life he is a sane and serious individual trying to earn enough to pay his taxes. But he does a Jekyll-Hyde act when the spell is on him. He likes his coffee black and his basketball highly spiced. He despises the stall — unless his team is ahead. It is a major crime for the official to call a foul on the dribbler — unless the opponent was dribbling. His moods are as changeable as the March wind. He flies into a frenzy at some trivial happening on the court and before his vocal expression of disapproval is half completed he howls in delight at the humorous twist of a comment from a bleacher wit. He is part of the mass mind and is subject to its whims. He berates the center for attempting a long shot and lauds him when it goes in the basket. He is consistent only in his inconsistencies.
The thud of the ball on the floor, the slap of hands on leather, the swish of the net are music in his ears. He is a connoisseur in matters pertaining to team coordination and artistry in action. The shifting zone, the screen and the spot pass are an open book to him. He speaks the language.
He is biased, noisy, fidgety, boastful and unreasonable — but we love him for his imperfections. His lack of inhibitions adds a spontaneity that colors the tournaments. Without darkness there would be no light. A little March madness may complement and contribute to sanity and help keep society on an even keel.
The writer's temperature is rising. The thing is catching. It's got me! Gimme that playing schedule!"
Are there any other female basketball fans out there? If so, who do you want to win?