It’s Christmas in MarchPosted by rtmsf on March 17th, 2009
Dave Zeitlin is an RTC contributor.
I’ve often said that the first Thursday of the NCAA tournament is like Christmas for me. So what better time to make a Christmas, err, a March Madness wish list? Here, in no particular order, is what I want as the best three weeks in sports begin:
- To hug a stranger at a bar while cheering for a player I’ve never heard of at a school I don’t know anything about.
- Anyone who roots against a big underdog for the sake of his bracket to be forced to watch exclusively LPGA tournaments through the rest of March.
- Another George Mason to make the Final Four. I’m looking at you, Siena.
- A 16 seed to finally win a game, and not just for the free Arby’s burger. (This promotion, though, is sort of funny, especially this quote: “Each year at this time, people crave that Cinderella story – the team that takes everyone by surprise. Our new Roastburgers offer an unexpected change from standard greasy burgers.”)
- A brawl between Gary Williams’ sweat and John Calipari’s gel in Round 2 (speaking of greasy things)
- A cat-fight between Fran McCaffery’s wife and Rick Pitino in Round 2 (sorry, I must have that mascot brawl on my mind).
- A game that goes seven overtimes. Six is nothing.
- A buzzer-beater that will make Bryce Drew say, “Now that was impressive.”
- A moment so memorable, I’ll always remember where I was when I saw it. (Unless I’m with Jim Calhoun. Wait, why would that happen?)
- Someone just as fun as Stephen Curry to become the new Mr. March.
- Greg Paulus to become the new Miss March.
- Fran Dunphy to win a game. He deserves it.
- Bob Huggins to lose a game. He deserves it.
- Jonny Flynn to keep doing his Energizer impression
- To win my pool, though I’ll settle for keeping my bracket alive past the first day.
- To watch my alma mater, Penn, try to win a game. What’s that? The Quakers aren’t in the tournament for the second straight year? And they had one of the worst seasons in recent history? Excuse me while I jump from the Palestra rafters.
- Jay Bilas to stop hating on the little guy. How many mediocre schools from BCS conferences to do we need to see before we realize it’s the upsets that make this tourney tick?
- Binghamton’s D.J. Rivera to get his revenge for the ultimate snub by torching the team everyone loves to hate. Speaking of which …
- To find a new villain other than Duke. How about … let’s see … um …. Oh, hell, I’m sticking with Duke.
- The announcers doing the Cornell game to abstain from saying things like “I thought Ivy League kids were smart” after a bad turnover. SAT jokes are a no-no, too.
- Players to stop thanking God after wins. I’m OK if Mississippi State’s Jarvis Varnado repeats this gem though: “I’ve got to use my quickness to outquick the opposing opponent.”
- Bob Knight to offer a formal apology for once saying, “All of us learn how to write in the second grade. Most of us go on to greater things.” Hey Coach, those words you’re stringing together for your new website with fellow jerk knowledgeable hoops personality Billy Packer. I’m not entirely sure but I think it’s called writing.
- Gus Johnson to yell even louder.
- Any commentator who says the expression “body of work” more than twice in one sentence to stop getting lessons in awful announcing from Suzyn Waldman.
- Gonzaga not to ruin my bracket for the millionth straight year. Please? If I win my pool, I’ll split the money with you, Heytvelt. You can use that cash for your supply of – and moving on!
- The dude who said, “I’m the weather man” to come back into my life.
- To hear my stepdad explain the same last-second play he created years ago while lamenting, “No one ever does this.” (It’s March. Everyone’s a coach.)
- A team with a great story to rally behind. Cleveland State and North Dakota State seem like good choices, but I’m open to suggestions.
- To tune out anything that has to do with the economy, the wars, the demise of newspapers, octomoms and Dane Cook … and get sucked into a world of college hoops for three straight weeks, remembering so many great shots, players and moments that I have enough material to write another column gushing about March Madness 20 years from now.
- And, of course, to cry during One Shining Moment. I mean, what?
So that’s my wish list. May Santa, I mean Greg Gumbel, come down the chimney and bring it to me.