RTC asked its legion of correspondents, charlatans, sycophants, toadies and other hangers-on to send us their very favorite March Madness memory, something that had a visceral effect on who they are as a person and college basketball fan today. Not surprisingly, many of the submissions were excellent and if you’re not fired up reading them, then you need to head back over to PerezHilton for the rest of this month. We’ve chosen the sixteen best, and we’ll be counting them down over the next two weeks as we approach the 2009 NCAA Tournament.
Mercy Mercy Me (submitted by Ryan Pravato of College Fast Break)
Detroit Mercy was quite possibly the first ‘dog in the fight’ I ever had in the NCAA tournament. Thanks to my dad’s efforts of introducing me to Titan basketball in ’98, I became enamored with Rashad Phillips’ flashiness and grit and thoroughly impressed with Perry Watson’s calm nature on the sidelines. Growing up an hour from Detroit gave me great leeway at jumping on any Michigan-based team’s bandwagon at any time. It didn’t hurt that at that point in my life (age 9) I was gung-ho about underdogs anyway. I also had an uncanny knack for memorizing player’s names and heights, so much so that I was told countless times to ‘calm down’ and ‘zip it’ by my dad days prior to the game because of my constant regurgitation of the info I had read in the newspaper about the Detroit players. Apparently during the game I kept quiet enough, since I do remember that my dad allowed me to stay up late and watch the entire thing with him.
A ‘little’ school like Detroit actually knocking off a powerhouse… that completely hooked me on the sport. It didn’t seem true at the time, it seemed more like something I would have conjured up in my mind the night after the brackets were announced (is that not the best night ever?). All I know is that I owe my dad something really really nice one of these Father’s Days.