HOLY BURNING HELL IT'S THE SWEET 16!
Rounds 1 and 2 get all the hype. This is a fact. You've got four games at a time, buzzer beaters, upsets, people skipping work, and CBS switching feeds like madmen, often screwing up in the process. It's chaos. It's awesome. You spend hours jumping around and marking things on your bracket and cursing Notre Dame for being such lily-white Catholic choke artists. Rounds 1 and 2 are so friggin' crazy they make me anti-papist. And I was baptized and confirmed in the church. Imagine what the proddies are thinking.
But if the opening weekend is your wild cousin who does rally car racing in South America and has a tattoo of a smiling iguana for every girl he's slept with, weekend #2 is your dignified but badass uncle, the one who sits patiently in the oval office and then goes "Frankly, Mr. President, I'm not impressed."
I think everyone gets my point. This is the real deal. This is where something compelling happens with the wheat and the chaff. I don't remember that metaphor. But to all the so-called "cinderellas" still hanging around, I'm calling you out:
Nobody cares if you get to the Sweet 16. It's a bullshit accomplishment. Anyone can have a couple good days. The other night, I won $46 at poker, and I'm a terrible poker player. I just kept waiting on straights, stupidly throwing out three dollars at a time while waiting for a 7 on the river. And on this particular night, the 7 kept coming. But that doesn't mean I'm a sweet poker player, and no big city newspaper man was beating down my door to check on my quirky habits as a youngster or to see which of my family members has a disability that I overcame. All that happened was the other people at the table despising me.
YOU GET ME? NOBODY CARES ABOUT YOU. CORNELL, ST. MARY'S, NORTHERN IOWA: WIN ANOTHER GAME. YOU'RE IN THE BIG LEAGUES NOW. PUNK OUT, AND NOBODY REMEMBERS YOUR NAME. EXCEPT ME, AND I'LL BE ON YOUR ASS LIKE A FUCKING TERRIER FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIVES. I'LL SEND UNWANTED MAIL TO YOUR HOUSE AND HECKLE YOUR KIDS AT SCHOOL. I'LL JOIN YOUR WIFE'S BOOK CLUB JUST TO SAY THAT 'THE KITE RUNNER' WAS OVERRATED.*
*I don't actually believe (or mean) any of this. I'm just putting out language. I ask you, the reader, to latch onto the excitement rather than the content.
You know what I really wish? I really wish St. Mary's wasn't in our bracket. That is one hella fun team. It would be nice to root for them to make the Final 4. I think they have an awesome chance against Baylor, but no shot against Duke...the tough man to man will screw up their guards and take away the long ball. Their ideal elite 8 opponent would be Syracuse. Then they could just get hot and nail 3s and hope to stick with them.
You know who I really dislike? This guy:
That's Kansas State head honcho Frank Martin. Not only does he look like a blockhead football coach, but he basically just yells for 40 minutes at a time during games. That photo above was actually taken during a calm moment. It's the one they use in the K-State media guide, because they couldn't find anything less intense. What's really annoying is that all the ESPN analysts feel the need to praise him to the heavens, like he's some kind of messiah for being an asshole to 19 year-olds.
The whole thing reeks of old dudes who secretly despise the players, can't relate to them at all, and like to see them get treated like shit. "ALL KIDS ARE SPOILED PRIMADONNAS," you can hear them saying, sitting on leather furniture and getting angry at the too-young age of their brandy. "EXCEPT GREG PAULUS. WHAT A SCRAPPER!"
I'll bet anyone a dime and a nickel that within ten years, it'll come out that Martin is a total scuzz ball who either did something awful and abusive to one of his players or sexually harrassed a secretary or other female. He's just that type.
You know what I read this morning? This article, about Kyle Singler and how he has no concern for his body.
Tonight will be an active day on this here blog. I'll be previewing tonight's games, offering predictions that will certainly be accurate within one or two points, and generally obeying the mandates of mayhem. GET READY!