Ah, March. The return of baseball, the coming of Spring, the nuisance that is Daylight Savings Time. And the annual return of the Hoop Flu.
Unlike this particular blogger, who may or may not have been serious about his dislike of March’s college basketball madness, I love this time of year. So much so, that I take time off from being productive at the day job in order to watch as much hoops as I can. And now that the NCAA tournament televises every game on four different networks, it’s a no-brainer for me to do this. Besides, it’s my time; I earned it; and I go. And everyone at work knows this and it isn’t something that they get upset about. And as the years went on, I started to call this mini-vacation/basketball bacchanalia the Hoop Flu.
This all started years ago, when I was a newbie government employee in my hometown. When I started working at the town office, my boss at the time was a huge college hoops fan. He would often take off work the days of the ACC tournament and the Thursday and Friday of the NCAA tournament. Why? He had the Hoop Flu too. Sadly, he passed away before the CBS/Turner Sports deal to broadcast the tournament was completed, which allowed that all the games of the tournament be televised (though DirecTV offered a Mega March Madness package that did the same thing prior to the deal being completed. Yes, I bought that too-got to medicate that flu). I can only imagine his thoughts at this brave new world. He’d have taken off every day since last Tuesday through Friday for the college conference tournaments, and would have been front and center tomorrow for the start of the all day carnival of basketball.
In the past, these cases of hoop flu often went hand in hand with a little bit of bracket gaming. First I used to set up and participate in an office pool where I used to work, then I joined pools online when I didn’t have to set them up. But last year, I didn’t even complete a bracket. Not one. However, this year, I have offered a challenge to my dear friend over at Life Of An El Paso Woman, the great Lisa A., to a one-on-one bracket battle, and she has accepted. There is a prize at the end of the tournament…but I am not at liberty to reveal what we are playing for. So I’m excited to get back in the game this year, but also a bit nervous, as she has already bragged about finishing second, third and fourth in her bracket pools where she works.
Wait. I’m not nervous. This ain’t my first rodeo; I know what the heck I’m doing here. Bring the heat, sister. And be prepared to taste the sour swill of defeat.
As the challenge goes on, there may or may not be updates as to how we are doing. Depends on how poorly I’m feeling while dealing with the Hoop Flu. No matter what though, I can pretty much guarantee that I’ll be over it by Monday morning. If you watch, enjoy the Madness. If not, the first day of Spring is Sunday, and this will be over and done with not long after the beginning of April.
Which means that the first official command to “Play Ball” isn’t that far away either.