Catching The Hoop Flu

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.


32 Replies to “Catching The Hoop Flu”

  1. I’m in mourning this year. As a Kentuckian, I bleed basketball. Not blue mind you, but die-hard Cardinal red. With the self-imposed post-season ban, which I totally disagree with, my beloved Univ. of Louisville Cardinals are sittin’ this one out. We are bball crazy here, and it’s breaking my heart. I didn’t plan on watching a minute of the tourney this year, until I spoke with a fellow blogger this morning. In her honor, I’ll be pulling for ‘Nova, and ANYONE playing the Univ. of Kensucky Kittens. No brackets for me this year. Can’t bring myself to truly care.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Understood. Tough blow for U of L to be sitting this one out. Had they been in, given the kind of season it’s been this year, they could have done some damage. I’m worried about the Terps. They have a ton of talent, but it doesn’t always play well together, and it turns the ball over way too much. They could be Elite 8 or out after the first game.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ok, well, since y’all were so kind as to bolt the ACC for the BIG 10 and open up a slot for us in the ACC, I’ll pull for the Terps too. So now my picks are ‘Nova, Maryland, and whoever’s playing sUcKS.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Many of the Terp fans are still getting used to being in the BIG 10. Most of us know it was a straight money grab right from the start, with a little bit of Carolina resentment on the side (both Duke and UNC). After years of Duke and North Carolina hate, it’s hard to get geared up for the likes of Michigan State and Ohio State. But maybe it will catch on. And on behalf of the athletic department at Maryland, you’re welcome 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Best thing to ever happen for our school, not just the athletic dept. Getting rescued, outta the blue, off the island of doom otherwise known as the AAC. It was a gift from the heavens. I loved the Big East, but once it all started unraveling (fuck you ESPN!), and being beaten out for the Big XII-II by the godforsaken Mountaineers, it looked like we were dead in the water. Bball would’ve been fine, but football? Not even close! So again, from Card Nation, Thank You!!! 😃

        Liked by 1 person

      4. It’s so different now. The Big East was the shit man, until imploding. It was brutal, and the tourney in MSG was the best in bball. You win that, you’re battle tested. I love being in the ACC now, but that Big East conference slate and tourney were rad!

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Oh it was! Damn few nights off in that conference in those days. UConn, Syracuse, Georgetown, Louisville, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, Villanova. And that was just for starters!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t mind it, honestly. I do think NCAA players should get paid though, and I do think the hype is a little stupid, but I hate too much hype for anything, even the things I love most.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Certainly, in the bigger revenue producing sports for the schools, the students should get more than a scholarship. I fear that doing that will be a lot easier for the bigger schools than the smaller ones that have decided to play Division I hoops, as an example. As far as the hype, America lives and breathes on hype for just about everything, which of course doesn’t make it right. I guess it’s the way the world works.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s ON, Tracy! Like I said before, I’m sure I’ll be laughing at the bank! 😀 AKA Mr. I’m off for THREE days! Talk about rubbing it in! You’re going to wish you were at work after I laugh at the bank. LOL.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Me, rub it in? Nahhh….

      Ok, sister. Just finish your bracket on time, so I don’t have to hear any excuses about how you didn’t make all your picks.

      And oh yes…I’ll be at the bar tomorrow at noon eastern. Watching my picks cruise to victory 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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