Last weekend, as college basketball teams were playing to reach the Final Four, I found myself in a strange position: leading my office “friendly” pool after three of the four teams had been decided. I had Kentucky and Wisconsin. I even picked Michigan State to make it. I never win March Madness pools or similar challenges, I don’t play fantasy anything, and I don’t bet. (Andrew’s godfather – John Lane – says it best: “I have the same chance of winning the lottery whether I buy a ticket or not!)
But here I was, getting giddy at the prospect of leading our pool going into the final four games.
And then my head lost out to my heart.
I so wanted Gonzaga to get into the final weekend. I so did not want to see another Duke team in the Final Four – even if I thought they had the best chance to beat hated Kentucky. So I went with my heart…and got bumped from the top perch.
However, I was still close…until the first game of the semi-finals, when I still could have come out okay with a Michigan State win. The Spartans, however, were thoroughly thrashed by Duke. Another “heart” beaten by “head” game. But the heart had one more chance.
And the heart WON! My main desire of this March Madness tournament was to see Kentucky lose. I hate the one-and-done culture. And don’t get me started about John (“I didn’t know anything about those violations”) Calipari. I had picked Wisconsin to make the final, and with a glorious and fierce last 7 minutes, the Badgers pulled it out in a classic.
So, I have one more chance, although our current office pool leader (who happens to do all my finance work) also has Wisconsin to win it all, so I don’t have a chance to come out on top. That’s okay. If I won, I might be tempted to actually throw some money into a pool the next time around, and you know, I have the same chance of winning…
In any event, good-bye basketball. (I don’t watch the NBA. Any sport that allows a team to take a time-out and advance the ball to the front court has decided that rules don’t matter. That would be like allowing a football team to move the ball past the 50-yard line whenever they wanted to in the last two minutes of the game.)
Opening day is tomorrow. Nats vs. Mets at Nationals Park. Max Scherzer on the mound. (Unfortunately, I will be on the road traveling, but I’ll try to catch a bit of the game.)
And to whet your appetite, check out this cool article in today’s New York Times about how long it will take to break various records in baseball. The numbers suggest the single-season home run record could be broken again in as little as 49 years. Batting average? We’ll all have to wait 250+ years for that to happen!
All in all a great read about some wonderful baseball history.
More to come…