March Madness and the Day That Used to Be My Favorite of the Year

20 Mar

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It used to be my favorite day of the year. Someone—I think it was my friend Elliot—would bring in bunny ears for the TV. Someone else would be in charge of finding an unused television that was just lying around somewhere, and wheeling it into the far corner of our hallway, or maybe downstairs into the cafeteria, behind those fake walls. This was before smartphones and and iPads—back in my day, if I wanted to check my fantasy team in school, I had to go to the computer room, which for some reason was always open and classless—and so if my friends and I wanted to watch the first two days of the NCAA Tournament, and keep up on our brackets, this was the only way to do so.

I always thought that leaving high school and being either in college or in a job like that one that I have now, where I can pretty much watch every game, would make the NCAA Tournament more enjoyable. After all, wouldn’t it be nice to no longer have to sneak around, and watch games in increments of 15 minutes, the maximum amount of time I could stay out of history class without raising too much suspicion?

Turns out, part of what I loved about March Madness was this atmosphere. I still love the Tourney, but I don’t look forward to it the way I used to. Something about sitting there with a bunch of friends, all of us participating in the same pool with our brackets printed out and yelling at the TV, all of us (or maybe not all, but definitely some) constantly rotating between classes and quick game check-ins, it just made it all more special. Today, I’m going to sit here on my computer, do some writing, and some other work, and watch every single game. There won’t be a single major moment that I’ll miss.

And yet, it won’t be nearly as enjoyable as those days in high school were. That is unless I win a billion dollars. If that were to happen, I think I’d look back on this year’s NCAA Tournament and say that I had a pretty good time watching the games.

UPDATE: I had Ohio State, so yeah, this day sucks. I really thought I had a chance at that billion. 

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