In the midst of all this supposed "March Madness," lost are those who fail to see the allure of the NCAA tournament. While I know I am part of a miniscule minority, I know there are other sports fans out there who take no joy in the festivities of the annual college basketball tourney. March Madness spoils what little good is happening in the world of sports in late March, and only offers a mediocre product made popular by the ease of gambling on it.
As a young sports fan, baseball was everything to me, so March offered the hope of a new season, and spring training games were somehow actually enjoyable to me. This was more than enough to keep my attention away from a college basketball tournament I knew or cared nothing about. Now, the Blackhawks offer more than enough to counterbalance March Madness, but five-day droughts (such as the current one which will mercilessly end tomorrow night) continue to afflict me in horrible ways, leaving me vulnerable to the onslaught of college hoops news.
Once teenage years came, and the intrigue of MLB spring training wore off- which it does rather quickly- I was left with a gaping hole in my March sports world. Without access to Blackhawks games, and once the Bulls' era of dominance ended, March was simply a void; the sequel to the post-Super Bowl hangover of February. The NFL does a fine job of keeping itself relevant year-round, but clinging to the little bits of news trickling out of league offices does little to muffle the roar of the masses afflicted with March Madness.
"Maybe I'm missing something here," I wondered one day, "Maybe I can catch that 'March Madness' too."
If only I could go back and warn myself. People always say to trust your instincts. I feel like I always remember that best after I have failed at it.
I had truly not given college basketball much of a chance in the past, so I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. During a year with a roommate who enjoyed college sports, and loved March Madness, I did my best to get swept up in the tournament, and it just did not happen. Everything I knew about college sports was simply affirmed; my past experiences and thoughts duplicated. Any exposure I have had since has been the same.
I am a sports fan. I want to see the best talent in the world competing in a sport that they are the best at. I understand that its not necessarily fair to compare college athletes to professionals, but that is the essence of why college sports, in general, are horrible. When I watch football or basketball, I am not interested in watching second-rate athletes competing against each other; a majority of which will never see any time in the pros because they are not good enough. I do not attend Kane County Cougar games (at least not yet), for the same reason.
College sports, and namely the tournament of March Madness, can be extremely competitive, and thus quite exciting. Sports are entertainment, and I could not argue against the value that March Madness holds there. However, entertainment and overall value are not contingent upon one another.
Anyone who has watched more than one consecutive episode of any MTV series since 1998, knows what TMZ is, or has witnessed any of the trends or fads of mankind over- oh, let's say- the last hundred years, knows that what is popular or entertaining can very often simply be flashy crap. I give you March Madness: flashy crap.
Although it may be entertaining, when I watch the NCAA tournament I am still subjecting myself to, at best, mediocre basketball. The competition, and excitement, remain because of the overwhelming mediocrity throughout the association, but competition does not equate to a better product; it's just easier to sell.
People who are deep and avid basketball fans likely have stock in watching the development of young players, while many others simply enjoy the amount of competition (albeit with mediocre talent), which also leads to unpredictability and the thrill of gambling on it. All of this is just coverup though. No matter how unpredictable or competitive the games may be, the product is still just unpredictably competitive bad basketball. All the glam aside, March Madness is a futile effort to popularize bad basketball- although, one might say the millions of fans, and dollars it generates, deems it a success high above futility.
I suppose my point here is that, I understand why March Madness is so popular, I just figured more people would also realize how horrible it is, and thus refrain from partaking in "the Madness." I do not want to rob anyone of something they enjoy simply because I personally would prefer sticking all the NCAA games on the TV guide channel between the hours of midnight and four AM, I just wanted to provide a logical reasoning for those sports fans who cannot enjoy college basketball, whether it's tournament time or not.
At least, I think there are others like me out there... I think. Maybe I really am alone...
Oh well; at least the Blackhawks are back tomorrow night.
Filed under: College Sports