I have come to the inherent conclusion that the term “MARCH MADNESS” goes far beyond that month in particular. We are all aware that it actually drenches ALL the months where sports are being played. The natural obsessive compulsive support of our favorite sports teams is a prime example of an all-encompassing loyalty at its finest. It is a love that encapsulates our emotions, as we root in anticipation of a hopeful win for our team of choice.
The height of the excitement of the basketball fever that does go along with MARCH MADNESS became all too clear to me a few years ago when Duke was playing Baylor. Now let me preface this part by saying that my mother is a dedicated Duke graduate. She, therefore, has thoroughly enjoyed following “her” Blue Devils’ basketball and football seasons for many years.
I learned a long time ago to never even think of calling her during a Duke game. I, however, broke my rule on this night in March, as Duke battled Baylor in a national championship game. On that particular night, our area was in the throes of severe weather that included a possible tornado. Because of the scary forecast, I wanted to check on my mother, but I knew she would be immersed in the game. I figured that her safety far outweighed the game…or at least I thought.??
I hesitantly placed the phone call. My mother answered the phone in a tirade over the fact that the meteorologist had taken over the screen for way too long and was interrupting “HER GAME!” I said, “But Mama, she is just trying to keep you safe.” My mother’s quick retort was, “But she’s been haranguing for 20 minutes about “rotations” and “upper and lower levels.” Why doesn’t she just say, “Don’t go on highway so- and- so or go to the basement if you live in the western half of the city?” Then she should shrink down into the corner of the screen and let the game take over the larger part!” Isn’t Duke lucky to have such a dyed-in-the-wool devoted alumnae?
I have heard other interesting stories of team loyalty to pass along. One friend recalled the night when Carolina was playing Michigan State in the NCAA several years ago. There were high school kids enjoying the game in their basement. When the power went out, they all panicked, but then came up with a plan. They decided to use the light from their cell phones to help them navigate their way out of the basement and into their cars. They then had a caravan jaunt to a friend’s house to finish watching the game…ahh…beautiful devotion at its finest.
I have a friend whose husband and son are devout Tar Heel fans. They prefer to watch the games by themselves in order to avoid distraction, so as to drink in every detail. If Carolina is having a bad game, they have been known to feel the need to walk around the block just to get away. They were staying in a hotel once when this type of game scenario occurred. Her husband walked out in the pouring rain to deal with the game strife. Her son hunkered down in the hall of the hotel to fight the concern of a possible loss.
Needless to say, I will make certain that my mother and this father and son team are never, ever, ever in the same room watching a Duke/Carolina game together…especially if a tornado is whirling its way towards them while a meteorologist is hogging the screen. Now that would be a true example of MARCH MADNESS at its finest!!!
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