Monday, March 20, 2006

How Sweet is it?

We go through this every year and every year it seems to get better. No, I'm not talking about being drunk before noon on St Patty's day (although it applies there too), I'm talking about the first two rounds of The Big Dance. The games were absolutely amazing and though it pains me to do so I must give credit to CBS for their almost seemless transition from game to game, with the exception of the Gonzaga/Indiana to UCLA/Alabama fiasco where you could get motion sickness from the amount of switches in a two minute window (which by the way was a tournament record). And the best part about the tournament...watching the games with friends. There is nothing like ridiculous arguments tinged with misquoted tournament history to get me going. I just want to relay this little story about my Sunday spent watching games in the hopes that someone will take my side...although it will never happen.

So we gathered the usual suspects in my friend's apartment on the upper west side. You know how it is, 7 guys who want to watch and one guy who thinks that means an automatic poker game. So about an hour later we're sitting around playing hold 'em when Bradley starts making their move. The effect on the room is immediate as we all stop focusing on the table action and turn our attention to the TV. It's like that until it becomes obvious that Pitt doesn't have enough firepower to muster a comeback and we start dealing the cards. That's when I start thinking...what makes a tournament game exciting? Is it the David vs. Goliath feel or the fact that we can watch basketball players who are actually passionate about the game they're playing? Is it the one and done format or the chance to say "I knew George Mason would make it to the Sweet 16"? For me it's all of it and I love every second.

All this leads us to the main argument of the day which was caused by this idiotic comment (I guess you can tell what side I'm on) "Wouldn't it be great if George Mason made it to the final four?" The majority of the room decided that it would be better if every game was an upset, if every favorite got knocked down a peg or two. When I asked if they were more excited for the Gonzaga/UCLA game or the George Mason/Wichita St contest they said of course UCLA/Gonzaga, but they'd rather have the Braves cutting down the nets on Championship Monday. Am I the only one left who wants to see the best teams advance so that they can face off in instant classics rather than watching Duke or Texas walk into the championship game by beating Bradley and their lanky 7-foot center. Feel good stories are great for rounds 1 & 2, but making it to the final 8 is only for the elite.



Blogger SINGERZ said...

Natan, you forgot to mention a couple of things:
a) The "one guy who thinks that means an automatic poker game" was you, and you won all the poker tournaments (nice work)
b) As little as I know about sports, and I dont know anything, I know that Lebron is better than Kobe (that has nothing to do with this post but I just wanted to say it)
c) Upsets are the best part of the tournament, no matter what round they happen in. If the cinderella team can make it to the elite 8, it means theyve beaten 3 teams "better" than them. Why not one more?

1:12 AM  

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