It’s the most wonderful time of the year

Thanks for reading Chatham County’s leading news source! Making high quality community journalism isn’t free — please consider supporting our journalism by subscribing to the News + Record today.

Unlimited Digital Access begins at $4.67/month

Print + Digital begins at $6.58/month

Posted
Updated:

As I’m writing this, the future of baseball looks bleak.

There’s no sign of a deal coming into place and even the potential options aren’t intriguing. A 12- or even 14-team playoff has been put onto the table. The 162-game season, one that makes baseball so unique, will suddenly lose its meaning.

But I’m not here to write about that nonsense. Today, I want to write about March.

I love March. It’s the greatest sports month of the year. The NHL and NBA head down the final stretch of the regular season while the smell of baseball is usually on the horizon. But most of all, March equals Madness.

If you want to know how excited I get for March Madness, look no further than my freshman year of college. Worried that someone might try to steal the dorm lounge television before the ball was tipped, I slept on the lounge couch like a Cameron Crazie sleeping in a tent before a UNC-Duke rivalry game.

When March Madness was canceled because of COVID-19 two years ago, I improvised.

Devastated that I was missing out on Selection Sunday, I created my own bracket.

This time of famous Jewish Celebrities.

I had play-in games, potential upset matchups and a shocking omission. Poor Jerry Seinfield. Wildly, it went viral, gaining more than 500,000 impressions. Rapper Lil Dicky, CNN’s Jake Tapper and even college basketball analyst Andy Katz chimed in on Twitter.

I even went all the way through the bracket, playing out the games through a fan vote. Ruth Bader-Ginsburg knocked off Moses to win the National Championship.

I’m not a major bracket maker. I’ll usually make three: a serious, an upset and a heart bracket.

That Thursday and Friday slate of games is my favorite day of the year. It’s something about the thrill of a 40-minute game and college athletes playing for their school and a dream of winning a National Championship.

In high school, I remember racing home from school to catch the early games and even skipping one day to watch the BIG 10 tournament. I’ve woken people (Jordan Poole’s shot against Houston), watched my friends knock over furniture (R.J. Hunter’s shot vs. Baylor) and had my heart broken (Mizzou losing to 15 seed Norfolk State).

For the next two weeks, I’ll be unnecessarily checking bracketology and watching too many conference tournament games.

This year doesn’t feel any more special than any other season. None of the schools that I’m connected with (Mizzou, SLU, Michigan) are playing fairly well. But that’s OK. Bill Raftery will still be yelling “with a kiss” and that’s all that matters.

Max Baker can be reached at max@chathamnr.com and @maxbaker_15.

Comments

No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here