March Adness

I hear tell that the college basketball tournaments are underway now (19 March 2009). The famous, not to mention ubiquitous, March Madness. NCAA Men, NCAA Women, NIT …

How could I miss knowing about this, you ask?

Well, for one thing, here in Hawai‘i, all the games are over by lunchtime. Maybe once upon a time, Hawai‘i was laid-back enough so that working people could just skip work and watch the hoops. Not anymore, not in the land of dead aloha. The mainland tradition of dinner, a brewski, and a game on the tube doesn’t exist here, for the simple reason that, by the time it gets dark in Honolulu, the only sports on television are reruns of poker tournaments or the 1999 World’s Strongest Man “competition”. The experience of turning on the car radio at 7 PM in O‘ahu (where, back in civilization, you’d find the tipoff at the Boston Garden or the first pitch at Fenway Park), and being treated to programs intended for Pennsylvania long-haul truckers at 2 AM – well, it’s a must. If you don’t have a just-painted wall to watch instead.

For another. If I hear Dick Vitale yell out “Sweet Sixteen” or “Final Four, baby!” one more time

For a third …

Y’know, back when elephants had fur, I used to like basketball. I even lettered in it in high school. As the team manager. You think white men can’t jump, you can imagine what it’s like for an Amoeba. But I kept the stats, and the official scorebook during games, and sometimes ran the clock. Sometimes (it was a small town I grew up in) I ran the clock and kept the official scorebook. And the best part – someone else had to deal with the oranges that the players got during halftime (this was way before the Gatorade era). I’m hoping I did somebody some good, and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

Well, maybe except for the time we lost in the playoffs and I lost it in the locker room …

Or the time we won an away game in a hardnosed town and somebody stoned the bus while we were en route home …

Or the year the team went Ganga 1, School 0 (speaking of getting stoned) and the town found out that the coach was gay …

But at least, back then, the game started at the beginning and went to the end, with no interruptions except at the end of each quarter and the three (maximum) times out awarded to each coach to keep the players from killing each other, the refs, or the fans. Not that there were many fans (see “small town”, supra).


Every five minutes (you watch), just as the teams are actually getting to the point where they’re getting some flow, some momentum, where they’re actually playing the game, a little red light goes on in the stands and …


Time out.

Cut to the Cialis ad. And the Verizon, and the Lexus, and the MetLife, and … and … and …

By the time the ads are over, you’ve forgotten who’s playing whom, and why. Hell, the players and coaches have forgotten who’s playing whom, and why. By the time they’ve figured it out again …


If March Madness were still about basketball as it was meant to be played, I’d be happy to spend some time with it.

March Adness, no way. The pitchmen can just keep their sticky little fingers the hell out of my pockets. They’ll disturb the moths.

Besides. If my pockets did still, by some miracle, have coin of the realm in them, I’d use it to support places where the athletes (and their coaches, their fans, their administrators, their agents, etc. etc. etc.) have not yet forgotten how to spell S – T – U – D – E – N – T.

And, just maybe (yes, I know I’m dreaming), haven’t yet learned how to spell Cialis.

  – O Ceallaigh
Copyright © 2009 Felloffatruck Publications. All wrongs deplored.
All opinions are mine as a private citizen.


  1. OC bringing back how basketball use to be was great. I can remember it as if it were yesterday. Don’t forget E-D-U-C-A-T-I-O-N 🙂

    ooops I meant ummm T-H-E-A-L-M-I-G-H-T-Y-D-O-L-L-A-R

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