Friday, March 14, 2008

It's (one of) the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year for those of us who watch college basketball with relish and delight. The “Big Dance” , which means the NCAA championship series, is the time of year when basketball games on streaming video are in task bars in office cubicles all over the world. My friend who works for Boeing admitted that she had a score ticker on during a meeting yesterday during the WVU-Connecticut game at Madison Square Garden. The Big East championship is going on now. But Sunday the big bracket bingo will begin. Sports radio and TV are abuzz with “who will be in and out of the Big Dance?”

Who’s in or out is fun, but the game is what’s great. Big schools can lose to small schools. Major conferences can lose to “mid-majors”. Top seeds can lose to bottom seeds. Hero’s emerge who stayed in the shadows all season long when single elimination is on the line. It’s a most delicious banquet for those who love college sports. “My” team, the West Virginia University Mountaineers, most likely sealed up their bid and lowered their seed number (lower is better in bracketology) yesterday. Their OK season has given rise to great hope on the shoulders of Joe Alexander.

As a gay man I get accused of not being truly gay by my friends. Last night I had my usual Thursday night drinks and dinner with friends at my favorite gay establishment in Allentown, The Stonewall. I actually got control of the T.V. remote and was able to watch the Pittsburgh-Louisville game (sound off of course) while vintage disco music blared in the background.

My bemused friends just sat and talked to each other---undoubtedly debating whether my “gay card” should be suspended---but I was in heaven. Finally, one of my friends, Russell, looked at the screen and looking at one of the Louisville players exclaimed “He’s hot!”. After that the rest of my “posse” started watching this game with nothing more than the young athletic male bodies thrashing against each other as their interest. It wasn’t exactly a conversion to the sport of the game I would hope for, but it was a start.

Happy bracketing to all. May your brackets be true and your watching sublime!


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