March Madness is once again upon us and college basketball reigns supreme right now. It is so much fun to watch these kids play ball in this first round of playing. So far the results of the games are for the most part predictable with some exceptions (Morehead). This is true competition just for school pride and the sake of the game. As always, there is lots of money involved, but none of the players receive any of it. For the seniors playing it is for the memory of playing in the “Big Dance”.
Both my son and I watch it, but for very different reasons and from different viewpoints. Having absolutely no athletic talent, I watch it for fun and tradition. My son who has a lot of athletic ability watches because he truly loves basketball. It’s easy to imagine him picking up some moves, while watching these trained players, for the games he plays in as an adult. You can see some incredible shots and easily imagine them doing their smooth moves in pickup games honing that talent to a razor edge. When the game is tight, a close up shot shows the intense concentration and that winning comes with a lot of hard work.
Sports have become so commercialized today and that is a loss for all of us. This NCAA tournament is the final bastion representing sport for the fun and the win. Each round is an elimination round so it’s win or go home. They started playing with sixty eight teams; by Monday, they will be down to thirty two teams. After that week’s play, it will be down to sixteen and so on until the final four play winnowing it down to two final teams. The finale game is always good.
It’s good sport and even better sportsmanship. Many NBA stars arise from this competition moving on from amateur to professional status. But, for just that moment of time, they are just atheletes enjoying the ride and, like my son, loving the game.