One of the most consistently entertaining teams in the league this season has been the Golden State Warriors, with the long-range bombs of Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry, as well as the lockdown defense and all-around excellence of Andre Iguodala, contributing to the spectacle. The sixth seed in the mighty Western Conference will face the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round, which looked like a deceivingly even matchup on paper until a rib injury removed key cog Andrew Bogut from the lineup. Elsewhere, I promise this is the last time I talk about the New York Knickerbockers basketball franchise until the end of the playoffs. Also, the Pacers are in dire need of a renaissance from both Paul George and Roy Hibbert if they want to make their date against the Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals.
College basketball has become an Etch-A-Sketch. Each year, as the season progresses, an elaborate drawing forms. Star players emerge, storylines form, Cinderella crashes the ball, and by the end, we’re left with an ornate image to remember the season by. But the moment the season ends, the slate is wiped clean, because any player using half of what he learned in his introductory business classes is packing his bags and heading straight to the NBA Draft. The next season, we learn the names of a new crop of freshman, the names of tomorrow’s lottery picks, and the cycle repeats itself, with a brand new drawing.
…I’m more than enough all alone to keep on ruling until the comet comes by again, and not just once but ten times, because the way I am I don’t intend to die again, God damn it, let other people die, he said, talking without any pauses to think, as if he were reciting by heart, because he had known ever since the war that thinking aloud was driving off the fear of the dynamite charges that were shaking the building, making plans for tomorrow in the morning and for the coming century at dusk until the last coup de grace rang out in the street…
Colin Edwards announced his retirement from MotoGP on Friday at the Motorcycle Grand Prix of the Americas in Austin, Texas. It was unexpected in the way that inevitable ends always are – this was a long time in coming, but it’s hard to be fully prepared for the moment of hearing the speech and reading the words. Even Edwards acknowledged as much – he started the announcement tentatively: “I don’t even know how to say it, I rehearsed it so many times…”
The tournament is over, the net is cut, the
champagne sparkling grape juice has dried in Arlington and the madness has subsided, a numb calm replacing it in the minds and hearts of college basketball viewers everywhere. In some cases, draft plans are already in the works. All that remains is the process of buying a flamboyant suit in which to shake Adam Silver’s hand. But what of the Reigel Theory? Could it be that an emotionally-charged love of basketball, informed only by geography and upbringing, is that much more suitable for predicting a wildly unpredictable spectacle like the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament than a somewhat more “informed,” for lack of a better term, viewpoint?
How did the bracket I pick fare against that of my girlfriend, which I used in every other bracket pool I entered this year?
“Y’all – it was three years ago that we saw Justin Bieber at the exact same place.”
She said it as a point of reference. It seemed like a declaration to all of her friends that they were getting older. Yet, aging in this conversation was coming from a place of excitement, not one of dread. The passer-by and the friends to whom she said this did not look a day over the age of sixteen. That seemed like a year or two below the average of those waiting in line at Time Warner Cable Arena to say they experienced the spectacle that was the Miley Cyrus Bangerz Tour. My girlfriend and I were one of probably dozens of outliers. These outliers also included moms, college kids and other young adults dressed like background performers.
My bracket sucks. But if you’re being honest, so does yours. We all take part in this ritual every year, filling out a bracket and placing our hopes and dreams for riches in the hands of a collection of college kids who can bounce a ball up and down on a hardwood floor better than you and I. Every year it ends the same way, crumpling your bracket into a ball and trying to throw it through the miniature basketball hoop above your garbage bin. You always miss the shot too. Insult to injury.
The problem is this, we only think about filling out this bracket during the few days between Selection Sunday and the first tip in the Round of 64. We don’t analyze our mistakes when the NCAA Tournament is freshest in our heads; instead, we wait and repeat the same mistakes that sunk our bracket the previous year.
Well, not me. Not this time.