Saturday, March 3, 2012

the madness begins

This weekend the month of sports madness begins with conference tournaments. Today Murray State eked out a victory against Tennessee State and consequently punched its ticket to the big dance that begins on the ides of March. UNC Asheville will be invited to the big dance as well because of the team's victory against Virginia Military Institute. Quarterfinal games in the America East and Colonial Athletic Association are being played today and in each of these I have a horse in the race. My alma mater has already beaten New Hampshire advancing to tomorrow's semi finals, and the school that employs me, Northeastern, will tip off against Virginia Commonwealth University in a few moments after defeating William and Mary last night.

There are no fewer than 28 basketball games that will be cable or broadcast today in the Boston vicinity. This means that 28 collections of advertisers know that there will be a large viewing audience consuming the fare and, the advertisers hope, paying attention to their persuasive messages. There will be more people paying attention to basketball games today, then have paid attention to me in my classes in 36 years of college teaching.

It is the one and done nature of the tournaments that holds so much appeal. Tennessee State is done now that it has lost. Some teams in these conference tournaments can be invited to others, but what makes fans rabid at these games is the sense that there is no tomorrow for many participants and their followers.

If you do not like sports, and are living with a basketball fan, my suggestion is to visit Peru or some other nation beyond the US borders for the next four weeks.

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