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Front Page » March 29, 2011 » Opinion » Staff Column: Sports Stuff
Published 1,212 days ago

Staff Column: Sports Stuff


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By GARY ARRINGTON
Sports writer

The Super Bowl is the most hyped event of any given year. People are engaged in the process either as fans or as commercial watchers or as betting pool participants.

Last but not least of the Super Bowl rituals is the spread that we all feast on, often more elaborate than Thanksgiving and certainly more expensive. There is nothing like the Super Bowl and they even schedule it late in the day so that we do not have to miss church, except maybe in Hawaii.

I am pretty sure there are no late church meetings on this day.

The next most hyped event in America is what we are in the midst of right now. March Madness is upon us and this March is even madder than most. Who in the heck would ever have filled out a Final Four bracket with these four names on it? Nobody.

Kentucky? Maybe. UConn? Maybe. Butler? Maybe. VCU? Never. Anybody might have chosen Kentucky and UConn because they are somewhat basketball powerhouses and anybody might have chosen Butler since they surprised everybody last year with their run to the final game. But nobody, and I mean absolutely nobody, would have penciled in VCU.

VCU was not even given any chance to make the tournament let alone play past the opening day. Five games later, here we are talking about one of the last teams in still being alive and kicking. Talk about coming to play.

I joined two Tourney pick'em groups to show how smart I am and to pick the final four. I filled out my brackets diligently, with great use of any available brainpower and knew I would be one to beat.

I was excited with my selections and knew I would be the envy of all when this was over, and then came opening day.

My opening day was not good by any standard but then again neither was anybody else's. In one bracket, I was projected by the computer to finish last based on that early round.

In the other, it looked a little better but the upsets I picked did not occur and others did, so I was doubly bad after the first round.

Nobody knew, how could they possibly have known, that the first round would be the best round out there for picks and each successive round would turn out even more strange than the previous one. This tournament has had more surprises than any other single event in my memory. Nothing stacks up to this.

In one bracket, I have UConn making it to the final four and losing in the semis to North Carolina. I had Purdue and Pittsburgh in the other semi-final game. So as you can see, I am done.

The silly thing is, I won this bracket because everybody else was even worse than me. I was horrible and they were worse, how sad is that. Some basketball minds are we.

In the other bracket, I picked no final four teams and only one Elite Eight team and only eight of the Sweet Sixteen. I guess pathetic is the best word to describe my actions here. I still finished in the top half of the entries.

I am glad that no money was involved in any of my actions here because that would have added insult to injury. Maybe now I will learn my lesson.

Maybe I will remember that I am not as smart as I think I am.

But then I look at the other brackets filled out by all those other people and I think, I am still better than most of them.

So what did I learn from all this. I learned that I am OK, not great but better than average and that will do.

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March 29, 2011
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