July 25, 2024

The meaning of March Madness: enjoy the game

This archived article was written by: Zach Perrin

There is nothing greater than being a part of the things you love. Whether that is family, friends, work, recreational activities or sports, it is all the same feeling of satisfaction. For me, and millions of other Americans, that is exactly what March Madness is.
It’s that time of year again where we all get to squeeze as many people as we can around a TV to watch the game of basketball in its last stage of purity. Some like to think of the NCAA basketball tournament as the greatest competition in all of sports. Maybe it’s because of its 64 teams that all have an equal chance of becoming the best team in the nation that year, which makes it by far the greatest amount of competition in national sports. Or maybe it’s because every game in the tournament is win or go home, which many believe to be the truest form of championship competition. In the end though, I believe it comes down to one variable that sets this competition above the rest; the competitors.
The only thing these young men and women care about is playing the game they love to the best of their ability. They play to win. They play for pride and glory. They play because they want to be the best. It’s not tainted by money or prizes or giveaways, only a pair of scissors to simply cut down the net after becoming the national champion. That’s what it’s all about. If you don’t believe me, if you somehow think that even this level of college basketball has now been ruined by under-the-table-scholarship money or signing bonuses, then just watch one game of the tournament and take a good look into any one of those players eyes when the game is on the line.
No system is perfect, but it’s obvious that these players still have that elusive desire for the game, not for themselves. It’s the only way you could explain how every year there seems to be at least one huge underdog, low seed, or unknown collegiate team somehow squeak their way into the sweet 16. You just don’t get the same competitive drive out of professional sports. Close game after close game, these young players lay it all on the line every time down the floor, for every possession, for every shot and every rebound.
There is nothing I enjoy more in life than doing the things I love, with the people I love. I mean, it sounds like the perfect combination, right? That’s because it is. I just want to sit down with friends and family, pizza in hand, a little chip and dip, and a few stacks of Oreos, chased down with a little Mountain Dew. Okay, a lot of Mountain Dew. It’s like I have been saying from the beginning: this, is what it’s all about.
So sit back, relax, or don’t relax and have a stroke like some of us because our team won’t stop fouling in the final minutes of a crucial game, grab a few friends and some drinks, and enjoy the party that is March Madness.