Community of Madness – Round Deux

Recap | Welcome to March Sadness!

Alex: Whenever any sports enthusiast is asked to explain what makes March Madness so great, they invariably go all misty eyed and say something like, “The kids just want it so bad! The emotion is all right there!” and “It’s single game elimination, anyone can beat anyone! Upsets baby!”

Of course this is all correct. And it also happens to be why I have sworn off March Madness for the rest of my life.

You may look at my bracket and see a mess of incorrect picks and general incompetence. You might say, “Boy, Alex really blew it.” Well, let me tell you what my bracket really is. IT IS A GRAVEYARD OF BROKEN HOPES AND DREAMS.

You see, what people fail to mention while they wax on rhapsodically about the “The Big Dance” is that it’s not just the emotions of the players that live perilously close to the surface. As sad as it is, the emotional well being of entire states, and certain ex-pats, are at stake when teams take the floor. So when my dear dear Purdue lost to VCU this weekend, I wasn’t upset because my bracket was summarily incinerated. I inconsolable because JaJuan, E’Twuan, and Robbie (the Big 3) are going to graduate without a true run at the championship, which I’m not alone in thinking they have the talent to earn. These are young men whom I’ve never met, I’ve never seen play in person, and who live in a state and country I’ve moved away from. But in March, none of that mattered. And on Sunday, I had a broken heart.

Luckily, my frenemesis John Horn is a man that understands this kind of anguish. Which, I imagine, is why he sent me a text message immediately after the game that read: “Suck it Trebek! HAHAHAHAHAHAH!” Exactly the kind of tact you’d expect from the kind of man who’d put Notre Dame in the championship game. Revolting.

John: Everything is over. And I couldn’t agree more with The Great Alex Grant. I hate Canada so much. I had a lot riding on Gonzaga, Texas and Syracuse and their Canadian players. What I should’ve realized is that Canadians can’t play basketball and that Steve Nash is actually a robot from the future sent back in time to defend John Connor.

So, yesterday there I sat on the bus I was listening to The BS Report with Bill Simmons when I realized that Alex and I are actually total geniuses. I listened to Billy parade out expert after expert after expert. From Vegas “sharps” to NFL, NBA and NCAA organizers, gamblers and ex-players, the podcast had it all. And, you know what, all of Mr. Simmons’s pro-panelists made wrong picks, too. Some of them event made more wrong ones than ours. I mean, at least Alex and I didn’t have Indiana State beating Syracuse, Notre Dame in the Final or Purdue winning it al- oh…we had some of those, eh?

Well, my UBC Mens Tier 1 Recreation League semi-final game is tomorrow night. I’m going to put a lot of effort into that game. You know, one that I can actually play and affect change in. Yeah. A game like that, not the clusterfunk that we just experienced in the March Madness tourney.

Moving on…

Predictions | John & Alex Don’t Care

Alex: As I said, March Madness is now dead to me, so I have no interest in making any further predictions and therein further damaging my already deeply bruised pride. HOWEVER, since the Gumboot agreed to my handsome demands (I’m being paid in handsomeness by the Editors, who have that commodity in spades) I suppose I should honor the terms of that contract and make some GD picks.

Let’s see, who’s left…

/Consults bracket

//Begins uncontrollably weeping for the 30th time

Here’s my revised Final Four: UNC, Kansas, Duke, and Wisconsin. And I think Kansas has the best shot to win it all. Just for comedy’s sake, I should say that my bracket has 400 points, out of a possible 600. Sigh.

John: I predict that Ohio State will do an awesome job in the rest of the tournament. Also, what’s a Buckeye? And, even though the Longhorns are out of the tournament, I’m pretty sure that Texas is still going to beat Duke in the Sweet 16. I know, I know, I know what you’re thinking. It’s a ballsy prediction. But that’s what I think. Wait. It’s what I know.

Also, I think that Kansas will be in the final after beating the crap out of whoever the winner of Southeast Bracket Ridiculousness 2011 happens to be. My Final Four: Ohio State, SDSU, Kansas, Wiscounsin.

[INSERT TRASH TALK HERE]

Alex: If I still cared about March Madness, this is the area where I’d point out that Mr. Horn’s picking abilities have left him with exactly three of his Elite Eight teams still eligible, and that’s if everything goes according to this crazy like a fox plans. Sure, he’s likely been puffing himself up like a Canadian bullfrog about that Richmond pick, but let’s not overlook his Southeast Bracket. Apparently, the Southeast is where a high pressure system of erroneous met with a low pressure system of incorrectness, and it created a swirling tornado of just plain wrong which destroyed everything in its path. But that’s what happens when you rely on ole Kalin Lucas and his creaky ankles. Too bad I’m done with March Madness, and won’t mention any of this.

John: Alex Grant is a nice man with a beard – not a mustache – who I am happy to call my friend. He and I will be getting married soon so that I can become an American (sorry Robin) because Canada and it’s players and the American college teams that they play on led me astray and are hereby and henceforth dead to me. Does my decision to marry Alex make sense? Am I married to someone named Michelle right now? Well, these are all questions for Homeland Security and, probably, Robin to figure out. In the meantime, we’re both too hurt to jab each other with anything other than happy chicken wings and even happier steak fajitas and, yes, a hug or two as well.

Alex, what say we write about gardening or Dave Eggers or good wine next week?

Robin’s Chitter Chatter

Robin: Don’t listen to a word of what Alex says about “Being done with March Madness.” After he hysterically cried it all out on Sunday, he whimpered, “Is there another game on? I want to watch.” You can take the skinny white kid out of Indiana, but you can’t take the basketball out of him. PS: I’m beating everyone. Do I care? No.