The first sign of spring is when you move the clocks ahead an hour.
At least around here.
You'd think it would be when there are little buds on the trees.
But here in Michigan, that hasn't happened yet.
It's just been too friggin' cold.
So it's the clocks.
The second sign of spring starts today, with the opening round of "March Madness".
64 college basketball teams play each other over the next two days.
Actually, technically, that second sign of spring started on Tuesday, when two teams you never heard of played each other for the privilege of becoming the 64th team.
You know. The one that's going to lose to Duke.
Duke is the number one seed in their division, of which there are four.
And this other team, the 16th seeded Arkansas-Pine Bluff will be losing to them.
I say this with relative certainty because no 16th seeded team has EVER beaten a number one seeded team.
In the history of the NCAA tournament.
Which has had a pretty long history.
Longer than I have.
And for me, that second sign really didn't begin on Tuesday because even though I had a bet down on it, I forgot it was on, and forgot to watch it.
So as far as I'm concerned, today is the official second sign of spring.
I always get totally immersed in the March Madness.
And I haven't watched one college basketball game all year.
Because the entire season is all about who's going to get into this tournament.
I don't need the preliminaries.
I guess this makes me not a purist.
I haven't been totally immersed in any sport since the Super Bowl.
I haven't watched any Pro Basketball either.
Except for the NBA All-Star Game.
For the same reason.
The NBA's entire season is about who's going to be in the playoffs.
And far too many teams do.
I'll catch up to the NBA when the playoffs start.
I don't watch hockey.
I think there are too many rules.
I mean, who really gives a crap whether or not your teammate has crossed the blue line before you do when you have the puck?
When that happens, it stops the action.
People who support this rule say that abolishing it would lead to too much scoring.
Too much scoring?
Most hockey games end in scores like two to one.
Hockey cries out for more scoring.
So what all this basically means is that I've just about been completely out of action betting-wise for about a good month and a half.
This is the longest stretch I go through all year.
It's what Shakespeare meant by the "Winter of our discontent".
With my short term memory failing me rapidly anyway, I've had to go back and recover my account numbers and passwords from my Internet Sportsbetting Websites.
A whole friggin' month and a half.
The NCAA tournament is quite perfect.
Unlike college football, where they play all these bowl games and half the time you still have to guess at who the real champion is.
The NCAA tournament starts out with all these teams, and they play each other, eliminate each other, and one of them emerges the winner.
On neutral courts.
Fair and square.
And CBS's coverage is usually quite excellent.
No, you don't get to see all of the games in their entirety.
But would you really want to see 32 complete games over two days?
And 16 more over the next two?
The way CBS does it, unless you are a real fanatic, you don't really miss anything.
So March Madness has put a spring in my step, and turned a middle-aged man's fancy into wagering.
And it means that baseball, where I WOULD want to see 32 complete games over any two days, is just around the corner.
Go, Arkansas -Pine Bluff and 23 points!!
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- mark rothman
- Hi. I am, according to my Wikipedia entry,(which I did not create) a noted television writer, playwright, screenwriter, and occasional actor. You can Google me or go to the IMDB to get my credits, and you can come here to get my opinions on things, which I'll try to express eloquently. Hopefully I'll succeed. You can also e-mail me at email@example.com. Perhaps my biggest claim to fame is being responsible, for about six months in 1975, while Head Writer for the "Happy Days" TV series, for Americans saying to each other "Sit on it."