March 02, 2005

Beware the Ides of March...

... because it's right around then that I'm scheduled to lose my mind.

March is the best time of year. You know why? I’ll tell you why. College basketball, baby. College basketball makes me positively insane. Sometimes in a good way, and sometimes not, but I just can’t get enough. Starting March 10, when the conference tournaments get under way, I will be a distracted, obnoxious, gleeful, nail-biting, foul-mouthed, hepped-up jumping bean, and it won’t stop until after the final game of the NCAA tournament in April.

It affects my job. I have been known to take days off from work in order to watch my favorite teams play - on TV. And when I do go to the office, it takes me way too long to complete anything, because I can hardly finish a task without checking the live-action tickers on the internets every two minutes.

It affects my relationships. I have broken up with at least two boys because of their inappropriate basketball-watching behavior. For those keeping track, "inappropriate behavior" includes, but is not limited to, obnoxiously cheering against the Blue Devils (“obnoxiously” being the issue here), or berating me for my own behavior while watching. Really, in retrospect, those break-ups cannot be blamed on me.

My family does not usually care for me during the month of March. I used to enjoy watching games with my dad, but he refuses to watch with me anymore. I have been formally banned from his big-screen surround-sound basketball-viewing slice of heaven. Hopefully he'll be out of town during the ACC tournament and I can sneak into his house and use his TV. (Just kidding Dad!)

But, I mean, I’m not a complete loon. I will pull for UNC when I must. I can rationally discuss issues, plays, players, what have you, if I am discussing them with someone reasonable, and we can remain calm. I can accept honest criticisms of my team, and will often concede rivals’ superiority in one area or another. Sure. But I suffer rage blackouts when I have to listen to idiots badmouth my team without any good reason. “J.J.’s a fag” simply does not fly. Fans throwing shit at our players makes me crazy, naturally, and “Coach K faked his back injury in '95” sends me spiraling out of control. And this is when I throw keys, stomp my feet, yell obscenities, gnash my teeth, cry, and break up with you.

I just really like college hoops, is all.

And so, in honor of this nauseating roller coaster of love and hate upon which I willfully embark on each spring, I have been reading Four Corners: How UNC, N.C. State, Duke, and Wake Forest Made North Carolina the Center of the Basketball Universe (Book #9), just to get fired up. (Because clearly I need outside help getting fired up.)

I don't have much analysis on this one. It's a pretty straightforward bit of non-fiction. Some bits bothered me, like occasionally shaky grammar and a jumpy story line, but those things only caught my attention because I’m picky, and overall, I really enjoyed it. Joe Menzer had lots of good tales to tell about the old coaches and players, and the interviews were fun to read. It’s a great history, as anyone who has ever lived in North Carolina will tell you. I feel lucky to have been party to it.

No comments: