Well, well, well, March Madness is full underway again. I suppose I could be talking about whatever it is that draws rural men to play with fire or the way that the first hint of green makes others want to get right busy pulling out the old dried plants from the flower bed. I could be talking about the sudden nonsense that has college kids walking around in coats and shorts.
Those are all hints and symptoms of sorts, I guess, but the real story, for those of us who grew up with an old iron rim nailed to a real board backboard mounted to wooden posts set in the ground of the back yard, is basketball.
I hardly watch the game anymore until tournament time. Boy Howdy, do I tune in then!
I love the drama of a close game, as long as I don’t really care which team wins. Otherwise, I prefer that my team have about a thirty-point lead throughout the game. I’m really not an adrenaline junkie, at all. Watching the sun come up is about as much excitement as I need in a day.
That’s a good thing, too, because if I were a gambling man, I’d be bawling my eyes out. My brackets already look like spaghetti in a blender and we aren’t even through the first full round of play. Astute predictor of victory, I am not.
What I have observed, though, is that a good team with discipline, focus and dramatic devotion to teamwork will often beat what is reputed to be a much better group of athletes. A team with more commitment to winning than to personal stats will frequently end up with more points than the group with the nation’s highest average scorer.
My life doesn’t revolve around basketball, though I have loved the game since before I was able to barely get the ball to the rim. I think its highest form comes when five athletes work together in such harmony that they become a single unit. Thinking together, working together, moving the ball quickly and smoothly until the person who happens to have the best opportunity takes the shot.
Unselfishness has always been key to humanity’s release from its greatest curses.