I’m sure there are many people who could care less about the NCAA tournament. Some just don’t like sports, some see basketball as another senseless manifestation of humanity’s continual preoccupation with the trivial and others are deeply offended that something as useless as bouncing a ball and running back and forth has interrupted their normal television viewing routine.
On the other hand, there are those who are mesmerized by the drama, the thrill, the excitement and the immeasurable pleasure of seeing some high-and-mighty university humbled by a small regional college. There are probably deep and complex factors of human psychology and sociology involved in this slight perversity but I prefer to think it’s just an ancient primal joy in seeing the little guy sling the rock into the forehead of the braggadocios giant.
Aside from those games when our vicarious identity is completely wrapped up in one of the two teams playing, we like that unexpected thrill. We like the storyline of the unheard-of team taking the title with the off-balance, hands in the face, double-teamed smaller guy’s last second shot. There’s the sense of oppression thrown off, humiliation ended and the ultimate justice that it has nothing to do with reputation or privilege and maybe, just maybe, not as much about talent as it is about heart, determination and teamwork.
Yeah, I like that, all of it.
But not nearly as much as I like the story of an ancient carpenter who took on the powerful, the rich, the influential, even the very ruler of the powers of this world. Looked them all squarely in the eye, called them a bunch of snakes and liars, confronted all the self-righteousness, the indifference, the hypocrisy and the secret sin. Let them beat him, mock him, whip him, scourge him, abuse him , insult him and bang him onto a cross and watch him die in agony.
And then, when all of them were sure that they had destroyed him, blew the door off The Lie of Death and walked out wearing the ultimate title: Lamb of God.
Yeah, I love that, all of it.