The Madness of March

 TCU Mascott

Yesterday and today in Washington DC, it was almost 70° Fahrenheit. This weekend, the morning temperature will be in the 20’s. And next week they’re talking about snow. SNOW! And that’s the madness of March.  And as crazy as it sounds, sports crazies say, don’t stop the madness.

This morning, Kansas was the overall No. 1 going into The Big Dance, and they were favored to win the Big 12 Tournament. This evening, Kansas played TCU, certainly expecting a win. Instead, the TCU Horned Frogs won 85-82 and were seen jumping all over the place.  Madness.  Never mind Kansas freshman phenom guard Josh Jackson  DNP (Did Not Play) because he was serving a one-game suspension for a moving violation that happened a MONTH ago, but he forgot to tell his coach till two days ago? Madness. 

And just what is a Horned Frog, anyway?

The conference tournaments are just heating up.  The ACC Tournament is being played in Brooklyn at Barclays Center. Madness. In the Big 10 Tournament, lowly Rutgers beat Ohio State.  Madness. And the Big 10 Tournament itself, usually played in Chicago or Indiana, is being played in Washington, DC for the first time  — ever. Madness.

For all tried and true, red, white and blue sports fans, this is the most wonderful time of the year. And we love it. The Super Bowl is only one game, the World Series doesn’t generate the gusto, and the NBA and NHL Finals pale in comparison to the madness of March. So don’t stop it.

The madness of it all is that no-one, and I mean no-one, can predict the outcome and the ending and the final score or the margin of victory or the magnitude of misery that will be produced  over the next three weekends.  And there are so many unanswered questions, like these: Can Kansas, or Villanova, or NC, or UCLA, or Oregon, or – swallow hard – Duke, go all the way? If they don’t who will be the team to stop them? Gonzaga?   Will there be another Cinderella?

The amusement and music of the madness is that we don’t know, but we’ll watch as many games as we can to find out.

The NCAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments, held every year in the month of March, together (but mostly the men’s – sorry ladies) are considered the premier sporting events in the United States, bar none. It’s a fortnight of watching games and making gambles, cheering after buzzer beaters and celebrating Cinderella sleepers. It’s a whirlwind of wild wins and disappointing defeats, all rolled into one raucous ride to the Championship Game.

There are a lot of things in sports that need to be stopped, but March Madness isn’t one of them. Out of control boosters and student athletes not earning degrees and the unspoken evil of the “amateur status” of college athletics are all unresolved issues. On the professional front, “free” agency that costs teams millions, out-of- bounds behavior off the field and out of this world salaries on the court are just a few things that need to be reined in.

But for now, let’s enjoy another March of college basketball when the underdog is top dog and the favorite may be finished in the first few games.

The madness of it all is that the tournament is still pure and unpolluted, uncontaminated and unadulterated, and no hint of a fix or a fraud can be alligated or substantiated. Yes, there’s the every-year whimpering and whining over the last four teams allowed in and the first four teams left out, but this is all a part of the madness.

Who will be the overall No. 1 Seed?  Which teams don’t deserve an invitation to the Big Dance? We’ll never settle all of arguments, so we just live with it and we can’t imagine doing without it. It’s all part and particle of the insanity and the absurdity. And we love it.

So, what needs to be repaired and resolved in your life? Got any madness that needs to be mended? Got any lunacy that needs to be lifted? If you’re like me, you’ve got plenty and a heap. Just make sure that the madness you mend and the lunacy you lend isn’t the glue that’s actually holding the whole ball of wax together.

Most are glad that God so loved this mad, medicated, fast and furious, fuming and infuriated world.  Just like 1st John 4:8 says, God is Love, and Love is a verb, and so Love had to do something for this world. (John 3:16, right?) So Love gave His only Son to die for this mad, medicated, fast and furious, fuming and infuriated world. And the outrageous and outlandish part of it all is that He loves us in spite of us. That to some, is crazy. That to some, is madness. But don’t stop it. Because we won’t make it without it.

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