I grew up playing sports, and I am always thankful for the lessons learned. I know how to lose, I know how to cooperate with teammates, and I know how to win gracefully. Well, I strive to win gracefully.
However, no lessons could be learned unless you possess a strong spirit of competition – “fire in your belly.” Every game I played helped to build my skills and love of competition. Striving to win (and YES, IT IS IMPORTANT to keep score) helps us learn about our talents and create goals. How does the phrase go? … It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game. OK. That’s true, but why shouldn’t you try to win, while you’re playing nice?
Unfortunately, I don’t play sports anymore. Instead, I park myself on the couch and pretend to be a basketball expert, as I watch the NCAA March Madness Tournament, starting TODAY! I am glued to my brackets.
The routine is the same every year. Jamie asks me when I’m going to pick my brackets. I like to wait until just before the start of the tournament, and then use some combination of statistical analysis, which includes ranking, familiarity with the school name, color of uniform and a combined total of 10 minutes of pro sports commentary. So far this recipe has not served me well. But, the crazier my brackets seem, the more fun I have.
Take for example, my unexplainable love of University of Texas. Why Texas, you ask(and I ask)? I became a TJ Ford fan a few years back, and I really wanted TJ to win. He seemed really nice, and hardworking. In my mind, not only did UT deserve to win the whole thing, but TJ also deserved a cupcake. They also looked great in Orange uniforms. Orange is for winners I decided. Why not pick Syracuse if orange is so great? I really can’t say… maybe it’s because Texas has Long Horns on the uniform. Because of my past Long Horn, long shot pick, I could be assured that I was always rooting against Jamie’s brackets. I didn’t pick UT this year, but I know I can beat him. I just know it!
Brackets make you feel like an expert, being able to say who’s going to win, through several rounds of play. And, when your pick wins, you can walk a little taller and pretend that you knew what you were doing. “Yeah, I picked that team.” When they lose, you can make up some reason or just blow it off. “It’s just a stupid basketball game. Who cares?
“This year I picked Baylor, instead of UTexas, to go all the way. I don’t quite remember what my “logic” was in that bracket. Apparently, Baylor is ranked pretty high, and I’ve heard of the school.
I hope they wear orange.