Ladies and Gentlegerms, Welcome to BK's World. (SawxBlog Illustration - D.Hixon)
It is my distinct pleasure to introduce to you my good friend and now SawxBlog corespondent, Mr. Brian Kilrain. This is the first of what I hope to be many posts from my fellow Gonzo in arms. He's freshly back from a debilitating trip to the Bahamas, and Mr. Kilrain gives a unique view on March and Beyond.
Derek Hixon - April 2009
Don’t ever go to the Bahamas; Not in March or February or ever. The tribes there grin you in the eye all while they finger your wallet and grope another man’s woman with dexterous and unseen hands. I speak of a place where everything is welcome and nothing is sacred. The half-dozen Montecristos I paid for at the market were cheap fakes… generic stogies with a counterfeit “Habana” band wrapped around the place where a yellowing 79¢ sticker should be. And to think I felt like a bona fide smuggler when the Customs agent decided to not check that particular bag.
Ahhhh… Caveat Emptor, yes? Luckily, the tax-free scotch is real, or at the least a much better copy. As usual, when it comes to vice, I digress. But I didn’t come here to bitch about banana republics where everyone has American Dollar signs for eyes. The real problem is March: The month that ruins my life every year.
Is there a crappier season for sports fans? Face it… this whole March Madness thing is a farce concocted by the NCAA to make a buck while the real sports world sleeps and/or poses for the paparazzi with Playboy Bunnies perched on their healthy shoulders.
It might have been different if I graduated from a school with a sports program to speak of… University of Hartford’s claim to professional sports fame began and ended at Jeff Bagwell (Eat your heart out, Astro’s fans). Even if there was a decent team to root for at UHa, I was far too busy smoking weed and learning about Marxism to care. Yeah yeah yeah, I can hear it now… ‘He’s just too damn elitist!’ What… to enjoy a bunch of no-name future accountants squeaking around a polished maple floor trading an uncountable number of timeouts and missed shots? Was it the cheap knockoff Montecristos that gave it away?
Well, I didn’t merely take in the joys of socialism (Obama!) during my brief college stint. Oh no… I had a roommate that introduced me to the exciting world of professional wrestling. I learned to cheer every time Mick Foley came out of retirement and boo Kurt Angle’s blind patriotism. There was always something I didn’t like about Chris Benoit… maybe it was the blank spaces where his teeth should have been or the fact that he’d eventually murder his entire family. I don’t know. But when I started getting involved (and when I say involved, I mean eating pizza in front of the tv) with wrestling… I also began to appreciate all the petty joys of professional sports fandom.
And isn’t that exactly what the WWE is… essentially a direct nursing at the teat of Petty Joy? We all love statistics… but most of us don’t have the brain space to hold onto too many numbers at once. Playoffs of any stripe are great even when your team has been eliminated (that should mean a lot coming from a Boston Sports fan who isn’t, lately, used to such things). But think about any sports-related small talk you recently engaged in. Did you talk about UNC being the NCAA favorite? Or did you talk about the picture of A-Rod molesting himself with a mirror? Dick Vitale or T-O? Or Manny? Shit… Baseball is trudging through the pre-season doldrums and this very blog has already published a post dedicated to Mr. Ramirez. There must be a serious lack of showmanship during March Madness if baseball hasn’t even started yet and I’m watching videos of Manny riding a bike around the Dodger’s clubhouse.
There is just no drama! I don’t care if these kids play for the love of the game… I can’t stand the poor clock management, the missed lay-ups, and all the wimpy, benched players holding hands on the sidelines. This should just be called Ned Flanders-ball! The month of March is what is wrong with America. What… just because you have fancy nomenclature for each round of the tournament, I’m supposed to swoon? How about the ‘Sucky Sixteen,’ the ‘Is-It-Over-Yet? Eight,’ and the ‘Finally… there’s only Four.
I will admit that there is one interesting constant in the NCAA: that strange breed of beast that eventually become head coaches. Growing up in Connecticut, I was programmed to hold Jim Calhoun to nothing less than deity status. I remember back when he recovered from cancer, my parents were like, ‘Of course he beat cancer… he’s Jim Calhoun!’ But after leaving the state… I kind of get the impression that the rest of the world hates him. One other guy I like is Bobby Knight. Simply pour yourself a large glass of Rebel Yell and type ‘Bob Knight’ into the YouTube search bar… Instant fun!
I have a theory that the majority of failed relationships occur during the period between the Superbowl and opening day. This isn’t tied to any scientific ‘facts’ or ‘statistics’ but rather a raw lump in my gut that tells me, ‘Women and Men can’t stand to be around one another without a good ballgame to cheer at and break up the monotony.’ College Hoops just does not fall into that category. Call it a stab in the dark… but I’m gonna say that is the most probable reason my girlfriend isn’t speaking to me right now. That reminds me… I need to do my chores.
But that isn’t important… Will Pedroia become the Peyton Manning of commercials this year? I wonder what Ocho Cinco is yelling at Carson Palmer about this very second? Can’t draft day hurry up!? Oh, and by the way, the Lions will screw it all up. The very fact that the Final Four is being hosted in Detroit should be a sign for those of us in the know: Detroit, as a city, has died. Why else would they agree to host such a low-excitement tournament? It’s like the Crochet Guild of America holding their yearly gathering in Manchester, NH. The fun always seems to match the destination. I’ve spent enough time in Detroit to know exactly what I am talking about. Belly up.
Which reminds me to warn you, beloved reader: stay away from the Bahamas! Even though they don’t serve alcohol during the tournament, you’d still probably have more fun at Ford Field this weekend. After all, this isn’t college football… so you can pretty well bet that nobody will be molesting your girlfriend.