Countdown to the Madness

In a charity game last night to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Man U’s playing in Europe (and the Treaty of Rome marking the start of the EU) Man U defeated an Europe XI 4-3.  Like an all-star game in any sport there was plenty of goals, chances, highlight moves and zero tackling.  And the booing of LP’s Carragher, Fowler and Gerrard when they had the ball was excellent.  Did anyone say Charity Match?  But the highlight of the match was this insane free kick from Ronaldo who’s simply the best player in the world right now. 

These are games sports fans watch in order to prepare for March Madness.  It was perfectly mindless sporting entertainment.  Fast-forward to Thursday afternoon when millions will be sweating every point scored as they frantically check brackets, point spreads, upset specials and then shove all that aside when their favorite team plays.   And then let’s do it all again on Friday.  That is the greatest part of the NCAA Tournament, the turnaround time.  No 50 days between games like the Florida-OSU football title game or endless marathons that are the hockey, basketball and baseball playoffs.  If your team scores an upset on Thursday, get ready for Saturday’s game.  In the age of chatrooms, hyper talk-radio, endless Sportscenters etc. its great not to have every game over-analyzed to the extreme.  Except for the Final Four, the longest lay-off teams have between games is 5 days before the Sweet 16.  And since there are 8 games over those 2 days its easy to avoid all the hype that encompasses 1 game.   The single worst media invention in sports is the two weeks before the Super Bowl.  The single best media invention in sports is switching to close games during the NCAA tournament.  Can’t wait for the Madness.    

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