A saucy female perspective on sports pop-culture

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Silent Screams

Did you hear it? It was earth-shattering! Around 3PM EST grown men in suits were struggling to read their PC’s, construction workers stopped all work, and those lucky SOBs in bars put down their beer. Yes, the first major upset of the NCAA tournament had already taken place with Oklahoma falling to Wisconsin-Milwaukee, but now the country stood un utter shock as Boston College was entering it’s second overtime period against Pacific. The darling of most bracket pool entries was facing sudden death, and work productivity continued its downward spiral.

Most studies will tell you that office employees are least productive on Fridays or days before and after a holiday. I’m willing to bet that the first Thursday of March Madness could also be thrown in that bunch. As BC entered its second OT period, I couldn’t even count the number of groans, exhales, or silent gasps I heard across the office. I think the internet might have been fried with all the users clicking “Refresh” on their computer to see if BC had survived their first-round scare. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted BC to win, but I was really going to relish the verbal abuse I’d get to throw my Bracket-Buddy’s way because he had picked BC to take the tourney. I wouldn’t want any of the No.1 seeds to loose in the first round because I have too much riding on them for the rest of the tournament, but how fascinating would it be to see the fall out if a Duke or Villanova lost in the first round?

I envision complete anarchy erupting! Can you imagine seeing a multitude of grown men cry as they witness the implosion of their beloved bracket before their very eyes on the opening day of the tournament? (I’m sorry but that 16a vs. 16b crap was hardly an opening game!) Of course, I’d be right there with them, wiping away my own tears, but I’d be hard pressed to say whether they were tears of sorrow or tears of laughter. Then on the other side of the pity-party would be all the taunters who “claim” that they knew ALL SEASON that Duke wouldn’t make it out of the starting gate. Yes, you would witness the nah-sayers crawl out from the woodwork to taunt their cry-baby bullies who spent all season telling them to “shut up” or “stuff it” as their beloved Reddick sank three-pointers worthy of record books. Tee-Shirts would spring up on the Internet that read “I survived the Black Out of ’04, I survived the Hurricanes of ’05, I survived the Blizzard of ’06, and I survived Duke loosing in the First Round because I’m an alumni of Southern!” The skies would turn white from the multitude of bracket-sheets being tossed out the window and the sanitation works would go on strike from the clean up of disposed Duke paraphernalia. From this day forward, all recounts of the 2006 tournament would be qualified as “The Year a No.1 Pulled a Blank.”

Oh honestly, I highly doubt it would happen, but the fallout would be one for the ages. It’s hard to say what we love more, the joy of victory or the joy of a defeat that we can throw in our opponent’s eye. Thinking back to my own sports history, whenever OSU beat Michigan, I recall the guilty pleasure of year-long taunting I could dish out to any Michigan fan I met much clearer than the euphoria of the final winning touchdown. (Well, then again this past year's game had one dandy of a final running TD!) We’ll have to see who takes the hardest fall, but BC pulled out a nail bitter of a victory and Tennessee is looking poised to make grown men cry.


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