Tonight is the start of March Madness, which, as the name infers, will extend into April. Sixty-eight men's teams vying for college basketball superiority, with the winner probably taking home a trophy of some sort. I really don't know, since I always stop paying attention before the Final Four comes around.
That's not to say I don't enjoy the tournament. I love its first week, with over four dozen hard-fought contests between sometimes-bitter rivals.1 The rest of the tourney is a scant fifteen games, but that opening weekend is enough to put it in my list of the five best sporting events to watch, along with (in no particular order): the Super Bowl, the World Cup, the Olympics, and the Secret Ninja Olympics.2
I live in CT, in the heart of UConn country.3 I was a huge UConn fan in my youth, but hopped off the bandwagon after high school.4 So now, while most of my neighbors and co-workers root for their hometown Huskies, I'll go against the grain and cheer on the underdogs every step of the way.
Or, more likely, the underpirates.5
Who are you rooting for this month? Or more importantly, what's your favorite mascot?
1 That's sometimes-bitter, not sometimes-bitten. This isn't Twilight.
2 I'm kidding, of course. There's no such thing as the Secret Ninja Olympics, with events such as Moguls of Death, Steeplechase of Death, and the Extreme Ninja Bake-Off. Really. Pretend I never mentioned it.
3 As opposed to the spleen of the Yukon territory, which never fields much of a team.
4 And jumped on the orchestrasnowmobile instead. Nobody blasting their trumpets in my ear on that one.
5 For reference, there are 8 dogs compared to 8 birds and 12 cats among the team mascots in this year's tournament. Along with the usual suspects (e.g. 4 tigers, 4 wildcats, 3 bulldogs), we also have pirates, peacocks, zips, zags, spiders, gauchos, monarchs, boilermakers, and two different types of aggie. And, of course, we'll also be graced with the closest thing we have to the Lord of the Rings' ents in the real world: the mighty Sycamores of Indiana State.