Madness Indeed

March Madness is the only time  of year that my otherwise sensible husband goes crazy.  Before we had children, and the concept of "leisure time" still figured in to our vocabulary, I knew not to expect too much togetherness in March.  It was sacred time.

Basketball_2My man has college basketball running deep in his blood.  The first time I ever saw him cry was when the Arkansas Razorbacks won the NCAA tournament in 1994, three months before our wedding.  Tears of joy poured down his cheeks, and he planted a kiss on me that may still be the most enthusiastic one I’ve ever had.  Certainly the most salty.

He has made me promise that I will play One Shining Moment at his funeral someday.  I have reluctantly agreed, and I’m just praying I pre-decease him.  (Which, come to think of it, might not be such a good idea, or One Shining Moment might get played at my funeral.  Oh, heavens.)

As the years have gone by, his passion hasn’t waned, but his leisure time has.  The demands of life keep him from watching as much college basketball as he’d like throughout the year, and he’s been a real sport about it.  That man makes sacrifices more cheerfully than anyone I’ve ever known.

But when the second half of March rolls around, I can see the hairs on the back of his neck standing permanently at attention.  Now he has three boys who happily pile on the couch with him (though I suspect they’re in it more for the steady flow of cheese dip).  He can fill out a bracket that will usually slay anyone else’s.  In fact, I have learned that the easiest way to drive him STARK RAVIN’ NUTS is to explain him to the reasoning behind my own convoluted bracket.  My logic for this year’s bracket goes something like this:

1.  Always pick SEC teams.
2.  ORU and Oklahoma make it to the Sweet 16, because, well, they live in Oklahoma, and so do I.
3.  I have lots of friends from Kansas State and Texas A&M, so I have to vote for them.
4.  Gonzaga will advance far, because Gonzo has always been my favorite Muppet.
5.  So will Temple, because, well, Jesus worshipped in the temple, right?

[This is where his eyes start to roll back in his head.]

6.  I plan to vote for John McCain in November, so I have to pick Arizona to go far.
7.  Memphis will make it to the Final Four, because they have such nice barbecue.
8.  Duke will take the whole thing, because I feel sorry for Mike Krzyzewski that he has such a difficult last name.

Now you see why I never actually bet any money on this.

So if my blog posts seem disjointed the next couple of weeks, know that it’s because I’m being interruped by shouts of joy and anguish coming from the man sitting on the couch next to me.  Well, and all the cheese dip.   

63 thoughts on “Madness Indeed

  1. holly says:

    My husband told me to play How Great Thou Art at his funeral. I don’t really believe the story that he likes the song and it is not for him.

  2. Brenda on the S OR Coast says:

    Ha! The Scoutmaster and I were married March 19,1994, at the height of March Madness. He is from Arkansas. Can you guess what we did in the honeymoon suite? Good thing that was before we had 6 kids and I still had enough attention span to watch a basketball game!

  3. Fresh Girl says:

    Well, I definitely appreciate #7 on your list. 😉
    I think I love your husband! Someone else who appreciates March Madness as the Most Wonderful Time of the Year! 🙂 If he, or you, for that matter, needs another bracket to fill out, I’m hosting one on my blog (see today’s post) and the person with the most points at the end wins a $20 gift certificate to Amazon. Anyone’s welcome to play!

  4. Queen B says:

    Your logic makes complete sense to me. You can’t root against The Temple. It would be sacrilegious.
    When March Madness rolls around, I always think of your hubby. Because he is, in fact, more enthusiastic than any other fan I know.
    Best of luck with your bracket…I am filling mine out this evening. I plan on cheating off of someone who has more basketball knowledge than I have. Which could be, like, my dog.
    Go Hogs!

  5. boomama says:

    Memphis CANNOT make it to the Final Four b/c that will mean that State did not beat them. And that is unacceptable. Good BBQ or no.
    🙂

  6. Jessica says:

    March Madness is a family favorite with us as well! My entire family, aunts, uncles, cousins, parents, all compete against each other with our brackets. I am considering havng a bracket competition over on my blog. I’m hoping to get some people who are interested! 🙂

  7. Beth Ingersoll says:

    My husband is a Dukie, BIG TIME!! Duke should win just because of Coach K, because he is AWESOME! (Gosh, it almost sounds like I actually watch basketball…)

  8. Sheila says:

    Way to pick the teams! That’s awesome. Probably why men hate it when women watch sports with them, but it makes about as much sense to me as the methods men use (and it’s not like they’re right, either !).
    Visit To Love, Honor and Vacuum today!

  9. roy says:

    I hope my wife agrees with my request for singing of Ps 128.
    So much for the token comment relevant to the thread. I noted the books on your reading list. Would really love to read what you thought of “A Distant Grief”, especially in context of your recent visit to Uganda.

  10. Janelle says:

    If I can’t decide between 2 teams I go with which mascot could take the other one in a fight. And kudos on going with K-State. The Wildcats probably won’t go far, but I love ’em anyway.

  11. This Military Mama says:

    When I lived with a friend of mine her boyfriend [now husband] tried to coach me on how to make a good bracket for that season. I followed along well but by next season I coulddn’t remember a dang thing! Basketball to mean isn’t fun to watch on T.V….live though now that’s great.
    I understand about funeral demands…my husband wants a full blown Navy funeral. Every possbible thing he can have, he wants. Me…I want the song ‘I can only imagine’ and every one in bright colors.

  12. Brownie says:

    I really like your logic. I may use some of those reasons myself to irk my sweet hubby. Great BBQ isn’t the only thing going for Memphis, so we are rooting for them to go as far as they can! Sorry MS State ;( It is so fun to have something to do together that doesn’t require any money or a babysitter. I love events that can also involve sweats as actual attire.

  13. suburbancorrespondent says:

    My husband and I have never discussed what we want played at our funerals. I don’t think I knew that they play any music at funerals, actually.
    Oh, well, at least we have something different to talk about on our next date night…

  14. pam says:

    I won’t hold it against you that you forgot our Kansas Jayhawks. Your system makes perfect sense. This year March Madness spreads itself into April. The moans, the yells, the thumping of the poor sofa, the phone calls to old college buddies as they replay each move—I’m glad Basketball is my favorite sport. Three long weeks and then life will resume.

  15. Candace (Mama Mia) says:

    Love your reasoning. You even made my husband laugh!
    My husband knew that I was a keeper when I let him watch March Madness during our honeymoon! We were staying in a B&B where the only tv was in the common area.

  16. Tammy says:

    The only thing that ranks higher than March Madness is the beginning of Alabama football season…. of course, then our season stinks and the only thing to look forward to is March Madness! 😉
    Your blog is hysterical!

  17. Darlene says:

    That is so funny and oh.my.word do I know what you’re talking about! I read your logic to my hubs and he is still trying to figure it out! They just don’t get our logic at all.

  18. Suzie says:

    March is the same way for me…I love it…David willingly keeps the three boys and “lets” me go shopping or to a movie…except this year he has a dislocated fracture in his foot. I can’t very well leave him with the three boys this time 😦

  19. erin says:

    Hehe, your method is about the equivalent of mine, except that I take into consideration the color of the teams’ jerseys. Purple vs. Orange? Purple wins!

  20. Margie says:

    I once won an office March Madness bracket competition because I chose the teams based on which team colors would look best together. You can imagine how angry the “boys” were! To me, THAT’S logical!

  21. Dayna says:

    It’s a good year for my husband when his bracket beats mine, which hasn’t happened often in our nearly 12 years together. I won’t be able to honestly pick my beloved Sooners to go far, but as difficult as it will be, I will give those Longhorns a chance to go far.

  22. MamaToo says:

    Last year, my husband (who sounds related to yours) and I “bet” a custom-designed date on our NCAA brackets. The loser had to design & make arrangements for a great date for the other one. Budgets applied, of course, so it was a challenge for the creativity.
    My brackets are generally filled out by color: certain combinations are more desirable than others. I like blue and white, don’t like orange and black. Etc. Etc. Etc. My husband rolls his eyes and tries to explain rankings, stats, and the like.
    Crazy thing happened – I won! I don’t even know how the whole multiplication of points works on those brackets, but I beat my dear Mr. Kenobi in the madness of March ’07.
    Anyway – best of luck to you, and while I definitely agree that money should be off limits, go for a fun bet that will give you some together time after the madness subsides! 🙂

  23. Melessa says:

    Arizona is a very good call. I lived in Tucson one of the years they won. It was crazy times that night. (Of course, I live in Norman so I’m no stranger to crazy times.)

  24. Leslie Cardwell says:

    Oh I love March Madness!! But you didn’t mention Carolina, and they have to go all the way because three of my four children were born in NC! And Georgia needs to advance because they overcame such odds (and tornadoes) to win the SEC! And my fourth child was born here! Seems logical to me!
    ~Leslie

  25. Leigh says:

    Ah, what sweet memories for this Gator gal watching the One Shining Moment link! And altho my precious Gators are not in the big dance this year, I will still watch all the games and enjoy the great plays, the buzzer beaters and the Cinderellas that make March Madness so fun. And, for any of you who need a team to cheer for, starting Thursday, may I suggest the Baylor Bears? Having sent one child through Baylor, and with another there now, they are my team this year! Sic ‘Em, Bears!

  26. Leigh says:

    Ah, what sweet memories for this Gator gal watching the One Shining Moment link! And altho my precious Gators are not in the big dance this year, I will still watch all the games and enjoy the great plays, the buzzer beaters and the Cinderellas that make March Madness so fun. And, for any of you who need a team to cheer for, starting Thursday, may I suggest the Baylor Bears? Having sent one child through Baylor, and with another there now, they are my team this year! Sic ‘Em, Bears!

  27. Stephanie says:

    Just a warning, if you ever take your husband to the NCAA Headquarters in Indianapolis, the basketball section has “One Shining Moment” looped, playing over and over again…it was a tearjerker!
    One year all of the coahes at myschool made bets on their brackets and one of their wives, who picked each team based on which team color she liked best between the two teams, WON! I think I might try that :).

  28. HM says:

    Of course being the loyal Aggies that we are, we are chearing them on…..in hopes that they can saw the horns off!!!
    I am sure non-Texans have no idea that I am not doing some sacrifical ritual!

  29. Deb Capone says:

    I HAVE put money at the dog and horse races based on the color their silks, the ‘cuteness’ of their names and if they ‘look nice’. Naturally, I never won a dime.

  30. Celly B says:

    I so identify with your logic! I didn’t even know there was an NCAA tournament until I married my husband. Each member of his family fills out brackets, and my father-in-law keeps score with some complicated points system. My logic, which primarily relies on geographical connection and emotional ties, lands me in the bottom of the contest every year. Last year, I believe that I was behind my son and his cousin, who were both one at the time!

  31. Heather says:

    Being married to a sports writer you have no idea what this time of year does to me.
    Well, every time of year.
    Luckily I like sports and I fill out my brackets faithfully.
    And I beat him every year with a smile on my face.
    It’s pure luck though I must say.

  32. Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks&Meb says:

    Yes, since we are in Big Ten country (and with four Indiana teams in the Big Dance), I know what to expect for the next few weeks.
    He has to follow our teams in the men’s and women’s NCAA tourney.
    Hehehe, I have long told my family I want the song “I Can See Clearly Now” sung at my funeral.

  33. Britni says:

    I do the same thing with my bracket. I look at the teams and say, “Oh my husband is from Texas, my family lives in Kansas, I almost went to Georgetown, etc. Means that Texas and Kansas are meeting in the final game because they are family hometowns. I’ve actually won every once in a while with my choices. Good luck to you!

  34. Randall says:

    Sounds like perfectly logically reasoning to me! It’s just like how I route for golfers because they have cute wives and children watching on the side.

  35. Bella says:

    I have 2 Carolina Blue fans out of the 5 males in the house…and the fav uncle is Mr. Duke…hehe…I am going to use your pics just cause I’ll sound like I actually thought about it this year…thanks for the easy way out!

  36. aimee says:

    Oh that’s totally how I fill out my bracket, too. And, one year I actually came in second–to the great dismay of all the guys who had poured over stats, etc. to fill out their brackets!!!

  37. Shalee says:

    I see no problem with that bracket system. Men… they just don’t get logic well.
    And I’d go with the Memphis idea too. Yum! Now I have a sudden craving for some Rendevous ribs…

  38. Blakely says:

    I love it when my crazy picks beat my husbands picks. He spends hours thinking about his picks. I always pick SEC teams, then teams from my home state, and then the state my parents grew up in. One year I picked teams based on school colors and did better than my husband. I love March Madness.

  39. Christine @ Serenity How? says:

    What’s wrong with that? It makes perfect sense to me LOL!
    I cheered for a certain college football team just because the QB’s mother was a patient in the office where I used to work. Nice lady.
    I have no trouble with your system. 🙂

  40. Tammy says:

    UNCC!!
    As for the Duke coach,he is referred to as Coach K in the media.I personally find Duke annoying.
    I find it funny that OSU Buckeyes nor UF Gators didn’t make it to the tounamnet.I think read that this hasn’t happenned in 28 years.
    SEC teams are good in football,that is why OSU lost 2 times in the BCS!!

  41. Linda Sue says:

    Thank you sweet Lord that my DH is NOT a big tv sports fan. A little low key professional football during the season and he’s good to go. We are not doing the March madness but I’m sure your reasoning beats all that silly stuff like statistics and rosters and time of the month.

  42. Minnesotamom says:

    HAHA! I love your reasoning. Sounds a bit like mine. George, an older gentleman at work, came around yesterday offering brackets, and I politely declined. Haven’t paid attention to college b-ball since high school. And I’m okay with that. Echoing what Linda Sue said–so glad my hubby isn’t into televised sports!

  43. Pam says:

    Loved your post. I always pick the team that’s in the best (read warm and sunny) climate. Drives my hubs mad. : )

  44. Milk in the Closet says:

    So funny! It makes my husband mad when I like or dislike certain teams because of their uniforms, but he doesn’t like certain teams simply because they’re from California. (Sorry Californians.) No logic.
    I’m posting our picks on Thursday! Let the games begin!

  45. Minnesotamom says:

    HAHA! I love your reasoning. Sounds a bit like mine. George, an older gentleman at work, came around yesterday offering brackets, and I politely declined. Haven’t paid attention to college b-ball since high school. And I’m okay with that. Echoing what Linda Sue said–so glad my hubby isn’t into televised sports!

  46. Katrina (Callapidder Days) says:

    Ha! Your madness…er, I mean method…sounds much like mine. I usually pick schools where my friends went. Or schools in towns I like to visit. Or schools whose names I think sound nice. Very scientific.

  47. Kim says:

    Your logic is alot like mine! We went to a horse track once, and myself not knowing anything about betting picked a horse named Arnold Ziffle (ya know the pig from Green Acres) to win! He was like a 50 to 1 short, but hey I liked the name. Wouldn’t you know it he won! How cool was that! To funny!

  48. Andrea says:

    LOL! Our logic is EERILY similar, Shannon! Why, with such stellar reasoning, you’re sure to go far!!

  49. Caren says:

    I am a SEC football fanatic and Auburn University Graduate but not much on basketball, however every year at my former office in North Carolina (I am now a SAHM) a bracket would circulate. I am proud to say that I can talk SEC Football with the best of male football fans and am louder than my husband in the cheering section but alas, I pick basketball teams for the brackets almost exactly like you. The SEC always has a showing, and because I have attended classes at Duke and NC State they place high for me too. Coach K was at USMA, my husband’s Alma Mater, so that is a factor as well. It isn’t scientific but it makes me happy. To me filling out the bracket is the best part of March Madness; we rarely watch the games themselves.

  50. Rhonda says:

    Try using my “Who has the cutest quarterback” system next year at Super Bowl time, and he will really be impressed. 🙂

  51. Jennifer says:

    I filled out three this year.
    1. Who’s mascot would win in a fight?
    2. Which team’s colors do I like more
    3. My “real” selection, including some of your reasoning!

  52. Therese says:

    My criteria for picking teams is which uniforms are the prettiest. I usually don’t fare so well.

  53. Alice says:

    This is a bit late as I’ve been away from the blog reading lately…but I thought you might appreciate it.
    I let my 4 yr old fill out a bracket this year for my dh’s office pool (no money involved). He was adament that San Diego would win it all. We live in Virginia and have never been to California so I was a bit perplexed. It took me a few days to realize he was thinking DIEGO, as in Dora’s cousin. 🙂

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