March Madness is here! No single month of the year exemplifies our culture’s need for gambling more than the month of March. The NCAA tournament is everything you would want in sports, incredible competitiveness, underdog narratives and of course hated opponents. It’s all the aspects of terrific story-telling in a 30 day-ish, 5-round meal. But with every meal, inherently there are aspects you love and hate equally…or possibly hate more than your soul would ever allow you to love.
Since we’re all haters at our core, here’s who you can feel free to hate on during the month of March.
1. The Duke Blue Devils,but more accurately it’s their senior guard and overall rich-kid asshole, Grayson Allen. Doesn’t he just look like the kinda guy that needs a smack to the grill? He’s essentially the reincarnate of Christian Laettner, minus the blonde highlights. Duke is a perennial Final Four school, which is annoying enough by itself, but Grayson Allen is a 10th year senior (seriously he was a freshman in like, ’99 right?), who has tripped 3 opposing players over the last 2 years AND threw a dirty hip-check to another last week. If that isn’t bad enough, after every incident he’s acted like a fat kid who got caught stealing cookies from the cookie jar, “who me?” and “I didn’t do it” faces are the only expressions Grayson has to offer. Feel free to hate on Duke and Grayson as much as your soul will allow.
2. The play-in games. The four games before the REAL GAMES that determine which little school that no one has ever heard of, or big school that sucked this year, gets to play in games that actually count. The 8 teams that didn’t quite make the tourney but somehow kinda made the tourney play to see who gets two 11-seeds and two 16-seeds? I’ve never understood how teams that barely squeaked into the tourney, by accident, could somehow get an extra game in order to be an 11-seed in a bracket ranked above teams that won their conference out-right? How much sense does that make? I don’t know what the answer is to this stupidity, maybe have the play-in winners always be the four 16-seeds? Anyway, who cares…..unless Radford somehow beats Villanova in the first round, then this is scenario is awesome AND I LOVE IT.
3. The NCAA/FBI investigations. Seriously, who cares at this point? EVERY D-I school on the planet has been paying players under the table since the mid-80’s in some way shape or form. It’s not a new occurrence, Blue Chips was made in 1994 and He Got Game was made in 1998 for God’s sake. The NCAA “amateur status” players is a broken and archaic model, don’t hate the player…hate the game.
4. Crying fans. I get that it’s a funny moment, but I mean come on. Ok, ok I will admit I still laugh at the kid from last year who looked as if someone stole his Playstation controller mid-game at the same moment that his puppy died while his favorite Power Ranger got beat down with Harry Potter’s sword-stick thingy in a pool of Spaghetti-O’s……..or whatever these kids are into these days.
5. People that don’t understand how to fill out a bracket. It’s not complicated, you pick a winner for each game and write it down next to the game. That’s it. THAT’S the solution to the mind-blowing puzzle. Choose by team name, geographic location, mascot, team color, or some random family connection. Truthfully, you all have as much of a chance as a college basketball analyst.
- Sidenote to this one, if you don’t watch college hoops all year and then annoyingly talk like you’re an ESPN analyst because you read Joe Linardi’s article this morning and watched Bracketology on the World Wide Leader, just shutup and sit down. Enjoy the games, root for whoever you want, but don’t regurgitate something you read and try to pawn it off like it’s your idea. Don’t be that guy.