Saturday, March 25, 2017


This week, I asked my younger brother, "Do they still have the NIT?"  He asked, "How do you even know about the NIT?"  I answered, "When I was a kid, it was a big deal;  UD went there and so did Saint Bonaventure, Gonzaga, Villanova and others; that's how I learned about all those schools!"  As I reminisced, he sighed and said, "Ohio State didn't even get invited to the NIT  this year."  I said, "They always went to the NCAA;  oh, WOW, I remember when Cincinnati and OSU played!"  He said, "You are positively OLD!" 

First, let me say that I am currently abysmally ignorant about sports.  However, as a  teenager, I was a walking compendium of sports knowledge as I was under the influence of my sports-loving brothers and father.  After moving from home and meeting my husband, my interest in sports nearly vanished because Gerald's only interests are golfing and auto-racing, which much to his irritation, I told him that those really aren't sports.

Several years ago, my friend Charles was filling out the brackets for the NCAA basketball championship.  I made an enlarged copy for him to use;  I had the original copy from the newspaper.  As a lark, I also filled out the form along with him.  Charles laughed at my choices and methods for choosing.  I told him, "There is no method to my madness!" Charles kept the forms and would call me after each game, breathlessly, to tell me how we fared in our competition.

Imagine his shock--and mine--when I chose 48 of 64 correctly, and he had 32!

My brother told me that I should enter the next year's competition because I fared better than most of the "experts".

Some of my method:  I always choose Syracuse because they are the "Orangemen" and my family came from Northern Ireland.  Suffering from Liberal guilt for choosing something for ethnic reasons, I immediately chose some Catholic colleges.  I chose Gonzaga because I recalled that it was Bing Crosby's alma mater and a double-whammy, it is also a Catholic school. I chose Butler because Gerald's mother was born there in Indiana. I chose Ohio State because I feared for my own safety from my basketball-crazed friends if I did not choose THE Ohio State University team.  

So, of course, I actually had NO method!

After that first year, it was always our "thing" to complete and compete with our BRACKETS. Charles was especially excited when I told him about President Obama's charts.  He posted his brackets, mine,  and the President's on his wall.  After Charles' death, my interest waned, but I still completed the forms in his memory, and at my brother's amused urging, vying against President Obama's choices.

This year my brother asked, "No brackets?"  I said, "Nah, Syracuse isn't in the competition this year so I'm  just MAD with no method!"

 But good luck to Gonzaga!  

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