The NCAA basketball tournament starts in earnest tomorrow.
(I don’t recognize the ‘play-in game’ as being part of the shindig, really. Sure, it’s great for the team from an itty-bitty school that gets to play one more game before hanging up the jock straps for the season — but mostly, it was invented to squeeze a little more cash out of the fans for the event. Who ever started an elimination tourney with sixty-five teams, anyway?
Nobody, that’s who.)
“That’s a mascot I don’t want to see, I don’t need to see, and I’ve paid upwards of twenty bucks at a peep show specifically to see.”
The days between the bracket seeding announcement and the actual tournament are the most fun. Partly, that’s because the anticipation is often better than than whatever the wait is for. Partly, it’s because arguing over how Cincy got screwed over, and who at the Air Force Academy slipped steak dinners and hookers to the selection committee to get their team in, is always entertaining. Mostly, though, it’s because these are the precious few days when we can laugh and point at the postage stamp-sized schools from piddly little conferences that made it to the Big Dance. By Friday, one of those ‘nobodies’ will have knocked off our favorite team, ruined our brackets, and cost us fifty bucks in the office pool. We sure as hell won’t be laughing and pointing at them then.
So, we might as well laugh and point at them now.
(Karma? What is this ‘karma’ you speak of? Never heard of it.
Is that one of those Conference USA schools?)
Actually, I don’t want to laugh and point so much, because I’ve got very little information to laugh and point about. There are a dozen or so schools in the tourney this year that I know precious little about. Including, for instance, their mascots. I can rattle off the mascots for many of the major college teams, and I can tell you that there are, in this year’s festivities, four ‘Wildcats’, three each of ‘Panthers’ and ‘Tigers’, several ‘Eagles’, some ‘Quakers’, ‘Great Danes’, ‘Bulldogs’, and ‘Salukis’, ‘Hoyas’, ‘Aztecs’, ‘Golden Flashes’, and even a first-round ‘Bruins’-‘Bruins’ matchup that promises to be… well, a real grizzly of a game — for the underbear, at least.
(Did I just do that? ‘Underbear’? ‘Grizzly of a game’?
Lord help me, the March Madness must’ve already set in. I’m so ashamed.)
And don’t even get me started on the Wichita State Shockers. That’s a mascot I don’t want to see, I don’t need to see, and I’ve paid upwards of twenty bucks at a peep show specifically to see. How those kids can play ball with that going on is beyond me.
(If you don’t get any of that last bit, just keep moving. Don’t look it up or think too hard about any of it. I don’t want to be accused of contributing to the delinquency of anyone who’s not already there. Move it along, folks.)
Not knowing the mascots for many of these teams, I did what any curious, resourceful, possibly unstable sports fan would do: I made up new mascots for them. Sometimes more than one, when I couldn’t decide. Here’s my list of who I think is going to be playing this weekend — so now my bracket is way more interesting than yours. Jealous much?
Bradley Fighting Vehicles
Bradley DammitJanets! (Yes, it’s a Rocky Horror reference. Deal.)
Davidson Lettermen (See, because they letter in basketball, and there’s David Letterman, and… yeah. It’s not that good. Moving on!)
George Washington Cherry Trees
George Washington Bridges
George Washington Carvers
Iona Rosannadannas (No, it doesn’t quite fit — but who wouldn’t want a Gilda Radner mascot?)
Oral Roberts I’mNotTouchingThisOneEvenIHaveMyLimits
Pacific Gravities (Yes, it’s a lisping science nerd joke. I need professional help, really.)
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