March Madness: A Never-ending Story of Devotion

Every year in March this is what happens: I join a March Madness pool. I start filling out my bracket. Regardless of what their season has turned into, I mentally will Maryland into the Final Four, push them into the National Championship, and then, they come out on top. I brag to all my friends who thought maybe Ohio State or Kansas would take it all this year. I start texting “FEAR THE TURTLE” to everyone I know, no matter their athletic interests and they listen to me, because they know I’m right. I let bandwagon Duke fans know exactly how I feel about their “team”, and then, usually, I make some stuff up about how fantastic Gary Williams is. Again, let me remind you that all of these things go on nestled deep inside my vivid imagination. This is what really happens: I join a March Madness pool. I start filling out my bracket. Regardless of what their season has turned into, I mentally will Maryland into the Final Four, push them into the National Championship, and then, they drop the ball (literally, like this year against Butler, or figuratively). For a little while I sit on the humiliation and usually stay near the top of the Pool Standings list. Then, Kansas loses to UCLA, Oregon beats Wisconsin, and I’m forced to take a shrinking step back from my ungodly pomposity and swallow five types of pride while my name slowly slips down the Standings list like too much Windex on a dirty kitchen window.
But, here’s the kicker. Last year, George Mason represented the DC area and everyone went nuts. By “nuts” I mean, “people realized George Mason was, in fact, a college, in the DC area and it blew their minds”. This year? Georgetown. Now, I know my beloved Terps held the title a few years ago, but I see a suspicious cycle forming. Next year what happens? American? Loyola? Marymount?
Wait, I already know what’s going to happen. I will join a March Madness pool. I will start filling out my bracket. Regardless of what their season has turned into, I will mentally will Maryland into the Final Four….
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