March Madness Scores Hope

The following post reappears in March, a favorite post of my followers.

Every year, as I struggle to survive February, I look forward to March Madness. Then for several weeks, I indulge in TV watching, cheering for my teams and yelling at double the volume.

March Madness provides the perfect emotional release, adrenalin rush and just downright fun. As I settle in for a game, I announce to the cat, “There will be yelling.”

By tipoff, the cat has left the room.

Yelling does not include curse words — at least not the usual ones. I was, after all, raised to act like a lady — except during March Madness.

So my yelling might call out the refs. “Didn’t you see that? The kid’s head is bleeding. Don’t you think that means a foul? FOR CRYIN’ OUT LOUD!”

“A charge? SERIOUSLY? The defense was not set.”

“Give him a T. FLAGRANT FOUL! COME ON!”

I do not yell without credible knowledge. My dad was a triathlete, including basketball top scorer at Phillips University in Enid, Oklahoma. Our family was intensely interested in all the sports seasons.

And I played basketball in grade school and high school — until the unfortunate knee incident.

I went up for a rebound, and a MONSTER from the other team broadsided me. My body went north, but my knee went east. Those were the days before knee surgeries unless you were a top athlete headed to the NBA.

I was not. So I wore an ugly brace for several weeks which did nothing for my social life.

When I taught middle school, the principal “volunteered” me to be a ref for a few games. It is not an easy job. Especially with a whistle in your mouth while you’re breathing hard and running up and down the court.

However, with my experience I do know the difference between a charge and a foul. DEAR GUSSY, REF. GET IT RIGHT!

Usually I yell at the refs or the coaches, “Call time out. NOW!”

But I also yell at the players when they miss free throws. My dad used to say, “There is no excuse for missing a free throw.”

He was right. No one is guarding you, so you have a clean shot. It’s only fifteen feet. NOT AN NBA THREE-POINTER!

So when they miss, I yell, “FREE THROW, FOR PETE’S SAKE!” Sometimes I stand directly in front of the TV — as if they could hear me.

If I was a coach, any player who missed free throws would be shooting them for an hour after the game. Yeah, I know — it’s a lot of pressure to make a basket all alone on the free throw line. HEIFER BISCUITS!

The best way to beat the pressure is to make the STUPID FREE THROW! Games are won or lost because of free throws.

When my son was a teen, we competed with our brackets. The winner got a pizza. Now he’s grown and married, busy with his life, so I compete with myself. I fill out the bracket after each game. That way, I always win.

After March Madness, I always feel better. No matter who wins. Well, I will admit to being a sore loser when my team loses. I’m still not over the Chiefs loss in the AFC Championship game.

But the release valve of yelling works. I highly recommend it.

As we enter March this year, I have hope for my teams. Cheering for the Big XII against other schools. Always supporting the Jayhawks, proteges of James Naismith who invented basketball.

And reminding the players to make their free throws. FOR CRYIN’ OUT LOUD!

There WILL be yelling.

©2022 RJ Thesman – All Rights Reserved

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