Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Joy & The Sadness Of All Things Madness

Ah the best laid plans of mice and men.  I fully intended to introduce myself to the jury in my case that had been assigned to trial before Judge Kravarik in Middlesex County yesterday morning as, "Adam Kenny, World-Record Holder" and damn if the case did not settle before we picked a jury.  Lucky for me I have a matter scheduled for trial next Monday in Hudson County.   Another opportunity awaits! 

After Suzanne won it all last Spring I officially retired from my part-time, unpaid gig as Commissioner of the March Madness Pool.  Luckily for the folks in my office, the son of one of the other partners picked up the reins and is running this year's edition of the Pool.  Happiness is not having to spend a Sunday evening trying to calculate the results for dozens of different sheets.  Hell, I went to bed Sunday night before Arizona and Gonzaga played and I think before Virginia and Memphis tipped it up as well.  It was nice to go to sleep not worrying about how not staying awake to track the results was going to add to my workload the following morning as I updated everyone's brackets and released the Pool's standings after Week One.  Running such an endeavor is a young man's gig.  Thankfully, Sam Tabakin is a young man. 

While I did not watch a lot of hoops this past weekend I did enjoy the action I saw.  I was bummed out to see Wichita State lose to Kentucky on Sunday afternoon and not solely because Kentucky's embrace of the "One and Done" recruiting model strikes me as offensive.  I like Wichita State and their coach Greg Marshall.  I thought they were a hell of a good story the entire season and I was rooting hard for them to get a shot to play for the National Championship.  They came up short against Kentucky, losing 78-76 in what was an exceptionally exciting game - and well-played by both teams - but it detracts not at all from the incredible year they had. 

One of the things I love about March Madness is the way in which it introduces us - perhaps only briefly - to kids and coaches and programs that we otherwise would not know a damn thing about.  This year's case in point was Mercer.  Mercer seemingly had no business taking out the Duke Blue Devils on Friday afternoon - or at least as little business doing so as the kids from Stephen F. Austin had in upsetting Virginia Commonwealth on Friday night - and they did it anyway.  When the Magic Carpet Ride ended on Sunday for the Mercer kids in a loss to Tennessee, the reaction was extraordinary.  There, at game's end, stood sweat-soaked young men standing on the court facing towards their fans and applauding them for supporting the team.  As the kids acknowledged their fans, their fans acknowledged them right back - as did a number of the fans of the other schools playing at that site who happened to be in the arena. 

For these kids, the movie of their lives will never include standing atop a ladder with confetti falling from the ceiling around them as they take turns cutting down the nets after winning the NCAA title.  But the scenes that it will include from this year - and from this March - will be just as memorable.  Maybe not for you or for me, to be sure, but certainly for them.  And at day's end, at game's end, nothing else matters. 

Not even a little bit.  


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