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Sunday, April 5, 2015

NCAA Championship, too bad there is not more than one.

Monday is the National Championship Game in college basketball.  Duke (the Blue Devils) will face Wisconsin (the Red Devils, just kidding, they are the Badgers, but a game between two teams called the Devils would be cool).  It should be a good game, pitting Duke's trio of Freshmen against Wisconsin's veteran squad of upperclassmen.  Two experienced coaches whose teams are fundamentally sound, disciplined, and talented.

Of course, if anybody had been paying attention, they would see neither of these teams were in my Final Four, let alone the championship game, so it would be OK with me if they both lost.

Wisconsin did beat Kentucky, and as a Louisville fan that makes me happy, so Wisconsin would be alright.  And, if Duke win, our friend stands to win some money in her office pool, so Duke would be cool, so Duke might be a good choice.

However, having been a North Carolina fan for so long it is difficult to wish anything but evil for Duke.  So, that is kind of a tough call.

Since I am a Nebraska fan, and Wisconsin beat them so soundly earlier this year, it is so hard to hope for any success for them.

Being a sports fan can be a difficult, trying, labor of decision, loss, and sacrifice.  When the tournament starts a team is chosen, and certain emotional investments are made.  It becomes a relationship, you and the team, struggling, battling other teams, corrupt, myopic, referees, and partisan announcers.

Most times the team you have chosen to win, the team you really like, does not win, and you have to choose a secondary team.  And, the cycle starts over, often that will lose.  It is a roller coaster, hope and joy, and potential followed by crushing, terrible, heart breaking sorrow, and defeat.

Laughter, tears, elation, pain, and soon there is nobody left on the initial "I could live with any of these teams winning" list.  You are forced to choose from the lesser of the evils, and sometimes the evils are almost equal.

Then, you are forced to choose between untenable choices, and when the game starts it becomes a painful, tense, torturous exercise in avoidance.  It is like watching your parents fight, if you hate both of your parents, and are secretly wishing they would rip each other to pieces, be arrested, and spend the rest of their miserable lives rotting in a gulag, shovels in hand.  Well, that might be stretching the metaphor.

So, I will watch the game with difficulty, and a troubled conscience on Monday night, and dream of both coaches digging salt in a Russian mine.  Not really, and I always wanted the fights between my parents to end amicably.  I will probably root for Duke, my friend always invites me to participate in her company's NCAA pool, and she is my friend that is some powerful magic.