Saturday, March 12, 2005

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

It's that time of the year when a young man's fancy turns toward basketball.

A quick time out from the discussion of KAR's WMD program (which actually stands for "Where's My Drink?") to talk about what really matters: the absolute joy of having the opportunity of watching a team from St. Constance of Northern Idaho lose to Duke by 75 points.

No really, the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament are probably the best 4-day stretch of sports viewing of the year. During that time you get 40 drama-filled-sense-of-immediacy-there's-no-tomorrow-emotion-packed-games. And 8 blow-outs.

This time of year also reminds me of the first culture shock I experienced after moving to Minnesota in the early 1990s. March Madness was approaching. This particular year (I think it was 1991, but I'm not sure) the Final Four was in Minneapolis. I had been living in Minneapolis for about six months. Prior to this time, I lived in Milwaukee. In Milwaukee, nobody played hockey. If you showed a puck to a Milwaukeean, he would have likely said, "I think you burned your English muffin."

My high school, which was a statewide powerhouse in football, basketball, track and swimming, did not even have a hockey team until 1988 or 1989. And when the hockey program finally got off the ground, our team had to play some of its games against Illinois schools, because there weren't enough local teams to fill a schedule.

So imagine my shock when I had the following conversation with a Native Minnesotan:

LF: It should be a good tournament this year. There's a lot of good teams.

NM: Yeah. And I'm going. I got some sweet tickets.

LF: You're going to the Final Four? Sweet!

NM: [Puzzled look] No, doofus. The state high school hockey tournament.

I turned this over in my head for a moment.

State...

High school...

Hockey...

Tournament...

"Sweet"...

Tickets?

The whole time (about 30 seconds) I had a look on my face substantially similar to:



So what's my point?

Light blogging for me starting Thursday.

And I'm cutting this one short as my beloved Gophers appear to be hanging with the #1 team in the country.

Must go watch.

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