A cry of anguish could be heard across the country today, as millions of college basketball fans woke up to find no presents under their tree, no snow on the ground and no festive music playing. Their brackets, hung with so much care over the fireplace the night before, remained untouched the following morning. The beer and nachos they set out for Santa remained untouched as well. It was a harsh reality for many today, as they realized that the first day of March Madness was nothing at all like Christmas morning.
Sure, there are some similarities. Both events dominate the local news cycle until the viewer is sick of hearing about it. Various stores and shops offer discounts and sales due to the event. The President of the United States addresses the nation before the big day on each respective holiday. And yes, commercialism and greed have a looming presence over each event that makes just about everyone just a little uncomfortable. But the similarities are few and far between. Certainly nothing that could lead to the widespread confusion that appears to have gripped the country. So perhaps there is something more to it. Maybe March Madness is not just a title given to the day, but an actual disease?
It would explain a lot. March Madness symptoms could include:
– Confusion about time and location, forgetting what day or month it is, thereby making college basketball fans believe it is Christmas morning.
– Irrational anger over the placement or seeding of a certain basketball team may not be simply “fandom”, but a symptom of a greater problem. Watching the games themselves appear to exacerbate the disease.
– Anxiety. The anticipation of the day should obviously affects the athletes, but it appears to spread to all those watching the games, either at the arena or on television. Perhaps March Madness is an airborne disease?
– Delusions of grandeur. This appears to be a late-stage symptom of the disease. Fans of college basketball eventually appear to believe their opinion overrides the others of those who are in the general area. This can be disastrous when multiple fans suffering from the disease occupy an enclosed area, like an arena or a bar. When the disease reaches this stage, alcohol appears to feed these delusions.
Despite all the claims otherwise, today is March 20. It is the first day of the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament, or as it is more commonly known “March Madness.” Christmas is a holiday in late December, celebrating family, capitalism, and occasionally religion (depending on a person’s beliefs). Salvation Army Santas are a Christmas staple, while ticket scalpers make their presence known during March Madness. Creatures may be stirring, but they are likely the various mascots of college basketball teams rather than reindeer or mice. And a jolly fat man in red may make his presence known today, but be forewarned. That is not Santa. Depending on location, he is an angered, confused and likely inebriated fan of a dozen possible college basketball teams, suffering from the disease known as “March Madness.”
Satire by Jonathan Gardner