Thursday, March 20, 2014


I played soccer for one season way back in elementary school. Why? Because my best friend at the time signed up so I did too.

I really wasn't very good. In fact I think this is one of those times where the word "sucked" applies.

I didn't run very fast. I didn't really like running at all. I hated the thought of running into, bumping into or otherwise colliding with another player. I don't like fighting so fighting for control of the ball was out since I'd rather give it up than tussle. Plus kicking the ball hurt my foot. And don't even get me started on how much I hated using my head to control the ball. OUCH!!

So I played soccer for one season and, as luck would have it, ended up on the strongest team in the league. We easily won all of our games and I have a soccer trophy that says first place on it.

No thanks to me.

I just tried to stay out of the way and let the good players go at it.

I also played basketball for one season. Same reason for signing up only it was a different best friend this time.

Despite being tall (which seems to be important), having long arms (also important) as well as very large hands (easier to keep control of the ball I figure), I was not very good.

I'd run but forget to dribble the ball at the same time. I'd also dribble but forget to run. Coordination is not a particularly well-developed skill of mine. My aim is pretty bad at the best of times so ask me to put a ball into a basket while under the pressure of having people trying to block me, my coach yelling at me and the clock ticking and, as you might imagine, I missed every single shot I attempted. I also don't like things flying towards me and I hate the pressure of having to catch said flying thing so I'd do my best to look helpful while also making sure I was not in a position to actually have the ball passed to me.

As luck would have it I was put on the worst team in the league this time and we lost every single game.


Why am I telling you all of this?

As a very rambling and probably a bit too long segue into the real point of this story.

March Madness.

Weeks of NCAA basketball frenzy that even I get into. Doug and I watch it most evenings and he tells me all kinds of things. By the final game, I've learned all sorts of interesting facts about all the different teams and schools involved and figured out how the game actually works. I forget again when the next season begins but the learning curve is a little less steep every year.

This year, Doug printed out the entire play down bracket (probably not at all the correct way to say it but hey, I'm still learning!). He and I both had to sit down and make our predictions for who would win. From the first games right to the final.

Our predictions are up on our kitchen chalkboard and we get to spend the next few weeks laughing at who is good at guessing and who is not so good. No money down - just bragging rights.

As you might imagine, Doug made his predictions based on each team's odds of winning, past performance and other important factors.

I made mine based on the names of the teams, my preconceived notions of the school (be it correct or not), the number of letters in the name and other random things like: "well really smart people go to Harvard so they're probably a little geeky and not particularly athletic. I predict that they're going to crack under the pressure. Plus they won't care much about the game anyway because they have school work to do."

My predicted winner?



Partly because I liked the name. Mostly because there are two g's and a 'z' in the name. There are 7 letters in Gonzaga which is not as good as 8 but there are no i's or u's which make up for the missing letter. Plus their name is a little awkward, and I bet they get made fun of, so a nice big win will put all the other schools with the cooler names in their respective places.

Makes sense to me.

Doug's predicted winner?

Hard to say. His final game is down to Duke vs Florida but he hadn't decided on the final winner by press time. It doesn't really matter anyway since I predicted Florida to lose in the semifinals to Tulsa and Duke won't even win their first game. Mercer is going to come out of nowhere and kick their butts.

Game on!

1 comment:

  1. Hey, we're kindred spirits in the soccer world! :)