Everyone at work is very excited about NCAA March Madness, mostly because they enjoy filling in those bracket things. I can sympathize (charts are fun), but I have no plans to join in because, well, I know when I'm not needed (see ya when the Tony awards pool rolls around!).
The only time I ever gave a substantial hoot about the college basketball tournament was when the University of Arkansas Razorbacks won it during my freshman year of high school. Oh my stars, was that ever exciting. There was this large fellow named Corliss Williamson, you see, and this pigeon-toed fellow named Scotty Thurman, and they were the stars of the team but who cares, because the cutest was Corey Beck. The coach was Nolan Richardson, whom everybody loved until a few years later when he accused the athletic department of racism (Richardson is black) and the entire state turned on him (besides, he had started losing games).
But that came later. In 1994 the Hogs were awesome in every way and therefore found themselves in the championship game against Duke University, whose students must have to take a course in obnoxiousness before they are allowed to graduate because, seriously, have you ever met a Duke alum you could stand? I thought not. Anyway, it was the championship game and the score was close and maybe we were behind I don't really know/care, when, with less than a minute left in the game, good ol' pigeon-toed Scotty shot this long three-pointer that seemed to hang in the air forever and we all held our breath and dared to dream and various other clichés and, oh my God, it went in and Duke lost and Arkansas was finally # 1 in something other than childhood obesity and we all screamed and wept and felt better about being closeted teenagers.
It was wonderful, and I refuse to cheapen the memory by paying attention to sports ever again.
My reviews of Broadway in Chicago's A Bronx Tale and The New Colony's Frat are in this week's issue of Time Out Chicago.