March Madness

Posted on March 23, 2011 by Meredith Jarblum

Like most of America, I spent approximately 75 percent of the time I was awake last weekend watching college basketball. I got in a run, went to the gym, had a bridal shower, but otherwise was in front of the television watching basketball all weekend long. It’s a well-known fact that the men’s NCAA college basketball tournament is one of my favorite events of the year. In my opinion, between the buzzer beaters, Cinderella stories, “friendly” office pools, etc., it’s more exciting than any other sports competition.

This year, games are being aired not just on CBS but on TNT, TBS and truTV as well. Not to mention live games streamed online through NCAA March Madness on Demand. More places to watch just might equal more viewers; an average of 8.4 million people watched over the weekend, up 14 percent from last year.

I woke up on Monday morning and immediately checked the scores of the games I fell asleep watching to see how my brackets were doing. I thought the biggest news story of the day would be VCU beating Purdue, or Florida State defeating the heavily favored Notre Dame, but much to my surprise, I was wrong. Turns out that while I flipped between channels and watched probably 24 hours of basketball, our nation had begun airstrikes against Libya. Who knew? I for sure did not.

I consider myself to be pretty savvy about current events and somewhat knowledgeable about the international political climate, yet somehow I was too engrossed with making sure my beloved Duke Blue Devils were holding strong with their No. 1 seed in the West Region of the tournament to even notice that the U.S. was on the brink of war in the Middle East. Perhaps the real “March madness” is not Butler’s second-straight Sweet 16 appearance or Marquette’s upset over higher-ranked Syracuse but my complete ignorance on what was really the important news of the weekend.

Even in the days leading up to the weekend, I spent more time reading Grant Hill’s New York Times blog rebuttal to Jalen Rose’s remarks in the ESPN movie “The Fab Five” than I did reading commentary from Maureen Dowd or Thomas L. Friedman.

With a few more days until the games start again, and fewer games scheduled for this weekend, I think it’s time I reprioritize my focus and remind myself of what is truly important.

(But I still can’t resist…go, Duke!)

Photo Credit: creativecommons/ by bigswift

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