An attempt to bridge the gender gap and explain man's second favorite past time.
|There is such a thing as therapeutic addiction. With the well-documented and well layed-out issues of drugs, alcohol and sex, it is perhaps good to know there is another side to an insidious menace.
In our history, religious thought and innovation seems directly linked to an upswing in melancholia. John Calvin, a religious reformer, believed in pure unadulterated pursuit of God. He certainly would not let fun get in the way of whole-hearted pursuit. In one of the most circular arguments on record he said, “If you feel isolated, persecuted or condemned, you probably are.”
No, this piece will not debate such high-sounding religious issues, but will deal with one that brings salvation to a cult of men across the United States. There have been several organizations that have been targeted largely to women like the Amazon warrior life style, Wiccas, Women’s liberation and suffrage but this one has one of the strongest pulls to men of our society. Birthrates go down with a high rate of vasectomies; normal responsible men give up reliance on steady jobs to rest in the temple of NCAA March Madness.
It is the perfect addiction—basically built to be self-limiting to a once a year affliction. It starts with a massive therapeutic dose of thirty-four basketball games in approximately five days. In any businesses with more then ten percent males, television is continuous basketball on four different networks. Watch soap operas? You have got to be kidding. In this case, the male obsession is way too strong.
Just when you start to feel that perhaps you are a bit obsessed, there are four following days when the teams are pared down from sixteen down to four. The games are more relevant to the eventual outcome and are in general, better games
And then, the wife sounds the bell of rationality.” “It’s only basketball, she says. “There are other things”
To which you answer, “But we’re down to the Final Four.” You make it sound like a real spiritual encounter. She rolls her eyes and figures that not everything about the male persona is to be known.
By the time the tournament championship takes place on Monday, it really doesn’t matter. It is the culmination of the ritual. It is to crown the best basketball team in America, which you know, isn’t exactly true. It is whatever team is lucky enough, skilled enough and resilient to survive the tournament. The title of best in America is decreed from on high, so it has to be so.
And then, it is over. Even males know that perhaps there is such a thing as too much basketball…until next year.
It is the perfect addiction. It is like dancing in the street in the middle ages. It brings joy to millions without the fear of exhaustion or bridges collapsing under revelers. We are not cursed under Calvinist terms. We have March Madness.