Dear Friends: Sports, sports, and even more sports. The world may be upside-down, and full of fake-news, and becoming more progressively-insane, thanks to insane-progressives, but being sports-mad is quintessentially all-American. We love our sports, to the point of madness. And there is no greater sports-madness than March Madness, that yearly quest for select college basketball teams (both men's and women's teams, although March Madness is usually associated with the men's teams) to win the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) College Basketball Tournament (aka the NCAA tournament), the grand-daddy of all awesomely-entertaining and awesomely-money-making sports-spectacles.
(And who knows what the market valuation would be if the NCAA tournament were a successful tech-startup, like maybe an app that makes all those useless and frivolous 10 second disappearing-messages disappear before they even appear, which I bet would be huge, so I'm intellectually-copyright-trademarking it right here, and right now, and calling it Snapback.TM (Because not everything needs to be shared, people. Nobody cares about your cat.) And, unlike most successful tech-startups, the NCAA tournament actually makes money, actual money, as in real money, in reality, and not future-money in the fantasy-world of tech-startups. So a memo to the Twitters and Snapchats of the world: you may wanna go back to your virtual-chalkboards, and figure out how to make even one dime. Just one dime. We'd all be so proud of you. Of course, until then, people will still be snapping up all your stock like it's the best thing since sliced bread. It's called gambling. And more on that later.)
Because although the Super Bowl may be the single most lucrative sports-event (pound for pound, given it's basically a four hour event, but man, those four hours pack a lot of revenue), just imagine that kind of revenue-potential spread out over a month, and you have the NCAA tournament. (The World Cup (of soccer) is also similarly lucrative, but only occurs every four years, which actually makes it the greater sports event, period. Why? Less is always more. Unless, of course, you're a money-losing tech-startup. Or maybe vice-versa. I have no idea. Because, how exactly does the business-model work in which a tech-startup can lose hundreds of millions of dollars a year, and still end up achieving a market valuation of like $40 billion dollars? I just can't figure out the math. But I'm no genius.)
But the NCAA tournament (and the NCAA in general) is somehow controversial because it employs a business-model that rewards the best college (re: amateur) basketball team that (non)employs the best team of 1 year
unpaid contracts scholarships. Huh? Exactly. Because it appears to be a total win-win. (And I'm open to debate here. We're always open to debate here. We're not progressives.) So let's examine: The NCAA, and all entities involved, rake it in hand over fist. (And are we all noticing the subtle use of sports-cliches yet? Although, there is no such thing as a win-win in sports, when you think about it. Which makes it a perfect sports-cliche. And who the heck even knows what raking it in hand over fist even means? And that is, and always was, Orwell's lament: our modern (dis)use of language. But I'm not Orwell. And Orwell wasn't into sports, or else he would've understood the need for sports-cliches. And sports is not politics. Although Orwell was right that politics will degrade into blood-sport if we are not careful precise in our language. Orwell was a genius.) And the players get the college experience, if some for only one year, while auditioning competing for a high-paid NBA rookie contract, and potentially an NBA max-contract. (And if you have to go play in an international league, hey, you get to travel, and you get paid, and you also get what rhymes with paid, and then maybe the NBA. Maybe. Because it's really bleeping hard to make it to the NBA. As it should be. This is America here. We don't audition. We compete, and we get the job done.) And everybody gets paid. Because even if you never play a minute of paid basketball, you get a "free" college education (nothing in life is free, Bernie Sanders (aka BS), but we all know what a scholarship is: a transaction in which both sides win, when you think about it), which will translate into a job. If you work hard. So don't ever believe that socialist BS. Because if you work hard, with the necessary incentives to do so, and are rewarded for your hard work, it's called success. Period. Because this is America here. We're not socialists. (Although, it seems the NCAA is now employing most collegians on campus for their own personal march to madness. And we mean you, snowflakes. And in this case, NCAA is an acronym for George Soros. And George Soros is an acronym for Barrack Hosein Obama. But, I digress. And we all know why: progressives will do that to you.)
And, of course, we all also know that the most lucrative part of all sports is: the gambling. (Talk about hand over fist. Just think of it as if Tony Montana had chosen gambling over cocaine. And that probably would've been for the best, for Tony Montana, because gambling may not be good for you, but that cocaine will kill you. And so it was that poor Tony Montana had to say goodbye to his little friend, cocaine. But gambling would've been his friend forever.) And in the NCAA tournament, the preferred method of (in this case, harmless) gambling is the universally played NCAA tournament pool (a quick side-note: it was recently reported in a news-outlet, NPR.org I believe, that the average swimming pool has 2 gallons of urine in it at any one time. I really hop that's fake-news. Regardless, why do they tell us this stuff?), and universally referred to as the office pool. Everybody plays their office pool, unless you wanna be fired. Or at least banned from the water-cooler. Because if you don't play, you must be a communist. Or worse, a progressive. (Because progressives are anti-everything. And that includes everything.) Of course, it's also possible you don't work in an office, which is excusable. Or, you may simply realize it's a complete crap-shoot to even have a tournament picking strategy, because trying to pick the tournament is so astronomically impossible, I believe there was once a $1 billion dollar prize for picking the entire tournament perfectly. (But don't quote me on that. Which is another great sports-cliche.) And trying to even pick the final 4 is a monumental feat onto itself. And who wants to keep track of it all? You'd hafta give it, like, 110%. And, for like 24/7, for like an entire grueling month. And yes, computers may do all that for you, but the computers are all watching us, so. And I heard the microwave may be in on it also. But don't quote me on that.
(And does anybody remember Vinnie "The Microwave" Johnson? An apt nickname for a player who could get real hot, real quick. And not in the John McEnroe sense. We're talking about coming in cold right off the bench, and bing. And bing. And bing. That guy could shoot the lights out. And of course, he wouldn't have been nicknamed "The Gunner". In basketball, being a gunner means you stay on the bench. And it wouldn't have been "Shooter" either. That was Dennis Hopper in "Hoosiers". (With Gene Hackman as "Coach" Norman Dale.) And "Hoosiers" is right there in 2nd place as the second-greatest sports-movie ever (it hit all the right cliches, somehow), right behind the #1 greatest sports-movie ever: "Rocky". And that's not just a Philly opinion. Ask anybody not from Indiana. Or google it. And speaking of, does anybody remember that long-forgotten Stallone sports-movie cult-classic: "Victory"? Stallone is a soccer goalie, of all things, and a POW in Germany during WWII, of all things, and they use a soccer game, of all things, to try and escape. Just think "The Longest Yard" (with Burt Reynolds, and not the Adam Sandler remake), but set during WWII. (And "Victory" also had Michael Caine as "Captain" John Colby. Back in the day, Michael Caine was in everything. Unless Gene Hackman was in it. He was in everything else. Not a fake-claim. Just see the movie "PCU". One of the characters proves the Caine-Hackman Theory for his graduate degree.)
And a graduate degree may be necessary to win your office pool. A degree in what, we're not sure. Statistics? Sabermetrics? Sports-betting? (I've heard they offer that at UNLV. But don't quote me on that.) So really, the only way to win may be to let the computer do the tournament picking for you. But, isn't that cheating? Not if you're a Boston sports fan. Bing. That one's for you, Sports Guy, from Philly with love. Because we here in Philly always win the old-school way. With patience, hard work, and good faith. And, we trust in the process. And, we pick our pools the old-school way. We throw snowballs at it, and whatever team it hits, we pick the other team. Ha ha, very funny, cuz you can all go bleep you non-Philly-selves with that bull-bleep. Philly fans threw snowballs at that Santa because he was a bad Santa. We don't like bad Santas in Philly. We like good Santas, because we celebrate Christmas in Philly, no matter our religion. (On a personal note: I'm a Zorastrian, and although we don't celebrate Christmas religiously, per se, true Zorastrians love Christmas and celebrate it ever year, and always will; The Three Wise Men, or Three Kings, who visited Jesus were Zorastrians, and they were the original bearers of gifts, and giving gifts to others on Christmas is a tradition that should be kept forever.) Because we're all Philly, all the time, and we're all about being the City of Brotherly Love. And we're the best sports fans in the entire country, and the entire world. And all we want for Christmas every year is a Super Bowl Championship, and/or another Stanley Cup, and/or another NBA Championship, and/or another World Series Title, or even an MLS Cup. (That's right, Philly. Soccer is here to stay, so start thinking 5 for 5 instead of 4 for 4. And Moses Malone would've approved. We love ya, Moses. Rest In Peace. And we have a good soccer team in Philly. Go Union.) But really, for all of us here in Philly, it's all about the Super Bowl. We're first and foremost a football town. And my personal bet is: The Eagles visit the promise land of Super Bowl Fifty-Four. And sooner would be even better, if not a better bet. (Bing. A non-sports-cliche ending in a gambling-pun. Aka a Snapback.TM) And personally, I'm in full solidarity with President Trump, and also choosing not to play an office pool, or any pool. There are much more important things to think about than the NCAA tournament, even if I'll be watching every possible minute of it.