This time of year, it seems like everyone is posting about how they either love March Madness or they just don't get what all the fuss is about. I definitely fall into the former, so it got me thinking- why do I love March Madness so much? Or sports in general?
Coming from a non-sports fan family (sorry Dad), it's weird that I love sports as much as I do. Growing up, sporting events were definitely just a social activity - I went to all the high school football and basketball games, and I cheered when the crowd cheered, but I had no idea what was happening. It was just fun to be a part of something.
I spent the majority of my high school days hanging out with a group of boys, so I absorbed a bit of sports knowledge solely so I would know what people were talking about. In fact, I may or may not have been a groupie for a YMCA boys basketball league. Then one day during my senior year of high school, I happened to turn on the tv on a Saturday in mid-March and a basketball game was on. Having nothing better to do, I watched the game, and then the game after it. Before I knew it I had watched basketball for eight hours. And I couldn't wait for the next day to do it again. An obsession was born.
Once I got to Iowa State, I had the convenience of living right across the street from Hilton Coliseum and Jack Trice Stadium. I became an avid football fan, even though I still had no idea what was going on. But then came basketball season. We were right on the heels of an amazing season the year before, so Hilton was rocking. I was hooked.
I also learned that Cyclone fans are a special breed. Even through a string of basketball and football coaches and a series of ups and downs, we never give up and we continue to care. We care about the sports that most people don't care about. We care about our teams during losing seasons. And we appreciate our victories in a way that many teams can't because they mean more to us.
So Iowa State took my sports obsession to another level. But basketball has always been my sport of choice. It's probably partly jealousy that my 5'4" self wasn't destined for the WNBA. But mostly it's the pace of the game, the thrill of the last second shot, and the moments that make me look like this:
And March Madness provides just that. Even if I've never heard of the schools that are playing, it's exciting to root for an upset and to follow along with my bracket (which was a lost cause this year).