Random Asides

They Called Me ‘Mad’ at the University.

Be forewarned: This post has nothing to do with skepticism, critical thinking, science, women’s issues, or anything remotely important to this site. It’s simply a reflection of my interest in a certain athletic event, and nothing more.

This is for the hoops fans.

I just figured while Rebecca is busy dealing with all the people kissing her asteroid, I could sneak this in under the radar. Hope it works. 

Anyway, we’re nearing the end of March and like many of you, I’ve been hyper-exposed to college basketball.

Now, this is not unusual for me, as I become swept up in the excitement of the competition every year around NCAA Tournament time. In my book, the tournament is the greatest event in all of sportsdom, and once you’ve seen it, it’s difficult to ignore and impossible to overlook.

The kids are playing for school and glory, and to showcase their talents on a national stage where a good performance could mean millions of dollars in their future. In short, they play balls to the wall, full speed the entire 40 minutes. They leave it all on the floor. It is truly an awesome athletic event.

But at this point, I don’t know if I can watch anymore college basketball.

Actually, I’m certainly capable of watching more games, but I don’t know how much of what I will view in the next couple of weeks will even register.

In fact, lately I’ve come to suspect that very little of the spectacle infiltrates my conscious mind at all. I’m beginning to think that my conscious mind, my upper mind – the one that likes beer and melted cheese, not to mention long legs and nicely rounded backsides – is completely missing out.

And that’s not a good thing, because I really like that part of my mind, and that part of my mind really likes basketball.

But it seems a different part of me is getting the most out of the tournament. A different part of my mind is on the receiving end of all the things it has to offer.

Unfortunately, I don’t like the way that part of my mind is running the store.

Yesterday, I had an in-depth conversation, with a guy I don’t know, about Davidson College. Apparently, Davidson’s basketball team is a tournament underdog, and is still managing to win against tougher opponents, upsetting the No. 2 seeded Georgetown Hoyas over weekend.

And apparently, I know this.

Now, this little tidbit of knowledge seems innocuous, right? Seems par for the course, doesn’t it? Even the casual viewer would know about the major upsets of the tournament, right?

Well, not only do I know that, but I also know where Davidson College is located. I know the type of school it is, its student population, at least three distinguished alums, and most embarrassing of all, the class and major of the person who plays its mascot.

Two weeks ago I didn’t know this stuff. Two weeks ago, I didn’t even know there was a Davidson College. I would have bet there was a Davidson Bait and Tackle Shop-sponsored weekend softball team before I would have guessed at a Davidson College boasting a basketball team that’s still in the big dance. Yet, not only has that other part of my mind absorbed all this junk information, it has foregone beer, melted cheese, and long legs in favor of using it in social settings.

It actually talks about these things!!

And the really bizarre thing is, while I’m immersed in a conversation like the one about Davidson College with the guy I didn’t know, my brain sort of splits in two. I can continue the conversation without interruption, but the good part of me, the part of my mind I really like, flies above it all, and wonders who the hell is controlling the half still in the conversation.

It’s as if the real me is looking at this automaton me, this basketball robot me, and to be quite honest, is a little bit afraid of him.

Not only that, but the good part of my mind, while hovering above the “inane conversation” part of my mind, wonders if the other guy has a good part of his mind, too. It wonders if his good mind is also hovering above the trivial basketball conversation, wondering who’s controlling his other half.

The two good parts of our minds no doubt say things like, “To hell with these two fools. Let’s go get a beer and shoot some pool.”

Still I doubt I can turn away from the tournament now. As I mentioned it is an impossible event to ignore.

So where I will go through the motions of sitting in front of a bank of TVs at the local sports bar with my other hoops junky friends for the remainder of the tournament, I have a feeling the images flashing before me will be nothing but a collage of Orwellian “assimilation” videos that once complete, will have me spouting final scores, stats, and mascot trivia without a bit of thought or understanding to what I’m saying.

In short, I will have achieved a different sort of March madness.

Wow!! I just got word that my friends and I have secured some good tickets. I will be in attendance as my boys, my Longhorns begin their quest to win the South regional in Reliant Stadium this Friday night.

Hook ‘Em!!

Sam Ogden

Sam Ogden is a writer, beach bum, and songwriter living in Houston, Texas, but he may be found scratching himself at many points across the globe. Follow him on Twitter @SamOgden

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  1. Oh. A high-traffic day when I’m too busy to post, and the ONE BOY on the site takes the opportunity to post about . . . sports. That’s great, Sam.

  2. Oh. A high-traffic day when I’m too busy to post, and the ONE BOY on the site takes the opportunity to post about . . . sports. That’s great, Sam.


    Thanks. I thought you’d be pissed.

  3. Mad Science I understand. But Mad…


    And yes! I also noticed that Rebecca got a little piece of ass-teroid this week! Good on yer, ducks!

  4. Texas winning the South? Dream on, the Spartans have already beaten them and they’ll do it again :-)

  5. I have absolutely no idea what’s going on in this conversation since I don’t have television, but I will say that if NC beating WSU means abject humiliation for the Cougars, than GO NC! I have been a Husky fan since birth, pretty much. :P (Really. Born in Seattle within view of the Space Needle, and I was thrilled that my high school’s colors were the same as UW’s since the school’s first prinicipal was a UW grad.)

    Sam, I do know what you mean about the floating half-brain, though. Mine does that every time I have an inane, fluffy conversation with another mother at the playground about our children. I say, “Oh, I know, I just bought him a bunch of size six jeans and he’s already halfway grown out of them!” and I think, “I wonder if she’s read any good books lately.” She’s probably just looking at me going, “I wonder if that woman has ANY idea that half of her brain is floating outside her head.”

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