Sunday, March 13, 2011

March: The Month of Miracles

Scott Doyle has been one of my best friends since freshman year of high school.  Doing my math, that makes 12-years of Doyle.  For those who know him, you understand that's like partying in dog years.  I'm closer to 104 than my actual age of 26.

We were roommates in college and despite his attempts to make my liver as effective as Mike Tyson at a forensics speech competition, we remain close friends.  He is as good of a friend as he is a partier and that is saying something, because Scott at a party is like a Teddy Pendergrass record in a sexless marriage.  When you bring it in the room, it can go from 0 to 60 in a matter of seconds.

I specifically remember one conversation he, our other roommates, and I had while sitting in our East Lansing apartment during our senior year of college.  It came after another, what can only be described as "Epic," celebration of Saint Patrick's Day.  Scott, finally awaking from the chaos, rose out of bed like a zombie, with his blond hair disheveled as if he were a 6'1 troll, shook his head and said "I don't know how much longer I can do this.  No way do I make it to 25."

Well surprise, he's 26 (almost 27) and still ticking.

Maybe even more surprising is the guy who was, and to some extent still is, famous for giving unrequested strip teases is GETTING MARRIED!

That's right, Van Wilder's long lost, often shirtless, cousin is locking it down, jumping the broom, embracing the ole' ball-n-chain.

It wasn't long ago that I, his other friends, and probably himself, would have considered this day far from realistic.  And that's what makes it so special.

(Well that, and the fact that April is waaaay out of his league, but he's managed to keep her around.)

Scott Doyle getting engaged this week is fitting, because no other month provides more surprises and Cinderella stories than March and it's famed NCAA Tournament.

Like Scott, you never know what to expect during March Madness.  Teams that are overlooked and undervalued take the opportunity to prove they have what it takes to play with the "elites."

Every year a Butler or George Mason steps out of the shadows and slips on the glass slipper. (This year that should be Oakland, I hope.)   They become the darlings of the sports world and give other teams, initially seen as peasants, a reason to believe they too can steal the show.

No other event in sports is as much fun.  Office productivity shuts down for four weeks, budgets for paper are pinched because brackets are printed non-stop, and Rolaids' stock shoots through the roof for uncontrollable heartache caused by amazing buzzer beaters.

The NBA is great, but is as top heavy as Dolly Parton wearing spanks.  The NFL is America's sport, but by week 5, half the teams are already looking at draft position and Major League Baseball is so often dominatd by the teams with the deepest pockets, you can almost predict the playoff teams before the season starts.

What makes the NCAA tournament so unique is that a season of ups and downs can be erased by a few hot weeks. 

Michigan State's runs to the Final Four the last two years came after regular seasons that almost shifted my balding processes into high gear.

But when the calendar turned to March, the Spartans transformed and made me forget how excruciatingly frustrating they made my life for the five months prior.

It also gives players at smaller schools a chance to shine as stars. It's the perfect stage for those like Steph Curry, Jimmer Fredette, and Bo Kimble.

We live in a world that loves surprises.  That's why we are obsessed with Christmas gifts, horror movies, and college basketball.   They can get your heart racing in the most special of ways.

The sense of not knowing what comes next makes everything more interesting.

You may think you know which teams are going to the Final Four, but by the second round of the tournament, your bracket probably has as many red spots as the interior of Chris Brown's Lamborghini.

The month represents everything that's right in sports, in fact, everything that should be right in the world.  Everyone has a chance and everyone has a reason to believe.

It's the month of miracles and if you don't believe me, just's the same month in which the guy who once got so drunk he puked on and ruined my textbooks, even before the SCHOOL YEAR STARTED, has transformed into a distinguished, upstanding, engaged gentleman.

Anything is possible in March.

P.S. Congrats April and Scott...I wish you guys nothing but the best.  You're both AMAZING!

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