Dealing with an especially obnoxious UConn fan has given new life to a pet peeve of mine: delusional fans from winning teams. Now I must admit, I started the obnoxious parade this time. I named my team “Calhoun Cheats” in the NCAA bracket on ESPN.com; I did bait her. But the fact is that the man did cheat, he has to sit out three Big East games next year. So there.
This team name led to a petty exchange where she pointed out that Jim Boeheim had cheated as well. I was quick to point out that I was not a fan in the early 90s. I was a Seton Hall fan. Just as I do not celebrate the 2003 Championship the Cuse won, I will not accept the black mark of shame from the early 90′s as part of my legacy as a fan of the Orange. That doesn’t mean that I deny the existence of the high or low points, rather I don’t feel a connection to the joy or shame. I did not live through either.
To the point of the title of the post, I hate this t-shirt and most like them:
The shirt is wrong, especially when worn by the people I see wearing it most: twenty-somethings. These fans were either not even born for the championships of the late 70s or were so young all they really knew about those teams was a mediocre candy bar named after the star player. Yes, the Yankees may have won 27 championships, but since you were not around for the uncertainty and drama that surrounded the road to those peaks I submit you should not include them on the shirt you wear. You did not earn it.
How easy is it to talk about the greatness of the 1956 series when you were but a speck in your dad’s toddler eye? It exists, but you should not boast on it, or include it in your argument with your Chowd-loving cousin. You have him 5-2 advantage on championships if you were born after 1978. It is a nice spread, take it. I don’t think the Sox will be catching you in your lifetime. And if they do using this new metric, take it. It is honest and not some overinflated B.S. rationale.
To boast on championships that you had no real tangible part in earning is absurd in and of itself. Look I know that being a fan, living and dying with each strike is tough. Each home run you called and celebrated makes you feel like part of the team. I get that. But to hold onto rings that were earned before your parents were born takes that absurdity to the next level and it shatters the delusion as a whole.
You know it kills me, but I think I found another moneymaker for the Evil Empire: personalized “Got Rings” shirts based on the year the fan was born. Go get ‘em Hank.
Here are my picks for tonight:
#3 seed UConn over #2 seed San Diego State
#1 seed Duke over #5 seed Arizona
#3 seed BYU over #7 seed UCLA (ummm)
#5 seed Kansas State over #8 seed Butler – the slam dunk pick of the week…
Wait, there is something rotten in the “Calhoun Cheats” bracket at espn.com. (By the way there should be far more of these. I should have had to choose “Calhoun Cheats 3:16″ or “Ca1h0un Ch3t5, l33t” in order to get it through. He did cheat, sorry Huskies fans.
That was how I drew it up in my bracket. Other than the last prediction things are not as dire on this side of the bracket as it would seem. Complete disaster is on the other side where my heart and bracket were broken by Scoop Jardine with some help from Marquette and Notre Dame, who took the dump everyone but me predicted.
Who I really like tonight? I’ll stick with my initial thought on the top 3 and flip Butler in over Wisconsin, since the Badgers helped crap all over my prospects of winning with their ouster of Kansas State – which by the way another bad call, it was a bad call Ripley. Bad call? You picked a Big XII team other than the Kansas Jayhawks – your bracket is dead Burke, dead.
Sorry for that delusional “Aliens” aside, where my brain decided I was a split personality of both Paul Reiser and Rambolina herself: Sigourney Weaver. That is a troubling pairing to have in your head, if even for a short time. I kept making lists and hemming and hawing about point 1 and B and then yelling at myself to get it together Gorman! Dammit!
As to tomorrow’s games, they are too painful to prognosticate. I think Marquette will have tough sledding without Scoop Jardine there to feed they the pill and I am rooting for VCU to avenge my bracket; bitterness, they name is Rob.
I should have known that my bracket was doomed. In a year where you cannot count on a Tom Izzo team to make at least the Elite Eight what hope to common men like me have? There is always next year, and the inevitable heart and bracket ache that it will bring.
Go whomever is playing a team that has beaten Syracuse in the last 5 years in the tourney. It does not have a nice ring, but it sure rings true at least to this dour fan.