A felicitous March Madness to all! The NCAA round of 64 commences today, and we’ll gladly cede the floor to hoopyball for its duration. While there is much we do not understand about basketball, including but not limited to its history, rules, strategies, players and coaches, the tournament does come along at a dreadful lull in the calendar for our beautiful game, and it gives us something to watch on television that is not the Cakes And Skanks Channel.
We harbor a particular fondness for the first day of March Madness, for it was on this date five years ago that we first journeyed to Las Vegas to take in the massive multi-day basketball betting spectacle, and it was there on March 21, 2008, that we spied an Illinois fan wearing a commemorative Rose Bowl shirt in public:
At the time this photo was taken, less than three months’ time had elapsed since Illinois faced utter obliteration at the hands of USC, falling 49-17 to the Trojans in Pasadena. This anonymous gentlemen is the bravest football fan we have ever met, and without college basketball, we’d never have known he existed. For this we give thanks.