ROME – “Beware the Ides of March,” a soothsayer warned Julius Caesar before his death at a Roman government meeting. Fast forward more than 2000 years and Donald Trump is trying to repeat history, ironically during March Madness, with some effort and lots of emotion. A seer, if taken seriously, could have altered the course of Roman history with Caesar avoiding the swords of his betrayers. Today’s column is an admittedly cheap attempt at serving as a sports seer for what is on the sports calendar.
March Madness: By late afternoon all Conference tournaments are finished and Selection Sunday will have NCAA Tournament hopefuls on the edge of their seats. Not pretending to know a lick about college hoops these days since giving up my degenerate gambling ways of yore, I do know the 10-19 Holy Cross Crusaders are in as the ultimate underdog and local (down the Garden State Parkway) Monmouth University Hawks are on the bubble. Yes, they will make the cut. Further fodder is what is called the First Four or as I like to say, the Initial Idiots, because everything is alliterative when we’re talking tournament, right? These are the teams that play in lovely Dayton, Ohio on Tuesday and Wednesday and who have no shot in hell of winning in the Round of 64. From what I read in the recent Sports Illustrated, Villanova, Kansas, Virginia, and Michigan State all have a decent chance of cutting down the nets on the first Monday in April. Do I care? No. There’s a sense of duty by keeping you informed of what the pundits are saying.
The tournament is a perfect storm of sorts; recent college and university alumnae gather on the first real day of the tournament which like this year falls on St. Patrick’s Day:
Booze + Brackets + Basketball = Barf
Everything is alliterative this time of year. A lot of clean-up will occur in pubs and sidewalks across America on this day on account of 20 and 30 somethings with hats turned backwards blowing chunks (not the dog named Chunks).
Opening Day: Not going to pretend about knowing when the official start of baseball is these days because it always used to be a day game in Cincinnati… without question. Was it an experiment-only by opening the season in Japan a few years back or are they still doing this on foreign soil? What I do know is the end of March has been pushed up as the new Opening Day rather than the first week of April during a time when I was interested. So much for baseball being the American Pastime. Probably a night game in Kazhakstan where Borat throws out the first ball. High Five! Long live the U. S. and Ayy.
NHL Playoffs: What I do know with certainty is that there are exactly four weeks left in the NHL regular season and the playoffs start almost a month from today. This is what I look forward to every year with or without the Boston Bruins qualifying. The Rangers and Islanders are on a collision course for a first round meeting where even the likes of rugby fanatic JG Clancy need an excuse to watch hockey.
Happy St. Paddy’s Day! Erin Go Bragh! Beware the Ides of March, y’all. And beware DJ Eberle, tomorrow.