I am ill, boo. This is approximately the 817th time this year I’ve caught something from that germ carrier I call my child. But do not fret, my pets – that will not keep me from my weekly verbal diarrhea known as the Things I Love Thursday. I’m keeping it to one bright, shining item to discuss.
It has been such a blah March for us in Lawrence this year – winter still lingers, I’m still sometimes scraping the car windows in the morning and still always bundling the baby in blankets before heading out to put him in the car, and oh hey guess what – there is RECORD SNOW FORECAST FOR SATURDAY. I kid not. No matter, though – that bitter, wintery weather may remain but I still feel happy and content and all-around ready to face the (seemingly perma-frozen) world in the morning now. Because ladies and gentlemen, March Madness has arrived.
Oh, March. I love filling out brackets, and buying a special tournament outfit, and entering office pools, oh but let me tell you – March is a magical time to be a Lawrence resident. The town lives and breathes college basketball year-round, so as you can imagine, March Madness here is the equivalent of a holiday season.
Paulo is… ah… celebrating the holiday.
Everyone is in high spirits, everyone gets dressed up (in our KU Blues) and people put out their flags and decorate their homes with all manner of KU paraphernalia. There is a certain camaraderie among us “townies”, everyone has a gleam in their eye and a smile to give when you pass on the street. At work, everyone talks only of basketball. Everyone. We have all studied our brackets and opposing teams until we have every bit of minutia memorized, and believe me you don’t want to be the least informed one in these conversations. Downtown is decorated and bustling. People discuss where the best watch parties/spots are this year, and share their special game-day recipes, and we all break out our superstitions and traditions.
Oh, but the superstitions. Some will only watch the game in a certain place, a certain spot, sitting in a special position. Or they carry their penciled-in bracket around with them at all times, as stained and beer-soaked as it may become. They don’t wash their tourney shirts, or maybe wear the same pair of undergarments for every game. Some visit Naismith
’s grave before the tourney starts, or maybe Allen Fieldhouse
, to pay their pre-tourney respects. They do their dances and their special routines and in the end, we all hope beyond hope that what we are doing helps.
That is a post-tourney-game keg stand, by the way. On Mass St. to boot. KU fans are serious people.
In the end, yes – it’s just a sports event. But then again maybe it isn’t, it’s also part of an identity and one of those cool little unique things that make me so happy that we decided to settle here.
Doots game face.
So: Happy March Madness, everyone! And a hearty Rock Chalk and best wishes to our boys in the tourney this year.
PS: I wrote this early in the evening but did not hit “post” until the game was pretty much won. Because I am superstitious like that.