Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Eating My Words, Or, Maybe, A Basketball
By Blogger

William Golding famously wrote about the Hollywood movie industry, "Nobody knows anything." In light of recent events in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, I'm sure many sports fans can identify with that sentiment.

I know a young lady named Megan (pictured to your left). She is originally from Long Beach, CA, has always been sweet and polite to me, and is jarringly attractive. We met through a mutual friend, in a bar on the Lower East Side, and within ten minutes of meeting we and a couple others in our group were singing along with the Sublime wafting through the PA. Almost a year later, after I had graduated and left New York, I went back to visit. While we were having drinks in the back of another Lower East Side bar, she fought through her laryngitis to inform the table that I was a Man, and the two gentlemen to her right were Guys. So, naturally, it's impossible for me to dislike her.

Since she eventually began socializing regularly with people I still consider my closest friends, I wasn't surprised to see that she'd filled out a bracket for the annual pool run by one of my buddies. I was surprised, however, to see that she'd chosen George Mason as her champion. Faced with this situation, I chose to be an arrogant ass.

On the very first day of the tournament, I posted a comment on Megan's Facebook profile that suggested she was... um... inebriated when she filled out her bracket. On the second day, I went to Dawgsled.com and posted a message to our pool implying the same thing and also admonishing those who did not select UConn as their champion. George Mason then proceeded to dispatch Michigan State, and lowly sixteen seed Albany led by double digits in the second half against the mighty Connecticut Huskies before suddenly remembering that sixteen seeds are legally required to lose.

I was amused, but unrepentant. I went back to Facebook and wrote another comment on Megan's profile. I acknowledged that, perhaps, I had angered the basketball gods, but that I was still confident in the folly of riding George Mason to bracket glory. I wrote that if George Mason won it all, I would eat a basketball.

North Carolina fell. Wichita State didn't even put up much of a fight. And then UConn couldn't stop the rain of treys. In a tournament that has been so improbable, George Mason is two wins away from the impossible.

Our friends wonder if I'm serious about the whole eating a basketball thing. I tell those who ask that I'd only do it as a stunt for the blog. My dad seems vaguely excited by the prospect of his son eating sports equipment. He has been watching tournament games with me and yelling "Maaaaaadness!" whenever appropriate, and sometimes when inappropriate. After the UConn game, he stopped by a sporting goods store while on a grocery run and came back reporting that an indoor-only leather basketball would run me about eighty dollars. I'm not sure I want to spend that sort of money on a stunt, even if a video documenting the adventure would be gold for the blog. I've imagined calling the advice nurse at the hospital and getting her to insist I not eat rubber. Just to cover my bases. Then, I'd scrape away the leather, scour off the glue, cut the skin into bite-sized strips, and soak them in warm water until they become soft, chewy, and digestible. Then, I'd chicken out and buy a chocolate basketball.

After all, nobody knows anything. If George Mason wins the championship, more power to Megan. As for me, I freely admit I know nothing, except that the concept of individual trials will save me from the streaking Patriots, and from figuring out how to gracefully renege on a foolish vow.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


she's not even that hot

3:53 PM  
Anonymous dave said...

hell yeah. rock on fellow ucsc blogger. or blogger who went to ucsc.


4:52 AM  

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