Featured photo by Ernie Anderson – link
What a bunch of f*******g amateurs!
March 1, 2016 – The Pit, Albuquerque
A fan yelled this at players last week in disgust. His team, the University of New Mexico, were in the closing minutes of a blowout loss to San Diego State. [In fairness, an Aztec fan yelled something similar at Viejas earlier this year.]
The irony of that moment has stuck with me. It’s ironic because his team, the New Mexico Lobos, are a bunch of amateurs. That’s the point of college athletics. It’s played by amateurs.
College hoops dominate my free time January through March. As the conference season unfolds I find myself watching more and more and more college hoops. ESPNU is regularly on in the background like muzak while I work. Last night I watched conference tournament games from four different leagues. And by this point in March my attire has dwindled down to all-Aztecs-all-the-time… all red and black all the time.
For some people March Madness is the NCAA tournament. But for nuts like me? Sometimes I feel like March Madness is an actual illness. A happy addiction.
Let’s Not Forget How This Ends
In our collective March Madness let’s not forget how this ends.
There are 351 division 1 teams in Men’s Basketball. Only 68 teams will make the NCAA tournament. And only one team will hoist a trophy next month in Houston.
Chances are very, very good that your favorite teams season is going to end in a loss. Even my beloved Aztecs are not likely to win it all.
You team’s season might end in a blow out or a buzzer beater. But in that moment… are you going to be mad at the team or are you going to appreciate all that they’ve done?
Here’s the advice of a long-time basketball nut:
- Don’t let your March Madness turn into madness against the young men for whom March Madness celebrates.
- Don’t blow up online, it just makes you look like a hater.
- Don’t get a DUI or do something dumb under the influence, blaming a loss on your crimes.
- Don’t disavow your allegiance to your team.
- Don’t burn your house down. (Though couch burning in East Lansing is a quaint tradition, so that’s fine.)
And certainly don’t scream at players.
Disappointed? Sure. Sad? That’s normal. Bummed for the players? Totally understandable.
But don’t take it out on them, they are a bunch of amateurs.