It’s over. No more bouncing balls, no more penetrations to the rim. College basketball and all its innuendos are nothing but dusty relics of an innocent time long since past. Well, until November. But if you come closer, I’ll reveal the winners of the bracket challenge and give y’all some things to look forward to this summer.
So first things first. Congratulations Tart.! I know having your piece picked up by Ms. was pretty cool, but I bet it can’t compare to winning the bracket challenge! Your daring method of picking teams based on their alumni and/or logos won you the day. Amelia M., you are the least-winner or the invert-winner or the smallest-winner, or however you want to say it. Still! You had the grit to pick and for that we salute you. If you’d put a message in my tumblr-ask-box with your contact info, I’ll have your prizes on their way at the end of the week.
Now, onto other business. With college basketball being done and the lazy days of summer staring us down until we become so many proverbial deer in the metaphorical headlights, how are we to fill our time, sate our gambling desires, or make small talk at the water cooler? Fortunately, even though my favorite sports are all wrapped up, plenty of options remain for not-fans, casual fans, and intense fans.
What it is: More basketball! This time, men play basketball for large sums of money instead of for school glory, future career prospects, or slightly smaller sums of money (college sports can be wildly corrupt ““ it’s delicious in its excess and saddening in its potential exploitation of student athletes).
Why we watch it: Well, the score is high, so that’s fun. Also, the dunks, incredible lay-ups, and wild baskets make the NBA a rollicking good time. If you’re there in person, sometimes someone will shoot a t-shirt out of a cannon right at your face.
How to make it an event: The play-offs are coming up, which means the opportunity for parties, eight types of dip, and a lot of friendly wagering. Since I am broke, I bet with currency like chocolate bars or falafel, but to each their own. Invite people over or go to a sports bar, throw back a few beverages of your choice and some onion rings, and you’ve got yourself a day.
What it is: Baseball. It is definitely baseball. Just in case you didn’t catch that opening weekend was this past week, baseball season is upon us. Watch men in tight trousers hurtle themselves across dirt, grass, and sometimes mud.
Why we watch it: Some enjoy the men in tight trousers. Others are drawn to the mathematical nature of baseball ““ no other sport relishes its statistics like this one. While I don’t fall into the “baseball is the most cerebral sport” camp, I do find the endless fascination with quantifying every aspect of a player’s and team’s performance absolutely awe-inspiring.
How to make it social: Baseball might be the most social of the sports because it takes place both outside and in the summer. The two make for an excellent combination. Go to an evening game with some pals, and even if you don’t love baseball, enjoy the outdoors, the scenic views, and the large mugs of watered-down beer. It’s lovely.
3. The Kentucky Derby.
What it is: Horses with extravagant names running for 1.25 miles. It’s the fastest two minutes in sport. It’s like baseball in that it is a good excuse to go outside and get rowdy. It’s not like baseball in that the parties, hats, and drinks overshadow the actual sporting event. Also, baseball has 0 horses.
Why we watch it: Indoctrination. No, really. I am from Kentucky, and there, the Kentucky Derby is sort of a big deal. In middle school, we’d make bets in class on the horses and the teacher would give chocolate to the student who picked the winning horse. I suppose there are other reasons to watch it (hats, the pretty horses, the desire to go to Louisville and bathe in Maker’s Mark), but none that I can think of that have to do with sport.
How to make it social: Hm, well, gambling is an option again. Or you could have a hat party where everyone wears the worst hats they can find. Or you could tie G.I. Joes onto cats and see which cat runs across the room first. Please note that in this last scenario, time should keep running as the cat naps and bats are imaginary bugs.