I'm watching a bunch of college tournament games, trying to get some idea of my Big Dance picks, not that I have any hope of doing better than previous years. But it's a fun week of basketball, made a bit more interesting if you have a buck or two riding on the outcome.
While watching some of these elite teams, it occurred to me that Jerry West might have gotten it wrong. Recently Jerry said he wasn't impressed with this year's NBA first round draft picks. He's right in that there are no franchise players coming out this year, ready to make an instant impact. But, in my opinion, there are a number of potential franchise players. Last years group of NBA rookies, aside from Olidepo and Carter-Williams, were pretty ho-hum. This year's groups have a tremendous up-side. While last years groups could be compared to bottle of ordinary red table wine, good enough to drink, but nothing you'd serve at an important dinner party, this years group is like a early Cabernet Sauvignon from a vintage year, the problem being they need to age before consumption. Still, stick a couple of these bottles away in a wine cellar for awhile and Viola.
From my recent collection just out from Black Rock Press, a poem about making your Big Dance picks
Bracketology by Tom Meschery
First, lay out the brackets neatly in font of you
so there should be no wrinkles that would inhibit
a clear vision of each team, as there are many teams
that are unworthy and exist only to confuse you.
Start drinking coffee. Have more than one pencil
because the choices are numerous and the day is long,
and outside the world is going on without your. Be sure
the pencils are sharpened to a fine point.
Beware of the first round of thirty-two teams that once
would have played in the NIT. One of those teams will surprise
you and ruin a bracket. At that moment you will consider
Do not drink alcohol
It is wise to listen to the experts, but eschew the ones
with loud voices. Remember da Vinci, "Nothing strengthens
authority so much as silence."
Do not believe in the teams closest to your heart;
they will betray you. You will not go wrong if you start
with the highest seeded teams, but understand the theme
of Greek tragedy that we suffer most when the mighty fall.
When you get to the Sweet Sixteen, do not be deceived
by its adolescent name. There is nothing sweet about defense
and rebounding; therein lies the secret to winning,but some
will be seduced by offense. Do not follow their lead.
It is wise to rise from your desk and exercise before picking
the Elite Eight. You might consider a gift for your wife
as she is even now preparing for your absence and is weeping.
Resharpen your pencils. Continue to avoid alcohol.
With eight teams left your confusion is mighty. At this point,
it would be worthwhile checking with the secretaries
in your office who have probably already picked the winners
according to the teams' name and colors. Never repeat this in
public as you will be called a misogynist. But neither should you
ignore their advice for intuition often out-performs logic.
When you get down to the Final Four, consider prayer. God
loves basketball, but be aware that the Devil is in the details.
Once you make your picks, do not go back and change any
as it will insure the ones you changed were the correct choices.
Turn in your brackets boldly..Begin drinking alcohol.
What my musings are all about...
Blogging might well be the 21st century's form of journaling. As a writing teacher, I have always advised my students to keep a daily journal as a way of organizing their thoughts for future writing projects, a discipline I have unfortunately never consistently practiced myself. By blogging, I might finally be able to follow my own good advice.
The difference between journaling and blogging is that the blogger opens his or her writing to the public, something journal- writers are usually reluctant to do. I am not so reticent.
The trick for me will be to avoid cluttering the internet with more blather, something none of us need more of. If I stick to subjects I know: sports and literature, I believe I can avoid that pitfall. I can't promise that I'll not stray from time to time to comment on ancillary subjects, but I will make every attempt to be interesting and perhaps even insightful.