The combination of the NCAA March Madness Final Four and Championship game, and The Masters, make this – in my opinion – the best week in sports for watching dreams come true.
I don’t watch basketball at any other time of year than March, when the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament (aka March Madness) is staged.
Often called the greatest event in sports, the attraction for me is the top-notch balling, of course, but more what it means to the players. The vast majority of these kids – and they are just kids – will not go on to pro careers, so the opportunity to play in the tournament at all is perhaps the biggest thing that will ever happen for them.
The stakes are so high. The single elimination format means that every point, every possession, means…everything; for the seniors, a loss literally means the end of their career (if they don’t go pro). To experience what it feels like to win a bracket game ramps it up even more, and should they make it to the Final Four this past weekend – which three of the four had never done – incredible.
Jim Nance calls the championship game tonight, and then heads for Augusta, Georgia where he’ll once again be the voice of The Masters beginning Thursday morning. You are correct, he is the luckiest broadcaster in sports.
The Masters is…The Masters. “A Tradition unlike any other”, as they say. Magnolia Lane. The ceremonial tee shot. Amen Corner. They say The Masters doesn’t begin until the back nine on Sunday…when “Sunday roars” echo across the grounds of what is arguably the most hallowed track in all of golf (excepting possibly The Old Course at St. Andrews). But it’s four days of drama, elation and heartbreak.
It’s the dream of every golfer to win the green jacket that only members of Augusta National can wear. By winning, they also get lifetime playing privileges on the course, and a lifetime invite to play in “the toonament”, as it’s known in the drawl of the membership.
For me, both of these events (and the Oscars) have the same allure, they are a chance to watch dreams come true, right there, live, in high definition.
The best week in sports starts tonight. You (and my wife) know where I’ll be for most of it.