Walk by my house during the next two weeks and the sounds you'll hear coming from inside will make you wonder if someone's being murdered or if someone's having sex. This is the time of year that furniture gets thrown around, holes get put in walls and people who come to my home "just to watch the tournament" start to realize that I'm a monster.
Normally, I'm a mild-mannered, professional nurse in intensive care dedicated to the health and well-being of all. I use the skills I learned in college and through life experience to make life better for my patients. But for two weeks, I go from nurse to nut all because of March Madness. When my shift is over--the monster appears.
It all began long ago when a date took me to Rupp Arena the night Kentucky played Duke. It's an unfortunate thing when a young girl's first "taste" of the NCAA tournament turns out to be the greatest college game ever played. I dropped the guy, became addicted to men's college basketball and a hopeless junkie.
My 'drug' gives me an undying love and blind devotion to certain teams but a fierce hatred for the men in stripes who 'purposely' make calls against those teams. I ridicule and verbally assassinate young men whose only crime was choosing the wrong team to play for in college while explaining away any infraction one of "my" players is accused of committing.
Cursing the ref? Technical foul? Oh no--MY player was merely trying to engage you in a short debate about the merits of criticizing and penalizing his youthful enthusiasm. (I know...it's bad.)
I do everything I can to help my teams--from my living room.
I hold my breath, OUR foul shot is made.
I scream at just the right moment--THEY miss theirs!
If the game is going "the other way" I change the channel for a second--you know, to break the opposing team's "momentum." Can't let them go on a run!
Then when my living room couch seems to be losing its power to effect the game, I call upon the big gun--St. Anthony. He is the patron saint of lost objects and sometimes, he is the only hope. I have put in emergency prayers to him a couple of times like:
"Please, St. Anthony, if you're not too busy---could you make something happen so 'we' win this game?"
Does it work? Ask Butler about that "last shot" against Duke. Ask North Carolina about "time-out" against Michigan. Ask Grant about "that pass" to Christian against Kentucky!
It's quite a burden to know that I have the power to influence every game my teams play in the NCAA tournament but I have come to accept it. I also accept something else. For two weeks out of the year--I'm a monster!