Sunday, March 15, 2009

Hoop Dreams

Finally my Dad gets another sports post from me. This one's about the NCAA Men's College Basketball tournament, affectionately known as March Madness.

I have a double interest in this year's tournament since two of my old schools have qualified for the 64-team competition. One is Siena, a little Franciscan college in Albany, which I attended for a grand total of one semester while I was a new recruit in a nearby Franciscan seminary. Got the boot at that seminary faster than Mother Teresa's confession ("Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. Well, actually that's not quite true. Just bless me, Father.") Anyhow, leaving the seminary meant leaving Siena, as well.

The other school in the tournament is Binghamton, the New York state university where I did my masters and doctoral work. Binghamton didn't even have a basketball team that would have been eligible for this tournament when I attended, but they moved into the top level a few years ago. They qualified for the first time ever this weekend by winning their league. Unfortunately, their league also includes the University of Vermont, so I am a bit torn as to which team I would prefer.

In any case, make sure you watch Siena's and Binghamton's first games because a second isn't all that likely for either of them. Although, Vermont pulled off a shocking upset in the first round a few years ago to give us all hope for underdogs. For those of us in lands faraway, the NCAA does something really special. For a couple of years now, they have been streaming all the tournament games live online. I used to sneak a peek now and then at work, but being retired I have already purchased the little thingy that hooks the Mac to the big screen and I will be in March Madness heaven.

On the subject of colleges, Sandy wrote a comment on the last post. She didn't know that I had attended LeMoyne College, a small Jesuit school in Syracuse. I went there in 1968 after they kicked me out of the seminary - no, not the Franciscan one near Albany but another one in Ogdensburg. If you're seeing a pattern here, you're not alone.

It's pretty obvious to me that I had this compulsion to enrol in seminaries, and had absolutely not a single thing in my personality, mind or spirit that enabled me to do what you were expected to do once you got there. At one point, I briefly considered facing my addiction and attending some meetings, but the idea of having to stand up and say, "Hi. My name is Don and I am a serial seminarian," was just too weird for me.

Anyhow, back to LeMoyne. It turned out to end my seminarian addiction by introducing me to Mary who pretty soon thereafter introduced me to my son Ben. As a school LeMoyne was OK and it had the distinction of being the former home of the Berrigan brothers, two priests who were leaders of the anti-war movement.

But enough rambling. I am just blathering on to avoid discussing the real topic of this post -- the results of the second 4Q Readers Poll, which ended three days ago.

The results weren't even close. When asked what one suggestion you would give to me, none of you suggested I use a spellchecker and -equally surprising - no one thinks I should be nicer to Linda. (I say surprising because a friend of hers told her had voted for that one. Little did he realize that not one soul had voted for that, so now she knows he fibbed. It will be interesting to hear what explanation he comes up with.)

There was a tie for second place in the poll, with 20% of you saying I should go back to work (I think Linda voted twice) and 20% saying I shouldn't change a thing because I am perfect (OK. I voted twice, too.)

But the big winner, with 60% of the votes was "Fix the toaster today."

It's obvious to me that too many of you have far too much interest in this toaster thing. I am beginning to wish I had never written about it. I certainly wish I hadn't put it in as an option for the damned poll. And I did not expect so many of you to choose it.

Look, I am going to fix it, I promise. And when I do, you know I will tell you because I will be so proud of finally doing it. But I do have to tell you that it's really not that hard to toast one side of the bread, take it out, turn it around and toast the other side.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Go the Saints! Through round one. I'm rooting with you.