Every year around this time, the college basketball world works itself into a frenzy with something we call "March Madness." It's the tournament to determine the national champion and people get really worked up about it. I always follow the tournament because usually my beloved Syracuse University Orange team is almost always in it. Some years are better than others. During those years when they lose in an early round, I'll continue to watch but it won't matter as much. But in the years when Syracuse is winning, I am glued to the tv. This is one of those years. They play again this Thursday against Wisconsin. Syracuse is favored by 4 points which means nothing in this tournament. Anyone can win.
2003 will always be a special year for me, because that's the year Syracuse won it all. They had a kid named Carmelo Anthony who played his freshman year at Syracuse, led the team to the national championship, and then he turned pro. What a great legacy to leave behind, huh? One of the reasons I follow Syracuse basketball so closely is because it was something my Dad and I used to do together. He would take me to the games when I was a kid living in Syracuse and he was always very passionate about the team. When I moved away from Syracuse in the mid 80s, my Dad would send me the newspaper clippings of the games through the mail. He'd even send some video tapes of the big games that weren't televised out here. He was a nice guy and I miss him a lot.
So when I watch Syracuse play basketball, yes I watch because I am a Syracuse alum and grew up there rooting for the team. But I also watch for my Dad, who I like to think is STILL watching the games...from a better place.
[photo courtesy of Steve A. Johnson]