Love March Madness!!

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It is true, I am a person who loves all seasons.  Although this winter is getting a little bit long in my neck of the woods.  But this time of the year is so fun to watch basketball, not because I love basketball, but because I love watching people give their all.  My children have been at grandma’s house and my husband was fishing, so I literally have been sitting on the couch watching basketball all weekend.  Okay fine, I might have taken a nap in there somewhere, but other than that it has been basketball.  Really, we have been watching the last couple of weekends as the state tournaments have been happening.  However, the best parts of watching these games are the teams, the effort, and the coaches.  Positive influences can be seen as you watch the games, which is why I let my girls watch as much basketball as they want in the month of March.

Our basketball watching started with the Class B girls’ state tournament.  We watched the town my parents grew up in making it to the championship game.  While we did have one cousin playing on the team, we do not necessarily know her well.  We have only met her a couple of times and we knew none of the other players.  Except we watched them play as if we had seen them play hundreds of times.  We said their names like our families were old friends.  My children watched them and took in all of the emotions and effort those girls gave.  They were upset when they did not win.  I want them to see the work and effort.  The girls on the tv were acting as role models to my own children and they did not even know it.

Last night, as part of my basketball weekend, I watched my own small town boys’ team lose by just a few points.  It was not on my tv, I had to watch it on my phone and for some dumb reason, I was not getting sound.  Yes, I checked the volume several times, but could not figure it out.  Ha!!  Anyway, I was so proud of the kids.  They left everything out on the floor, many seniors playing in their possible last game.  The whole town seemed connected by this game, another thing I love about March Madness.  There were so many pictures and positive comments on Facebook about the ability of these young men to be role models to so many.  How could you not want to watch?

Certainly, there are good or standout players on the top teams competing right now.  But in any tournament, those players are not able to achieve the victory on their own.  So many articles and news stories are about the team.  The unselfish play of the leaders and how it elevates everyone around them.  The team has supported one another through thick and thin, good and bad, injuries and wins.  They celebrate and cry together.  You get sucked into the storylines of the teams, not just the play on the court.  These qualities of collaboration and teamwork are some of the most sought after qualities employers are looking for in the workplace today and they are on display all month long.

Sometimes watching sports in general means you can have it on the tv and really only pay attention to the last part of the game.  But during tournament time, there is so much effort being given by all players, on the floor, and on the bench.  There are boys and girls alike, diving after the ball, living and dying by each possession.  Do they play hard all of the time, sure, but this time of the year seems to have an additional gear the players reach.  All of their work culminating in those state title or national tournament games.  Don’t you want future adults in our society who work really hard when everything is on the line?

I also think about the coaches.  The mentors and how they have the ability to influence young people in a positive way.  I watched my town’s boys’ basketball coach, he never stopped coaching and supporting the kids.  Will they remember that they did not win the game?  Yes, but I am willing to bet they will look back fondly and think about their coach.  I still think about the coaches I had in my earlier days.  I remember the coaches more than I remember some of the players.  They were instrumental in forming who I am and the kids on the tv and radio of all levels, will remember theirs as well.

The other thing I really love about this time of the year is how uniting it is to all of us.  It does not matter if you are cheering for the same team as another person, but it gives you something to talk about, to connect you.  It is sort of like the weather in that regard.  We had a student teacher on our floor once who told me and my people, sports were stupid.  We were baffled, how could she feel this way?  Do professional players make too much money?  Yes.  Are aspects of the sports world ridiculous?  Yes.  But you can not deny the uniting quality of sports.  There is a reason over 100 million people watch the Superbowl and it isn’t because that many people LOVE football.

CHALLENGE TIME!!!  What other qualities do you see in the players on tv and radio right now, whether you watch basketball or not?  Are they qualities you would want young people to possess?  Do you find some kind of uniting force when you look or talk about your brackets?  Let me know your thoughts here or on the Facebook page, Speaking Jelinese.  Hit those sharing buttons and continue the conversation.

Talk to you soon,

Angie

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