Kentucky lives for March

It’s that time of year again when sports fans of all ages root for their favorite basketball teams in their prospective tournaments, People filling out their brackets, rounding up tickets, skipping class to watch those first round games. We are a spoiled bunch around here when it comes to choosing who to cheer for. Year in and year out Northern Kentucky University has a men’s and woman’s team that competes for conference and national championships. Yet is this enough for people, why do I hear from others that certain teams choked or just weren’t very good because they didn’t win the big game?

There’s an old saying in sports: “It’s not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game.” So why is it that when it comes to crunch time, all you hear is how poorly a team did or they “choked” when they lose the big game?

Where do we draw the line with this madness? In the NCAA Division I tournament 64 teams compete. This means 63 teams will lose their final games and go home unhappy. This is the madness of March and of sports, unfortunately. We are judged on how many championships we win and not on effort.

So how competitive have we gotten? Yeah, listen to yourselves, you so called fans; the same fans who call for coaches’ jobs when the team loses who scream for players to be benched for poor play, who fight someone because they downgraded your team. These people are out there – I hear it at every sporting event I attend. Do you ever think about coaches having to support themselves. Do you ever think about players families who may be in the stands?

Kentuckians know basketball. We play in the backyard as kids, painting lines for foul shots and 3-point shots. We play pick-up games with neighbors and friends and always had the picture in our heads of having that last shot in the state tournament or in the NCAA Tournament and hitting the 3-point shot to win the game. Sports are all about a passion and excitement for the game that we love, a dream that someday we will be in the big game and have the opportunity to make a shot for the team to win a championship and so what if we miss the shot? All that means is we have to work that much harder next time.

So when you’re watching your favorite teams this March, tell yourself it’s only a game and life goes on – win or lose.