March Madness, March Madness, March Madness…It’s Here & We Must Celebrate It
I want to start today by saying happy holidays to all of you out there who embrace everything we’ve always loved about March Madness — taking off work at noon on Thursday to go suck down beers, eat bar food, and watch 12:30 tip-offs as if they’re Final Four matchups while a stack of brackets is sprawled out on the table in front of you.
The year on the calendar might change, lives change, our emotions for sports change, but there’s something about that first tip-off beer and that first bite of a quesadilla as Jim Nantz goes into full Duke/Gonzaga erection mode.
I think of all the late-night pizzas that will be destroyed. I think of all the beers that will be destroyed today at the bars across this country. I think of all the Jameson shots. I think of all the Baileys that will be sacrificed to the shot gods.
I think of all the guys at the bar who will brag to anyone within shouting distance how they either had the South Dakota State upset “called” or how Providence got the job done in the early window.
Enjoy it. Embrace it. Send me your TV setups. Send me your March Madness content in general. I want to see what’s going out around the country, from the bars to the man caves.
Here at the Kinsey household, we created our March Madness shrine as is becoming a tradition and in breaking news, Mrs. Screencaps joined in on the fun this year.
Here are our picks:
- The 5-year-old loves leprechauns and they were making leprechaun traps at school so he picked Notre Dame to win it all and had to sweat out a double-OT play-in game to stay alive early in the tourney
- The 9-year-old took chalk (Duke out of the West, probably as a nod to Coach K hanging up the whistle) through to the Final Four and has Baylor going back-to-back
- Mrs. Screencaps, who has seen several workers at her company shown the door over the last 6-8 months, went with LSU and interim head coach Kevin Nickelberry. You’re correct, my wife had ZERO idea LSU had fired Will Wade. That’s just how much work has been on her brain since last summer
- I have Kentucky over Kansas in the title game. Let’s keep in mind, the SEC hasn’t won the title since 2012 when Kentucky won it. The SEC is due and Calipari seems to have that confidence going right now. And I LOVE this draw for Kentucky.
• Brian McC from Fayetteville writes:
I’ve always understood why people hate ND. I went there. I get it. I met many of the reasons people don’t like it. But all have to love Mike Brey after that post-game interview!
The game-winner went in on St. Patrick’s Day! “There better be some Irish whiskey on that plane!”
Best first-four game ever?
Dayton ALWAYS delivers. I’ll need to try Marion’s soon!
Let me start by saying nobody loves play-in games like Dayton. As a kid, I got to go watch the NCAA Tournament practices and games when the first and second round was played at UD Arena. Then along came all the massive NBA arenas and the NCAA wanted more money and Dayton was on the chopping block. Now the First Four has a home that wants Notre Dame-Rutgers matchups. They want Bryant-Wright State, even if it means the other DI school in town has a beautiful night winning its first-ever NCAA Tournament game on the Flyers’ home court.
It was yet another great year for the First Four in Dayton, and I know there are many common people (they’re on my Facebook feed from back home) who are grateful to see it remain in the city.
Now, Marion’s Pizza is a treasure. No TVs. No windows. 300 people can pack into these places and you can’t tell what’s going on in the outside world. Seriously, no windows. Get a pitcher of beer or a 40 out of the cooler. Pepperoni and sausage is my favorite.
• Britt T. writes:
Joe, whoever the guy is who is a huge Wright State fan, damn, they are legit. Gonna take them plus in their first-round game. I coached hoops for a long time, and we ran the 1-3-1……I texted some of my guys tonight and told them I was watching, and asked “What is death to the 1-3-1?”
All came back with “corner of the foul line.” They were watching, too. Smart fellas. Bryant clearly does not know that (and that Kiss dude is gonna get his ass beat at some point, but a good player). Loved watching Wright State and they will be my Oregon State this year (loved them last year, won me some money). Good on whoever that man is!
Britt is talking about Screencaps reader Jason D., who works the scorer’s table at Wright State games. I haven’t heard from Jason yet this morning. I have to believe he had himself quite a night celebrating that historic win for the school. Jason might’ve ended up at a Marion’s with a 40 of High Life after that one.
On officiating and how to handle umpires
• Brent P. writes:
I wanted to echo Michael F the college football referee. As a college baseball umpire I can speak to how to handle umpires. Let me first say that if you are playing in a recreational league it would be very rare to get an experienced High School Varsity umpire or higher. I step in on occasion to help a friend out, who is the president of a local little league, so it does happen. For these guys working the rec leagues all I can say is be kind. They are either just learning, or they are filling in where needed. We need more umpires and the better you treat them when they get it wrong, the better the odds they will want to come back for another game.
If you are playing the travel ball circuit, then there is very good odds you are going to get someone like me at the bigger tournaments like Past Time and Perfect Game. First impressions speak volumes. I can tell in a matter of seconds whether you know the game of baseball and how to coach it. Then following should help you.
When I walk on the field by myself or with my partner I don’t need the small talk. I don’t need to know how your hotel stay is going. The small talk doesn’t happen at higher levels. Just say hello, how you doing? Next is the plate meeting. When you see the umpires standing at the plate that means it is time for the coaches to be at the plate. I have never yelled for coaches at the College or Varsity level. Again no small talk or jokes are needed at the plate meeting. I am going to get your name and you are going to get mine. If you really want to get on the umpire’s good side use his name to get his attention. Don’t yell, “hey blue!” Say “Hey Brent!”
Keep the umpire’s bag full of baseball. There is nothing more frustrating than to have to hold up a game because I am out of baseballs. When you have baseballs that have gone out of play, either the coach or the player needs to hand the balls to the umpire. If have a 12 year old run the baseballs to me and not make me catch it, then I know that coach knows what he is doing.
Don’t ask the catcher where the pitch was at. Don’t ask me where it was at. If you didn’t like the call it is ok to yell from the dugout on an occasion to say where you had it (ex. That was down Brent!) . Just don’t make a habit of it.
On a disputed judgment call. How you handle this from the onset will go a long way. Do not yell from the dug-out. If ball is live ask for time to talk to me. Calmly approach. If you come running at me you have already lost. Remember it is a judgment call so it is rare that it is going to be overturned. However, as Michael said, ask what did you see? If you disagree then say what you saw and ask if his partner can help on the call. If there is merit to getting help then most umpires will accommodate.
- Eliminate the small talk
- Be at the plate meeting without being called.
- Use the umpire’s real name
- Keep his ball bags full of baseballs
- Don’t toss the ball back in to him, hand it to him
- Be calm in your approach of disputed calls
You do these things either in the rec-league or the travel circuit and it will get you a long way. Tomorrow I am going to write to you and let you know how to tell you have a potential good umpire.
On the ducks coming to visit Beau in Toledo
• Beau in Toledo sent photos of ducks coming to see him as winter comes to an end. Boy did it ever come to an end here in NW Ohio. After a very cold weekend, spring is coming in with a vengenance. It was 72 away from Lake Erie on Wednesday and it’s supposed to hit 75 away from the lake today. Keep in mind, the water temperature in the western basin of Lake Erie is 39 degrees. Waves will be one foot or less! That’s all you need to know about today in NW Ohio. Cool and calm on the lakeshore and bright and sunny inland.
It’s going to be a St. Patrick’s Day for the ages around here.
On the best strawberry shortcake
• Michael J. writes in support of Dana B’s claim that Ivanhoe’s in Indiana has the best strawberry shortcake you’re ever going to eat:
Dana B knows what’s up. Ivanhoe’s is amazing! 100 shakes and 100 sundaes. You’ll have to check it out if you ever find yourself lost in Indiana.
This Ivanhoe’s place is not really that far from areas I visit in the summer. Now I need to set a reminder or mark this down on a calendar so I can check it out. These are two highly respected Screencaps members speaking up for the place. That’s saying something.
And that’s it for this morning. I’m ready to roll here.
You can catch me at 1 ET on the Clay & Buck show talking about the Woke All-Star Challenge bracket that is out. It’s that time of year. Busy, busy, busy.
Again, show me those TV setups and what’s going on in your world. Have a great day!