Today is known in the world of sports as "Selection Sunday" when the NCAA announces it's field of 64 teams that will play in a tournament to decide this year's college basketball champion. Basically if you consider yourself an American, this is one of the most important days of the year. I don't know anybody that doesn't appreciate the yearly phenomenon known as March Madness. First of all, it is by far the best playoff system of any major sport (pro or college). A bunch of teams actually decide a sports champion without the use of computer rankings and seven game series'. Second of all, it is fueled by one of America's favorite pastimes: Sports gambling. Whether or not you give two shits about basketball, everyone throws down money to join a March Madness pool. Finally, it is an all day event that runs from noon till late in the evening. So it gives people across America a reason to skip school or work (or take a 3 hour lunch break at a bar) to watch 20 different crazy competitive games and get drunk all day. Of course, as is the case with all Rad activities, there are a group of lame people that ruin March Madness. Since this blog is more in the spirit of bitching about things, rather than focusing on life's positives I will now stop dwelling on the positives of the NCAA tournament. Instead I now give you the top 5 annoying groups of college basketball fans:
1. Fans with ZERO connection to the team they root for
You know the type. At some point in their life these people picked a random ass school to root for. Generally this happened when you were a kid and needed a cool Starter jacket to rock to school, and a group of players to emulate on the playground court. So you picked a college squad to follow. Totally fine. For example when I was a kid everybody and their brother liked Michigan because of the whole "Fab 5" phenomenon or North Carolina because they always had some Rad ballers that could dunk on everybody. Then of course, these kids grew up and ended up not attending their favorite hoops school. And ended up never setting foot in the state of their favorite hoops school. Yet somehow they maintained their manic loyalty to the college hoops squad they cheered on their whole life. Generally their argument is that they love the "tradition" of this team. Which is a bullshit way of saying they decided to stick with a college that is always succesful, rather than suffer with the fans of their own shitty college that didn't make it to the dance. The worst culprits in this category are Duke fans who couldn't find Durham, North Carolina on the map. They generally argue that they like Duke because "they play the game the right way." Which is a fancy way of saying "I like cheering for a bunch of white guys and non-threatening black guys without tattoos."
2. Fans with the in-state connection.
If you are an unaplogetic homer who jumps on the bandwagon for the college squad in your city of residence, that's cool. For instance, this year the St. Johns University program has experienced a resurgence. So if they make a deep run through the tournament, people in the city of New York have every right to get excited about it. I used to live in the DC area and go to Georgetown games every week. When they went to the Final Four a couple years ago, I rioted and celebrated in the streets like a black person or hippie did when Obama won the election. However, if you went to a smaller public institution two hours away from your state's major college powerhouse, you are not allowed to root for them. I don't give a shit if you "Got in there...but just decided not to go there." You went to Eastern Carolina? Yeah, well don't fucking root for Duke or UNC. You went to Central Florida? You can't live and die with every moment of Florida Gator hoops. I basically could have re-named this category "Ohio St. Fans." Ohio has approximately 7,000 random ass smaller state schools. Miami of Ohio, Ohio U, Dayton, Cincinatti, the list goes on and on. All of these fucking people root for Ohio State. Even though all these places have Division I programs of their own. This is total bullshit. People from one of these schools that do the "O-H...I-O" or "We don't give a damn about Michigan" chants at bars during a Buckeye game deserve to be kicked in the dick.
3. Family connection fans
There are many smart people in the world who attend good major colleges, enter a lucrative career and settle down in high-income areas. When these people have children, there is no guarantee no matter how hard they try to steer them in the right direction, that their kids will follow in their footsteps. In fact there is definitely a chance that your child will be a complete and utter fuck-up. You wanted them to attend your alma mater, but unfortunately they smoked too much pot in high school or got drunk the night before the SATs and couldn't quite meet your school's high (or average) admittance standards. Once these kids have established themselves as a total disappointment, they still want to maintain a good relationship with daddy so they go out of their way to cheer on their father's college in sports. "Oh I didn't go to school at (insert state powerhouse here) but I mean my dad went there and we used to watch games together all the time." Yeah well who the fuck cares? You didn't go to daddy's school and therefore have no right to be their number 1 obnoxious super fan. These are almost ALWAYS the craziest fans of their school of choice. They scream obsceneties and stomp their feet at every instance of frustration the team experiences. They talk shit to rival alumni about how "WE" beat them this season. This is total bullshit. Just because daddy went to your favorite hoops school doesn't change the fact that you never took bong hits with their star point guard in a dorm room. So drop the whole "WE" act and root for your own shitty program with lower academic standards.
4. Bracket pool super fan
This species of douchebag cares less than a fuck about college basketball during the other 11 months of the year. However, they don't want to be alienated from their college social circle or office when everybody else is engrossed in March Madness. So they join the NCAA tournament bracket pool with everybody else, hang on the edge of their seat with every upset or buzzer beater, and go absolutely batshit every time one of their picks is wrong. You would think they wagered their child's college education on their bracket rather than $5-$10 . They also get upset by games that have little to no impact on their bracket picks. They flip out because they lost one random ass first round matchup, rather than one of the teams they picked for the Final Four. They generally try to act like they understand basketball, so they can join in the water cooler conversation. They question why the team they picked to win kept "making fouls" and yell about the team's inability to cover the 5-10 white guy that hit the game winning 3, when they were double teaming the future NBA superstar driving to the basket. They just want to be accepted and make up for the fact that they never learned how to shoot a jump shot because they were too busy playing "Goldeneye" with their nerd friends in the basement.
5. Bandwagon Alumni
Having ripped apart every psychotic basketball fan that DIDN'T attend their favorite hoops squad's university, I might as well skewer all those dipshits that carry a snobby attitude about the fact that they did attend a school that made it to the big dance. These people rarely went to basketball games while in college, and make no effort to follow their alma mater's sports program. Once March Madness comes around however, if their college made it to the big dance, they are suddenly a devoted hoops fanatic. They overdo it, and cover themselves head to toe with team apparel. They regale you with stories about how they used to run into players at the library (total bullshit...why would an athlete be at the library?). They brag about how crazy the atmosphere is for the annual clash with their arch rival, even though they never camped out for tickets or rushed the court after a big upset. They look down on anyone who didn't attend a big hoops school, especially if they are rooting for a team that kicked their squad's ass. "Dude who is this loud asshole..? He didn't even go to UNC." is a common bitter statement they make as their team chokes away a lead. Yeah they didn't go to school there, but at least they're not just jumping on a bandwagon and pretending to be super invested in a team's fortunes. They've probably actually kept up with their team's recruiting, watched 10x the number of games you have, and can name more than two players on the team from the last five years. So don't act too high and mighty about your alumni status. You're not that much less annoying than the other four groups of aforementioned assholes
Anyways having offended every class of NCAA basketball fan, I will close by saying I hope you enjoy this totally awesome next two weeks of hoops action. Enjoy the day drinking (This year day 1 is on St. Pattys day..double dose of Rad), the class skipping, the gambling, and the homer bandwagon jumping to the fullest. Embrace this overload of America all over your ass, and don't let any of these five groups of dickheads ruin your March Madness experience.