Looking at the Madness

March Madness inflames minds
Finds us cheering on favorite teams
Extremes in dress and fanatic cheers
Beers replace a more subdued drink
Think of nothing but three point shots
Spots the open man in the paint
Feint the pass and scores the point
Anoint the MVP and Tourney winner
Inner pride for school and city swells
Tells the world that they’ve made the cut
Shut the car door and get on the road
Slowed and rolled to an untimely stop
Cop pulls up to our smoking car
Far from the Sweet Sixteen games
Flames creeping from under the hood
Could we use some help he asked
Downcast the car is a total loss
Cross we’ll miss our team’s chance
Perchance a ride to the field house
Douse the flames and we’re on our way
Pray we get there before it starts
Hearts pounding we get there in time
Halftime score is completely tied
Pride goes before the fall
Ball control and basic skills
Kills the chance for easy scores
Roars of the crowd signal the end
Send the team to the shower room
Gloom descends on the super fans
Plans for parties fizzle and fade
Trade fleeting joy for steadfast sorrow
Tomorrow brings jeers from enemies arch.

Indiana basketball has always been a true love of mine. I don’t know about you but this last March lacked that special zing. This makes 2 years in a row that March Madness hasn’t really happened. Sure there were some basketball games but the bleachers were mostly empty. Growing up March Madness was probably a bigger deal than Christmas. I mean, Christmas was a single day. March madness lasted a whole month. Some things have changed since my youth. They now have divisions based on school size. Back in the day a little school could beat a “goliath” and find themselves in the big game. Still, the format for choosing the teams for the state championship is basically the same. First there were the County Sectional Tournaments to dwindle the teams to the best in the county (there are 91 counties in Indiana). Next it was the Regional Contests where the number of teams was pared to 16. The Sweet Sixteen! From there they played for the Elite Eight. The winners of those games became the Final Four. That would determine the big game players for the State Final Tournament! In Indiana growing up every driveway had a basketball hoop all up and down my street. We would play all kinds of games – HORSE, follow the leader, Around the World, and Knock out and a lot of the boys would have 3-on-3 games that got pretty physical. (With no referees the elbows would fly, and the term “scrappy defender” took on a whole other level of meaning.) It was the dream to play for the state title. Last year COVID cancelled the state tournament. This year it was held with strict rules in place to make sure it was safe – for the players and the spectators. It still wasn’t the same.

Anyway, the above poem is a Chain Rhyme poem for NPM21 #9 prompt to write a chain poem. For those unfamiliar with a Chain Rhyme, it consists of a rhyme between the last word of a line and the first word of the next line. The chain is completed by rhyming the last word of the poem with the first word of the first line. I upped the difficulty level by including prompt #7 – write a poem incorporating a favorite beverage, an automotive malfunction, and basketball. And to top it off it really is a love poem about basketball….

33 thoughts on “Looking at the Madness

  1. Could one poem hold any more punch than that? A 3-fer. The chain looks challenging (not when you do it, of course). Fun to learn about your passion for basketball. Here’s hoping you get sufficient madness next March.

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    1. Thanks Carrie. I remember the madness of my youth. It was de rigor to attend all basketball games and failure to do so caused teen angst way out of proportion! hehe! First world problems for sure. We watch the games on TV (college) but miss the “hoopla” of HS hoops.

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    1. Hey – I have spent all of my life (sans 2.5 years at the start and a single year as a sophomore in HS) living in Indiana where Basketball is king. Sort of like football in Texas but bigger since everyone plays all the time.

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          1. I thought as much.
            Nice to meet someone so passionate about basketball.
            There’s quite a stir about basketball in Finland at the moment. A Finnish player was just drafted, second pick, female league.

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    1. Many thanks Zakiah! I hope you didn’t suffer hypoxia from reading such a long poem! I find that in very close games I tend to hold my breath when there are free throws being attempted! As if that helps! Ha! On the bright side I’ve developed great breath control!

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  2. Growing up we would watch game after game of the madness. Today I seldom watch. My team seems to have lost moral standards over the years and they have such a draft rate that you don’t get to know the players anymore.

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    1. I was a big Chicago Bulls fan back in the day. When Jordan left and then they traded Scotty Pippen – well I was disillusioned. I haven’t followed Pro Basketball since. College is much more fun to watch anyway!

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    1. Yes I am! In fact the whole family is composed of fans. Son#1’s first word (after dada and mama) was B’ball meaning basketball. Son#2 uttered “Shoot” complete with the required hand and arm movement for shooting 3-points! We love roundball/hoops/basketball – whatever you want to call it!

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  3. Basketball never really grabbed me. I tried to watch it a couple of times and it just didn’t hold my interest. Now put me in front of a baseball game and yeah, it’s all that.

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  4. This past Big Dance was riveting for us, here in Arizona-as the women were on a roll-until it came time to defeat a California team-but even then, the Cardinal only eked out a win by ONE POINT!

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