Friday, March 18, 2011

Is March Madness the Nation's Best Sporting Event?

It almost seems absurd to compare anything to the Super Bowl.  Every year the television ratings get larger, and the game seems more hyped than ever.  The game does not start until around 4pm Pacific, yet there is six hours of pregame coverages.  We receive "expert" analysis from guys like Terry Bradshaw, and he seems to be getting dumber by the year.  Next, Taylor Swift or Faith Hill performs their new single to get us pumped for the ensuing action.  Yes, nothing screams masculinity quite like Taylor.

The game starts, and for the most part, it is quite underwhelming.  For every Arizona vs. Pittsburgh classic that we are fortunate enough to see, we get clunkers like most of the Super Bowl's of the 90's.  The game seldom lives up to the hype.

The NCAA tournament always does.  Sure, Kansas vs. Boston U was a blowout, but so many games went down until the final seconds.  I love watching the small schools knock off some the larger powers, and it happens every single year.  The tournament never lets us down.

Of course, its hard to compare a game that last for 3 hours, to a tournament that lasts a month, but the first two days of the tourney offer us things that other sports simply cannot.  You won't see Ohio State get beat by a Division II team very often.  Yet the NCAA tournament gives us unparalleled sports drama each March.

The new format of how we watch the NCAA has made the tournament even more enjoyable.  Four networks, and every game shown in its entirety.  It is something that has been long overdue, and is absolutely brilliant.  The response by the viewer has backed that up:  Bloomberg reports that the NCAA tournament has received its best ratings in two decades.  The new way in which it is broadcast changes the way we watch college basketball.

The Super Bowl is still the most popular sports day in America,but give me the first two days of the tournament any day,  It is the most compelling reality show on television today.

Random Thoughts: Insomnia

Since I have become an adult, my sleep patterns have been stranger and stranger as the years have gone on.  Back in High School, I would never stay up past 1am, even on the weekends.  I always felt that was my cut off time, whatever I was doing, I needed to wrap it up and get some rest.  Getting up at 6am to go to school every day played a big part in it, but staying up all night was something I never did.

Now, the idea of going to bed before 3am seems like a strange concept.  To most people, staying up until 4am is insane.  However, I am not most people.  I work a retail job as a technology sales person, and work mainly second shift.  During the week, I start around 2pm, and don't leave until 10pm.  Most of your normal folks work between the hours of 7am and 9am.  You go home, do whatever it is you do, and check out around 11pm.  I am just getting my night going then.

It is not as if I go out and drink or anything like that.  I am here, reading, watching television, and writing these blogs that you people read.  Since I "attend' the University of Phoenix now, these night hours are when I do most of my work, writing papers and such.  I lead a relatively boring life.

Yet recently, going to sleep has become more and more difficult.  It isn't like I am particularly stressed, and I come home beat from a day of work, yet it's like I can't turn my body off.  Sleep used to come so easy to me as a child, I'd lay my head down on the pillow, and that's was the end.  Now, I fight my brain for dominance, for that sense of relaxation that never really comes.

I kind of envy "normal" sleepers.  Staying up until 4am most nights makes me feel like a crack addict.  I am not, but normal people surely not sleep until 12pm the next day.  Hell, there have been days where I have slept until 2pm.  Perhaps I need medication, or a heavy dose of NyQuil.  Who knows, exactly?

The wonderful world of 3am is fueled with sports talk radio, bad infomercials and Family Ties reruns.  It is also home to a random rant on a blog about a soon-to-be 26 year old underachiever who cannot sleep.  Perhaps my inability to sleep comes from the pressure I put on myself.

I turn 26 next week, and still haven't established myself as an adult.  A lot of my High School classmates have their degrees, own property, and have much of their life planned out.  While I am making progress with my education, I work a shitty job that I hate.  You know that feeling that you get when you enter some place you really don't want to be, and a chill kind of comes over your body?  That is the way I feel when I enter that building. 

I know that I will be fine when it comes to life.  I am a little behind, but I have abilities that will benefit society.  I have to constantly play tricks on my brain, but I believe in myself.  I just wish I could fall asleep.