LACERDA: Out with sanity, in with madness

John LaCerda

The fries are awful at Connelly Center today. Some genius had the idea of designing them into waffle shaped pieces, completely taking away their natural flavor in the process. I eat my unappealing meal, focusing my concentration on the widescreen television that has a March Madness special on ESPN.

I am a bit surprised by the selection of three Big East teams as No. 1 seeds but more excited by the prospect of having NCAA tournament games played at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia.

Easily the craziest four weeks in sports, the NCAA men’s basketball tournament provides more excitement and entertainment than any other American pastime. In a world dominated by over-paid, cheating, arrogant all-stars who deceive us with false records and phony advertising, it is a relief to watch a sport at its most authentic and competitive level.

The madness surrounds all of us. With a hot team that has the potential to go far in the tournament, it is exciting to think about the joy and fame that would come about on campus with a possible national title team.

I find it hard to cherish the skill displayed in the World Baseball Classic in a time like this because quite simply put, who cares? The athleticism of the Puerto Rico team causes no more interest in my mind than a recent confrontation on “The Montel Williams Show,” nor do I care about the performance of some potentially successful Japanese young, right-handed pitcher.

I think when you consider the coaching involved in tournament play and compare it to that of professional teams you can make the conclusion that college level deserves more respect because the players are younger and less formulated. I have a strong inclination that the next month will undoubtedly offer some of the best coaching for years to come, solely based on the widespread talent between these teams.

When I read about newfound investigations surrounding the steroids issue, it pains me to think about the future consequences on a national perspective. Each year more and more players are either owning up to their past actions or admitting to them only after committing perjury.

The strict drug testing policies in college athletics prevents this dishonesty and makes me admire the youthful talent that makes us constantly presume and predict.

I encourage bracket betting because I think it promotes a sense of community with your peers on a certain level and because it livens up a sport that has so many buzzer beaters, questionable calls, wild upsets and beloved heroes.

Growing up in a “winning” city, I was always accustomed to attending professional games that showcased showboating moves, cocky celebrations and riveting crowds.

It was not until I went to the Boston Beanpot, however, that I first experienced the satisfaction of viewing a college game. A tradition started in 1962, the tournament consists of four teams, Harvard, Northeastern, Boston University and Boston College, which compete at the Garden in extremely competitive and violent fashion. Hard hits against the boards coupled with regular fore checking easily persuaded me that college athletics held just as much valor as any professional game.

As I fill out my bracket for this year’s NCAA tournament, I revel in the fact that my college has a respected Division I program. I look forward to the madness that will ensue. I hope that everyone can go a little insane because it never hurts to let loose once in a while.


John LaCerda is a junior English major from Medfield, Mass. He can be reached at [email protected].