Tuesday, March 29, 2011

what charlie sheen and i have in common: winning.

{what winning looks like: a new shirt + new shoes}

Let the record show that for the first time in seven years, my bracket has defeated my husband’s in our annual March Madness competition.

If you have no clue what I’m talking about, perhaps this will help.

This is one of my favorite times of the year, and it has been made all the sweeter by the fact that I have come out the champion.

For those of you keeping up, my husband and I have regularly bet two days worth of fruit and vegetables on whose bracket comes out the loser. I introduced Jordan to the art of the bracket in 2005, and each year, I have come this close to beating him. It always boils down to the final game, but it always turns out in his favor.

Not so this year.

Thanks to a stellar first round and too many upsets to count, the competition at home has ended -- before the final four even play! -- and I have prevailed.

And this year, my husband changed the rules: no more fruits and vegetables. Instead, $100 goes to the winner, for the item(s) of their choice.

Yes, you could say I am one happy, happy girl.

My efforts have finally paid off. My bracket has won.

And I am satisfied.

(New readers: I’m also including last year’s ode to March Madness. Because I liked it, and it’s still true today.)


 {the fsu men's basketball team, circa 1972... the year they went to the championship, with the padre as their manager}

There are so many things my parents have passed down to me. A love for the beach, a need for breakfast each morning, a desire for higher education, an appreciation for local foods… and an understanding of the thing we call sports.

Please do not confuse my understanding with ability.

I am no athlete.

But here is what happens when a hippie and a jock meet, fall in love, and procreate:


A nerd who reads four books a month and also happens to enjoy a good game of basketball.

Wives, I don’t offer much marriage advice. (Mostly because I don’t have any.)

But I will say that being able to sit through an athletic event without complaining — and, what’s more, while calling the occasional play — has only improved our already-blessed marriage.

I like going to football games with Jordan.

I like eating hot dogs as the player rounds third.

I like staying up until the wee hours watching a no. five seed come this close to unprecedented victory.

I like watching SportsCenter on occasion.

I like the fact that I bet with my husband each March (even though I consistently lose).

I like that my husband doesn’t have to go hang out with the guys to enjoy the game — although he most certainly can if he so wishes.

The point is, my hippie mother knows next to nothing about sports. (But not, I will say, for a lack of trying.)

My jock father, though, made sure that ignorance didn’t make it to the next generation.

And I am grateful.

Because last night, as I watched “One Shining Moment,” I couldn’t help but think of him and all the late nights Chet and I would were permitted to sit, curled up on the couch, far past our bedtimes, just to watch the white nets be cut down from their perch 10 feet above the court. I remembered how those first few notes of the tournament's anthem would begin to play, and my dad would (and I bet still did) turn up the volume until I thought our eardrums would burst, informing us, “This is what the tournament is all about.”

So, thanks, Dad.

It’s true, neither of your children really became athletes (though, again, not for lack of trying).

But we sure do love the game.

And as we both know, that might be what’s most important anyway.


Julianne said...

Annie, I loved this. Congrats on your win! Though my bracket wins are also few and far between, they are certainly sweet victories. :)

Marli and Memory said...

Yay for sports people and inspiration from annie! ;) I have just recently gotten more into basketball... like playing it.

chet said...

"The point is, my hippie mother knows next to nothing about sports. (But not, I will say, for a lack of trying.)" made me lol.

also, "procreate" is such a gross word in the context of our parents.

Mom said...

Hmmmmm. You failed to mention that your hippie mother who knows next to nothing of sports is AHEAD of you in the bracket contest! You don't sleep with basketball mania for 29 years for nothing!!