Miss Vero has absolutely no earthly idea what in the heck Max's is talkin about today (except for the Downtown Friday stuff). Must be the continued effects of his nicotine withdrawal, is all we can figure. Only thing we know about basketball is what we learned from Cheech and Chong's "Basketball Jones" cartoon, featuring Tyrone Shoelaces, which we dug up and enjoyed and y'all might remember it. This was way back in 1975, watch for the "Impeach Nixon" sign and listen for our favorite Beatle George Harrison on the guitar. Yes, and now Viv and everyone under 30 has absolutely no idea what Miss Vero's talkin about.
I WAKE UP TO THE SOUND OF SNEAKERS SQUEAKING ON A HARDWOOD FLOOR
March Madness is so named for a reason. If you watch all of the games you will lose your mind. I am close to that point and there is still another weekend and a Monday night game to go. My NCAA bracket self destructed over the weekend faster than the opening tape on “Mission Impossible” and probably smells just as bad. Since my alma mater was a wallflower at the “Big Dance” for the second year in a row, I chose Pitt to be the big winner and they lost a close one to Villanova Saturday night, which means my chance of being the big college basketball guru in our office contest (no wagering please) is now nil. Winning the college football post-season bowl pool had left me with a measure of quasi-athletic prowess and an added degree of respect around the office. That is not going to happen with basketball. President Obama still has a chance with his bracket. I don’t.
To break the ongoing sound of rubber soles on wood and Verne Lundquist descending into his “dog voice”, the Newports loaded up the station wagon Friday afternoon and went to the Downtown Friday festivities and a good time was there just waiting for us. There was a good crowd. I didn’t see any of the Beach House regulars there. Miss Vero must have been out tanking on some hot tea somewhere and Miss Viv was surely trolloping up in preparation for a night of adventure. We were greeted with the sounds of the band OPM, which stands for other people’s music, wailing out the Van Morrison tune “Domino” which I hadn’t heard since the leisure suit days of the 1970’s. Being an old time rock and roller, I watched the band and realized I was seeing the band formerly known as Barracuda. They are and were a good band, but the hair dye and convenient wearing of hats doesn’t really do much to hide the inevitable aging that seems to be running rampant in my generation these days.
Much to my delight, I was able to find a video of some of the members of the band in their formative years. Here they are for your listening and viewing pleasure.
Back to basketball. As if the games in the tournament were not enough, we decided to dust off our “Hoosiers” DVD and watch that again. This is the best basketball movie ever made and may be the best sports movie I have seen. Gene Hackman, Barbara Hershey and Dennis Hopper do a great job and I am surprised this movie didn’t win any acting awards. Hackman has done a lot of stuff but nothing better than this. It was set in 1952 and it was refreshing to see a movie that was not surrounded by cell phones and computers.
We watched “Quantum of Solace” earlier in the week and are disappointed that James Bond has become an action figure. They do have a neat computer in the movie though (Best Buy here I come). I did discover a universal truth about action heroes and machine guns that deserves a mention. Whether the character is James Bond, Jason Bourne or Jack Bauer, other than having the same initials, they are invincible to a machine gun. There are several scenes in the latest Bond movie where at least 20 bad guys are shooting at our hero with machine gun bullets flying everywhere, but Bond seems immune. He doesn’t even look worried. Trying to kill one of these guys with a machine gun is the equivalent of throwing ice cubes at the sun to end global warming.
It is Sunday afternoon as I write this, and the games are about to begin. In spite of my lack of any chance to win, I still am into the tourney too much to back out now. Yesterday morning though, was a perfect time to avoid sports and go out and fly a kite. I took my dog out into the yard and we flew a kite for about two hours. It was beautiful kite weather and for me there has always been a sense of tranquility doing something akin to fishing backwards. It is always a great way to meet your neighbors, many of whom stop by to share simply with you their observation that you are flying a kite.
Even though half of my final four are gone, there is a hope of basketball dignity left. Then comes the awful college sports dry spell until football begins toward the end of summer. Until then, excuse me to watch the Sunday games and listen to old Verne growl.
May you all have a good week, and remember kids, betting on sports is not a good idea but flying a kite usually is.