Does your boyfriend, husband, significant other get involved in March Madness? Of course he does. He has testicles.
I’m pretty sure that men make some sort of promise to God that if they don’t watch March Madness, regardless of their previous disinterest in college basketball, they will forfeit their testicles.
I don’t know how the forfeiture of the testicles would occur. Maybe a horrible shaving accident where the razor slips out of their hand, falls into their underwear and severs their testicles in one fell swoop. Or maybe it’s a horrible lawn mower accident where they trip over a running mower and it just eviscerates their testicles. Or maybe there’s some sort of supernatural castration that occurs. Like instead of the Death Angel, there’s a Castration Angel that enters the homes of everyone that doesn’t have a March Madness bracket printed out and posted on the front door.
Regardless of how the actual testicle-ectomy happens, the potential loss of one of their favorite body parts is the only reason I can imagine for why men would become so consumed with a sport that normally wouldn’t interest them to such a severe degree.
Virginia Slims Man is actually a pretty good guy to be married to when it comes to sports-watching. He loves football, which I also love. (Go Steelers!) He likes basketball (professional and college if it involves Texas) and tolerates baseball and whatever that one is that they play on ice.
Kidding. It’s ice dancing. He tolerates ice dancing.
One of my brothers-in-law is a rabid sports fan. I mean foaming at the mouth, feral maniac about sports. He watches every sport that is televised. Doesn’t even have to be televised in America. If it’s a foreign sport but he can get an internet feed, he watches it. If it involves a ball or a disc or a stick or men wearing similar clothing, he watches it. And he doesn’t just watch it, he knows everything about it.
He’s the idiot-savant of sports. The man can rattle off every fact from every sport from every country since the beginning of time.
He knows about how Neanderthal Man used to play football in a cave, only back then it was called [Grunt] and the ball was just a giant stone, and if Neanderthal Man scored a touchdown, he would clunk a woman over the head with the stone ball and take her back to his cave and make her his wife. This is the origin of the modern-day touchdown celebration, only, fortunately, it is now frowned upon to clunk a woman over the head with a stone and force her to be your wife.
He can tell you how many hits Jesus had when he was playing stick ball with the Apostles on the dirt roads of Jerusalem in 29 A.D. (Jesus had a perfect batting average. He was Jesus.)
He can tell you which sports the San Bushmen play and he can translate their calls into English even though the San Bushmen speak entirely in clicks.
San Bushmen referee: Click-click-clickety-click.
Brother-in-law: See, that ref just said that Click-clock was over the line of demastication and he has to tether the ball to his right foot using a cow’s tail and run a mile backwards as a penalty.
But in every other aspect of his life, my brother-in-law is a moron.
Kidding. Kind of. He’s got some moronic tendencies. He can tell you who won the World Series in 1963 and who they played and who batted last and which teams that person played for throughout the history of his career, but he once thought the blood he saw in his urine was just Kool-Aid because he had been drinking a lot of Kool-Aid.
You know, because your pee changes color with the beverages you consume.
Not even kidding.
Virginia Slims Man is not that bad in comparison. So it always throws me when at the beginning of March he starts panicking because, as he says, “I need to do my brackets.”
“Doing my brackets” sounds like a very important architecture-y thing, or maybe orthodontic thing, but it’s really just looking at the teams that he hasn’t followed all year and guessing who’s going to win. What he needs to say is, “I need to go pay $20 to make some completely uneducated guesses.”
Then when he finally gets his brackets done, he prints them off and carries them around with him everywhere he goes. He takes them to work. He watches T.V. with them. He takes them to the bathroom.
He starts carrying my laptop around with him so he can check the status of his brackets on a moment’s notice.
And he starts talking about colleges that I’ve never heard of before and whose existence I actually doubt. I’m pretty sure Gonzaga is a Muppet.
Then he starts talking to me about things that I care less about than how bunions are formed or what bile is made of or why paper factories smell so bad.
The other night I walked out of the bedroom into the living room where he was sitting on the couch with his brackets and my computer, watching three basketball games at one time. How he doesn’t have ADD is a mystery to me.
Then we had this conversation:
VSM: Man, did you see that? That guy has had nine three’s tonight.
Me: I’m sorry. I realize that all of the words you just said to me are in English, but the question is nonsensical. First, you assume that I am able to look at the T.V. and absorb information when you’re switching the channels at a speed that I would characterize as violent. Then you assume that I care that this player for a school that I’m certain is imaginary made nine three’s tonight. Seems to me that if he’s that good, he should make every shot he takes. Now excuse me. I’m going to research what causes bunions.
I’m pretty sure I could enter the living room wearing only strategically placed bandaids and VSM would ignore me during March Madness.
I’m going to try it tonight. I’ll let you know how it goes.
Just to be on the safe side, I’ll probably keep the razors and lawn mowers away from him for a while.
There’s not a damn thing I can do if there’s a Castration Angel.