Student Voice


April 21, 2024



March Madness baffles some as it takes over television

April 4, 2017

As per usual, I seem to be the only person I know who has elected to spend not a single minute of my time on the phenomenon that is the basketball tournament March Madness.

Perhaps you have heard of this thing that takes over the month that follows February? It is difficult for me to drum up support for sporting events in general, least of all one where its coverage dominates television to this magnitude.

And, if it was not apparent by now, I am not really into sports whatsoever. I, for one, still cannot quite get past how much attention a game of basketball can garner, or that the athletes are unpaid while their coaches will often make much more than the president of the college they represent! Am I the only one who thinks this is not quite right?

Perhaps I am focusing too much on the numbers or on the money behind this mega-sporting event, but it is hard not to when the actual sport itself does little to hold my focus. While other members of my house shout and exclaim at the games being broadcast on television, I can only look at them in bewilderment.

Why do my parents feel compelled to roar their approval or displeasure at a team from a college they have never attended? Why do they suddenly seem to care so much about this team only when they began to play in the particular March Madness game? It does not make any sense to me.

This year, along with my general confusion about why March Madness is an event of this magnitude, I had another element of this yearly tradition to puzzle over: the Gonzaga basketball team. The first few times the word “Gonzaga” spewed from the television speakers and snaked its way across the room and invaded my ears, I thought it was surely a made up word. I may be indifferent to basketball in general, but I had at least thought I knew the names of most of the schools participating in March Madness.

Gonzaga, as it turns out, is a real university located in Spokane, Washington. The team, often referred to as the “Zags” (because why not, I guess?) is not a newcomer to March Madness as I thought upon first hearing their name the other day. The university the team represents is a private Roman Catholic institution named after Aloysius Gonzaga, an Italian Jesuit saint.

The team has been a participant for many years. I was a little disappointed to learn that the history of the school contradicted my early theories on the origin of the name, which I thought sounded like someone could not make up their mind over "gorgonzola" or "garbanzo" and just decided to combine the two.

Against my better judgment, my eyes strayed a few times from the non-basketball activities I was engaging in to an actual basketball game. This mysterious basketball team, with its obscure name, its freakishly tall player with an even stranger beard and the team’s element of "underdog-ness” lured me in and kept my attention. Well, some of it. I have not actually lasted a full game yet, but I think I might try again next March.