March Madness brings April angst

“Beware the end of March Madness.” – Anonymous

I’m so bummed out.

Soon the thrilling moments of college basketball’s buzzer beaters, deep threes, the and-ones, clutch free throws, and the deafening roar of the crowd will be over. And with it the end of my TV collegiate sports watching season. I will be without my beloved sports until football, specifically the Iowa Hawkeyes, kickoff in September. My fate is to now languish on the couch scrolling through the mind-numbing viewing options on Hulu.

Hold the remote! What about baseball? It’s as American as hot dogs and apple pie! Not for me. That’s right; I reject America’s Pastime. Why? Because I can’t endure the perpetuity between pitches: the batting gloves adjustments and practice swings. The pitcher glancing to first base, shaking off the catcher’s signal, back to first, then catcher. The pitcher nods…pauses AAAAND…steps off the rubber to start the process all over again. Baseball should have a five-second pitch clock. Talk about a game changer. 

“You can’t hold a gun when
you’re holding an air guitar.”

And I don’t like hot dogs or apple pie either.

So what are my options for TV sports entertainment while I wait six long months for the collegiate football season to kickoff?

Surprise! It turns out there exists a wide world of sports to hopefully assuage my competitive spirit. Now some sports enthusiasts may balk at labeling these activities as sports, but for the purpose of keeping an open mind, let’s assume all the options I mention are a sport because Hulu has decided to classify them as such. Let’s review the options together.

World Poker Tour. The constant chip clacking by the players is so irritating I fold. 

Horse racing. Tuning in for the last five minutes to skip the 55-minute pre-race commentary, I settle in for a riveting contest while the horses are situated in the chute. Suddenly I remember that “Secretariat” is one of my favorite sports movies, and I really ought to watch that again, only to discover the race is over. 

Axe throwing. Whoever scores the most points by hitting the designated mark on a wooden target wins. This sport desperately needs to embrace technology. After every throw, a referee inspects the axes in the targets to announce the score. A sensored target with a scoreboard would do wonders in chopping down the tedium of axe throwing. But kudos to the announcers who are able to keep the commentary flowing with insightful observations such as: “That was a gutsy throw,” “You’re playing psychological warfare against your opponent,” and “I’ve always said this sport is half a mental game as opposed to just half throwing the axe.” I will contemplate that statement as I keep scrolling.

WWE WrestleMania. Yeah, right.

WCT or World Chase Tag (is there any other kind?). Like the always delightful dodgeball, bored adults took a playground game and made it into a sport. Here’s how it works: two people, a “chaser” (a.k.a. “it”) and an “evader” (not “it”) play tag on a course or “quad” consisting of ramps, metal bars, and landings. “It” has 20 seconds to tag the evader. 

Don’t be fooled; these guys (and gals) aren’t your average Joes with dad bods (see axe throwing, air guitar); these are parkour professionals. What’s parkour? The activity or sport of moving rapidly through an area, typically in an urban environment, negotiating obstacles by running, jumping, and climbing. (New Oxford American Dictionary)

Yes, parkour is also a sport and yes there’s a national championship for it, only the athletes compete for time. Since that wasn’t interesting enough (because it’s boring, I watched it), someone decided to add tag into the mix. But I say, why stop there? How about WCTRARDDGHGS? Who wouldn’t want to watch World Chase Tag Ring Around the Rosie Duck Duck Goose Hide and Go Seek? I want to but only if it’s required for the evader to yell, “Nana nana boo boo you can’t catch me!” before each match. Otherwise, I’m taking my ball and going home. 

Air guitar. Looking for a sport that requires no physical training or skill? Search no more. All you need is head banging enthusiasm (long hair helps), no regard for embarrassing yourself on a public stage, and a totally rockin’ name like Toy Boy Roy Piccolo, CindAIRella, or Nordic Thunder. Aspiring to compete in Oulu, Finland for the world championships? Here are three tips:

1. A costume is a must. Anything spandex, sequined, or tasseled. All three? Even better.

2. KISS-esque makeup is a huge plus. 

3. Memorize the Air Guitar mantra for extra street cred: “Make air, not war.” Adding “dude” at the end is optional. And last but not least…

American Cornhole League. More non-athletes turning an activity into a sport. Let’s all agree this GAME should stay in the backyards and tailgates where it belongs. We need to draw the line somewhere with these people, because next thing you know they’ll do something crazy like turn ironing into a sport! Too late. (Check out “25 Insane Examples of Extreme Ironing” on YouTube.)

It looks like my sports pickings are slim. I could always catch up on the latest season of “Dance Moms” – psycho women screaming at each other, nearly coming to blows because her child is the best as the deranged dance coach freaks out at the slightest mistake all while the kids watch in horror. 

 That’s kind of like a sport, right?

 Yikes. It’s going be a long six months, dude.

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