“Not For Nuthin’…”

by John Rooke

OK. So March Madness has finally arrived. Why do I suddenly seem ambivalent toward it all? I mean, this is a great time of the year for sports fans (and non-fans), as the NCAA basketball tournament usually means David vs. Goliath almost every time out. You know…root for your school, follow the home team, watch to see if little Podunk College can out-scrap mighty Big State University to advance toward a National Championship! It’s Hoosiers in real life! How’s that for appeal?

Not for nuthin’…but I don’t sense the fervor for college hoop this season around here as we’ve had in recent years. And I think I know why…because our local ‘five’s’ have been…well, they’ve been…struggling. PC has been terrible, at times. URI? Even worse. Brown? The word “rebuilding” is used every year. CCRI has given us some hoop hope, going as far as a regional title game this season, and just missing out on the national tournament. But because we in Rhode Island have not had a strong, major-college rooting interest this season, or even had a team that at least has a prayer of winning every time out, college basketball has been as stale as a day-old muffin. ‘Tis a shame, because real fans support their team, their school, in good times and in bad.

So fill out your office-pool brackets, for informational purposes only, of course. And go ahead and watch the games on television – but I challenge you to not care about who wins and loses. Even if our local teams will be watching on TV, too.

John Rooke is in his 11th season as “Voice of the Friars” on WPRO Radio, and a former Sports Anchor for WPRI Channel 12 and WJAR Channel 10.