The Gods of American Slack-Assery certainly blessed us all this year, with a St. Patrick's Day Wednesday followed up by the tip-off of March Madness proper. Most American workplaces have been ruined this week with bracket-clogged copier machines, talk of green beers, and people hitting the boss's voicemail before 8 am to leave an "I'm feeling sick" message before having to actually talk to somebody.
So being you probably were out working your liver hard last night chasing those nasty green beers with shots of Jameson's, and you're most likely going to be trying to find a way to cut out of work a little early today, to hit the basketball buffet as early as possible, and you're gonna be fighting hangover the only proven way to fight a hangover - with a throwback sugar soda and half a joint on your way to go drink more beer, I figured I'd give you a little guidance on things to look for on this first day of action, and how to incorporate drinking into it, so you can power through this Little Friday (aka Thursday) into Friday into the actual weekend and not worry about being a productive member of society until next Monday or Tuesday at the earliest.
#1: BRACKET BUSTER GAMES IN THE ACTUAL BRACKETS! Bracket busters was some non-power conference tomfoolery dreamed up by ESPN that was supposed to help all these smaller schools get better dork computer ratings to get into the actual tournament. But today somehow we not only get a match-up between non-power conference teams, but an actual slew of them. Saint Mary's vs. Richmond gets underway early this afternoon, followed by Texas-El Paso vs. Butler, Northern Iowa vs. UNLV, and then a nice nightcap of the Montana Grizzlies vs. the New Mexico Lobos. None of these teams are tournament mainstays, and some of them might not be back again for another decade once their best player runs out of eligibility. I'm not sure how to incorporate drinking into specifically watching these games.
#2: BAD BASKETBALL TATTOOS! Mixed martial artistry is well-known for it's terrible tattoo styles, and rightfully so. But college basketball has a very underrated flourishing scene of stupid tattoos, all too often related to actually playing basketball. Basketballs that are on fire, or basketballs with cursive writing all around them, or the absolute worst of a basketball with a college team logo modification incorporated. There are a ton of really stupid basketball tattoos on the sinewy arms of these young athletes. The lucky few will make it to the NBA and be able to afford high end tattoo artists who can cover up these youthful desecrations, but many will live on in non-televised obscurity with these wildcat tigers palming a flaming basketball until old and grey. If watching with friends, and you spy a new terrible basketball tattoo, all your friends should be made to drink, although in honor of extra ridiculous upper arm round ball body art, we should all drink, not necessarily in honor of it so much as an acknowledgement of yes, this exists, and it is quite a thing.
#3: ASSHOLE ALUMNI! A good 360 days out of the year, sports bars are terrible sad places full of serial date rapists and fried foods. But on a day like this, a sports bar can be a fun and glorious place, because the usually low standard of grey matter gets even lower as fringe sports bar attendees come out the woodwork to find a public place to share in this over-indulgence of basketball. Plus, a lot of us have to pretend we're actually at work until it's our normal go-home time anyways. But amongst the many great types of liquored-up dimwits you can encounter today, two are the absolute most fun to watch from afar.
The first is the indignant guy from somewhere else far away, who is not only surprised, but shocked and belligerent that they are not airing his alma mater's game (probably Villanova today, as nine times out of ten it's a guy from the northeast) here in Arizona. And they will go to it very briefly during a timeout on the main game, and the guy will be standing up excitedly, and then when they go back to the regular game with way more local interest, dude is all rolling his head and getting more belligerent. These guys are great fun to make fun of, even within hearing distance. They are not from here so probably don't have a lot of back-up.
The second type is the guy who is emphatically rooting for a dominant team, being stoked beyond belief that his #1 seed Kentucky Wildcats are crushing whatever it is East Tennessee State calls itself. This guy you don't want to mess with, because he is loud drunk and has friends lurking. But the fun thing with him is you can watch from afar, keeping a safe distance, and he will drink heavily early in the game, and as it wears on, all his movements will start to slur like you can imagine his speech is doing, and about five minutes into the next game, he's sitting at the table, staring into his beer, trying to find some focus. And all his buddies are oblivious. You still shouldn't mess with him though, because at this point he is like the retarded cousin, and if you pick trouble with him, it'll actually get you double wrath from his posse.
#4: TENNESSEE (and to a lesser extent, Texas) HOME UNIFORMS! Both teams close out the night, and both teams will be wearing their home whites as the higher-seed, trimmed in orange. Tennessee embraces the orange a bit more than Texas does. White shorts with the orange trim is a tight style, looking like creamsicle clothes, especially when contrasted with the darker skin tones of your more prominent college basketball players. At this point in the night, you've been drinking for a while, and really, at this point, you need to start figuring out the politics of getting out of work tomorrow. Should you call in outright, or pull half a day? How hard is that half a day gonna be after the last two nights of drinking? Under the weakened sensibilities of recovering from drinking, are you going to be susceptible to managerial trickery and actually end up working the whole day? But these last couple games don't really matter. You should channel into the pimp creamsicle style of Tennessee and Texas, tune out the sounds, let some 8ball & MJG play in the back of your brain, and find you some drunk woman to get your oral sex from, if you can find one in that pit full of date rapists. If not, just go home and rest up. It's a long weekend ahead of us all.
#5: ONE SHINING MOMENT! Haha, not really. This is one of those things that everybody likes to pretend is great on some sort of level when really it's just completely stupid. I don't even know the song, although I guess like nineteen different people have done remakes of it in the past five years. I'm sure they'll be busting out the Major Lazer "One Shining Moment" remix featuring Ke$ha before the end of this year's tourney. It's just a highlight package with some corny ass graduation ceremony song playing. Maybe everybody's been too drunk to notice all these years, but that's not great at all. That's painful, and a terrible way to end a long Little Friday of drinking, especially if you didn't find a drunk woman. There's always tomorrow though.