March Madness Drives Me Mad

March Madness has always drove me mad. Every time March rolls around, I get antsy. Luckily, the whole NCAA college basketball ordeal ends tonight, and boy am I ready for the end.

Honestly, I don’t have any issues with college basketball. It’s just that the timing of the competition is simply dreadful. The NCAA tournament falls during the end of the NHL season. And every year I have to fight with finding a bar that will air the hometown hockey team, amidst all the college basketball nonsense. This past Saturday, was yet another example of why I hate this collision of sports being televised…

Saturday night, was a big game for the Caps. It was a home game and we have been fighting for a playoffs spot. I was out in D.C. that evening and needed a joint to watch the game. I came upon the bar, 51st State, in Foggy Bottom. As expected, the sports bar was filled with televisions airing the basketball game. Thankfully, the bouncer told me, that the upstairs bartender could change one t.v. to the Caps game for me. Lame, but I would take it.

As promised, the upstairs bartender switched one of the many t.v.’s to the Caps game just for me. I’m always shocked that nobody else is interested in watching the Caps on t.v. during college basketball season. Everything was going well, until the third period of the Caps game. It was around 9PM, and the upstairs of the bar was gaining more than the initial few others that were there when I had arrived.

With just a mere few minutes left in the game however, my pleasant time watching the game, changed. The bar was hoppin,’ and a number of college kids were playing pool at a table near the t.v. I was watching. One of the students goes up to the bartender and asks him to change the lone Caps game to the basketball game. Hey jerk, couldn’t you just turn your head around, and watch one of the other t.v.’s that were overflowing the small bar’s room?

Had the bartender been accommodating and nicer, he would have explained to the kid, that he’d have to wait, as someone was (gasp!) watching the city’s pro sports team play a heated and stressful match that was soon coming to a close. Seriously, I don’t know why I didn’t approach the guy, myself and explain to him my case. Nonetheless, the bartender willingly changed the channel on me, no questions asked. When my sad, puppy dog eyes turned to the bartender, he told me, he could put the game on, on a back t.v., far from my perch at the bar. I was fine, as long as I could finish watching the quickly dwindling game.

After a few minutes that seemed like days, the game briefly appeared on the back t.v.. I could see the bartender arguing with some patrons in the back who wanted their precious basketball game back on that t.v.. I just couldn’t win. The bartender came back, and as I asked for the check, I heard him mumble something about getting the Caps game back on a t.v., which alas, never actually happened.

I left shortly thereafter. They were not changing any of the numerous t.v.’s back to the hockey game, and apparently weren’t interested in catering to the requests of their customers. I was really bummed. Bummed, though sadly, not surprised. Because once March Madness hits the nation, it really seems that there is nothing else that people can think of. People become so submerged in college basketball, that it’s almost as if they can’t even fathom that other sports exist, let alone play at the same time. Seriously, it just makes me so mad.

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