Old journalism joke …
An editor and a writer are wandering through the Sahara. Days and days of nothing but sand. Finally, they see a lake in the distance. They run toward it, faster, faster. They get to the shore, and the lake is real. Beautiful blue water. Clear as glass. The writer kneels down to take a drink, cups his hands. The editor says, “No! Wait!”
He pulls down his pants, removes his penis and pisses in the lake.
“Now,” he says, “it’s perfect.”
The NCAA is the editor. It really is. I am shocked, baffled and dismayed by the bullshit they’ve attached to March Madness. Here it was, the absolute perfect product—64 teams, pools nationwide, drama, intrigue, suspense, millions upon millions of dollars.
And they piss in it.
Tell me if you disagree, but this 68-team thing is crap. If anyone cares, it’s only the students from the schools. The NCAA is calling it the first round, but we all know tomorrow is the first round, just as we know the football subdivision is I-AA. The whole thing is about making more money; about squeezing extra dollars out of, well, whoever can be squeezed. The result is a diminished product. Not terribly diminished, but diminished enough that the last two days have felt cheep and sort of pathetic.
I can’t say this for sure, but I’m willing to bet members of the teams involved in these first two days would prefer the 64 (or 65) model, too. I mean, why pretend this new first round is anything but a farce?
Because that’s what it is—a 100% farce.