December 6, 2021


March madness is here, and basketball fans all over America are glued to their televisions. It’s costing us a little productivity at work, but that’s a price I pay happily for the morale boost. I want my team chatting happily over the water cooler, and there’s nothing like sports for creating common ground.

These days, it feels like everybody lives in their own narrow entertainment bubble. Our media has never been more fragmented. Between all the shows, movies, and sports competitions Americans just don’t pay attention to the same things anymore. Even when a rare show cuts through the noise, DVR and on-demand streaming mean that people watch at different times.

Sports is the exception. People with dramatically different stations in life, politics, interests, and tastes can all appreciate top notch basketball. It’s not much fun when you know the result, so watching live is the way to go. This kind of shared experience is getting harder to find, and it makes me really appreciate special events like the NCAA tournament.

I love that the single-elimination NCAA tournament is do-or-die in every single game. Compared to the best-of-5 or 7 game series we see in most pro sports, this tournament feels raw. Anything can happen, and that’s entertaining. Overall #1 seed UVA’s stunning first round loss underscores why there’s nothing like March Madness in the pro sports world.

So, a huge congratulations to the University of Maryland – Baltimore County team for the biggest upset in tournament history. Despite going no further, they accomplished something to remember for the rest of their lives.

Following favorite sports teams lets us embrace our tribal competitive spirit in a healthy way. Everybody at Alliance has been to college, and thus is a member of a proud tribe. It’s human nature to love community and to feel competitive. Fandom lets us root passionately, get swept up in the emotion, and then go home, still friends. It’s just a game, after all, and a Duke supporter really isn’t much different from a UNC fan.

So if you have a chance, catch some games in this year’s tournament. There’s nothing more exciting on television, and it just might help you connect with a neighbor or colleague.

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