BRING ON THE MADNESS

My favorite time of year is almost here. No, I’m not talking about the arrival of the cherry blossoms here in the nation’s capital—although I love them, too.

I’m talking about March Madness, when college basketball fans across the country fill out brackets and stay glued to their televisions.

I usually do two brackets—one where my beloved Maryland Terrapins win and one with a different (usually more realistic) pick. I did really well in 2001 when the Terps unexpectedly made it to the Final Four, taking second place in my office pool. I also did well the following year when they took home the trophy (that was certainly a night I’ll never forget). Unfortunately I haven’t had much luck since then—and neither have the Terps.

I come by my love of sports honestly. My dad was a huge sports fan who took me to a lot of baseball, football, and basketball games. Since we lived in the New York/New Jersey area, I grew up rooting for the Mets, Yankees, Giants, Jets and Knicks. My dad never expressed any clear preferences when there were 2 teams playing the same sport. He loved them all.

He also enjoyed tennis, and I have many fond memories of watching Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Bjorn Borg, Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe play at Madison Square Garden. When we went to London a few years back, I dragged my husband out to Wimbledon for a tour and proudly showed the photos to my dad when we came home. His health was declining by then, but he definitely got a kick out of them.

Tennis notwithstanding, my husband is also a huge sports fan (and a fellow Maryland alum). That means sporting events are a big part of our lives. We are loyal Maryland football and basketball season ticket holders and go to our fair share of Redskins, Wizards and Nationals games as well.

When Maryland moved from the ACC to the Big Ten a few years back we were skeptical, but we’ve grown to love the conference. (We still hate Duke though!) We’re thrilled that the Big Ten Tournament is here in DC this week and of course we’ll be sitting courtside Friday night as Maryland plays its first game.

Whatever the outcome this weekend, we already know Maryland is headed to the Big Dance (a.k.a. the NCAA Tournament and/or March Madness). That means analyzing matchups and filling out two brackets. I’m sure many of you will be doing the same.

Good luck, everyone. Bring on the Madness!

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