I have a friend — let’s call her Maude — who is in an almost perpetual state of disbelief at my ability to “waste” my weekends watching sports (with the exception of America’s greatest opus, “Survivor”). Maude will say something to me every once in a while, when she’s in a bad mood, like, “Sports are the stupidest thing in the world — and you are very stupid for watching them.” She then goes on to say something remarkably uninformed yet still infuriating, like “The Yankees are the worst team in the NL.” Sitting in my Yankees hat and my Subway Series T-shirt, I will gurgle like a frustrated infant for a few minutes. But she will stick firmly to her point, and occasionally extend its scope; for instance, she will say, “the Yankees are the stupidest team in the NL and so are you.” This is a very difficult point to argue with. Remind me not to introduce you to Maude.
Now, though, may be the only time of year when entrenched philosophical oppositions like these fade into the background, and when even Maude grudgingly agrees to spend a couple of nights in front of the TV. As I’m sure you know, this panacea is March Madness.
Is there a better month than March? Is there a better weekend than the one starting at 5:40 on Saturday evening? I would trade my liver for this weekend if I had to. I’m not real sure what my liver does, but I know it’s important. I’m not making this decision lightly. But can I point to any joy that my liver gives me? All it does is lodge a formal complaint every few months when I drink too much Steel Reserve. In exchange for the tourney, then: see ya later, liver.
A little context. The loyal viewer of the NCAA tournament, the biggest betting event of the year, has a few props at his side. Beer, of course, is the most important of these. Few people know, however, that the best strategy for drinking the tourney away is to start with good beer and finish with whatever gruel the prisons don’t want. Those last six Coronas are a waste, pal. Get your hands on some blue-ribbon winning Pabst. I’m sure the fine gentlemen at Broadway Liquor will sell you a dusty box of Pabst or Molson Ice (Canada’s greatest import. Yes, I know about Alanis Morrisette). If it tastes bad, put your tongue on the radiator first, and that’ll burn those pesky taste buds right off.
The second important prop is a nice couch. My roommate has a couch from about 20 years ago which is a little beaten up, but they killed about 700 geese to make it and so it remains comfortable. Because of this couch, there will be no annoying slipped discs in our room this week.
Third, you need a fairly constant flow of food. I like to lead off with a few classics, like chips and pretzels, and then move on to a staple, pizza. The best deals out there right now? Fourteen bucks for two huge Alpha Delta pizzas. If you want quality, fancy boys, then add four bucks to that total and call Domino’s for the same deal. The biggest faux pas of Final Four weekend would be to get nice pizza. Try to avoid doing this. BAR, for instance, is strictly off-limits, as always, and if you order from Sally’s or Pepe’s you’re wasting your life. Still acceptable, though, is browned cheese Bruschetta, professionally made by Bobby Flay. Go to www.foodtv.com for the recipe. My number’s in the directory, if you actually choose to do this.
I know what you’re thinking now. What do I do when Arizona loses and my father’s $3,800 office pool slips into the hands of some rich doctor? This is where the backup TV comes in. You steal one of your theater-going, Lionel Richie-loving roommates’ TVs, and broadcast the game on your TV and his simultaneously. When Luke Walton slips on Justin Wessel’s drool and the Cats lose, destroy the shadow TV. It will be a great feeling. A golf club, a baseball bat, your psych textbook: these are all suitable options for the destruction of the shadow TV.
There’s really only one issue left, but it’s an important one, and very dear to my heart. What if, due to the byzantine and remarkably stupid housing system at Yale, which could be easily solved in a stroke of the pen by Rick “I don’t care about the students, I just care about my quest to buy the stupidest glasses and clothes in the world” Levin, you are homeless right now, as I will be next year? In that case, my friend, come over to my room and we’ll watch the game together. You can even have a beer and some pizza. And don’t worry, you’ll have plenty of lively conversation. I’ll sit you next to Maude.
Charles Finch is a junior in Berkeley and is thought to be armed. If you see him, do the Hustle.