April’s Madness almost here

first_imgThe term “March Madness” has been around for decades. For those of you who have been living under a rock your entire lives and haven’t heard the phrase, it relates to the men’s (and women’s) NCAA college basketball tournament, where millions of money-hungry Americans clutch that invaluable paper bracket while cursing out the backup point guard from Southern Methodist Community College for missing that layup to beat Southeast Oklahoma State in overtime. After the first weekend, however, most people’s brackets have been put through the household paper shredder when your national champion lost to a No. 15 seed by thirty. But, hey, they played tough, right?March Madness can also be related to a college student’s midterm exams, which usually fall right before spring break. Instead of thinking about getting their tan on, students are forced to get their study on, which is a far cry from drinking a piña colada in paradise.Despite basketball, March Madness in Wisconsin can also accurately portray the weather and the emergence of spring. After months of snow, ice and chilling wind, the snow has started to melt, the ice has evaporated and the wind begins to get a little warmer. However, as the old saying goes, “If you don’t like the weather in Wisconsin, wait five minutes.”Now, as March comes to its conclusion, I begin to ponder these two things: Is it still going to snow? And, more importantly, I can’t remember the last time I played a round of golf. Playing golf in the crisp morning air is one of the best recreational and healthiest activities around. For most golfers, the season ended in early November, which means those new Titleist clubs with the super flex shafts have been collecting dust in the basement for more than four months. Every time it seems like you can rush out and practice chipping in the front yard, the Wisconsin weather gods quickly dump three feet of snow and ice in your yard, telling you that it’s time to go back to your studies because it’s not time to lace up those leather golf shoes just yet.Sure, there are other sporting events to pass the time. The Wisconsin softball team overcame a six-run deficit in the bottom of the sixth inning to shock Loyola Tuesday, and the women’s basketball team advanced to the WNIT Final Four for the first time in seven years. But since you can’t steal second base like Sam Polito, and Rae Lin D’Alie can break your ankles with a sly crossover, you’re forced to watch from the sidelines. With golf, you can go out there and play like Tiger Woods and win a major championship. But for most of us, scoring a Jean Van de Velde-like triple bogey is about the best you can hope for.Along with the golfers, the winter is just as harsh on the caddies. For most caddies, myself included, caddying is the major means of income over the year. Without golf, we slowly watch our bank accounts whittle away while our debts increase. I don’t know about the caddies living the dream in the Evans Scholar house, but I have (in order of importance) Wisconsin football tickets, poker losses and, oh yeah, tuition fees to pay for. You might say, ‘Well Benjamin, why don’t you get another job over the winter to pay your bills?’ My response can be simply put as, “If you take my finite mathematics exam, I’ll be happy to search for employment opportunities to pay the bills.”Over the winter months, diehard golfers try to maintain focus on work and business, but often find themselves daydreaming about just how much fun this season is going to be compared to last. It’s a fact, and it’s the true meaning of March Madness.Why do we do it, putting ourselves through the madness over a simple game? The simple conclusion is that golf is the ultimate sport for all ages and sexes (the debate on whether golf is a sport or not will be left for another time). Golf is the type of game that takes very little skill, but good weather to thoroughly enjoy. With April comes that glimmer of hope that the crummy weather should be gone for good and that golf season can begin. It’s just a matter of time until the links are crowded once again, and that lovely beverage cart girl makes her way around to quench my Gatorade thirst for another year. Name one other sport that has all that. After five months of miserable weather, April Madness can finally erupt, as golfers can no longer be contained inside as they dive deep into their closets, looking for their plaid pants and polo shirts. As for me, I think it’s almost that time to strap on the caddie vest for another year, because, lets be honest, I really need the money.Spring is in the air, folks. Let the April Madness — the real month of insanity — finally begin.Benjamin is a senior majoring in Journalism and Bracketology, although he’s choosing to take advantage of the weather and hit the links instead of the Final Four. If you want to book a tee time or share your favorite golf course, email him at [email protected]last_img

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