About Last Weekend: A Prelude to Madness

GreenIn case you were out living a life of leisure, here’s what you missed in sports over the weekend.

“In the clink there’s a link that a licked soul may click
Humble thy chains, make not such a racket
‘Tis not witchery or a thaumaturge trick
Avast! At the last! Hold fast! ‘Tis a bracket.”

“On The Occafion of the Eve of the Firft Bracket,” penned by Vice Admiral Thurston Edward Pocket IV, 1778, Cape Cod, Mass. This poem was written in captivity aboard the American clipper ship “What Madness Awaits?” The quatrain, along with a second Latin verse lost to history, briefly became the national anthem of the Falkland Islands 200 years later, set to the tune of the popular children’s song “B-i-n-g-o.” After being released, Admiral Pocket spent a decade selling pamphlets in Boston that were mostly charcoal sketches of George Washington’s friend “Hormund the Silversmith,” a bawdy character historians have no reason to believe is anything but a crude fiction. The pamphlets enjoyed some popularity among the rapidly diminishing Tory community, and were printed twice per week until Pocket was hanged for sedition in 1790.

But one Monday each year, after the conference championships are complete, we honor him with:

A Prelude to Madness.

  • The NCAA tournament committee has spoken, and the four no. 1 seeds are Kentucky, Syracuse, UNC, and Michigan State. To commemorate the occasion, John Calipari traipsed around Lexington wearing overalls and an iron skillet on his head, calling himself “the next Johnny Appleseed.” But instead of seeds, he cast tiny head shots of Anthony Davis, hoping more Davises would grow where they fell. No cause for alarm, just a simple prelude to madness.
  • After winning 18 straight SEC games, no. 1 Kentucky finally fell in the conference championship, losing 71-64 to unranked Vanderbilt. Jeffery Taylor scored 18 points and grabbed 11 boards for the Commodores, who celebrated by forming a drum circle and chanting the words “nobody believes, everyone believes” until midnight. You know the deal … a prelude to madness.
  • Peyton Manning paid a visit to Arizona and Denver over the weekend, but has not engaged in contract negotiations with either. He has written several angry letters to former Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe, complaining bitterly about the institution of the stamp and the fact that he has to use stamps in the very protest of said institution, but that’s nothing but a little prelude to madness.
  • Tiger Woods withdrew from the final round of the WGC-Cadillac Championship Sunday because of discomfort in his left Achilles. Unsmiling, he roared past reporters in a golf cart labeled “Tiger’s Titanic,” which also featured a carved maidenhead in Phil Mickelson’s image. These are all facts we can chalk up to our old friend, a prelude to madness.
  • St. Bonaventure’s win over Xavier in the A-10 championship game canceled a potential committee vote on the last team to make the field, said NCAA interim Vice President Greg Shaheen. Among the six teams with a chance to fill the final spot were Bowdoin, the steps of the Arkansas state courthouse, Eisenhower’s Ghost, Episode 96 of The Flintstones, the Grand Canyon, and the phrase “Gosh, it’s cold!” Shaheen went on to say that the concept of a traffic jam didn’t have enough wins over the RPI top 50, but he was suffering from acute prelude to madness.
  • No. 17 Florida State won its first ever ACC basketball championship, beating no. 4 North Carolina 85-82. Luke Loucks had 10 points and 13 assists, and paid homage to a prelude to madness when he snapped a wet towel at the championship trophy until security reluctantly arrested him.
  • In a tense standoff for the Big Ten championship, no. 8 Michigan State outlasted no. 7 Ohio State 68-64. The leading scorer for the Spartans was a tinfoil statue of Tom Izzo, while Ohio State was led by a robot with a sense of humor called “Miguel.” Only some of his jokes were funny, but we can’t all be winners during a prelude to madness.
  • Baskets by Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum in the final minute gave the Lakers a 97-94 win over the Celtics on Sunday. Near the end of the game, with Boston trailing, Kevin Garnett insisted that they had to sacrifice a fan in order to appease the gods and get a win. “We’re not butchers!” head coach Doc Rivers shouted, though he was, in fact, dressed up as a butcher of swine for prelude to madness.
  • Tony Stewart used a “late, bold move” to win at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday. I was at an airport bar in Atlanta at 6 p.m., and while the Selection Show was coming on and the Lakers-Celtics game was finishing, a bunch of rapt males insisted on watching cars race in a circle on the main TV.
  • I THINK YOU KNOW WHAT WE CALL THAT.

    (For those who didn’t see the announcement last week, Participation Friday has a new name and new home. Stay tuned to the Triangle blog later today.)

Filed Under: About Last Weekend, Kentucky, Michigan State, Nascar, NCAA tournament, Peyton Manning, Syracuse, Tiger Woods, UNC

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Shane Ryan is a contributing writer for Grantland. His book about the young stars of the PGA Tour will be published by Random House in early 2015.

Archive @ ShaneRyanHere