The Non-Sports Fan Guide to the NCAA Basketball Tournament

Sports have always been a huge part of my life. It’s the way I grew up. I’m a sports fan in the same way that I’m an American. It’s just a part of who I am.

Throughout my travels, however, I’ve realized that’s not the case for everyone. Other people had fathers who would actually talk to them during football season! They learned about math without ever dividing “hits” by “at bats!” When you ask them who is on Mount Rushmore, they never once mention Wayne Gretzky! Who knew it actually had presidents?

Now, if you don’t like sports, more power to you. Honestly, your emotions are probably much more stable than mine. You’ve likely never yelled at a TV or hugged a complete stranger in a sports bar while you were both crying. You’re probably in a healthier place. There is one thing that you’re missing out on though: The NCAA Basketball Tournament.

It is, by far, the greatest American sports tradition. The Super Bowl is fine, but the college basketball tournament is the real prize. It’s 6 rounds of kids playing their hearts out in single elimination games because they love the sport. With that in mind, I decided to create the 5 (completely impartial) steps to guide non-sports fans through the awesomeness. They are simple, and you’ll love the experience. You can thank me later.

Step #1: Learn the Rock Chalk chant.

Repeat after me: Rock. Chalk. Jayhawk. KU. Don’t worry about what it means. This is just the 101 course. Just know that it was once called the greatest college chant by none other than…President Teddy Roosevelt. Yeah, it’s been around…

Try it again: Rock…Chalk…Jayhawk…KU

Not really doing anything for you? Try lengthening the words: Rooooooccckkk…..Chaaaaaaaaallllkkkk…. Jaaaaayhaaaaaawwwwk….. KaaaayyyyyyUuuuuuuuu…..

That’s a little bit better, right? Now, drop it down an octave: ROOOOOOCCCKKK…..CHAAAAAAAALLLLLKKKK……JAAAAAAYYHAAAAWWWWK…..KAAAAAYYYYYYUUUUUUUUUU..….

It’s starting to get pretty awesome, isn’t it? Now, all you have to do is imagine yourself sitting in the historic Allen Fieldhouse and saying it with over 16,000 of your closest friends. Are you having a little problem with that last step? Here, I’ll help

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Step #2: Automatically root against any team with a cat for a mascot.

Kentucky Wildcats? Nope.

Missouri Tigers? Double Nope.

Kansas State Wildcats? Triple Nope.

Step #3: Learn to love the color blue.

Like most years, there’s a very good chance that the winning team will be wearing a shade of blue on their uniform. There are, however, a few teams that might break that streak this year like Indiana, Ohio State, Louisville, and Miami.

Step #4: Root against Indiana, Ohio State, Louisville, and Miami.

Step #5: Cheer for the only sports team that released a Harlem Shake video during the 30 seconds that it was actually cool to do so.

That about covers it. If you follow those 5 easy and completely unbiased steps, you too can enjoy the awesomeness that is the NCAA Basketball Tournament.

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