March Madness is one of my favorite things in the world. Love the competition, filling out the brackets, the underdog stories—LOVE it all. I also happen to generally love basketball.
Flashback to December 2010. I was on a date with a guy I met at SMU Homecoming in October (“He lives in NY! He went to SMU! He’s cute! It’s fate!” said my heart. “No, it’s not,” said my head). We’ll call him “Donde,” nicknamed such because I would get texts from him that frequently read, “Donde?” These texts were annoyingly often past 10pm. IE, they don’t warrant a response
(*caveat, based on the number of drinks you’ve had).
But here Donde and I were, at a reasonable 7pm, at the Knicks game. It was a BIG game. Knicks vs. Miami Heat. This was significant not just because LeBron was in town and NY loathes him, but because Donde was also passionately indignant toward LeBron. He would show me hilarious videos on YouTube making fun of him, and followed the Heat just to see if they lost. We joked about this all the time, so being at the Knick/Heat game was just…oh, so romantic…KISS CAM!
And then, as we were walking into Madison Square Garden, it came out:
“So I put $30 bucks on Heat tonight with a guy in my office,” Donde told me.
“WHAT?!? Um, stop the presses—you HATE the Heat. You actually use the word hate about them. I mean, all the time. And we live in New York!”
“But neither of us is from New York.”
“So? How could you put money on the Heat!”
“Because they’ll probably win. And I’ll make $30 bucks. Which equates to more drinks for you.”
“Yeah, but so what? What ever happened to loyalty? Ugh, Donde. I’d give you $30!”
For a moment I was conflicted about who to root for, but went with the Knicks. Who lost. Donde and I lost, too, because we were pitted on the opposite sides. He had gone with his head, and it paid off for him. I went with my heart, and at least felt loyal.
But which is the right answer? And when can they ever agree? I am waiting for that magical moment where my head and heart are in tandem about the man I am in a relationship with, as well as my sporting wagers.
It is not happening for me during this year’s NCAA tournament. Having lived in Austin, I am a tried and true UT Longhorn fan. They have a tough schedule ahead of them, but in the West Region I have the Horns advancing to the Sweet 16. Where they will meet Duke. Not only do I hate Duke, but my head knows that Duke is more than likely going to win. But leave it to ol’ reliable heart to question, “can you really not pick burnt orange?”
It might be my downfall, but my heart always wins. Can’t help it. And then it will make me do more stupid things that leaves my head rolling her eyes and shaking her…head?…like put a high-stakes wager on it with a friend who went to business school at Duke, should the game happen. I did compromise a little- I have TX losing in the first round of the Final Four to Ohio State. And as usual, compromise kind of stings a little, and my heart wants to get a foul shot out of it.