Almost Tournament Time

It is days away before the season takes the turn to March and the countdown to the spectacle of madness starts proverbially separating the men from the boys.

Coined March Madness but carrying well into April it would be astounding to discover just how much work time is wasted, delayed or forgotten once speculation begins about just how the NCAA Championships shake out.

He smarter of employers just embraces the competition – Why fight it they theorize.

How can even the no-sports fan not get caught up in the story lines that during the season mostly remaining in the locker room but with journalists hovering becomes headlines as the games begin

When Montana defeated Nevada in the first round in Salk Lake City, Bob Ryan of the Boston Globe, who I have become slightly familiar with because of the National Sportscasters-Sports Broadcasters Association yearly meeting, clung to head coach Larry Krystowiak discovering early on that Krysko was different than most head coaches and usually rolled out a noteworthy quote.

Some tournament idiosyncrasies abound and while the event’s organizers do an amazing job some of it is over the top.

Remembering prior to the first-round practice in Salt Lake, I was not allowed to enter through the team door after departing the bus because of had the wrong color pass.

That sent me around the corner of the building – equipment intact now – and up about 20 long concrete steps just to get to the main level, only to enter and then co me all the way down the stairs to the floor.

I discovered early on to befriend security or ushers near our broadcast spot since the governor could hardly reach me for a halftime interview at one facility as the usher – I know just doing his job-refused to raise the red rope necessitating handing the headphones over to where he could stand.

The one-hour practice session preceding the first round is closed, manning I even had to sneak in but when I watched a New York Times reporter being sent up the tunnel lacking the proper credential, I had to intervene.

Running him down up the tunnel he said he wanted to interview Mike Chavez as the only Native American player in the tournament.

Such an opportunity rarely arrives and I quickly put the two together to necessitate getting that in a prominent spot in the Nation’s paper of record.

Such opportunities are rare but I still cherish this time of year.    


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