Singapore Friend to Me: “What is this March Madness?”

To me, the third month of the year has always been two words long.  There is simply no March without Madness.  Growing up, college basketball’s holy grail was family bonding, an introduction to sports gambling, a testosterone release, and a pleasurable diversion from homework, chores, and vice-versa.  (It is apparently cathartic for the nation as well, according to The New York Times.)  I remember the Christian Laettner shot more vividly than some past relationships.  (Be honest, there are readers out there who know what I’m talking about.)

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Yet, I have now learned there are parts of the world that are not aware of this great American tradition or even consider it an oddity, like winter snow and $20 bills and steering wheels on the left.  At dinner earlier this evening, a friend remarked that my latest Facebook status update about enjoying March Madness confused her: “I figured it must be a sporting event of some kind because you mentioned you hoped there’d be upsets.  But why are you so excited?  What is this March Madness?”

My shooting hand hit the dinner table with a thud.  I tried to explain its significance, dropping in buzzwords like Sweet Sixteen and Coach K and single elimination and George Mason and Obama’s ballot.  She remained impassive, changing the subject to AIG.

I cried a little inside at that moment (in a manly way) mainly because it has never been easier to be a U.S. college basketball fan.  In another example of what I am calling the year of the video (see previous post about live-streaming of  Obama inauguration), the words college and media have come together impeccably well in the form of “March Madness on Demand.”

MMOD offers live-streamed video of every game in the tournament, available even to temporary expats like me who are watching online until the sun rises over Southeast Asia.  Yes, it was offered last year, but this year’s version is much higher quality- more options, quicker buffering, less kinks, and easier navigation.  I can only hope my (former) friend reads this post. :-)

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