by Joshua Alan Terry
March Apathy

According to the most recent bracket update, my March Madness entry is running at about 5%, which places me sixteenth of sixteen entries in my "Logan Brethren" group. I had been at 1.4%, but then I inexplicably called the LSU-Duke upset.


Another victory for Team Terry.


And what, may you ask, is the secret of my success? Just how do I manage to make picks of this nature? Is it voodoo? Is it intense meditation? Intense study? Am I actually watching any of the games?


I just picked the team with the shorter name in each match-up. Then, when I had LSU vs. UAB in the final game, I went with LSU because you could rearrange their letters to spell "LUS". The final score (51-50) was a tribute to the Van Halen album "5150", the classic soundtrack to my Zions National Park Scout Camp with Troop 649.


No, my method hides a much more dark secret:


I don't really like college basketball.


The only time I've ever attended more than one college basketball game in a season was my second year at Utah State, and that was just because I thought one of the Aggiettes was cute. Sure, the games were fun–we were a good team–but I was never passionate about the whole thing. In fact, I couldn't care less.


Whenever I've brought up the topic, I've been given the usual rants about how much the NBA is full of overpaid whiners, drug addicts and gangsters, and that college basketball is played for free by purist amateurs in the midst of a high energy college environment. I agree about the NBA stuff, but I'm not so sure about the purity of college sports. You can ask Chris Webber, Bobby Knight, and the bald guy with the towel in his teeth about that one.


I've been an NBA guy ever since the Jazz took the Lakers to seven games back in 87-88, and these days, that's about as far as my loyalties are going to go.


Maybe I'm more a fan of individuals than organizations, but I've never been able to get really passionate about a group of guys just because they happen to represent my school. At the peak of my NFL infatuation, I watched the Raiders because of Marcus Allen, the Browns because of Bernie Kosar, and the Lions because of Barry Sanders. The Utes and Cougars were a bunch of guys that would be gone in three years. There was no continuity. No Stockton-to-Malone.


My disinterest in college basketball is just one of a series of private skeletons I've packed away for years now. Maybe it's a sudden burst of maturity, maybe it's apathy, but these days I feel less and less inclined to play along with the priorities of the culture I live in.


So here are a few more "confessions", with all due respect to my friends who feel otherwise. After all, if you can't use your own web site to make your private feelings public, what good is it?


#1: I don't like the Mandarin.


For years, The Mandarin has been the premier Chinese food establishment in Bountiful, Utah, if not in the entire state. People had even heard of it in Chicago when I was a missionary out there. But as for me and my house, we don't think it's all that great. Their idea of spicy food is…well, I don't know what it is. I've never actually had a spicy dish at The Mandarin.


#2: I don't like the Dave Matthews Band.


I've already addressed this one (along with The Princess Bride, Astro Bars, and country music) in a blog entry several months ago, but that was before Dave's tour bus dumped his crap–literally–all over some of my people in Chicago. Now I REALLY don't like the Dave Matthews Band.


#3: I don't like Mystery Science Theater.


This is a tough one for some of my friends to understand or accept, but it is true nonetheless. I've never liked having to listen to other people in movie theaters, and this is the ultimate example of it. When you make smart remarks with your friends while you're watching a movie at your house, it's funny, and it's not rude because you're at home. But having to listen to someone else's conversation while I'm trying to pay attention to something (even if it's an understandably dumb movie) is irritating. Besides, it's almost like they're saying, "you're not clever enough to come up with your own smart remarks, so we'll do it for you." Frankly, my clever remarks are better than theirs, and they aren't written down beforehand. If I want to mock a dumb movie, I'll do it myself, thank you very much.


#4: I don't like Cafe Rio.


This one should manage to offend any remaining friends I haven't offended previously. I'm not even going to apologize for this one. Cafe Rio makes decent food. Decent. It's the most overrated place since people started wearing those In-N-Out Burger shirts in elementary school. I'll eat there if I have to make people happy, just like I'll eat at The Mandarin or Robintino's. But I'll never drop in on my own. Nope.


The thing that bugs me most about Cafe Rio is that it is part of this wave of "hip" Mexican restaurants that have saturated the market in the last ten years. The thing that's great about Mexican food, a cuisine born from the third world, is it's "salt of the earth" aesthetic; it's not supposed to be "hip". The only Mexican food spot that's legitimately hip is The Red Iguana, and everyone loves that place because it looks like a hole in the wall.


OK, I feel a lot better about this now. Go LSU.



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