March Madness. By all accounts, I shouldn't be a fan. I don't play basketball, I'm not old enough to be in college or even high school, and I'm a girl. But I am obsessed.
What is it about March Madness that has me, and millions of others bouncing off the walls? Maybe it's the thrill of competition where we don't have to actually break a sweat. Or the daunting, and yes, inevitable prospect of a bracket buster. Or the pure excitement that comes with college kids, not that much older than me, putting it all out there for the win. It's all this and much, much more.
Sixty-eight teams battling it out and the men's NCAA Basketball Championship is giving fans across the country something huge to hope for and to cheer about. And it's also giving TV networks that carry the games, CBS and TBS, something big to bank on.
March Madness rakes in more than a billion dollars in TV advertising revenue. The championship is the biggest post-season sports money-maker anywhere. Bigger than post-season football, pro-basketball and baseball. No, it's not the pros, who make millions to play, who are bringing in a billion post-season ad bucks -- it's these college kids. The ones who have to score the three-pointers on the court, and make the grade on their homework too.
They've got their fans. Almost everybody (even those celebrities) has a favorite team to root for. But by far the biggest fans are the moms and dads who are living every lay-up, free throw and buzzer beater, just like they probably were with every first word and first step.
The smiles, tears and stories are there. Florida Gulf Coast's shocking win over No. 2-seeded Georgetown. Wichita's State's win over No. 1 Gonzaga. And the life lessons are the takeaway. Don't give up. Hard work pays off. Be a gracious loser. Be an even more gracious winner. Live in the moment. Just go for it.
My March just wouldn't be the same without all this hoopla. And I think it's probably safe to say that many Americans across the country feel the same way. March Madness has a way of bringing people together, no matter your gender, religion, race or politics. Whether your team wins or loses, you're still a fan. Let's call it bipartisan basketball.
Peace Love Profits,