New dimensions to March Madness
In case you've been resting in a cave during this very stranger winter, we're now in the season of March Madness. College basketball brackets are popping up all over with TV stations and others luring fans to pick their teams for the chance to win big prizes or just boasting rights.
Though I attended Ohio State during a basketball heyday in another era, I don't follow this nearly as closely as I once did. Instead, I've been paying attention to other varieties of March madness this month.
For instance, you can discover some great new authors, perhaps win a book or even a contribution to a dog rescue on author Emily March's current March Madness promotion. Though we're past my day of the promotion, there are plenty of other authors on her website, so take a look at www.emilymarch.com. And if you haven't already, give her books a try.
In yet another version of this month's frenzy, here in Miami we're engaged in Manning Mania, otherwise known as the great hunt to capture quarterback Peyton Manning. Even before Manning's long ties to the Indianapolus Colts were cut, the Miami Dolphins and their fans were salivating over the possibility of luring the famed quarterback here. That he already owns a home in Miami Beach seemed to some to be a portent of the edge we'd have.
Then came the Denver Broncos. Then the Arizona Cardinals. Today it's the Tennessee Titans. Manning must feel as if he's in some surreal episode of The Bachelor, being courted by more people than he can possibly satisfy. While I'm sure that's thrilling on some level, it has to be just a little disconcerting, especially since all these teams are counting on him to ride in and save their respective football franchise butts.
I'm watching it all with my heart in my throat. No question that Manning is one of the great quarterbacks of this era, but he has had serious neck surgery. The thought of him back on the field in any team's uniform terrifies me, never mind that his doctors have cleared him.
Obviously football is in his blood. His father was another great in the game. So is his brother, Eli, who took the New York Giants to Super Bowl victory this year. But if I were his dad, his brother, his wife or even a friend, I'd be on my knees begging him to take a job in management, in coaching or in the announcer's booth.
Given the nature and location of his injury, one wrong hit could end not only his career, but his life. I understand the desire to get back in the game. I don't understand the willingness to take that kind of a risk or those who would encourage him to do it.
If he does play this year, I hope he's successful. More importantly, though, I pray he stays safe.