Sam had a sheet of paper that listed every single conference game with their start times and the television channels that were carrying the games. When Jake and Matt found the slip of paper (that looked a little like the Unabomber Manifesto) they teased Sam.
"Just getting the schedule worked out so I don't miss anything."
My beautiful wife made Sam show the schedule to me. I simply shrugged.
"Don't you think it's a little nutty?"
"I've done it myself," I said. "I use the same sort of paper in organizing my work now. It's nutty not to get it all in front of you."
What made me smile about all of it is that my brother, Jeff, was the exact same way as Sam.
The best week of the year??
March Madness is more important to my boys than Christmas.
The Thursday and Friday games will be played, screamed about, pondered over and wildly cheered.
But we have a problem.
Kathy's birthday is Thursday!
The very first day of the tourney.
The day when the excitement about basketball is at its very peak.
"What do you want for your birthday?" Sam asked.
"For no one to watch basketball," she responded.
"Then we'll try again next year," Sam answered. "Because that ain't happening."
To this day Kathy remembers the year, before we were married, when I stopped watching the tournament long enough to go out and have birthday drinks with her.
"You loved me," she chides.
"There was a television directly behind you," I said. "I actually didn't miss a single play and I didn't hear a word you were saying."
(Which is definitely partially true).
"But you went!"
"We can go to dinner," I said.
"You'd skip the games with the boys?"
Kathy paused for a long while.
"We can order food and eat it at home. They're gonna' be fired up."
There will be madness.
Sam has his little slips of paper ready to go. He will have it all worked out so that we all know who will be in which bracket playing at what time on which channel.
"I'm so excited," he said to me the other day.
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