What I Saw at the NCAA Tournament Yesterday

Tweet Reddit Share

Welcome to the first day of spring.

So I’m a bit whipped this morning. My last son, Max, is a huge college basketball fan. Over the years, he has gotten kind of screwed when it comes to sporting events. I always tell my kids, “Every stage of life brings its advantages and disadvantages, and so does the order in which you’re born.” In Max’s case, it means his parents had more money to provide him with things but less time to do things. I know that sounds kinda horrible, and perhaps it is, but I’ve always been comforted by the fact that his older siblings had plenty of time to do things with him.

But they couldn’t take him to sporting events.

So I made up for it a bit yesterday, and crossed-off an item on my bucket list: Go to the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

We got screwed by the NCAA right off the bat. In order to get tickets (which sold out in less than a minute), you just had to pick a location and slot. In our case, Max selected “Lucas Oil, First Game.” We then waited a week to see which of the 32 games we got for our $111 per seat.

We got Baylor v. Hartford. Hands-down the worst game of the 32.

And that’s not just my opinion. The free market agrees. Whereas most resale value of tickets hovered around $100, the Baylor game resale value was just $6.

I honestly can’t imagine why the NCAA needed to set up a system (a blind sale) that inherently screws a large number of fans, but it screwed me.

And we chose Lucas Oil, home of the Colts, so it meant we would be high up (turns out, were we very high up . . . see pic).

Fortunately, the Colgate-Arkansas game played at Banker’s Life (home of the Pacers) three hours before Baylor, and the ticket prices dropped to $90, so I grabbed those Friday morning, and we went to that game. It was great. The view was reasonable and it was a good game.

But wow, the NCAA was on full tyrant mode when it came to COVID.

Standing in line outside? Mask on.

Walking around stadium? Mask on.

Sitting in your seat socially distanced (x3) from everyone else? Mask on.

Stadium capacity 25%? No freakin’ way. The stadiums were, at most, 5% full.

Every 20 minutes or so, an usher walked through the stands with a sign that said, “Masks must be worn at all times” and signaled to people who weren’t wearing their masks.

Some Arkansas buys seated about 15 feet from me weren’t wearing their masks (they were drinking beer). They received a warning from an usher. They put the masks on, then when she left, put them around their chin to drink the beer. Other than that subtle act of defiance (if it’s defiance . . . I honestly am not sure how they were supposed to drink their beer, which the stadium was eagerly selling for $10 a can), they were clean-cut, polite, and 100% well-behaved, not remotely causing a problem.

Two security guards descended on them 15 minutes later, with an armed cop on standby 20 feet away. The security guard was cool about it, based on the bits I could hear (I interpreted his overall approach as, “Look, it is what it is. I know it’s stupid. But these are the rules. Don’t make me ask you to leave.”)

I live on the Indiana border and (especially recently) been spending a lot of time down there. I also read the news. I’m reasonably certain these aren’t Indiana’s rules, but rather, were ordained by the NCAA, who, as part of the Establishment, walks goose-step with the COVID Fascists. They apparently haven’t gotten the memo that COVID is mostly (not entirely) over at this point.

But such an admission would really suck for those with power. It’s fun to make policy decisions and tell people what to do.

If you’re a Fascist . . . or any big government type.