Monday, March 22, 2010

No, not Those Gaels, These Gaels!

Well it's over.  It's not really over I'm told, but no, it's really over.  I will be treated to a wonderful dinner at a pizza place or subshop in a couple of weeks.  Team Lost Electronics picked Kansas to win it all, and interestingly predicted deep runs by Temple, Vanderbilt and some team named "Sienna" (Apparantly the play- in game was played by two Italian Winter League teams.)  In the meantime, Team JMR was finalizing the details of its third win in a row.  Pizza or a meatball sub?

The kids were really disappointed, not that they lost, but that they had to spend their allowances on someone as uncool as Dad.  They also justified their loss by stating that we were going to take them to Dave and Buster's sometime soon anyway, so who cares that it's not in a couple of weeks.  Attitude adjustment time will be coming, but not right now.   After the tears were wiped from their eyes, I suggested that we all pick a team that we can root for together.  Ohio State (my pick to win it all) seemed a little petty to pick as the group's favorite team.  How about Mom's pick du jour, Georgia Tech?  Even my 5 year laughed at that suggestion.

Then, intuitively, my seven year old starts asking me some questions.  "What's that team that lost that Mom spat on when we were picking teams?  What was the team that named after Mom?"  Mom spat at Villanova, because of my hatred for all things non-UConn.  Mom's middle name is Mary.  Our new team was starting to take shape.  The St. Mary's College Gaels!  In a very weak regional bracket, we also picked a mid-major that might be able to win at least one more game if not get to the Final Four.  I did a little research to get the boys excited about our new team.  Here are the four most relevant things about St. Mary's that the boys would appreciate.

1.  Australians.  Seriously, what is it with this school?  They have FIVE Australians on the team.  Not just bench warmers, mind you, but three starters on a 28-5 team that dominated Gonzaga to win the West Coast Conference Tournament.  Matthew Dellavedova was even recruited by other Division I schools.  Did these guys think they were heading to Melbourne's St Mary's?  All I know is that any team dominated by Australians is okay with me.

2.  Gaels.  The definition of "Gael" is an ethnic-linguistic group that originated in present day Ireland and includes the Highland Scots.  To some folks in the Midwest it might mean The Gaels an Irish traditional folk band based outside of St. Paul, Minnesota; sorry girls, they only play private parties at this time.  Anyway, the kids, being more than 50% Irish and Scottish, were very excited for this angle.  Australians and Ireland all represented by one team?  Unfortunately I had to dodge questions about when they could go to Ireland with this lame response - "sorry guys you need to have a special card to travel outside of the United States..."  Not bad for being put on the spot.

3.  Ugliest Player Ever.  I noticed this when I was watching St. Mary's play Gonzaga in the the WCC Final; not only is Matthew Dellavedova the ugliest play I have ever seen, he plays ugly.  A Point Guard who drives to the basket with his head down? Check.  An ugly black and white mouth piece that makes him look like an illegitimate Klitschko Brother? Check.  The lack of a haircut since 2002?  Check.  This dude is ugly.

It's impossible to root against this guy, though.  Impossible.

4.  Going Back to Cali.  Kentucky, Kansas, Syracuse, Duke.  I'm East Coast, but always wished that I was West Coast.  Ohio State, Villanova, Kansas State, West Virginia.  It seems that everyone was leaning toward the Atlantic Ocean this year, and there were no good teams west of the Mississippi River (I know some of the Big 12 teams were West of the Mississippi, but that also defeats my point).  In fact, the Pac-10 was given no chance in this year's Tournament.  Here comes a small college, from just east of Oakland, and all of a sudden, we all want to go to Berkeley for vacation.  Forget about Ireland, my kids are now asking when they can go to San Francisco with us (the answer: never).

*  *  *  *  *

We finally picked our favorite team for the rest of the college basketball season, The St Mary's Gaels.  Funny man Omar Samhan's Mother was right.  St Mary's has helped to ruin the pool for the Broken Electronics.  But that's okay.  Because now we hope to see you guys in Indianapolis. 

Oh and by the way, I'll have a Meatball sub with onions and peppers.

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