by Randy Ooney
My Nickel’s Worth by Randy Ooney
There’s no question that this is a great time of year. Temperatures are rising, daylight hours are increasing, and NCAA basketball is capping off another season. Along with tournament time comes bracketology. When I worked in an office, there was always a contest to see who could pick the most winners in the NCAA tournament. I don’t mind making a wager now and then, but in gambling, you should at least have a 40 per cent chance of winning. I learned a lot during March Madness. Every year it would cost me five dollars to learn that I knew nothing about college basketball. But it was heartening to notice that through the first couple of rounds, I learned that the NCAA selection and seeding committee were not too keen on the game either.
What I find interesting is the monikers that are hung on so many schools. Mississippi is referred to as “Ole Miss”. They even have it printed on their uniforms. “Ole” is not a contraction of old. In fact it is not a word at all. Ole is a buddy of Sven and is the butt of many jokes. Has anyone ever heard of the Gophers being called “Ole Minn”? Do you think the Badgers would like being known as “Ole Wisc”? I am not a fan of Mississippi University. I was around in the 1960’s when they caused all the trouble. Their team nickname is the Rebels. Maybe it should be “Bigots”. Speaking of nicknames, what is a Blue Devil? I thought devils were red. Many schools have selected names of ferocious animals; like Tigers, or Bruins, or Gophers. Other teams seem to be content being a Fighting something, or a red something, or maybe even a Cornhusker. But at least they are not called “Ole Neb”.
The one Ole Fly in the endless broadcast of basketball games during madness is the frequent appearance of Dick Vitale. Maybe I am one of a few that feel this way, but I hate having the play by play shouted at me. It is not awesome to me and my name is not baby. Now to add insult to the fray, several companies have hired Mr. Vitale to do commercials. The only thing worse than having basketball play by play shouted at me, is to have commercials during time outs shouted in the same direction.
I did not fill out a bracket this year, so I will have five bucks extra in my pocket to buy baseball cards, but I wish success to those of you who filled in all those teams on the little spaced lines. I really thought Freddie’s “Ole Iowa State” team had a chance to advance several rounds, but then I keep thinking the Ole Twins might make a run. But if they keep dressing Hicks, they’re going to take their licks.