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The Lighter Side (Feb 2016)

February 26, 2016
Deep Thoughts
  1. To write with a broken pencil is pointless.
  2. A thief who stole a calendar got 12 months.
  3. When the smog lifts in Los Angeles, U.C.L.A.
  4. A boiled egg is hard to beat.
  5. When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds.
  6. The man who fell into an upholstery machine was fully recovered.
  7. Those who get too big for their britches will be exposed in the end.
  8. If two antennas meet and get married the ceremony won’t be much but the reception will be excellent.
  9. Police were called to daycare where a 3 year-old was resisting a rest.
  10. A bicycle can’t stand alone.  It’s two tired.

Let the Games Begin

On March 15-16 the bracketed field of 68 will begin the Men’s NCAA Basketball Championship.  Do you know how “March Madness” got its name?  March Madness was born in Illinois.  The annual tournament of high school boys’ basketball teams, sponsored by the Illinois High School Association, grew from a small invitational affair in 1908 to a statewide institution with over 900 schools competing by the late 1930’s.  A field of teams known as “the Sweet Sixteen” routinely drew sellout crowds to the University of Illinois’ Huff Gymnasium.  In a time before television, before the college game grew so popular with the average fan, basketball fever had already reached epidemic proportions in the Land of Lincoln.

Henry V. Porter, assistant executive Secretary of the Illinois High School Association, was so impressed by the phenomenon that he wrote an essay in 1939 to commemorate it, entitled, “March Madness”.  The term struck a chord with newspapermen, who used it widely throughout their pages and it became the popular name of the Illinois event.

Today’s college tournament championship is a far cry from the Illinois high school tournament.  According to a CBS Money Watch 2015 article, entitled, Follow the Money, these dollar figures show how popular today’s “March Madness” has become:

  • 9 billion dollars in wagers -- twice that of the Super Bowl
  • 1.13 billion dollars in ad revenues
  • 900 million dollars for the NCAA
  • 8.3 million dollars for each of the Final Four teams and their schools

Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas (or Illinois) anymore.

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