I’m not a football fan but I hardly ever miss the Superbowl. I don’t like college basketball but I’m watching the 3 Final Four games. Why do I feel so alone?

Early yesterday I asked my Facebook friends where they were watching the NCAA Men’s Championship basketball game. I got one response. Either folks aren’t watching the game, aren’t going out to see the game, or just didn’t want me coming to their home. Maybe the Monday night 9:20 pm start time disqualified folks who value 6 to 8 hours sleep before work. Who knows?

I didn’t want to watch the game alone so I scurried over to Harrah’s to watch it in the C-Bar where I could inhale a cigar while washing it down with an adult beverage. As I approached the C-Bar, I could see they had the Phillies game on, not the NCAA Men’s Championship basketball game. WTF (why the foolishness).

I literally stopped in my tracks as I tried to understand the logic of showing the Phillies, with over 150 more games to play this season, getting top billing over the final game of the college basketball season in a pseudo sports bar. I forced myself to proceed because I just had to hear the explanation from the bartender.

She was addiment that the Phillies pulled more weight than a college basketball game and if I wanted to watch it, go down to the sports betting section of the casino where the other basketball fans are. But I can’t inhale a cigar down there, so I just curled up and watched Ryan Hoskins slam a homerun.

After the Phillies went off, they did switch to basketball. It’s great to watch on the big screen but no fun sitting alone and even worse having to listen to that sappy music they pipe in.

At the beginning of the second half, I was finished inhaling and thought I’d stroll down to the sports betting section of the casino. Man, am I glad I did.

Not only is the big screen even bigger, the 40 or so guys hanging around watching the game were really into the game. Most had their betting tickets in front of them as just as many Virginia fans where hoopin and hollarin as were Texas Tech fans. The two guys behind me only cared about the score as their bet was based on total points. It was hilarious listening to them try to add two 2-digit numbers after each basket. I don’t think they did good in math class.

The game was great. Virginia was shooting the lights out and Texas Tech was finding a way to keep it close. The refs made a strange call after Virginia swiped the ball from a Texas Tech player out of bounds and somehow felt compelled to review it and even overturn the call. That was the low moment of the night.

The thrill of seeing a shot from a Philly kid sending it into overtime and then the domination of Virginia in the extra period made me wonder how any basketball fan would choose to miss this game.

For the Chester folks who know Dennis Martinelli, he was the life of the party among the betting crowd. His Texas Tech team didn’t win but everything he said ended up happening just as he called it.

I know where I’m going to watch the big games from now on.

harrahs sports bar