Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Dance! Why Won't You Dance!

Hi there. So the NCAA has kicked off its annual celebration of exploited "student athletes." Lots of young men are making money for universities, but receive little in return other than food and housing. They are SUPPOSED to receive an education, but the low graduation rates say contrariwise. If I was a bear of principle, I'd boycott the NCAA tournament and refuse to watch a single game. And I am a bear of principle, but I am also a bear of practicality. We're not a Nielson household, so noone knows if I am watching and I can use my virtual soapbox to speak out about this injustice. So I watch but I feel a little guilty about it.

But watching has been a little dissatisfying this year. Why? I'm glad you asked. It is dissatisfying because I am watching by myself for the most part. Basketball is for cuddling not for watching! I don't know what is going on around here. Harriet isn't eating chocolate, Ozzie isn't watching basketball, and Wagsy doesn't pounce in the morning. It is like I'm living in a Bizarro version of The Bend. I'll know that I am going insane when Professor Pudge Bear starts extoling the virtues of reality TV and dissing Dostoevsky.

It just isn't fair. March is primo bonding time for me and Ozzie. Ozzie tells me about the defensive strategy being employed and I make wry comments about the sartorial selections of the coaches. I even had a whole slew of Herb Sendek jokes lined up, but no audience ever materialized. I tried the line on Duck, but he just whacked me on the nose and left the room. Ozzie is missing a great tournament. I don't even like basketball and I think the games are exciting. Who doesn't want to watch Bradley take down Kansas? Or George Mason know off Carolina? Last second shots are exciting, darn it!

So I have had to adapt my bear-boy bonding strategies. Rather than Ozzie explaining the game to me, I watch the game and recount the events to Ozzie. He's a very attentive audience and I appreciate the attention, but this doesn't exactly play to my strengths. In order to recount and recapitulate, I have to count and capitulate in the first place. But it makes Ozzie happy, so I tell him the tale of how fearless Jermaine Wallace slew the mighty Iowa Hawkeyes.

Hey, in this crazy world a bear has to do what he can to get attention and cuddling. I'm not proud, just practical.


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