The TV-radio newspaper column was called “I Couch, Potato,” and always seemed an incredibly relaxing way to enjoy sports. Sit. Watch. Click. Listen. Eat. React. Drink. Write.
The person who penned it weekly in California many years ago was one of the happiest sorts I ran across, including the part about a job that seemed genetically predisposed to extreme laziness.
But you figure 12 or so straight hours of stretching on the Barcalounger and offering some thoughts on the first day of March Madness couldn’t result in my blood pressure climbing to heights of Everest. Maybe half way up.
Although it might have resulted in a damaged kidney for a certain Shih Tzu, because I can’t remember turning away from the action long enough to open the door.
I will cover my 22nd straight Final Four a few weeks from now in Arizona, but never have decades chronicling the greatest sporting event we have — sorry, I’m also the guy who has seen “Hoosiers” 162 times and am admittedly biased — allowed me an opportunity to watch an entire day’s worth of games.
It’s not possible when you spend time in a press room writing on one result while so many others are playing out across the country.
I’m not worried about any long-term health issues from such a day of inactivity, but I am concerned about the wife.
Or is it normal for someone at 9 a.m. to be sipping red wine from a box placed inside a backward hoodie like the one Charles Barkley wears in that commercial?
Speaking of the guy who would destroy LaVar Ball in a one-on-one matchup, round as Charles is now, Barkley didn’t disappoint in again saying something outrageously wrong not an hour into Thursday’s games.
At the time, North Carolina-Wilmington as 12 seed led No. 5 Virginia 26-11 in the East Region.
“This game is over,” Barkley told his fellow TV counterparts and millions watching.
To which Review-Journal colleague Steve Carp, nice enough to arrive with bagels for the family and a straw for the wife, countered: “Just watch now, Virginia is going to go on a 24-3 run.”
Which is why Carp will be enshrined into the U.S. Basketball Writers Hall of Fame at the Final Four and Barkley needs to watch more Atlantic Coast Conference games, although Charles did later exhibit his Mountain West knowledge by saying UNR “probably didn’t play against many teams the caliber of Iowa State.”
There is nothing like the first few days of the tournament or, as it is now known, that time of year everyone desperately tries to find something called truTV on the remote.
The madness also can be unbelievably brutal, and I’m not talking about the picks RJ betting writer Todd Dewey texted before tipoff, which caused me to wonder how many boxes of wine he might have consumed.
Sometimes, you get those unforgettable snapshots like Vanderbilt junior Matthew Fisher-Davis mistakenly fouling with his team up one and 14.6 seconds remaining, eventually resulting in Northwestern getting its first NCAA win in history and my TV screen lighting up at the sight of Wildcats mother Julia Louis-Dreyfus cheering on her son’s team.
Because you never, ever can get enough Elaine Benes.
But the foul by Fisher-Davis, who thought his team was down one at the time, was beyond tough to watch for anyone not wearing purple.
“Hey,” the wife told the son, home from college for spring break, “that’s like the time you scored on the wrong basket.”
Which would have been funny had he not been 15 at the time.
“I thought it was my great spin move,” the son said, “but then wondered why nobody guarded me.”
This is one of those times we seriously question the fortune we’re spending on higher education.
Is it normal when watching all games at once to see so many desperate long 3-pointers from supposedly intelligent teams down one as final shots? Have entrance requirements dropped that much at Princeton and Vanderbilt?
I received this text at 5:17 p.m. from new RJ colleague Jon Saraceno, who arrived in town this week from Florida: “War Machine Trial? What the heck is a War Machine? omg”
Jon, you will find, is a wonderful multitask reporter.
Maybe a young player or 100 watched the underhand free throws of Florida senior Canyon Barry, a chip off the ol’ Granny shot of Papa Rick, and are now spinning it in the backyard. Maybe there are more upsets Friday. Maybe talk about Dave Rice soon becoming the head coach at UNR becomes a lot louder now.
This Couch Potato thing for the NCAA Tournament is better than I imagined. I’ve never been happier to have such a sore click finger.
Excuse me, now, while I open the door for a certain Shih Tzu.