I said I wasn’t going to blog but then I remembered March Madness–the real March Madness, as in basketball–begins tomorrow.
Long time readers of this blog know that March Madness holds a special place in my heart. But I have a lot of new followers lately so I thought I’d give a run down. Plus, this year is extra special for several reasons.
1. If you watch any of the games that air on CBS, you will see my lovely graphics. I was the lead designer on the March Madness basketball redesign CBS did a few years ago. Any time they show the brackets? I designed those. The score ticker on the bottom of the screen? I designed that as well. So this time of year is really exciting because this was my highest caliber project. I worked on other sports graphics for CBS but since I was in charge of basketball, I love it the most! And also since CBS only airs basketball games during March Madness, I feel like it’s an extra special exclusive thing I have to wait a full year to revel in.
Unfortunately I can’t find a picture of the brackets they air on TV but tune in tomorrow and you shall see.
2. This year is extra-special because the games will be airing on several networks besides CBS. I don’t know what graphics those other networks will be showing or if they’ll be mine, but the cool thing is one of the networks airing the games is TruTV.
I doubt most people have heard of TruTV or have ever watched it…but I worked there for two years, immediately following my CBS Sports redesign project. I started out as the only graphic person on the short-lived Star Jones show and then I moved into regular “breaking news” graphics for their day time segments. I loved that job, despite most of my duties involving cropping pictures of dead people for TV (since it was a crime/court network after all). I would seriously get sooooo excited whenever I discovered someone in the picture I had to prep for air wasn’t either a) dead or b) accused of murder. I only stopped working at TruTV when the daytime graphics department moved to Atlanta and I stayed in NYC.
So even though my role at TruTV had nothing to do with basketball, I’m excited that the network will get some ratings love.
And since I no longer work in the graphics industry as of the beginning of this month (I work in publishing now), I feel like this will be the only time I get to see my work on TV since I won’t be creating anything new.
3. The last reason March Madness is special is because in 2003 I was a senior at Syracuse University. I don’t know if anyone remembers but in 2003? Syracuse won the NCAA tournament. I feel really lucky to have been there when that happened. Each year, only one school wins. That win was Syracuse’s only win ever. I’m not a math person but the odds of attending a school that wins while you’re there seems pretty slim.
When I was applying to colleges, one of the criteria I looked for was a big sports school. This was stupid of me considering I kind of hate sports. It ended up working out anyway that all the schools that had a Computer Animation major were also big sports schools (mainly: Syracuse, Maryland, and Penn State were the ones I had been choosing out of). At Syracuse, I often bought tickets for the games but I didn’t exactly watch the court. I watched the cute boys watching the court! I dressed in cute little outfits and tried to get their attention. (Side note: it worked…I ended up marrying one of the cute boys I watched.) That is until senior year when Syracuse started winning…and the games got interesting enough to hold my attention. Also? I started going to the games WITH the cute boys so that was a big plus. If I learned the terminology and the rules, I could talk to the boys about the games. So I did and I got invested.
(Another side note: last week I actually CORRECTED my husband on a March Madness rule, which was extremely exciting. He had said that a 4 seed plays a 12 seed during round one but I reminded him that it’s actually a FIVE seed that plays a 12 seed. He sat there dumbfounded that I was right and he, a huge sports fan, was wrong.)
Anyway, the night of the big game was one of the best nights of my life. The game started at nine pm, so naturally I ditched all my classes and got to the bar at noon to score a great spot. All the tables were taken by the time we got to the bar but we managed to get spots at the counter. I believe I ate dinner but I don’t remember it. I know I almost got into a fist fight with a girl who tried to take my spot, which if you know me–that’s kind of hilarious. I am very non-confrontational and I have no business trying to fight anyone if I can barely even open heavy doors. The bartender stuck up for me though and told the girl I had been there all day and she had to move.
We won and since I was a super cool senior in college, the first thing I did after it was over? I called my parents. In the bar. They couldn’t hear me over the cheering but they found it hilarious that that was my first instinct. After we won, all the students were excited and riled up and had nowhere to expel their energy so we just crowded into the street–in the middle of a snow storm, natch–and stood there yelling and screaming. It sounds stupid but it was awesome! I didn’t even notice the snow despite my short sleeves. My husband for some reason decided this was the perfect moment to wear his Halloween costume.
Anyway, so that’s why I love March Madness and I’m super excited for the games tomorrow. And Carmelo Anthony–the MVP who brought Syracuse to victory in 2003–is coming to NY next year! Even better!