By the time this column is read, all that could be said, spoken or typed about the first two weekends of the NCAA tournament has been done.
Six months of practice, travel and a range of emotions over the course of a basketball season has finally led to the promised land – the Final Four.
Most hopped aboard this train a few weeks ago, seeking a cheap thrill and the opportunity of a quick lick, coaches and players are nearly 40 games in. A select group of others have invested themselves for the long haul, savoring every victory while being nearly drawn to tears with every defeat.
The road that brought all of us to this point doesn’t matter … the fact we’re here together is all that matters.
But the end of the college basketball season also marks the end – and beginning – of another.
Overshadowed annually by the Final Four, fans of professional wrestling – sports entertainment for the politically correct in the crowd – spend the same weekend eagerly anticipating the chief event on its calendar, Wrestlemania.
Wanting to make a splash generations to come could reap the benefits of, Vince McMahon’s gamble would pay off. Three decades after his renowned risk, Wrestlemania has become a bona fide event that draws thousands, some of whom make the trip on an annual basis.
Several months ago, I pondered on making a trip to this year’s Wrestlemania festivities – this year being held in the Dallas area. A set of unfortunate circumstances changed my mind, though, chief among them I stopped throwing money aimlessly at temporary desires and the fact this year’s event has lost a good bit of its luster in recent months.
Think back a year to when Seth Rollins cashed in his “Money in The Bank” contract and won the WWE title. On that night in Santa Clara, Calif., he stamped his name as the company’s main man – handpicked to be its present and future.
A year later, he is missing Wrestlemania after severely injuring his knee a few months ago.
Other high-profile names not included are one of Rollins’ opponents from last year’s Wrestlemania in Randy Orton, 16-time WWE champion John Cena and blossoming star Cesaro. Writers have struggled in recent months to overcome these losses, frustrated by a fan base not as easily satisfied.
The man expected to serve as Rollins’ chief rival, Roman Reigns, has struggled to make members of the WWE Universe buy into him as one of the company’s top talents. Worse, no one else has truly ascended to its preeminent spot, forcing one of the brand’s most legendary figures – Triple H – to step from his role as an executive to a member of WWE’s active roster.
Yes, things are that desperate.
Oddly, under circumstances to which not much is expected, a gem tends to emerge. Maybe Wrestlemania 32 is one of those cases.
With last week’s losses by Notre Dame and South Carolina in the Sweet 16, the coast became much clearer for the Connecticut women to claim its fourth consecutive women’s NCAA title. In all honestly, even if either of those teams had made it to the championship round, defeating the Huskies would have proven an almost insurmountable task. To whoever draws the short straw, good luck. … The local portion of the Mingo Bay Classic gets underway this week, with local baseball squads taking part in the event. … Speaking of baseball, the Major League Baseball season begins this coming weekend, beginning a 162-game journey that leads to the World Series.