Thursday, February 28, 2013
It's that time of year again... March is here. It happens every year, and there does not seem to be a cure for it, this condition is called March Madness. For all of those basketball junkies out there, who just can't get enough of high school and college hoops, this is the best time of year.
Where did March Madness originate and why? March Madness began in Illinois in 1908, as what just started as an annual invitational tournament. By the 1930's it grew to be a statewide event with more than 900 teams competing. The remaining 16 teams in the tournament known as the "sweet sixteen" would draw sell out crowds. This was before the time that college and pro games were on television.
The term "March Madness" was given to this tournament by an assistant secretary (Henry V. Porter) for the Illinois High School Association after seeing this event. He was so impressed by it that he wrote an essay to commemorate the tournament. The press loved this term and they continued to use it. The tournament was officially called March Madness by the 1940's and 1950's.
Today March Madness is an annual event for both high school and college basketball. March Madness now includes the Elite Eight and Final Four. This year's Final Four for Georgia High School includes 3 Elite Hoops Trained Teams (St. Francis Boys and Girls, and Greater Atlanta Christian Boys) Sit back, grab your favorite snack, and enjoy the talented young men and women who love to play this game... March Madness is HERE!!!
Henry Porter's Poem: Basketball Ides of March
The gym lights gleam like a beacon beam
And a million motors hum
In a good will flight on a Friday night;
For basketball beckons, "Come!"
A sharp-shooting mite is king tonight.
The Madness of March is running.
The winged feet fly, the ball sails high
And field goal hunters are gunning.
The colors clash as silk suits flash
And race on a shimmering floor.
Repressions die, and partisans vie
In a goal acclaiming roar.
On a Championship Trail toward a holy grail,
All fans are birds of a feather.
It's fiesta night and cares lie light
When the air is full of leather.
Since time began, the instincts of man
Prove cave and current men kin.
On tournament night the sage and the wight
Are relatives under the skin.
It's festival time, sans reason or rhyme with nation-wide appeal.
In a cyclone of hate, our ship of state Rides high on an even keel.
With war nerves tense, the final defense
Is the courage, strength and will
In a million lives where freedom thrives
And liberty lingers still.
Now eagles fly and heroes die
Beneath some foreign arch
Let their sons tread where hate is dead
In a happy Madness of March.
Elite Hoops Basketball