Tags: VillanovaWildcats | MarchMadness | NCAAChampion

March Madness Best Illustrates US Resolve

March Madness Best Illustrates US Resolve
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By Friday, 06 April 2018 02:40 PM Current | Bio | Archive

And now there are two. That is, two class acts; two faith-driven coaches; two team performances that instantly became the stuff of legend, and two title winners.

And perhaps most amazing, two championships — in two months — for The City of Brotherly Love.

First, it was the Eagles beating history’s greatest quarterback in a spectacular Super Bowl.

In turning destiny upside down, the Birds won not because they were loaded with superstars or caught lucky breaks. Just the opposite. They achieved success because they turned every obstacle into an opportunity.

In redefining what a "team" truly embodies, they never slacked off, never doubted, never quit. Overcoming adversity became their motivation, and they never looked back.

And now we have NCAA Champion Villanova, winner of two of the last three March Madness tournaments. With their superstardom landing them in the record books, the Villanova Wildcats now join the ranks of college basketball’s most hallowed programs.

Coach Jay Wright’s "all-for-one, one-for-all" philosophy has transformed Villanova into a perennial powerhouse, where the focus is always on the team — not self-centered players with a penchant for hotdogging and padding their own stats.

The best part is that both programs will continue to be at the top of their games.

It’s a good time to be in Philadelphia! March Madness.

It's without a doubt, the best sporting event on the planet.

Sure, the Olympics stoke nationalistic fervor, and Americans sometimes excel in sports where they aren’t favored (who can forget the Miracle on Ice?), but America is virtually never the underdog, because we almost always lead the world in the medal count.

World Cup? Stop. First, soccer isn’t a sport; it’s a recreational activity. Second, enough with the theatrics of players writhing on the turf for 10 minutes because they injured a nail.

Third, what’s up with that running clock and the fact that we really don’t know when the game will end?

Even worse is the offsides rule, which kills the .001 percent excitement level by stifling aggressiveness. Finally, can we just admit that all those "cards" — which come in more colors than the Department Homeland Security (DHS) threat-level chart — are really dumb?

Referees don’t warn basketball players not to hack a guy after the fact.

They actually call the foul.

But the NCAA Tournament is different. And when it comes our way each spring, some miraculous things occur throughout America.

March Madness teaches us that miracles do occur. Its lesson that sportsmanship, confidence, and work ethic can achieve the impossible are timeless for young and old alike.

On game days, very little work gets done. And you know what? That’s okay, even with most bosses. Americans work harder than anyone else on Earth.

That means we’re still being productive while the Europeans are taking a siesta, from their earlier siesta.

If there is ever something to which we can legitimately feel entitoled, it’s taking a little time to watch the tournament together.

And that is the most important thing: being together. For a few short weeks, Americans suddenly become blind to our prejudices. Political partisanship and the management-labor caste go out the window. And the only colors we care about are those worn by our favorite teams.

No longer do we see ourselves, and each other, as black and white, male and female, gay and straight, liberal and conservative. Instead, we become friends, neighbors and countrymen, all side-by-side, cheering in unity. In lunchrooms, bars, and cubicles — even crowded around cellphones — we huddle.

Screaming. Smiling. And sometimes even crying.

We come together to cheer for our teams — some of whom we’ve never heard of, hailing from places we don’t know — watching breathlessly as a No. 14 seed comes agonizingly close to felling a giant.

We experience the unbelievable moments, sometimes forgetting to breathe, as seniors — some destined for the NBA, but most for an "ordinary" life — play their hearts out, knowing that one misstep will end their collegiate career. And just as often, we see 18 year old freshmen step to the foul line with the game in their hands — as an entire nation watches.

The vast majority of Americans always pull for the underdogs, the teams that the "experts" don’t give a snowball’s chance to win. And year after year, many find a way to knock out Goliath — especially this year. For the first time in history, a Number 16 team defeated a top seed, as UMBC (university of Maryland, Baltimore County) slayed juggernaut Virginia. In an instant, the entire nation fell in love with the Retrievers from Baltimore.

Only in America!

We find this endearing not just because it’s fun, but because it personifies who we are as Americans. From our very beginnings, the odds have always been stacked against us:

  • Defeat the British, the most powerful nation the world had ever known? Dream on. But we did, making the dream of liberty and freedom a reality, on an unprecedented scale — for hundreds of millions.

  • Win the Civil War? Forget it. Even if Abraham Lincoln’s army prevailed, the defeated South’s resentment would never subside, and its people would never, could never, assimilate into a Northern-dominated America. If Las Vegas had odds, it would have been a sure bet that the tattered Union would not prevail. But it did.

  • Save the world from the tyranny of the Axis Powers? With an under-equipped army and industrial base not suited for defense production? Not for decades could victory be expected. And to engineer a weapon so awesome that it could end the war after just one or two uses? Forget about it. And yet, The Greatest Generation not only accomplished those things, but provided the blueprint for America’s postwar mega-boom.

  • Put a man on the moon? Save the Apollo 13 astronauts? Beat the Soviet Union and defeat communism? End segregation? Elect a black man to the presidency? The list goes on.

And yet despite America’s track record, the naysayers are still out in full force, predicting gloom and doom. Maybe they’re right. Maybe America really is in its twilight, as the country’s seemingly insurmountable problems, and the politicians’ inability to solve them in a civil manner, attests.

Maybe.

But no matter how many times America has fallen, and how often its back has been to the wall, it has always prevailed. For the record, my money’s on America coming through in the clutch once again, turning it on when it has to, and finishing the game stronger than anyone else. It’s what we’ve always done, and it’s what we must do now.

Why? Because as Villanova and the Eagles just showed us, that’s what true champions do.

Chris Freind is an independent columnist, television commentator, and investigative reporter who operates his own news bureau, Freindly Fire Zone Media. Read more reports from Chris Freind — Click Here Now.
 

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For a few short weeks, Americans suddenly become blind to our prejudices. Political partisanship and the management-labor caste go out the window. And the only colors we care about are those worn by our favorite teams.
VillanovaWildcats, MarchMadness, NCAAChampion
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2018-40-06
Friday, 06 April 2018 02:40 PM
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