How to Get to the Final Four

Edited For Content

By staff writer Mike Forest

March 30, 2005


I’m not a huge sports guy. No, wait, don’t go. You can’t take away my Man Card for that. All I’m saying is that about 75% of the time I
couldn’t care less. I’m still the extra mild salsa on the hotness scale of fanatics, but I’m far from a bucket of cherry tomatoes. I’m still good
for dunking chips in, just not as satisfying or destructive to the lower intestine.

I’ve never been a fan of baseball.
There’s too many games. I do “kind of” have a life. Fine, I don’t really have a life, but there’s way too many reruns of Friends to watch to leave time
for baseball. It’s far from America’s Pastime anymore anyway. Bud Selig is so desperate to jumpstart ratings in the most boring “sport” ever that
he’s trying to cash in on the nation’s obsession with courtroom drama (e.g. Wacko Jacko, Scott Peterson and Pee Wee Herman). Remember OJ? Me either.

I’m from Detroit, and even though it’s probably sacrilege, I’m not a huge Wing’s fan unless it’s the finals. I’ll watch the Pistons,
but more for the potential fights or bomb threats than to see people make a million dollars for 48 minutes worth of “work.”

However, all that being said…err…typed, I love Michigan State basketball. Especially because we’re good.

I don’t know about YOUR school. MY school is sending both men’s and women’s teams to the Final Four. Even a guy like me has to cheer his ass off.

And to you, Ashley Judd, despite your fanatical cheering and semi-celebrity status, you were unable to spark your team to a W. I’m not on par with Ms. Judd (my boobs
aren’t quite as big), but my jumping up and down on the couch and spilling beer everywhere after ten cans of The Beast seems to be doing some good. Why don’t
you go make a sequel to Double Jeopardy: Triple Jeopardy. Tagline: “This time she’s in the jury on her own trial and dollar amounts have tripled. Here are the

Wow, my metaphors have really been getting away from me lately…where was I?

If you are lucky enough to be attending one of the schools still infected with The Madness, I’m sure you want to go to the game, so I’m here to present you
with Beech’s Awesome Guide of Awesomeness on How to Get to the Final Four:

The first and most obvious way is to be on one of the stellar teams that weathered the first four rounds—but since you have the athletic ability of an
overweight carrot cake, that’s out.

You could spend a lot of money, but if you’re anything like me, your cupboard has half a packet of Ramen left and your Velcro wallet has more nutrition…but
no cash. Besides, even if you do have Daddy’s credit card, you have to remember the Twelfth Commandment:

Thou shalt not get caught scalping tickets unless the only game you want to be on hand to see is Hide-the-Sausage played by you and your new best friend and bunkmate,

Besides, there are other ways to get tickets than dropping two month’s rent.

You could be in The Izzone, the most awesome student cheering section in the nation. Then you would have the honor of getting in line
at midnight to wait 18 1/2 hours to be sure you got one of the 600 tickets reserved for 4000 members. This would backfire on you approximately 12 hours later when it is
revealed that the university has a “no waiting in line for tickets” policy. Take heart, faithful Spartans, your loyalty will be rewarded by the honor of
entering an online drawing that can be entered by any Izzone member, whether they cared enough to spend the still-cold Michigan night huddled under the stars, wantonly
missing classes, exams and bathroom breaks or not.

These ideas both suck. There has to be something better. A random drawing may keep some of your friends from going, and you don’t want to be missing a letter in the
shirtless tribute, which in our case would look something like:


The number crunchers in the booth will appreciate the last one, but everyone else will think you’re a bunch of morons.

You could try the “hiding in the laundry cart” trick.  It actually works even better than you think it would. Just make sure you get out at the right time. My
skin almost melted off in the rinse cycle, but now I am clothesline springtime breezy fresh and static free.

You could win one of those all-expenses-paid-except-for-hookers sweepstakes. Hey, someone has to win. I think it’s a law or something. It may as well be you.
Probably not though.

You could have surgery to look like Dick Vitale. Hear me out: I’m dead last in my bracket pool—that includes multiple persons of the female
persuasion—but even if you’re as stupid about basketball as I am, don’t worry about not being able to do his job. Just pick #1 seeds and make terrible
DiGiorno® pizza commercials and scream “Awesome, baby!” every five seconds.

Announcer: Who’s your pick, Dick?
Dick Vitale: Well, you gotta give both of these teams credit. They’ve been to the dance before and they know their partners well. They promised not to kiss
and tell, but the story is written on the pages of sports history. While I think it’s safe to say that whichever team scores the most points today will come away
with the double-you; I’m going with Duke.
A: They’re out of the tourney already, Dick.
DV: Well give me the team wearing blue or the one with the higher ranking.
A: So you’re picking the higher ranked team?
DV: Yes.
A: Bold. Bold and wise. I’m so glad that you get paid millions of dollars for this.
DV: Awesome, baby!
A: Thanks, Dick.
DV: I’m telling you, it’s awesome! A year for the record books!!
A: You say that every year, Dick.
DV: Awesome!!
A: Yes, you said that already too…
DV: Aweso— *Test pattern*

Personally, I’m going to be relying on a combination of invisibility and teleportation to get my ass in a court-side seat. Speaking of Court, he wouldn’t
approve my travel request because I tried to write off $75,000 of crack cocaine and Krispy Kreme on my last trip. Meanwhile, he goes to Turkey and
forgets to post my columns for two weeks.

Sorry Duke, Kentucky, Old Dominion and Vermont. Better luck next time. Actually, Duke fans, I’m not sorry.

To Anderson, Bograkos, Hill and Torbert (not Torbit or Torebort you jackass announcers), thanks for four great years so far. Let’s finish it.

Go State!!