Unless you’ve been in a cave with your fingers in your ears for the past week, you might’ve heard there’s a little college basketball tournament going on nationwide.But just in case you missed it, turn on your TV and flip through the channels until you find the following:
Dream games that place school pride on the line and feature nail-biting finishes sure to leave you with no hair or serious chest pains!
In my dream future, that sentence wouldn’t just apply to college basketball. As I’ve sat and watched the rabid fervor (I refuse to call it madness) that surrounds this tournament, I’ve wondered on several occasions if this could ever happen for college dodgeball.
The optimist in me substitutes the five basketballers on the court with three times as many dodgeballers and 10 times as many balls. The hypothetical announcer (always Al Michaels in my head) can barely contain his excitement as he tries to narrate the explosive action unfolding before him:
“Raymer streaks up the right side of the court… he’s got Parsons and Byrne crosscourt… it’s a three-on-one with four seconds left in the national championship… Raymer leaps and throws… it’s over! It’s over! He’s done it! Western has won the title!”
The scene dissolves as the confetti rains down and I’m swarmed by adoring fans who all want a piece of their dodgeball hero. Yes, I can see how most people would just dismiss this as the delusional fantasy of someone who’s taken one too many shots to the head. But play along with me for just a moment. Insert yourself into my dream scenario. Bathe in the awesomeness of possibility.
Because at this point, I know it’s going to take a huge effort to turn this dream into a reality.
Don’t misunderstand me – the league has A LOT going for it right now. New teams, new rivalries, and a greater national presence have all helped to buoy the NCDA to new heights this season. But like any good high school coach at the dawn of a new season, I say to my dodgeball brethren that we still have much work ahead of us.
I agree with Mr. Bomis that dodgeball will be harder to engrain into the social fabric due to the number of balls flying around at one time and the difficulty that poses for fans trying to follow the action. Then again, I bet a lot of people thought Naismith was pretty stupid for tossing a ball through a peach basket way back when. 118 years later, look at us now – America is totally engulfed in hoops hysteria.
It’s going to seem hard to justify right now, but I say to you with confidence that buying into this league and doing everything possible to help it grow has been one of the best investments I’ve ever made. I know I’ll never see the type of success college basketball enjoys while I’m in school (maybe even while I’m alive), but all great things were built on the shoulders of men who didn’t have to see the end result to be content with their effort.
Don’t believe me? Just try to imagine life without America, sports, moon landings, and beautiful women. God bless the selfless souls who came before us. To use a sports cliché, I truly believe dodgeball can be “the next big thing.” Moreover, I believe that the incredible leadership displayed throughout this league has the ability necessary to help us reach our true potential. It’s not going to be easy. In fact, most of the time, it will probably suck as much as simultaneous shots to the head and nuts.
But I want you to stop for just a second and listen real close.
You hear that?
It’s the sound of destiny and the roar of the adoring fans we have yet to reach. They’re hungry for a sport that encourages facial rearrangement and catches so sick they make a Sportscenter Top 10 look like amateur hour. It looks like it’s almost time to get your brackets ready off in imaginary land.
April Annihilation is coming!