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Jewish Journal

Just embrace the madness

by Carin Davis

March 27, 2008 | 6:00 pm

There's a time in every relationship when its strength gets tested. For God and Abraham, it was that whole sacrifice your son bit. For Esther and Ahasuerus, it was the "please don't kill me and everyone I know" thing. For Mr. and Mrs. Zebra, it was are you coming on this cruise with me or do you want to stand in the rain all day and argue about it? For many couples, the not-so-shining moment is the NCAA basketball tournament.

March Madness makes many a Jewish girl go mad. Nuts. Full-on meshugge. Her boyfriend-turned-backseat-play-by-play analyst is more committed to his bracket than to her. He can list the starting lineup of the Butler Bulldogs, but he can't remember which of her friends is Lisa and which one's Michelle. He memorized Mississippi Valley State's freethrow stats, but he still calls using speed dial 'cuz he never learned her number. He can hum every bar of the CBS Sports theme song, but he has no idea what song was playing when they first kissed.

March Madness is a man's Pied Piper; he can't help but follow it closely. Girls, if you get upset, stomp your foot and complain that he cares more about basketball playerbasketball than he does about you, he'll just find you more annoying and the UConn cheerleaders more attractive.

Think, ladies, think. Have I taught you nothing? Be strategic. This is not the time to make a full-court press. He's gonna watch college hoops and more college hoops and even more college hoops, no matter what you do. So why not do something that makes you look like a champ? Back off. Plan a girls' night out. Give him space to do his thing. Guys like girls who are independent. Guys also like girls who are sexy. So you could just pick up a six-pack, order in a pizza and plant your stunning self on the couch next to him. Then show him the best halftime of his life.

Not in a relationship? Then what are you doing wasting time reading this column? Put down The Journal and get your little bat mitzvah'ed bod to a sports bar. Now. Go. Shoo. I said stop reading. Tick tock, Clarice. You are missing out on prime flirting time. Walk into any given sports bar in the city, and you'll find it jam-packed with guys. And not just any guys. Real guys. Guys' guys. Beer drinking, baseball hat wearing, "wow his tush looks jaw-droppingly amazing in his old Levis" kind of guys. According to an unofficial survey conducted by an incredibly hot singles columnist, who might or might not be me, March Madness brings in more men per sports bar square feet than any other event of the year. So get out there, grab a bar stool and order a cold beer. This Bud's for you. And his friend is for me.

Now, the whole idea of watching numerous games simultaneously might seem overwhelming, but it's just like dating several guys at once. Pay a little attention to each of them and a lot of attention to none of them. You know the drill. Even if your heart belongs to one school, there's nothing wrong with playing the field. Except basketball isn't played on a field, it's played on a court. But I'm sure you already knew that. Please tell me you knew that. Please tell me you know something about basketball.

If not, fake it. C'mon, it won't be the first time. Every time a girl who knows nothing about sports walks up to a guy watching sports, she asks "Who's playing?" "What's the score?" or "Who's winning?" Don't get caught in this rookie mistake. Check out the sports section; watch ESPN; pick up a Sports Illustrated. They're chock full of US Weekly-worthy NCAA gossip. Which former assistant coach will compete against his mentor? Which high school teammates will face off on the court? Which Davidson forward is dating the sister of Louisville's center?

Think of the tournament as the original reality show, an athletic "American Idol" -- except you can't text your vote, the public has no say in who wins, and highlights refer to game clips, not the host's hair. But like "Idol," the tourney loves a good underdog. The Maccabees stomped the Syrians, David took down Goliath, and every year some Southwestern Rhode Island State University that no one's ever heard of fights and claws its way to the Sweet 16. If they can succeed during the NCAA tourney, so can you.

Take it from a college-basketball loving babe who's won her office pool -- twice. When it comes to watching the tournament, don't change the channel, change your attitude. Turn the tables on the tourney, take advantage of the madness, and meet men on their own terms. March Madness is an exciting, unpredictable, crazyfun, anything can happen, make the most of it, stud-hunting time. You just have to look at it the right way. And look the right way. You don't wanna look like you're trying too hard, came straight from Hyde or got lost on the way to Les Duex. So toss on some flip-flops, a pair of low-rise denims and that tight T-shirt with the strategically placed UCLA logo across the chest. Throw this whole game plan together, and I promise you'll be making some March madness of your own in no time.

Carin Davis lives in Los Angeles and can be reached at sports@jewishjournal.com

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