The madness starts early

One prominent columnist who writes about professional football has a frequent item in his columns, reporting on instances of “creep.” Creep is what happens when companies compete to be the first one to have the next seasonal thing stocked: Halloween costumes before Labor Day, Christmas decorations before Halloween, those sorts of things.

I’m not as dedicated as he is to calling out examples of creep, but there is one lately that I just have to address. Call it basketball madness creep. Basketball is supposed to save its wild, crazy, heart-stopping finishes for March. But everywhere you look, teams are jumping the gun.

My favorites, the K-State Wildcats, have played two crazy overtime games in a row. The end of the K-State/KU game a week ago had my heart beating so fast that I needed a rest after it was finished. And Saturday when K-State gave up a three-pointer at the end of regulation, sending the game against Baylor into overtime, I had to reach for an antacid. When the game went to a second overtime, I had to turn off the TV for my own good.

The Jayhawks kept things interesting Tuesday at Texas Tech, needing a basket with three seconds left to avoid defeat. There isn’t much drama over whether they will keep up their unbelievable streak of conference championships, though.

The madness isn’t limited to the big colleges, though. I heard today about an exciting finish to an NAIA game just down the road. On Friday I witnessed a shocking buzzer-beater in a high school game.

Even the junior high kids are getting in on it. The Marion Middle School boys’ league finals came down to a last-second shot, and the girls’ game wasn’t decided until the final minute.

At least the Shockers are keeping things nice and boring, as they just keep winning game after game.

– Adam Stewart

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