March Madness

I’m a basketball fan, pure and simple, so I love this time of year. I love college basketball and filling out brackets to see which teams will advance from the field of 65 to 32, into the Sweet Sixteen, then to the Elite Eight, and ultimately into the Final Four.

Wow, the basketball pundits sure tapped into alliteration as a device to promote the NCAA tournament, didn’t they?

Which makes me think about words and the way they sound together and the power of their music to make the meaning memorable. (OK, that phrase came out without me trying to use alliteration, I promise! 😉 )

Not that I think every character needs to have alliteration in his name. Uh, that might be a little hokey. But I’m wondering about the marketing end of books. Is there some way of incorporating poetic devices such as alliteration that can work subconsciously to help a reader remember and/or associate a book in a favorable way?

I don’t have anything particular in mind. Just thinking out loud.

But back to basketball. Every year there seems to be a sleeper team, a Cinderella that advances farther than anyone expected them to. None to my knowledge has made it all the way to the big dance, but that doesn’t stop the players and coaches from those smaller programs.

They think and dream and work to make it happen. And one of those low picks, a 15th seed or a 12 seed, will probably creep into the limelight again this year. They’ll have the world rooting for them and the newspapers covering their shoot arounds. They’ll squeak out a victory over a team from a power conference, one that was favored, one stocked with all Americans at every position.

How is this possible?

It’s not so different from American Idol or the publishing business. A team with ability gets to the biggest college basketball tournament, and they actually have a chance to prove that they can play.

Of course, few of those Cinderella teams are unbeaten. So what about Podunk U that beat Cinderella by fifteen points, but didn’t win their conference and therefore weren’t invited to The Tournament? Is PU therefore a stinker? 😀

OK, I’m having some fun here, but the point is, there are small schools that make a big splash, but not all capable of making a big splash get the chance to do so. So with books.

There are some surprises—books that make it big and no one really knows why. And others that ought to do well because they had the full weight of their publishers marketing department, and well, the results were less than stellar. Maybe they didn’t employ enough alliteration. 😉

The behind the scenes truth is, God is God and will do what He wills.

Which means, I may be left rooting for a team with a devote Christian as the coach and a group of guys who pray together before a game, but who get blown out by Powerhouse Team from Conference Powerhouse, led by an in-your-face player shouting into a microphone, Winning is the ONLY thing that matters.

Do I understand such things? No. I would like to see “Fair and Just” on the basketball court. I would like to see nice guys finishing first. Sometimes they do. And then it’s a party!

But most of the time, the guy who grabs a bit of jersey and holds, gets away with it. The guy hooking the defensive player on his drive to the basket also goes to the free throw line. Sports aren’t so fair.

But that’s not a reflection on God because the game ain’t over! 😉

Published in: on March 13, 2009 at 12:34 pm  Comments (1)  
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