Brooks&Crowley - March 2020

Review Brooks & Crowley

March 2020

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www.brooksandcrowley.com

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"Sometimes you get outcoached, and sometimes you get outplayed, but that’s the nature of any game worth watching.”

outcoached, and sometimes you get outplayed, but that’s the nature of any game worth watching.

Sure, the 60-foot buzzer-beater shot at the end of the half rarely goes in, but it’s fun to watch.

Perhaps my attitude about this comes from the fact that my daughters have always been so involved in sports. As someone who went to an all-boys school and had three brothers and zero sisters, I really didn’t know what to do with my daughters when they were younger. I just got them into sports, like I did when I was their age. Now they each play varsity sports every season, and I couldn’t be prouder. Cheering my daughters on over the years strengthened my view that sports are about more than a win-lose binary. The camaraderie, discipline, coordination, and cooperation that athletes learn over the course of their careers are attributes we can all celebrate and learn from. Playing in my own Thursday night league, most of the other guys and I aren’t diving for every shot to win — not at our age. But every game, the one thing I will bet on is that we’re going to have a good time. The NCAA had a commercial featuring athletes who said, “There are over 380,000 student- athletes, and most of us will go pro in something other than sports.” No matter what your pastime, just enjoy doing it. We’ve been lucky this winter, let’s hope March Madness does not apply to the weather this month. –Neil Crowley

BEYOND BRACKETS How I Keep Sports Interesting

you out of the experience and hold you back from being able to enjoy the game as it unfolds.

Now’s the time when it feels like all anyone talks about are March Madness brackets. With everyone from coworkers to former U.S. presidents weighing in, it seems like predicting the outcome of the NCAATournament has become a national pastime. While I can appreciate the fun people have doing it, I can’t say it’s for me. Don’t get me wrong, I love basketball. I was fortunate to come up in a time when the Celtics were dominant in the NBA, and I got a kick out of cheering on their victories. In fact, I still get out on the court myself, shooting hoops at a local Thursday night league, and you can bet my teammates and I will be watching the college teams this month. But when it comes to the brackets and betting on the outcome of sports in general, I’ve never seen the appeal. Whether a person bets on the outcome of a game for friendly competition or for money, the general perception is they’re “making the game more interesting.” But in my view, all it does is take

Take those old Celtics games I’d cheer on in the ‘80s. When we were up by 20 points and started subbing in rookie players, I got excited. It was a chance for these inexperienced players to shine, and it would likely make for a more exciting game than just another blowout. I knew we were going to win, which was all that mattered to me. However, folks who had bet on a wide spread howled at this coaching decision that might lead to a narrower final score. They’d given themselves an ulterior interest that had no bearing on how fun the game actually was to watch and tied themselves to rooting for a very specific outcome. For me, the joy of being a sports fan stems from the surprises. It lets me sit back and appreciate the hard work, effort, and talent both teams take to the court or field, without feeling like I have to hold Bill Belichick or Brad Stevens personally accountable for every loss. Sometimes you get

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