By Oldrich Foucek, III, Esq., LINC Board Member
My wife thinks I am crazy, and I will confess – she may be right. Playing basketball well into my seventh decade does seem a bit unusual. However, it is more of an addiction than a psychosis. You see, there is something about the game – the teamwork, competition and camaraderie – that took hold of me many years ago and won’t release me from its grasp. Maybe it’s the subtlety of a no-look pass, the sublimity of a well-executed pick and roll or the sensuousness of a crisp “swish” when an arcing three-pointer hits its mark. Whatever the reason, the game is alluring and continues to fascinate me.
As the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament (a.k.a March Madness) approaches, it seems fitting to recognize all those in the Lehigh Valley who, whether they’ve played the game or not, get truly excited about binge-watching high quality basketball. “Cinderellas”, “bracket-busters” and “buzzer beaters” are terms seemingly invented for March Madness. Haven’t we all heard about the impact office pools have on productivity? There are single elimination tournaments in other sports. These would certainly include the World Cup, the Davis Cup and the NLF playoffs. In my opinion though, there is nothing quite like March Madness, as well as the game of basketball, particularly as played at the collegiate level. March Madness is a perfectly suited vehicle for generating excitement, sustaining interest and, for some of us, vicariously reliving past glories.
There is also an undeniable social aspect to the game, whether enjoyed as a participant or fan, evident in the proliferation of sports bars across the Lehigh Valley. Everyone’s got their favorite. For me, a good run with my guys at the Allentown JCC is often followed by snacks and beer at Hops at The Paddock. Other well-known establishments are: Dubs on 5th, in Easton; Volpe’s in Allentown and Easton; and, Big Woody’s, with locations throughout the Valley.
Wherever you choose to hang out and watch tournament games, it is best to do so with a group of friends – sharing the experience and vying for bragging rights (and perhaps a few bucks) as some teams advance and others fail in their quest until ultimately, a champion is declared.
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