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Ormond Beach Observer Wednesday, Mar. 28, 2018 5 months ago

Marriage and (March) Madness

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The married life was great — until I realized I forgot to fill out my bracket.
by: Ray Boone Sports Editor

Five days into my honeymoon, I was totally digging marriage. Being anchored to someone for the rest of my life? This was going to be a snap, I thought to myself as I lay back into a hammock overlooking the calm, pristine Caribbean waters of St. Lucia.

Then, I came to a horrible, life-altering realization: I forgot to fill out my bracket.

My wife, Jessica, and I got married on March 11. The first round of the 2018 NCAA Tournament was on March 16. Between the planning, the packing, the waking up early, the going to bed late and, oh yeah, the actual wedding, I was a sleep-deprived nervous wreck. By the time my brand new wife and I boarded our plane at 11 a.m. on March 12 in Miami (we had to wake up at 4 a.m. to make the trip from our Orlando hotel room), I had been asleep for exactly zero hours over the past 2 1/2 days.

Filling out a bracket — something that I had never failed to do ever since I became infatuated with college basketball as a dorky high school freshman nearly nine years ago — was the furthest thing from my mind.

In the weeks and days leading up to the wedding, March Madness was inching closer, too. And I missed it.

Now, it’s too late.

Today, honeymoon over and real married life starting to set in, I sit alone on my computer, scanning old highlight videos on YouTube and ESPN.com of all the action I have missed. There were some good moments, too. Like the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, a No. 16 seed, toppling No. 1 seed Virginia in the first round, dropping a figurative nuclear bomb on everyone’s bracket. And then there’s No. 11 seed Loyola-Chicago advancing to the Final Four.

So I think to myself: What have I learned in my first few weeks of marriage?

Get your priorities straight.

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