Are you watching the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament? I am. I wasn’t much of a college basketball fan until meeting my husband who has been known to schedule vacation days so he can watch all the tournament action. At first, I thought of myself as a “March Widow,” but after a year or so I decided, I’d see my husband more in March if I cracked open a beer, parked myself in front of the TV, downed some hot wings and succumb to the madness.
Besides, the vast majority of coaches wear suits and there’s something about a man in a suit. The men on the side line fascinate me. Some scream or are emotional and their suit coats flap in the air as they jump up and down. Others are an oasis of calm, appearing unruffled in spite of the high stress, high risk and high reward situation. I began to wonder about their inner lives and a story was born.
Imagine my surprise this year watching Florida Gulf Coast, a fifteen seed that only became eligible for post season play last year, do what had long been seen as impossible and inevitable. They knocked off heavily favored Georgetown on Friday and San Diego State on Sunday to become the first fifteen seed in the Sweet Sixteen. The players on Florida Gulf Coast slayed giants, and as FGC star Sherwood Brown’s megawatt smile showed, they had fun. As the cameras continued to roll, showing the team celebrations, it also became clear, these guys loved their coach Andy Enfield, a young coach in a suit who projected a calm demeanor on the sidelines, but clearly inspired his team with a positive attitude, work ethic and sense of fun.
This man and this team, I thought, are the real life version of my fictional “Ravens of Corwin College” in one of my manuscripts making the rounds. I can’t wait to share the story of Kyle, Gwen, and the Ravens with you.
In the meantime, I’ll be cheering that my Ravens find a home and that the charmers of Florida Gulf Coast keep the madness going.
Who do you cheer for?