It’s March Madness, and brackets are getting broken every round. To date no one has ever picked the perfect bracket, but that doesn’t stop us every March from trying once again to predict who will win the Big Dance. There was the Obama Vs HW Bush bracket competition in 2018, Jimmy Fallon, The Rock, office pools, school kids, moms, everyone is in on the fun. What is beautiful about it is that every year, we believe someone might win, so we keep trying our luck at picking the winner. That’s what is great about the American Spirit, we believe anything is possible.
In 2019 came the longest perfect steak of correct picks in history. An Ohio man predicted the entire Sweet 16 correctly. There is something about it that keeps us coming back. It’s the great metaphor for life: the upsets, the excitement, the defeats, the celebrations. Covid can’t even stop the madness. It unites us, even if we are on opposite sides of the court. A friend of mine told me recently that he and his father had been doing brackets together since he was his a kid. His father is now in his late 90’s and his memory is failing but when March Madness came this year his father lit up, his memory strong. “It was as if I was a boy again picking those teams with him, he came alive.” That is what March Madness is about, coming alive with possibility and hope.
March Madness brings out something in all of us that motivates us in our own life to go to mountaintop. It forces us to ask the question “how hard am I working, how much do I want something, am I prepared, did I sacrifice, am I building others up, do I believe in life, can I accept defeat with grace and make a comeback?” In 2018, the University of Virginia team came in as a No. 1 seed and got knocked out by 16th seed University of Maryland-Baltimore County, anyone watching who felt defeated by life got a dose of hope. If they can do it, maybe I can too.
The amazing part of the story is the stinging defeat Virginia must have felt, but they came back the next year and won the NCAA title. This is what life is about – it's awakening the best in the human spirit. Win or lose you feel filled with possibility.
I grew up in a sports family. Saturday my brother is coaching University of Arkansas in the Sweet 16. Go HOGS! What I know about sports is the moments of exhilaration have been matched by the difficulties of defeat, yet I wouldn’t trade any of it for a safe life spent sidelined that offered the promise of neither. As terrifying and humiliating as losing can be there is nothing that makes you feel more alive than the pursuit of a goal that leads you on a path to a greater self. The act of putting yourself in a situation that requires discipline, focus and courage is also an act that gives your life meaning and purpose. Most of all it inspires us to dig deep within and find a reservoir of courage greater than we knew we had. The attempt, inspires all of us.
I started KOCH in the back of a karate studio with only 350 square feet. I had to go outside to make a phone call so I didn’t disturb the Tennant on the other side of the curtain from me. It was all I could afford, it wasn’t glamorous, but like every person that walks onto the court and believes they can win a title, or every person that fills out a bracket, despite not a soul ever winning, I believed something great could happen if I believed. March Madness represents something greater than basketball - it represents the American Dream. Every March, as spring is coming and March Madness permeates our life, we realize that it could be me. No matter where you come from, what you look like, or how much money you have in the bank, there is a possibility you could win the title. That you could win at life. March Madness asks us to dream big, to have a vision that is greater than we had imagined the spring before, it calls on the human spirit to strive to be the greatest version we can imagine, and isn’t that what life is all about!
Our new Sloan Dress released this week in our Cherries Print and Black and White Stripe! I have 3 different colors and can’t stop wearing it!
Also stay tuned for our Easter tees and printed shorts. I know I will be putting it in all of my baskets! And check out Instagram and Tik Tok for our easter egg hunt, complete with a golden egg and lots of surprises.
Quote of the week: "2% of basketball players are born with endless talent, the kind of talent that would take a complete fool to mess up, the other 98% are going to succeed because of how much they put into it and how deep they dig into their soul." -Bill Musselman
Podcast: Jim Rome and Eric Musselman