Final Four Frenzy has arrived
COLCHESTER, Vt. (Catholic Online) – The list of competitors for the coveted 2007 NCAA title has dwindled to four, the ‘Final Four.’ So far, 65 teams have duked it out, with Duke actually falling by the wayside early on. The four left standing are Georgetown, Florida, Ohio State and U.C.L.A.
GEORGETOWN MAKES THE FINAL FOUR – In a pre-tournament game, a Georgetown University player goes up for a lay up against the University of Connecticut, which Georgetown won 59-46. Georgetown, Florida, Ohio State and U.C.L.A. are the 4 teams that will be competeing in the NCAA Final Four tournament this weekend. According to Catholic Online author and editor Mary Carty, 10 factors that create successful teamwork on the basketball court are the same principles that can build a strong marriage. (Courtesy Georgetown University)
These 'Final Four' teams will use their athletic finesse, fitness and fearlessness to fend off their rivals in hopes of becoming numero uno. The two week-end tournament games will be witnessed by millions of fans from far and near.
In some households, the news of the Final Four milestone brings a sigh of relief because this annual event otherwise know as “March Madness” may have caused minor, or possibly, major frustrations in a marriage relationship. The degree of interest in the tournament may range from becoming the top priority of each day to a 24/7 obsession.
A probable culprit behind this shift of focus is media mechanics, which include: incessant radio and television commentaries, daily tournament grids in the newspapers, and up to the minute Web updates.
Hands down, from the first game on March 13 through the April 2 final matchup, IT will be the buzz - here, there and just about everywhere.
For a nonsports-minded spouse, this hoopla remains a mystery. Like, for instance, how could the year's ending tournament possibly have 65 teams?
The neglected spouse may wonder why so much time and energy is spent on this spectator sport, and wish that the same enthusiasm shown during this event be shown on the homefront.
Maybe, a fresh look at the situation could bring about a change of attitude and a better understanding of the event.
Considering that “March Madness” is so popular that it is woven into the fabric of our culture, there must be some positive attributes.
There may even be some lessons to learn and the possible discovery of some common ground for the couple to share.
Though this tournament is a competition for the trophy, title and glory, it is also a celebration and acknowledgement of the work and commitment of all of the student athletes and all of the teams shown over the course of the season.
Some of the basics that brought these teams to the highest level of their leagues and to the college basketball world are:
- There is a general protocol – rules – understood and carried out by all participants.
- At their best, there is clear, concise verbal and nonverbal communication between team members.
- There is a strong spirit of commitment.
- There are strategies to work together as a team to get the job done.
- There is time shared on a regular basis to strengthen the unit.
- There is a united effort toward a goal and/or goals.
- From opening tip-off to the final buzzer, the team members show hope, faith and strength.
- There is perseverance of all members of the team, sharing the workload.
- In time of game crisis, time outs are called.
- Last, but not least, teams often pray together before the beginning of a game.
Aha! There is common ground!
How ironic! All 10 factors that create successful teamwork on the basketball court are the same principles that can build a strong marriage.
This new discovery and paradigm shift for the non-sportive spouse might make watching this sporting event a pleasure, knowing that there is much more to be aware of than the score.
Hats off to all of the college teams.
For fans and non-fans alike, taking time to watch any of the games will be an opportunity share in the accomplishments of these fine athletes and learn a lesson or two about successful teamwork on the home court.
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Mary Carty is the Home and Family editor of Catholic Online.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
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