The Style and Spirit of Madness

March is a time for celebration. It’s also a time for friends and families to come together, anticipating nice weather, cleaning, and madness. However, this kind of madness is a bit different from what you might think. This is the kind of madness that comes in the form of a sheet of paper with sixty-four teams strategically placed. It’s the kind of madness that comes in the form of play-by-play updates, happy hour meet-ups, and viewing live-streams when your boss leaves the office. It’s the kind of madness that has you showing your team spirit every single day of the week.

If you watched any NCAA basketball over the past month, then you’ve witnessed an intense rollercoaster ride coupled with enough drama to give any reality TV fanatic their weekly fix. From busted brackets to the undisputedly dominant women of UConn to the roars of the ‘CuseNation, both the men’s and women’s tournaments will go down as two of the most spirited tournaments in history. What makes these tournaments even more special is fact that standing at the core of everything going on are the fans. Fans that will show support through thick and thin in order to keep their team’s spirit alive. We had the opportunity to chat with a number of fans to find out whom they were rooting for and how they planned to keep up with their team spirit.

From passing the family tradition of supporting the Iowa down to her kids to coming up with sporty style to wear in any situation, Emily shared a little bit of her approach to keeping her team’s spirit alive. She told us “My parents went to the University of Iowa, so I have black and gold running through my veins.”

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We also found that some fans, while having a favorite team, might root more for the team they have listed as champion on their bracket. “Whether it is my favorite team or just the team I picked to win the tournament, I will be supporting them and wearing their colors!” says Vanessa, whose house was leaning towards Xavier this year despite siding with Notre Dame in the past.

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In some situations you and your friends might even have multiple teams to cheer on. Sports history buffs Cailin and Tara grew up fans of Wisconsin but took a liking to Kansas a few years back. Not wanting to throw their level of spirit off balance, each chose a separate side but they came together to show duel support.

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Not every team is able to make it as far as some would hope, but that doesn’t mean the support stops at a loss. While focusing on the accomplishments of the past season, Taylor, an alumna of Hampton University said, “I’m still so excited for how far the team has come” after the University of Virginia knocked them out. Similarly, the women of St. John’s fell short in the national tournament despite coming up big in the Big East Tournament. However, Sharlotte still made it a point to highlight the importance of supporting your school’s team around campus this time of year. On the other hand, even though Julianna is heading off to the University of Alabama next year, she took this opportunity to stick with her Kentucky Wildcats one last time.

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For many, showing your team spirit is easier said than done. What do you do if you can’t make it out to a game because you’re stuck at the office and have to live stream wait until after work to catch the results? “It’s tough to show your team spirit while following your office dress code” but not impossible as Abira told us while also showcasing a spirited, but professional, look that may have helped her Tar Heels pull ahead of the ambitious Orange.

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March has been a wild ride for many fans as we’ve witnessed a number of magical moments. We’ve seen pure dominance, unexpected runs, excitement, heartbreak, and teams standing proudly even after a loss. While it’s been said before, it’s necessary to remember that team spirit is important regardless of where you are or how you intend to show it. If you can’t make it out to a game, you can still play a key role in keeping your team’s spirit alive, whether it’s working with your office dress code, passing on your fandom, or live-streaming a game when your boss leaves the office. ;D

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