By Bettina Burke
It's about time. Finally something not-as-wicked comes along to shift
the nation's focus from, not war, but the slew of reality shows that
are to our culture what Michael Jackson is to plastic surgery. Um, horrible?
March Madness. That whimsical time of year when men would rather watch
ten of their sweaty brethren competing to throw a ball through a hoop
than do something constructive for the world. Like, say, hmm…finding
our G-spot once and for all? Or does that futile hunt have to wait till
Okay, okay, I'm not here to go all masochist on your Madness, or stand
in the way of your DNA -- especially when it's glued to a television
set worshipping a "bald, one-eyed Italian" maniac who suffers from a
severe case of the Basketball Jones (because he can never get enough).
I'm here to demonstrate what good sports we ladies can be and how, if
given the opportunity, we like to participate. That said, please accept
my token of affection in the form of a pop quiz.
Remember: there are no stupid questions. Only stupid athletic directors
who look the other way when stupid athletes find someone else stupid
enough to take their quizzes for them. Please. Eyes on your own computer
MARCH MADNESS POP QUIZ:
What is a RPI rating?
a. An impossibly complex system that together, the CIA, FBI, NSA and
PTA wouldn't be able to figure out, especially if the nation's security
depended on it.
b. In Venusian terms: Ratings Penetration Index. (What you should be
figuring out instead of your brackets.)
c. An anagram for R.I.P.-- her last letters to you as she's walking
out the door after deeming your RPI rating unsuitable for any woman
outside of a Jerry Springer posse.
real fear factor during March Madness is
a. Having to watch grown men reduced to blathering babies after their
b. When your idea of Survivor is not getting off the couch for
three weeks and living off the leftover potato chips and cockroaches
you find between the cracks.
c. Having your every household chore scrutinized as if we were UN Weapons
Inspectors and you were that country who ends in a "Q."
3. If we happen to be gracing you with our presence when the savvy
director cuts to the proverbial low-angle "Cheerleader Crotch Shot,"
a. Hit pause button on TIVO and use Sharper Image Tellustrator to point
out artistic significance of angle.
b. Ask us to do a reenactment so you can sell the pictures to www.MILF.com
c. Describe how being a cheerleader is a vital stepping stone to much
grander things, citing as examples Paula Abdul and the entire cast of
Pom Pom Girls Gone Wild.
4. You know a coach is on the bubble when
a. His team votes themselves off the island and swims ashore before
the final two immunity challenges.
b. He makes his assistant coach/son break the news to mom -- it was
all his fault.
c. While on summer vacation he gets hundreds of long-distance calls
from players who just wanna holla "wassup?"
d. The jury is deciding whether he'll be coaching major college ball
next year, or on an Indian Reservation.
5. A man knows he's on the bubble when
a. His buddies vote themselves off the island and swim ashore before
the final two-minute warning of the Significant Other arriving.
b. He discovers his TV set has been TP'd and his remote control reprogrammed
to open the trap door that leads straight to the doghouse.
c. He tries to create a "living room wave" and all she'll lift is a
6. When your game conflicts with any FOX Reality show you should
a. Find the shortest route to any sports bar. Note: Hooters does not
qualify as a sports bar, unless you consider Boob Hunting a sport.
b. Understand: for each game videotaped, you get 80 extra minutes to
do something useful for the universe -- like commiserate with us over
what tough choices the Bachelorette has to make.
c. Realize the reality that the reality of us arguing over what to watch
could make for compelling Reality TV of its own one day.
7. You know you're a real basketball addict if
a. Due to possible game preemptions, you're sending the White House
protest letters that read: War any time after the middle of April is
cool with me. Go team!
b. You can recite the entire bracket in under two minutes, and name
the turnons and turnoffs for each of the 65 tournament team mascots.
c. You believe all adult education schools should be required to offer
a Stuart Scott-as-a-Second Language course and all writers of Slam Magazine
be given honorary degrees.
8. If a bald, one-eyed Italian maniac shows up at your door to get
quotes from the "Average Joe," AND convince you of the purity inherent
in College Basketball
a. Tell him you'll only accept cash for your answers.
b. DO NOT let him in for the free vacuum display -- his exuberance may
suck the life right out of you.
c. Ask him if his Basketball Viagra comes in any other flavors.
If withdrawal occurs when the games are all over, you should
a 12-Step program moderated by Jim Gray.
b. Get over it.
c. Find something else to pour your passion into. Um, I'm thinking:
Night Sports Viewing:
(in order of preference)
1. Lakers vs. Jordan Scrubs
2. Texas vs U Conn
3. Maryland vs. Mich St.
4. Power Puff Girls vs. Dr. Evil
5. USA vs Iraq
How to get drafted from the doghouse back to the bedroom
a. Diamonds are a girl's best friend. Second choice would be taking
out the garbage, shaving and actually bringing home a real paycheck
once in a while.
b. Be understanding when OUR season begins. Oh right, it all ready did,
silly me. It's called Shopping, and it never ends.
c. Figure out OUR RPI rating and stay in the game long enough to hit
the G-Spot, pal!
Do me a favor, wake me up when it's Easter. I'm outta here.
Bettina Burke is president of the Beverly Hills Chapter of W.A.S.
(Women Against Sports). A single mother of one gorgeous child, she runs
the Bettina Burke Beverly Hills Dance Academy -- basically training
women to instill "awareness" in sports-addicted husbands with the aide
of a pole or lap. This is her first assignment for The Ave.