Why we are mad in march: 10 takes, not all about basketball

It is March. Time to get mad!

The Cardinals are on fire, but the men’s team is not. Regardless of what happens next week, we at LEO find the trademarked March Madness is oh so dull every year.

Instead of pumping up a deflated sportsball, we decided to take a 180-degree turn away from this Marching Madness and to ask:

What makes us Mad in March… or what are we Mad For in March? 

Our distinguished panel includes progressives, conservatives, sincere and effective do-gooders, wackadoodles and many shades in between.

As you might expect, they had plenty of burned toast for President tRump, Gov. Matt “Lil’ Puppet” Bevin and that clown car called the Kentucky General Assembly. 

But they also had Big Love for… well, read and see.


Madness Normalized

By Marc Murphy

There is a different madness in March in Kentucky, not in gymnasiums or even Rupp Arena. It’s in Frankfort where the real madness in March lives. 

It’s madness that the Kentucky General Assembly would protect the governor’s secret records but not our public schools.

It’s madness that it would require the sick to prove they need health care but require no one to prove they can safely carry a handgun. 

It’s madness that it can take the time to designate coal the state mineral — which it is not — while stripping health care from the men who mine it.

It’s madness that it can require In God We Trust and Bible study in schools while making laws that make gay men and women — created in the image of God — illegal.

It’s madness that the response to our teachers who want to teach our children is to take away more of their money. 

It’s madness that it won’t control the sale of arms, but it will control women’s bodies. 

It’s madness that, in both cases, people will die.  

And it’s madness that, by now, we really don’t expect anything other than this madness. 

Marc Murphy is the Courier Journal’s editorial cartoonist and a trial lawyer.


Mad About Comparisons

By Attica Scott

I am mad as all get out that Republicans in the House, and their surrogates, are now pushing a narrative that abortion is the same as lynching, slavery and the Holocaust. Where is our collective outrage over this anti-semitism and racism? Or is that only reserved for D.C. and not your own backyard? My goodness, abortion is not the same as racial terrorism of black communities nor is it the same as the mass genocide of 6 million Jewish people. I am mad that reasonable debate has resorted to some Republicans putting millions of women on the same moral plane as Hitler.

I am mad that my colleagues have chosen a message that is designed to reject hundreds of years of enslavement and lynching and are continuing to create a hostile and toxic work environment for those of us who are the minority of the minority in the House. Republican leadership must denounce this hateful rhetoric because enslavement, lynching and the Holocaust were public terrorism, while abortion is a very private matter. 

I am mad that the supermajority is using its bully pulpit to target the black members of the House.

Attica Scott is a Democratic state representative from Louisville, the first African-American in the state legislature in nearly two decades.


Timing Is Maddening

By John Ziegler 

Because the weather is so unpredictable (you know, with global warming and all), you never know what to wear in the morning. Then, on one day out of the month, I have to go to the back of my closet to find that green shirt I bought in Ireland many years ago, while hoping it somehow still fits. 

St. Patrick’s Day reminds me of all the Irish Catholic girls I once tried to date as a high school/college geek, with whom trying to get to second base was like climbing the Cliffs of Moher. Also, Shamrock Shakes are not available at all McDonalds and, even then, not for the full month. The college basketball tournament calls itself March Madness, but the most important games happen in April. Also, my Georgetown Hoyas haven’t been relevant to that event since back when Donald Trump was still a Democrat. 

As a golf fan, now we have the Players Championship played in March, which only makes you wish that April and The Masters could finally get here so we can see a golf tournament that really matters. What’s next? Moving the Preakness Stakes to April so it can come before the Kentucky Derby?!

John Ziegler is a former talk show host at 840 WHAS infamously known for his “Ask John Anything” segment and appeared on WAVE-TV’s  “Yarmuth & Ziegler” with U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth. He hosts the podcast “Individual 1.”


A Kinder, Gentler Mad

By Ricky L. Jones

To paraphrase the late George H.W. Bush, I’m trying to be “kinder and gentler.” To that end, I’m meditating, working on my patience, speaking less and listening more. I’m doing all this in an effort to not be so mad. Woosah. But, these are a few things that royally pissed me off when I was an angrier fellow. 

— Dumb people who think they’re smart. It’s like weed-heads who think smoking turns them into geniuses. It doesn’t. Stop trying to debate serious things when you have the intellectual development of a grade-schooler! 

— Slow drivers who drive next to other slow drivers on two-lane freeways. Get in the same damn lane!

— The teasing of Robert Mueller. Deliver the report already, dude! It better contain a method for timetravel and the cure for cancer after all this waiting.

— Them no-good, dirty Atlanta Falcons! I think they’ve been trying to kill me since 1973. Loving them is hard. I’ve been on the brink numerous times. That last Super Bowl loss to those bastards from New England was almost too much. (Sniff.)

— I’m mad as a mutha that Tom Jurich is gone! March, hoops and other sports will never be the same without him. The man is a genius, and to hell with you if you disagree!

Damn! Now I’m mad again! Gotta go meditate. Or drink. Or Both!

Dr. Ricky L. Jones is chair of Pan-African Studies at the UofL and host of iHeart Media’s award-winning “Ricky Jones Show with 12 Mr. FTC” radio show and podcast. Visit him at rickyljones.com


Mad For Mack

By John Yarmuth

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Donald Trump, Jared Kushner, all the other Trumps, Matt Bevin, women’s college basketball officiating, the U.S. Senate. The list of things I am mad about is too long and too depressing. 

So, I’m mad for Chris Mack. I’m mad for him, not because of his coaching ability, which is considerable, but because of his humanity. 

Last fall, Maurice Stallard was fatally shot in the Jeffersontown Kroger by a white supremacist. He was with his 12-year-old grandson, Kane Watson, at the time. A bit later I learned that Kane is an avid UofL fan, so I reached out to Mack to see if Kane could visit a team practice as a diversion from his unimaginable grief.

Coach Mack immediately responded, “Let’s do it.” He did so much more.

Mack arranged for Kane to visit the team the morning of an afternoon game in the KFC Yum Center. He watched them shoot around, then ate with the team at the pregame meal. After watching the game from very good seats, Kane was summoned by Mack to follow him into the media room. There was Kane, sitting next to Mack, holding an autographed basketball, as the coach answered questions about the Cards’ victory. 

Mack went way above and beyond to bring joy to a kid who badly needed it. I am so mad for Chris Mack, now and always.

U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, a Democrat, is founder of LEO, has represented Kentucky’s 3rd Congressional District since 2007 and is now chairman of the House Budget Committee.


Mad For Peaches

By Thomas Massie

Some folks are mad about fake news, but I’m mad about fake peaches! If I were ever to betray my laissez-faire free-market principles to advocate for the heavy hand of government regulation, it would be to outlaw those despicable flavorless facsimiles of Prunus persica foisted on the public at supermarket chains.

Last week, I stared into the bottom of our deep freezer and contemplated opening our last pint of frozen homegrown peaches. But then I thought better of it. It’s too long until the real peaches are available again at orchards and roadside stands.

This summer, if you’re fortunate enough to find a great tasting peach grown locally, plant the pit! On our farm, I’ve planted peach trees from mail order catalogues and the big box stores, but one of my best trees grew from the pit of a delicious farm stand peach.

I could go mad this March, but it won’t be for basketball. It will be from waiting for the next crop of sweet, juicy peaches I imagine when looking at the grocery store fakes.  To keep my sanity, I’ll be planting a Glohaven, a J.H. Hale, and a Loring while watching the Red Havens bloom on our farm.

U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie, a Republican, has represented Kentucky’s 4th Congressional District since 2012.


3-Way Mad

By Terry Meiners

I don’t get mad. I occasionally get irked, chafed, flummoxed and downright disappointed, but I don’t waste life energy on anger. Mad means nutty, joyous or devotion in my vernacular.

March is a sweet word, too. It’s the third month, and three is a juicy word. “Threeeeeeeeee!” shouts the basketball announcer. Three-way chili. Ménage à trois. 3.0 is a survivable GPA. There are three sides to every story; the third being the truth somewhere in the middle.

“March of the Penguins.” The Ides of March song “Vehicle” is a stone-cold driving song. Any John Philip Sousa march.

I’m crazy Mad for March. March on.

Terry Meiners can be heard on “The Terry Meiners Show” on 840 WHAS and seen on “Great Day Live” on WHAS-TV.


Mad For West End Project

By Sadiqa Reynolds

I am mad about the idea that the Louisville Urban League is building a $35 million sports and learning complex at 30th and Ali, turning a 24-acre brownfield into functioning, healthy space. Think of local track teams running on the hydraulic track or JCPS students hosting a robotics conference when we lay the track flat and cover it. 

This anchor facility will draw tens of thousands into hotels and restaurants in Louisville and Southern Indiana. If you think they won’t come, you are mad! When your child is running, you follow GPS and just ride. Louisville is a day’s drive from more than half of this country, so if we build it, they will come and bring spending money. 

Youth sports is basically recession-proof! Even when business travel is down, youth teams and parents keep coming. Ask Councilwoman Jessica Green how much money she’s spent chasing her track stars across the country. Hotels, restaurants, stores for forgotten socks, wristbands and healthy snacks. That’s some of what you pay for when you travel for sports. 

Imagine Louisville on ESPN hosting USA track and field! I am giddy!

College track stars will run and neighborhood kids will come in and see them presented with medals. #Winning

I close my eyes and see smiling faces. I dream of the local artwork we will display and sell. I smell the food from the trucks, hear the kids horsing around in the green space, feel the sunshine, hear the laughter. 

I have been let loose to dream and to help others make their dreams come true. 

Only in the poorest, darkest, unhealthiest community would we even have 24 acres of contaminated land to rebuild. I’m mad about that!

You can help by donating at sportsandlearningcomplex.org.

Thank you, Louisville.

Sadiqa Reynolds is president and CEO of the Louisville Urban League.


No Substitutes For Mad

By Deena Lilygren

Instacart, why are you such a good idea in theory and such a shit-show in execution? The mind-boggling decisions made by Instacart shoppers — think Uber drivers, but for grocery shopping and delivery — have me all hot and bothered this March. Recent Instacart puzzlers include: substituting sea salt and pepper pretzel thins with children’s fruit snacks (what is the relationship here?), substituting two cans of black beans with two 16-ounce bags of dry beans (bags which will live in my pantry for eternity) and substituting ham, a delicious, salty meat, with turkey, a meat that always smells, even on the day you buy it, as though it’s gone off. It would be understandable if I were ordering niche, gourmet groceries, but I’m just trying to get some bread and Velveeta from Dirty Kroger over here so I can make a grilled cheese — a grilled cheese I can’t even make because my last Instacart shopper removed bread from my order because they didn’t have my brand. He obviously didn’t understand that a lady who orders Velveeta isn’t going to protest that it doesn’t “pair well” with whatever bread he would have deemed an acceptable substitute. Then again, the way they’ve been going, I wouldn’t be surprised to find the bread subbed for a package of lavender incense. At least then I could eat my cheese in a relaxing environment.

Deena Lilygren is an English professor and LEO contributor who writes on LGBTQ issues.


Mad On The Mound

By Creig Ewing

I am mad about college baseball in March. College baseball actually starts in February, but that’s too damn cold. Even if you don’t like sports, UofL baseball games are a great place to meet friends for a beer after work and on weekends. With college baseball’s short season, each game is important. UofL’s Jim Patterson Stadium is a great venue, right there on Central Avenue between the football stadium, formerly named after a loudmouthed pizza guy and Churchill Downs. I feel more sad for college baseball than mad. It gets no love in the spring. Sports fans are focused on college basketball, spring football, then Derby. It’s the middle of May before some realize that Louisville has one of the best college baseball teams in the country. So, you can get in on the ground floor with this year’s Louisville baseball team if you start this month.

Bring the kids. They can run and play catch in the warmup area next to right field or in the playground in the outfield. Players also make time to talk and give autographs after. Savvy baseball fans and UofL fraternity members also know to stroll past the concession stands to get the best beer deals in the outfield grill.  

Creig Ewing is comedian, former sports editor for the Courier Journal and LEO contributor.

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