The final two minutes of the Marquette-Stanford game Saturday night took about a half hour to complete. Why? Because sports, like life, places an undue burden on the final minutes rather than the first.
The referees forced several time-out's running to the scorer's table asking for extra time to be put back on the clock because the official scorer started the clock too soon. My question (because I love to ask questions) is, who was watching the official scorer with ... say ... 13 minutes left in the half to make sure he was re-starting the clock correctly? My answer (because I love to answer my own questions) is: Nobody.
We don't pay as much attention to things at the beginning as we do at the end, which is why sports emulates life. Last-second field goals are supposedly more important than the one he missed in the first quarter, ninth inning home runs carry more weight than the strike-out with the bases loaded in the first inning and buzzer-beaters beat the 30% three-point field goal percentage. So we're told. For my money (the only money that matters), they're equally important, but we rarely complain about the stuff that happens in the beginning.
We're starting to pay attention to Global Warming now, because it's hot and rainy and the ice caps are melting. It started about a hundred years ago during the Industrial Revolution, but nobody thought of it then because we were having too much fun building stuff out of steel and refining oil.
We're starting to pay attention to gasoline prices now, because they're high and, like a lot of things, we didn't start to notice until it was too late. Auto makers are scrambling to produce hybrid cars and other fuel-efficient vehicles, even though the Federal government (led by the most inept president in our history) has failed to raise CAFE standards sufficiently to benefit consumers. Most people didn't care much when prices reached a dollar a gallon because we were all fat and happy living off those big stock market dividends and those huge salary increases. That gravy train runs on oil too.
The big clock is ticking. Summer is coming and the national average gas price is at $3.26 a gallon. The referee is just now starting to check the "scorer's table" and he doesn't like what he sees. How's that for philosophical? It's why you come here, I know.
Unlike the game, we can't put time back on the clock, and even if we could, we'd need to go back to the beginning of the game and fix that clock too. The whole thing is goofy.
So, here we are, facing elimination in the only game that matters, but we're distracted by bracket pools and all that other stuff that they give us to make us look the other way. We're convinced that life is good because we can still pay for it - or charge it.
We've taken out second mortgages, lines of credit and other such debt to the point that we're stretched to the limit. Meanwhile, the cost of just getting to work is multiplying faster than those rabbits we ate for Easter.
Somebody needs to call "time".