King Richard III hit the parquet floor hard, but his face didn’t show it. The 6’7”, 240lb former king of the Brits was just happy to be back on the basketball court. “I feel great” remarked Richard, the former all-Brittanian center and two-time all-star. “I mean, after the whole loss of my crown thing, I had a lot of soul searching to do. Was I a mad tyrant, or a mad rebounder?” In the end, Richard’s passion for the game was too strong, and he’s spent the off-season getting his body in game shape.
Of course, Richard’s impressive pedigree by no means guarantees him success in this month’s March Madness tournament, which pits the maddest men in history against each other. Each participant was ranked earlier in the year based on the amount of electro-shock therapy they would need to become normal.
Although Richard is a true madman, he's by no means the maddest man in March Madness. In fact, Richard isn’t even the number one seed in his bracket; that honor goes to perennial madhouse Ty Cobb. Cobb, who averaged over 21 points per game and 13 racial epitaphs per quarter, also set new records in “Minorities offended” and “African-Americans beaten (physically)” on his way to the ACC title. Cobb refused requests for an interview, but said in a press release that he expects to “lynch the shit” out of his opponents.
But the number one seed rarely goes on to win the tournament. In fact, Edgar Allen Poe’s 1988 campaign remains the only number one seed to ever win the tourney. So who else has a chance? Well, the hype right now seems to center around former French dictator Napoleon Bonaparte (#7). Bonaparte has been on a run recently, blowing through most of the teams in the EURO conference. Bracketology experts are predicting that if Napoleon can get past Josef Stalin (#10) in the first round, he should be able to run right into the final four. Getting past Stalin is no gimme though, as Napoleon has struggled with the Russians in the past.
The sleeper pick of the tournament seems to be Alfred E. Newman (#12) who many would claim invented the concept of Mad. Newman, of course, holds the all time record for attempts to get a joke out of "Richard Nixon farting." However, some questioned his ability in the tournament, finding his age to be a factor, as well as the fact that only 8th graders seem to be rooting for him.
The fairy tale of the tournament has to be the EURO bracket’s number 15 seed, Vincent Van Gogh. "Oh Baby! There’s no question that Van Gogh is the craziest mother in this tournament,” Madness expert Dick Vitale yelled to nobody in particular. "But the question, baby, is does he have the rebound ability to make this happen? Nobody knows, but God knows, baby, that we are all, baby, pulling, baby, for baby, baby!”
Vitale was referencing Van Gogh’s struggles with drugs and alcohol, which had seemingly derailed his career. Van Gogh had tremendous early sucess (due mainly to his prodigious natural insanity), but it wasn’t enough for him. He began dabbling in alcohol, but that wasn’t enough. Desperate for any edge he could gain, Van Gogh began to turn to psychedelic drugs, which fueled his record breaking 2001 season where he bashed his way to one of the maddest seasons of all times, only to be disqualified in the finals when his water bottle was discovered to be full of Absinthe.
Several failed drug tests and a grand jury hearing later, Van Gogh was out of the tourney. Since then, Van Gogh has found the love of his life, cut off his ear (which he expects will make him faster on the court), and re-emerged as a viable threat to win the tournament. Unfortunately, reigning champion George W. Bush will not get to pursue his record-breaking seventh straight title. Bush has been ruled ineligible for this year’s tourney. Tournament organizer Lee Harvey Oswald called Bush “Just too damn crazy.”