The Big Dance

I guess there’s a reason they call it March Madness.

Watching the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball games, I’m struck by how different the game feels from what we played as kids in P.E. class.

Besides being taller (w-a-a-a-y taller!) than most of us were, these young men and women are tougher. More aggressive, even.

Sure, there’s a lot riding on the outcome of their games. Prestige, trophies, money, commemorative rings, bragging rights.

But what’s with those other changes?

  • Chest-bumping. The guys don’t have a corner on this market; even the women are getting into the act, slamming themselves up against one another after somebody does something commendable. I know they probably wear those binding sports bras, but I cringe every time they do it.
  • Tattoos. Again, you kind of expect to see some of the young men sporting tattoos, but when the women start falling into that fad, I shudder. Isn’t it enough to have small tattoos that can be concealed? Why must they decorate their entire arms with graffiti? I mean, one day some of these people are going to be working in offices, banks, legal firms, medical plazas. Might they (or their employers) regret their “artistic” indulgence? Besides, I’ve got to confess that the unadorned arms, in my opinion, look cleaner. Just sayin’.
  • Traveling. Taking even one step with the ball without dribbling was considered a traveling foul for us in P.E. Now we see players take huge lunging leaps toward the goal, and the refs seem unfazed.
  • Penetration. Why is this word a sports announcer’s favorite word? You always hear the male announcers use it — you can hardly watch for five minutes without hearing it — but now the females are coming on board with it. They almost make it sound nasty.
  • Clock. The NCAA doesn’t use an automated clock for these championship games. Surprised? So was I when I read about it this morning. All of the teams who get to the championship level are good. Real good. And they deserve to have their contests monitored by something other than a timekeeper and a stopwatch. Especially when a first-class timing system wouldn’t cost much and would eliminate so much confusion.

Curious about tattoos

I’ve got a question that’s been bothering me for some time — what’s with the proliferation of tattoos??

Now I realize this will probably brand me an “old fogey” or worse, but I’m serious. Why do so many people today get tattoos?

They’re young, old, or in-between; they’re black, white, or Hispanic; they’re in little towns or big cities. They tattoo their arms, legs, backs, chests, and every possible place, visible or not.

There are butterflies, crosses, tribal insignia, hearts and flowers, somebody’s name, and fancy designs.

And it seems as if one isn’t enough. One leads to two, two leads to four, you get the idea.

I’m not standing in judgment here. Really. I’m merely curious. What’s the attraction?

Not so long ago, tattoos were frowned upon in the working world. Job applicants kept their tattoos covered until they were safely hired; and if their new position required them to interact with the public, they were told to keep them covered.

Tattoos used to be the decoration of sailors, bikers, hard rock band members, and such. Increasingly, I’m seeing more and more “regular people” sporting inky designs, and nobody seems to think a thing about it.

When did all this change?

The most recent statistic I could find was a 2006 study by the American Academy of Dermatology. In it, researchers found that almost one in four Americans between 18 and 50 are tattooed! In addition, 36% of Americans aged 18 to 29 are tattooed.

Does that boggle your mind like it does mine?

I mean, tattooing involves needles (pain) and an electronic machine that sounds like a dental drill. Where’s the fun in that?

And it’s not cheap. Even a small tattoo under one inch in size can set you back $50 to $100.

In the olden days, Old Testament law forbade the Israelite people from tattooing themselves (Leviticus 19:28). But the New Testament of the Bible doesn’t address tattooing so the only guideline we can use is to honestly ask ourselves whether it’s pleasing to God. Our bodies, after all, belong to Him, having been purchased at great price (the death of His only Son on the Cross).

I’m “un-inked” and fully intend to remain so. That’s my choice. I don’t like needles, and I’m just changeable enough to realize I’d never want anything permanently marked on me that I couldn’t easily get off.

But that doesn’t stop my curiosity! I still want to know, Why do people get tattoos? Any thoughts?