March Madness doesn’t exist in Ann Arbor. This is nothing new. It’s like me telling you the sky is blue or Michigan State fans like to riot. But why should a March without madness automatically be one filled with sadness?

Sure, Michigan fans have to look back a decade to find a time its team made the NCAA Tournament, and even then it didn’t officially count. Sure, cheering against the Dukes of the world can only be fun for so long. And sure, it’s not just college hoops specific. All March long, it seems any team or player I’m rooting for has something wrong going for it.

All this is true. But all hope is not lost. Luckily for area sports fans, spin is in.

So after adopting some rather generous outlook tweaks I’ve made to some of the most dire sports situations, hopefully you can have a positive look on sports, too (or just lose any concept of reality, depending on how you look at it).

The Michigan men’s basketball team hasn’t made the NCAA Tournament in a decade.
Let’s get the elephant out of the room right away. It’s not fun getting a chance to shamelessly pick your home school to go deep when they’re not even listed on a bracket. But at least you have a better chance at bracket success without the dreaded homer pick going wrong. And Michigan fans always have the bragging rights over the summer of “Your team lost more recently than ours.”

The Michigan hockey team has to travel out East to Albany for the NCAA Tournament.
Sure, it sucks. If the Wolverines had been placed in Madison, a lot of students could have made the trek out West to watch. But the Wolverines avoided a Michigan State team that has played them tough all year long and secured the No. 1 overall seed with the CCHA Tournament Title. It’s inconvenient travel-wise, but it’s good Frozen Four-wise.

The Celtics are in the driver’s seat for the No. 1 seed over the Pistons in the East.
Home court advantage is nice, but I’d gladly trade it for not having to face LeBron James in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. The Cavs and Celtics can beat themselves up for seven full games while the Pistons cruise to the Eastern Conference Finals fresh as can be.

Curtis Granderson has to start the season on the disabled list.
Winning 155 games this regular season is good enough. There’s always 2009 for the full 162.

Terrelle Pryor choosing Ohio State over Michigan.
Or should I say, the University of Ohio State. Let’s be honest, Pryor isn’t a frontrunner for the Academic All-Big Ten team next year. Pryor going to school in Columbus is good news for everyone except the Ann Arbor News, which was probably licking its chops for a potential academic “scandal.”

The Michigan football team doesn’t exactly have a quarterback next season.
Minor technicality. Steven Threet should emerge as the starter and be more than adequate. He ran a similar offense in high school and Rich Rodriguez’s teams at Clemson and Tulane showed you don’t have to be “mobile” to succeed in his offense. If you want another approach, there’s always the obvious “I’d rather have no quarterback than Ryan Mallett” joke. Then again, I guess it’s not a joke if it’s true.

The Lions are considering bringing in Pacman Jones to play cornerback.
I’ve got nothing.

The Michigan economy is bad.
Well, now we have an excuse not to go to Lions games. Actually, if Jones ends up a Lion, an economic quick-fix may be in order. It’s like trickle up economics: pump money into strip clubs, see the results spread elsewhere. Pure genius.

– Bell can be reached at

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