The whole international pandemic thing that’s going down forced the 2020 March Madness to be cancelled. Or so you thought.
The NCAA is skipping this year’s tournament at all levels, but /r/CollegeBasketball has sponsored its own alternative Men’s Division I tournament: Reddit March Madness. Streamed exclusively on YouTube and executed with a college basketball video game from almost 15 years ago, this year’s March Madness is sure to be unpredictable and full of really dumb turnovers.
Nothing But Nylon is providing the exclusive* coverage of the event from the bedroom of our headquarters. Don’t miss any of the real* quotes and bone-breaking analysis that you’ll only find here because of how exclusive* this content is.
* = this means you can’t sue me
Romaro Gill is a Horse Girl
Standing at 7 feet 2 inches tall, Seton Hall senior center Romaro Gill gives off an intimidating vibe. And on the court, that aura can be proven, with rim rocking on one end and rim protection on the other than would have a car mechanic jealous.
But when Gill is off the court, it’s a whole different story. That is, unless you cross Patches.
Patches is Gill’s horse, and she is what he said keeps him going and motivated through whatever faces him in life.
“Patches is everything to me,” Gill explained, standing next to his majestic girl, holding his reins in one hand and brushing her mane with the other, switching to a baby voice in an instant. “Isn’t that right, baby? Who’s the cutest wootest wittle horsey there ever did was? You are, you are!”
Patches is a Danish Warmblood, an uncommon breed to find in the United States, but that’s part of why Gill is so attached to her.
“I don’t like things to be typical or normal,” he said. “So many people have the common breeds in America: your mustangs, your Shetland ponies, your Appaloosas. I wanted something different. I wanted to set myself apart.”
Gill lives with Patches in his two bedroom apartment off campus, and although the horse is his pet, they also have a roommate relationship.
“We have a chores list, WHICH PATCHES IS NOT GOOD ABOUT FOLLOWING,” Gill said, elevating his voice loud enough during the criticism so Patches could hear him in the other room. “But we have it all broken down, AND WHEN IT’S FOLLOWED, things move pretty smoothly around here.”
Patches told me later than he took exception to what Gill yelled.
“Does he always have to be so condescending?” Patches asked, rhetorically. “I mean, come on, sometimes I forget. I’m a horse, I don’t have the same mental capacity. Give me a fucking break. It’s just the dishes, no one is going to die.”
His teammates generally don’t talk about Patches or Gill’s living situation. But I did get senior guard Quincy McKnight to talk to me about it briefly.
“He lives in an apartment with a horse,” McKnight explained. “No shit I think it’s fucking weird.”
The only times Gill leaves Patches is for away games and tournaments, and with Seton Hall getting all the way to the Final Four in Reddit March Madness for the first time since 1989, he has been spending a lot of time apart from the horse lately.
Gill said it has been affecting his mental state.
“I really, really miss her,” he said, hanging his head in the locker room. “I’ve been trying to throw the last few games of this tournament, because I want to be home with my girl so bad. But we just keep winning, so here I am in Atlanta, stuck away from her.”
Meanwhile, Patches has been living it up back in New Jersey.
“WOOOO,” Patches celebrated in the middle of one of many huge parties she’s been throwing while Romaro Gill is away, drawing the attention of the entire crowd before jumping from the counter onto the coffee table, a bottle of whiskey in her hoof, smashing the table to pieces. “NO PARENTS!”
Be sure to follow along with Nothing But Nylon’s comprehensively exclusive* coverage of the 2020 Reddit March Madness.
Part of the proceeds from the sale of each #RedditMarchMadness t-shirt will go toward helping those in the basketball community affected by COVID-19. We will be partnering with non-profits like the Give and Go Foundation on the effort. If you know of a worthy group that could use some extra funds, please reach out.