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
Reddit March Madness National Championship – 3 Seton Hall 79, 5 BYU 77
Before tip off of the national championship, I had a small conversation with Seton Hall head coach Kevin Willard in the tunnel. We have a very close, professional relationship, and he asked if he could trust me with something huge.
I told him that of course he could, I wouldn’t betray his trust. He looked both ways to make sure no one was watching, then turning to me and placed his hands on the top and bottom of his forehead. I was confused, until he pulled back what I learned to be silicone, revealing a large tuft of white hair, shattering the reality I thought I lived in where Kevin Willard is bald. He quickly resealed the silicone together, reforming his falsely bare scalp.
“There will be hell to pay,” Willard whispered to me in an English accent, “for those who use their powers for evil and not good.”
With that, he disappeared, vanishing in thin air out of the tunnel. I was stunned, but after knowing Kevin Willard for so long, it didn’t seem that out of character, so I continued on with my reporting duties, keeping that experience in mind.
Once Seton Hall vanquished BYU, 79-77, to win its first-ever national championship, it was clear to me what happened.
It became clear to the rest of the world at the post-game press conference.
“Hello, muggle world,” the man we understood to be Kevin Willard said. “I am Albus Dumbledore, and I have come to save you.”
Confused, everyone in the room froze but me, already having connected the dots. In hindsight, it seemed so obvious, yet so brilliant at the same time.
“I have been posing as a muggle named Kevin Willard for some time now after originally learning of The Dark Lord’s plans of using BYU and Reddit March Madness as a vessel to annihilate muggles,” Dumbledore explained. “Like, some serious FBI, covert-type shit.”
That’s when he revealed himself, pulling at his forehead like he had for me, but this time fully unleashing his old self to the media. His white beard hung to his stomach, his hair was down to the bottom of his back. The beads, the robes, the whole works were underneath his magical, silicone disguise.
The shock in the room remained palpable as no one spoke, stunned into silence. Dumbledore motions to his side, beckoning for his aide to send someone up with him. The door to the room opened, and through it came walk-on senior guard Asiah Avent. He walked to the podium and joined Dumbledore.
Avent had been sporting a headband all tournament long, which I thought was strange considering he never played, therefore never really sweating much during games, and especially not in a video game. But I didn’t think enough of it to investigate.
When he took it off, the whole room learned why.
Behind the headband was a scar, but not just any scar. Right in the middle of Avent’s forehead, a distinct, large lightning bolt permanently decorated the skin.
The prophecy was being fulfilled, alright, but not like how Tom Riddle seemed to think it would.
“I am Harry Potter,” the man we previously understood to be Asiah Avent said. “Albus and I have worked together to foil Voldemort’s plot to extinguish mugglekind for a long time, and today, that plan finally came to fruition.”
From there, the two explained to the media the incredibly convoluted conspiracy they had put together to stop The Dark Lord from murdering all the muggles through college basketball supremacy that I’m sure you’ll be able to read about in great detail in The New York Times or Miami Herald or something.
As much as BYU didn’t want to, it had to come and speak with media after the heartbreaking loss, coming so close to eradicating all muggles. A beleaguered and weak Tom Riddle, his body shrinking in size, spoke first.
“I should have snapped his neck,” Riddle lamented. “Why did I try to kill him with the curse? He was a helpless baby. After finishing off the parents, I should have walked over to the crib, snatched him up, and snapped his neck. The muggles would be dead right now if I had.”
Riddle looked deep inside of him, reflecting on just how massive that mistake so many years ago was.
“That’s the single greatest regret of my life,” he admitted, tears of confession beginning to build up in what one might describe as his tear ducts, though at this point, his body was too disfigured to truly decipher. “I was arrogant. I thought I could cut corners. I thought I was invincible.”
The Dark Lord learned the hard way as he became totally disembodied before our eyes. BYU senior guard Draco “TJ Haws” Malfoy, one of You-Know-Who’s most supportive players, ran to the podium and dropped to his knees. He became to wail, and it drew the attention of other Cougars from the locker room. They began to come out, the disappointment on their faces from losing a national championship and failing to achieve genocide amplified once they realized the state of their beloved coach.
Soon, the whole BYU team was on the podium, huddled together and weeping as a group in mourning of their leader.
“GET OUT OF HERE!” Malfoy screeched as the media, who had remained in silence to watch the moment unfold in real time, drawing his wand, menacingly. “I will kill every last one of you muggles, right here on camera, if you do not LEAVE THIS ROOM NOW!”
That was enough to empty the room as we all knew he was unquestionably crazy enough to do it. The scene turned horrific as hundreds of media personal rushed to the small exits, causing mass panic and chaos. In the confusion, several reporters were trampled, and the situation only further angered Malfoy.
That’s when the killings began.
Malfoy began mowing down media members, blasting them with curses and spells no muggle could comprehend. His teammates tried to intervene, telling him that there was always next year, pleading with him that this would ruin their ultimate goal for total domination. But he continued, a cold grin peeling his psychopathic mug, the screams and cries of the innocent haunting around him.
I survived, just barely, climbing over piles of bodies and using some people are human shields until I finally pushing my way into an opening, escaping out of the media room and sprinting out of the arena as fast as I could.
As I was running toward any exit I could find, I bumped into Seton Hall senior guard Myles Powell in the hallway. I told him what was happening and he turned around to join me in high-tailing it to safety. With how instrumental he was to bringing Seton Hall its first national championship, though, I had to asked him a few questions while I had him.
“It’s a feeling … like no other … I’ve ever felt … but I knew this would happen … I knew we … we weren’t gonna lose,” Powell said, panting heavy. “Like I said before … I’m better than Jesus … I mean … why do you think … we won tonight?”
We escaped the arena just as police were arriving at the scene. They escorted us to safety, and I explained to Powell everything that I saw in the press conference that night. He had no idea that his coach, Kevin Willard, was really Albus Dumbledore, nor did he had any clue that Asiah Avent was really Harry Potter.
“So, we didn’t win because of me?” he asked me, pulling tighter on the generic wool blanket police and firefighters always give people, like in the movies, fearing for what this could mean for his Seton Hall cathedral.
“No,” I told him, honestly. “You won because good always triumphs over evil. That’s how the world works.”
The Seton Hall superstar paused and thought for a moment, letting it sink in that this meant his cathedral probably wouldn’t happen, and that he’s probably not better than Jesus. I watched Powell come back down to the earth, his ego plummeting from the heavens to the earth’s crust like the stock market, and the moment of clarity hit him.
His shoulders relaxed and he sat back, understanding that maybe being normal wasn’t so bad after all.
“So, this means I don’t have to carry that burden of perfection any longer,” he said, his face gradually lighting up as he understood what this meant. “I don’t have to care as much. I don’t have to feel like I’m never enough. I don’t have to hold myself to this ridiculous, impossible standard that no one could live up to.”
He stood up, defiantly, the blanket shooting off of him like a rocket shedding its blasters or whatever the technical term is.
“I can be me!” he cried, jumping for joy and running away from the scene, clicking his heels and raising his arms in celebration of his newfound freedom.
So, what is the moral of this story? What is the meaning behind all this? I found Deep Stroke in a bar later in the night to find out.
“You think I have any idea what’s going on?” Deep Stroke said, drunk and exasperated by my insistence that he must know the answers, waving his hands around as his frustration overcame him. “I’m just a human. I don’t have any kind of all-seeing capabilities. I’m a big dummy, just like you and everyone else stuck on this earth. I don’t know why any of this happened. I don’t have any idea what’s going on. Life is ridiculous. This shit is ridiculous. I don’t understand it.”
Clearly, the emotion of the night had gotten the best of him, so I chose to leave and consider my own answers to these questions. What is the moral of this story? What is the meaning behind all this?
Nothing. I’m just fucking around.
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