Monday, March 28, 2011

As the Dixie Chicks said, you gotta loosen up those chains and Dance!!

2003 magazine cover
Personal confession time . . .

I, Martha Woodroof, love the Dixie Chicks;  both for their music and their outspoken refusal to toe the country music political line.

Imagine being country music singers from Texas and breaking bad on President George W. Bush about the Iraq War in 2003. It was, at the time, considered downright shocking

Back to their music, though, the Chicks had this to say about dancing:
Some days you gotta dance
Live it up when you get the chance.
'Cause when the world doesn't make no sense
And you're feeling just a little to tense
Gotta loosen up those chains and dance.
You gotta just do it, they're saying. Get out there and move, even when the dance in question is the Big Dance; the Men's NCAA basketball tournament. Forget Dancing with the Stars. My nominees for 2011's best dancers -- the ones who loosened the chains of almost everyone's expectations -- are the members of the Virginia Commonwealth University's Rams.

VCU yesterday, dancing on the odds, which had Kansas as an 11 pt. favorite  (AP Photo/Michael Thomas) 

Mike Wise put it this way in this morning's Washington Post:
Point guard Joey Rodriguez
Their 155-pound point guard, dribbling madly around the basketball court, would need a phone book under his sneakers to clear 6 feet. Their center, who decided life at one of the nation’s most esteemed programs was not for him, appears to be better at three-point shots than the ones he takes closer to the basket. Even their cocksure young leader who preaches controlled chaos — he turns 34 in two weeks — seems unorthodox, almost out of place among the giants of college basketball. 
The good thing is, pedigree and power conferences don’t always dictate who gets a chance to play in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. 
Coach Shaka Smart in victory garb
(AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
The good thing is, Joey Rodriguez, Jamie Skeen, Coach Shaka Smart and Virginia Commonwealth got in. 
And once that happened, the improbable followed in lockstep. 
In case you were napping and missed the most scintillating NCAA tournament upset in five years, the Rams from Richmond pulled a George Mason on Sunday, blowing out top-seeded Kansas in the first half of the tournament’s Southwest Region final before repelling a wild second-half rally and pulling away at the end.
And if a college's men basketball team is dancing, you can bet the students are as well.

VCU student Taylor Ricketts (top) celebrates VCU's win over Kansas as fellow student Reid Mownray supports him at VCU's Siegel Center as a thousand students celebrate at the moment the Rams won.
So how improbable is VCU's dancing their way into the Men's Final Four? According to ESPN's Mike and Mike in the Morning, if you had placed a $10.00 bet on VCU to win its first game against Southern California and then let that bet ride, you would have won over $13,000 dollars.

So why should we experienced, worldly-wise, over-burdened adults care that the VCU Rams are going to the Men's Final Four? Why am I writing about this rather than more serious subjects such as Japan or Libya or our own Supreme Court?

Because VCU's gloriously joyful and improbable victory is just as real as those other things. And, speaking for myself, it makes me realize that if hard work and guts and teamwork can shake off all the chains of expectations and set the VCU Rams to dancing in the Final Four, who knows where the rest of ourselves could find ourselves if we gave ourselves a good shake as well. Maybe all we need to do is "loosen up those chains and dance!"

Go Rams! Go world!

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