Who’s giddy? Are we giddy? What is it about this time of year that makes the campus go a bit… um, mad? The photos above collected from the Library’s Belle Air shelf seem to prove that V is not only for Villanova, but also very much for vintage vim, vigor & verve! And not only when in the vicinity of the vernal equinox! (Voila! You’re Velcome! 😉)
Now, researching the term March Madness can lead you down into a tangley rabbit hole of trademark law – pun intended, as it can be traced to the original, original origins of spring madness: the behavior of hares. Who can get a little frisky this time of year.
The best part of the story, though, is the literary Illinois High School Association official who wrote for the IHSA Magazine, and tied together scholarship, patriotism and basketball in lovely ways. His name was H.V. Porter, and he wrote “Basketball Ides of March” in 1939.
From H.V. Porter’s “Basketball Ides of March”
Basketball Ides of March
The gym lights gleam like a beacon beam
And a million motors hum
In a good will flight on a Friday night;
For basketball beckons, “Come!”
A sharp-shooting mite is king tonight.
The Madness of March is running.
The winged feet fly, the ball sails high
And field goal hunters are gunning.
The colors clash as silk suits flash
And race on a shimmering floor.
Repressions die, and partisans vie
In a goal acclaiming roar.
On a Championship Trail toward a holy grail,
All fans are birds of a feather.
It’s fiesta night and cares lie light
When the air is full of leather.
Since time began, the instincts of man
Prove cave and current men kin.
On tournament night the sage and the wight
Are relatives under the skin.
It’s festival time, sans reason or rhyme
But with nation-wide appeal.
In a cyclone of hate, our ship of state
Rides high on an even keel.
With war nerves tense, the final defense
Is the courage, strength and will
In a million lives where freedom thrives
And liberty lingers still.
Now eagles fly and heroes die
Beneath some foreign arch
Let their sons tread where hate is dead
In a happy Madness of March
- Henry V. Porter, 1939
May your weekend be full of shining moments, Nova Nation! Go ‘Cats!!
Incidentally, Belle Air yearbooks are viewable during regular library hours. Ask for your desired year at the front desk and someone from our friendly staff will retrieve it for you!
Gannon, Tim. The Illinois man who coined ‘March Madness’. 3/14/2015. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 3/19/16 http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/college/ct-flashback-march-madness-spt-0315-20150314-story.html
Berger, Jonathan. Marching to Madness: Dual Use Trademarks after Illinois High School Association v. GTE Vantage,
Hastings communications and entertainment law journal, 1999, 21, 785-829. Retrieved 3/19/16
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