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Friday Morning Latin Lesson: Vol. CVII

March 22, 2013

Salvete, amici!  Here we are again at the end of another week, and what a week it's been, eh?  Is your bracket already busted?  Are you asshole deep in snow yet?  How about that new Pope, eh?  That covers pretty much the sum total of all the news that was this past week, doesn't it? 

This is, of course, the greatest time of the year for me, being that the NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments are going right now.  The men's tournament, of course, tipped off on Tuesday with the "first four", the four in this case being the first four games, otherwise known as the "play-in" games.  However, "purists" don't count these first four games (because purists are dumb) and you probably have to look long and hard to find someone who actually counts these games in their office pool brackets.  I guess it's understandable; only the truly sick and depraved would watch these games and hold an actual interest in them.  I don't have a problem.  I swear!

The tournament itself has picked up the moniker "March Madness" (even though half of it this year will be played in April...) which stems, somewhat, from the phrase "mad as a March hare".  March is the month in which rabbits get it on, which would be one reason for those hares to be acting all harebrained; sweet, sweet cunnus cuniculi is on the line!  March Madness originally was the nickname for the Illinois state high school tournament--a Land of Lincoln version of Hoosier Hysteria (so much alliteration...).  It was lifted by noted national sportscasting perv and Webb-family hero, Brent Musburger, who probably thought it his own creation when he spewed it forth in a drunken broadcast during 1982.  We thank you for that, Brent, as well as the gift of Katherine Webb in a bikini um, diving, or whatever shit she's doing in that television show.  Shut up and close the blinds--I'm watching here!

The term "Sweet Sixteen" showed up sometime in the 90s, and was once again lifted from a high school tournament.  Several lawsuits with much legalese being bandied about came from the state of Kentucky, where Sweet Sixteen was used for many, many years to describe the final sixteen teams playing in their state high school tournament.  Final Four, also, was stolen from a high school tournament, this time going back to the hotbed of high school hoops, the great state of Indiana, where "final four" was used to describe the last quartet of teams that survived the semistate rounds of the tournament before class basketball ruined Indiana high school athletics forever.  Someone claimed that "final four" was used in the late 70s to describe when Marquette was one of the final four schools left in the tournament, but Marquette can go fuck themselves for all I care.

Oh, thanks for Tom Crean, by the way.

March, of course, gets its name from the Roman God of war, Mars.  Martius was the first month of the Roman Calendar, and it was ruled over by Mars--the embodiment of bloodlust and battle of warfare, as opposed to Minerva who was the strategist--because Martius was the time for planting crops and for making war.  Mars was originally an agrarian god, one who looked over the soil, the crops and the land.  The connection between the soil and battle was made glaringly clear in the movie Gladiator, where Maximus is constantly rubbing the soil on his face and fingers before battle.

Mars also gave us the name for Tuesday (in a round-about way).  The Romans thought that Mars, the planet in the sky, commanded the second day of the week, and so they named it dies Martis or "day of Mars".  When the Romans came in contact with some of the Germanic folk, the Germans liked this idea and so they began calling the second day of the week after their God of War, Tyr.  Thus, the name of the second day of the week became "Tyr's day" which eventually morphed into Tuesday.  And with the first four tipping off on Tuesdays, we've brought this bitch full circle.  All praise Mars!

Tempus est Furori Martis!

Pronounced:  "Tem-poose est fyoo-roar-ee Mar-teese!"

There's some serious meta stuff going on in this picture.  Also, hovertext!

March, of course, has the reputation of "coming in like a lion" and going "out like a lamb."  We're three weeks into March, with the first full day of Spring being yesterday.  This weekend, most of the country is bracing for another major snowstorm.  Yep.  Totally going out like a lamb!  I thought maybe this other phrase would be helpful while you're shoveling your car out of yet another bank of snow left in the wake of the plows.

Te pedicabo, Philippe...

Pronounced:  "Tay pay-dee-cah-boh, Phil-lee-pay"

A translation more accurate that weather prognosticating rodents in the hovertext

Lay in some alcohol and have the pizza man on speed dial:  it's going to be a long weekend.  Might as well get drunk, watch some basketball, and have cholesterol-laden regret coursing through your veins on Monday morning!  Valete, omnes!


Molly said...

Not a Spam:

Raine said...

Phew! You got me all worried about the weather here for a sec. No snow here!

MJenks said...


Scope said...

I remember growing up in downstate IL, and when the IHSA tourney was on, the whole state shut down. Everyone was watching the games. Old black and white TVs were wheeled into classrooms on carts if any local team was playing during the school day.

March Madness, it was.