Don’t wait for March Madness. Get out of the house, watch some hoops, and have some fun at December Delirium, now playing in Bloomington-Normal. (photo by Sandy Adams/You Name It Sports)
By David Stanczak
If you’re a basketball fan sitting around the house with your Christmas presents, Bloomington-Normal is the place to be during the Christmas holiday season. The State Farm Classic is under way, featuring 64 teams, as many as participate in the NCAA Tournament. The big differences are that the Classic is completed by the end of the week, not spread out over a month; that the games are all in the same community; and that they are high school rather than college. The first two differences are advantages; the last one is irrelevant to the tournament’s entertainment value.
This tournament is a win-win-win-win proposition. Basketball fanatics get an opportunity to watch a serious concentration of high school talent. The players and the teams they are on get to play against some very intense competition and sharpen their skills well in advance of the IHSA tournament. The community benefits from the publicity and gets the economic boost provided by all the visitors. And the successful sponsorship is good for State Farm. The games are played at 4 convenient venues, all good for watching basketball. Beginning yesterday and ending Saturday, 128 games will be played. Of course scheduling that many games in so few days requires long playing days and nights. With some games starting at 9 p.m., it’s almost surprising that Starbucks wasn’t a co-sponsor, along with State Farm.
With local teams playing in the Classic, it’s not hard to find a team to back. But even if you’re not following one of our in-town teams closely, there are plenty of teams participating, including a lot of very good ones from other communities. So if you are a basketball junkie, this tournament will give you a great fix to hold you over until the March tournaments.
The tournament promises to be even better than in past years. Don’t wait for March Madness. Get out of the house, watch some hoops, and have some fun at December Delirium, now playing in Bloomington-Normal.
David Stanczak, a Forum commentator since 1995, came to Bloomington in 1971. He served as the City of Bloomington’s first full-time legal counsel for over 18 years, before entering private practice. He is currently employed by the Snyder Companies and continues to reside in Bloomington with his family.
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