It’s time to announce the official champion of 2013′s March Movie Madness. There have been some tough, controversial calls this season but we’ve finally arrived at a winner. Here to give us the post-game wrap-up is cinematic-sports commentator, Rob:
As confetti fell on the parquet floor of The Pit in Albuquerque, Coach Steven Spielberg frantically ran in circles around the court, desperately looking for someone, anyone to hug. His team had done the impossible. The unbelievable. They had won the March Movie Madness tournament. And they had done it in the most impossible, unbelievable way.
After Donald O’Conner’s circus lay-up with seven seconds left, Singin’ in the Rain looked to have finally blown up the hopes and dreams of the denizen of Isla Nublar. With no timeouts left, point guard “Compy” Procompsognathus took the inbounds pass from center Sam Jackson (who could actually be heard over the crowd, yelling: “Hold on to your butts!”) and raced up court. Drawing multiple defenders as soon as she crossed the half court line, Compy passed the ball across the court to shooting guard Dr. Alan Grant, who flung a desperation shot into the New Mexico night.
For all those at The Pit, and for all those watching at home, time seemed to slow down. The ball hung in the air for what felt like an eternity. Thousands of flashes from phone cameras lit its trajectory – a trajectory that took the ball well off the mark. And then, miraculously, the big lady, #1 in the hearts and minds of all the Jurassic Park fans and believers, Tyrannosaurus Rex grabbed the ball out of the air with her tiny, little arms and slammed it home. Game over. Jurassic Park had won.
For a split second there was silence. No one was quite sure what had happened. And then…chaos. Jubilation. Humans and dinosaurs rushed onto the court. Coach Spielberg took off on his frantic quest. Assistant coach Dr. Ian Malcolm, architect of Park’s trademark “chaos” defense, tried to pick up the blonde sitting in the first row. Grant and reserve guard Dr. Ellie Sattler embraced at midcourt, walk-ons Timmy and Lex Murphy close behind. And the Velociraptors, as is their tradition, mauled game warden Robert Muldoon. (Afterwards, Muldoon, still in tears, couldn’t praise his Raptors and their amazing 21 steals enough. “What can I say?” he said. “They’re my clever girls.”)
It’s the greatest upset in movie madness history and a remarkable end to an amazing tournament for Jurassic Park. After an easy first round matchup with Life of Pi, Park pulled off a stunning series of upsets, first taking down the vaunted sparkly vampires of Twilight and then the 1-2 punch of Andy & Red from The Shawshank Redemption. It took a controversial call to push them into the Final Four over The Princess Bride before an easy win over Cast Away took Park to the championship game. (It’s hard to win a tournament when your second best player is an inanimate object. Just ask Larry Bird and the 1979 Indiana State Sycamores.) But this win, over arguably the greatest movie ever made, was the real stunner.
So, how did they do it? How was Jurassic Park able to pull off surprise after surprise? Coach Spielberg, after finally finding someone to hug, summed it up in one word: “Dinosaurs.” He then added, “Dinosaurs make any coach look like a genius. I had some other movies in this tournament, but only this one had dinosaurs. ”
And he has a point. Singin’ in the Rain jumped out to a huge lead behind player/coach Gene Kelly and it seemed like they were well on their way to yet another rout. Spielberg couldn’t seem to find an answer even after the discovery that Kathy Selden was shooting all of Lina Lamont’s jumpers and both women were disqualified. Rain went into halftime with a double-digit lead but with ten minutes to go, and after Gene Kelly was eaten by the Velociraptors, Rain fell apart. They seemed almost intimidated by the Raptors’ swarming full court defense and had no answer for the inside/outside game of T-Rex. (Who knew a giant beast with such tiny arms could have such a smooth jump shot?) All credit to O’Conner, whose arsenal of circus shots and pratfalls kept the dinosaurs befuddled and confused, but one man wasn’t enough on this night. Afterwards, an inconsolable O’Conner sat in a quiet locker room, still in his uniform, and said to no one in particular, “How am I supposed to laugh now?” His teammate, RF Simpson, already showered and dressed, asked for someone to call him a cab. Unlike T-Rex, O’Conner left this desperation shot hanging in the air, too depressed to slam home an easy joke for a win.
Across The Pit, in the winner’s locker room, the scene was much different. The stereo had John Williams’ score cranked to eleven and everyone celebrated when Athletic Director John Hammond carted in tubs of melting ice cream. “They said it couldn’t be done!” exclaimed a jubilant Hammond, waving his amber cane in the air. “They said we were crazy to try and clone dinosaurs and then make a basketball team out of them. And sure, we lost a few people along the way – rest in piece Dennis Nedry and whatever that lawyer guy’s name was – but we never doubted ourselves. No we most certainly did not!”
And while we don’t quite know what will happen in the future, for one night the humans and dinosaurs were one big happy family. Even T-Rex and the Raptors, who have had a bit of a contentious relationship this season, were seen embracing. Hours later, as the celebration was winding down (little Timmy was sound asleep in Dr. Grant’s lap as Grant and Sattler looked longingly into each other’s eyes), the night and the season’s hero, the great T-Rex, took it all in. “Roar. Roar, roar, roar,” she said, pausing as she wiped a single tear from her reptilian eye. Then she smiled. “Roar. Roar roar roar, roar…roar. ROAR!” Have truer words ever been said?