March Madness is in full effect – but what if your NCAA bracket already has been blown to pieces because your favorite team turned out to be the pumpkin in a Cinderella story? Not to worry says WKRD-AM’s Tony Vanetti. There are plenty of ways to get in on the action leading up to the national championship.
“You’ve just gotta remember it’s not over until it’s over,” said Vanetti, who co-hosts “The Afternoon Underdogs” weekdays on 790-AM with Dave Jennings.
Adopt a Team
Need a reason to continue watching college hoops even though your team didn’t make it past the first or second round? “You certainly can adopt a Cinderella team like a VCU or a BYU,” Vanetti said. And he should know, since the sports talk jock picked Pittsburgh to win it all. “At this point I have no chance of winning. My champion is gone.” (For the record, the Clear Channel DJ did pick nine of the 16 teams in this week’s Sweet Sixteen match-ups.)
Don’t want to pick a Cinderella team? Consider keeping it closer to home and adopt the team closest to you. “It’s tough for Louisville fans to adopt Kentucky,” Vanetti admitted, before offering an alternative: “You can adopt anybody playing UK.”
We’re No. 1, So Own It
According to ratings and research conducted by CBS, “Louisville is the No. 1 basketball March Madness market in America,” Vanetti said. Come again? “Percentage-wise, more Louisvillians check out March Madness than any other city in America. We are in ground zero for March Madness in Kentucky.”
We’re still a few weeks away from Kentucky Derby 137, but you can already feel the excitement, Vanetti said. That’s due – in part, at least – to what seems to be a near-collective desire to watch b-ball and do pretty much nothing else. “I love having a beer at noon and watching games and everyone is with you,” Vanetti said. “The entire city plays hooky on Thursday and Friday during March Madness. It feels like Derby week: No one’s at work.” Just make sure you don’t call in sick to work and end up on TV when the local stations head out to talk to fans all over the city.
Pick the Perfect Place
Perhaps most importantly, said Vanetti, is making sure you pick the place that will offer you prime viewing in an atmosphere that suits your lifestyle the most. If you’re unlike most people and still have tons of teams left on your bracket, find a sports bar with multiple TVs so you can keep an eye on multiple games. Prefer to socialize “and flirt with the 20-something in the skirt?” said Vanetti, hit up a locale that offers a bit more bar than sports. And if staying home isn’t your thing but watching March Madness is a family affair, look for kid-friendly spots, Vanetti said. “If you’re not into the kid places, stay away from the Vanettis because my two kids will irritate the crap out of you.” Consider yourself warned.
Category: Cover Stories
About the Author (Author Profile)
Angie Fenton is Managing Editor of The Voice-Tribune, a Blue Equity company. She is also an entertainment correspondent for WHAS11′s new morning show, “Great Day Live!”, which debuted August 22 on Louisville’s ABC affiliate. Additionally, Angie is an entertainment correspondent for the Saturday Morning Show with Ron ‘n’ Mel Fisher on 84WHAS (840 AM) and has served in the same capacity for Churchill Downs, the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks; Breeders’ Cup; and Circuit of the Americas during the Formula 1 U.S. Grand Prix in November 2012. Angie also serves as an emcee, host, voiceover professional and on-camera commercial talent.
Angie has a bachelor’s and master’s in English from Central Michigan University and began her career as an adjunct professor at her alma mater. She is the youngest of five — four of whom were adopted, including Angie, and none of whom are biologically related. She is also a Michigan native who moved to Kentucky in June 2002. Angie is owned by two dogs — Herbie and Yoda — and feels lucky to have loved and been loved by many more, including Pooch, Jessie, Onyx, Jack and Big Bud, who took his last breath on Christmas Day 2012.