What an odd lot our ancestors must have been to let themselves get caught up in crazes like the 10th century dancing mania in Italy, or the alarming outbreak of biting mania in 15th century Germany, Italy, and Holland. Holland's 17th century tulipmania proved only economically painful, when wealthy families spent their savings buying and hoarding tulip bulbs, and were left in financial ruin when prices plummeted.
We are not so different from those long-gone dancers, biters, and tulipophiles, because a modern mania is about to descend upon us: March Madness. Sixty-four colleges and universities send their basketball teams into a competition for the vaunted titled of National Champion. It is no mere playoff series.
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Forsyth, Donelson R. "It's That EFA* Time of Year (*Extreme Fan Addiction)." Richmond Times-Dispatch, March 19, 2009.