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This 5-Year-Old's Bracket Has Taught Me a Valuable Life Lesson

"Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength..."

Finn Minton, a 5-year-old Tennessee fan, has already accepted and internalized the fate which he will suffer for the rest of his life. You want to talk about being a Vol For Life, this kid has the drill down pat before he likely even knows how to tie his shoes. Here I am with a Vols March Madness wallpaper on my phone, already trying to rationalize paths to the Final Four and setting myself up for inevitable and debilitating heartbreak. Meanwhile, Finn is just like, "Yep, UT loses all the time. I'm picking the other team."

As much sports pain as has been continuously inflicted upon me for the last two decades, I keep coming back for more. It was just last October that the Atlanta Braves needed just one win in three tries to get to the World Series and came up short three straight days, causing me such a pain that it forced me to reckon with my priorities in life. And yet, here we are in March and I'm raring to go for the NCAA Tournament, baby. Please wreck my life again, athletes I have never met before.

But something about the calmness I imagine Finn said that sentence with has put me at ease. We are going to lose. It is probably going to happen just when it seems things might go right this time and be in a fashion never previously conceived by the human mind. And that is ok.

I have accepted my fate, as my friend Finn has before me. It is ok to hope the University of Tennessee will win these basketball games, as long as you internalize that the ultimate ending will be the same as it has been each time before. I am at peace.