It’s March and I live in North Carolina, which means all the people around me are going nuts for March Madness. It’s like a religion here and well… I don’t really care. My love of basketball died sometime around the time Michael Jordan retired and a bunch of UNC basketball players treated me like a piece of trash while working at GameStop. But there was a time in my life, when basketball was the most important thing. Arguably from age 8-15, there was nothing more that I loved more than basketball.
Those North Carolina roots ran deep for me. Michael Jordan of course played at UNC and that meant I was both a huge UNC fan and Michael Jordan fan. I loved reading basketball books, playing video games, and playing basketball itself. Even to this day, in my middle-aged fat kid shape, I still get the urge to shoot hoops every now and again. There was just something so simple and fun about the sport back then. Of course, now I turn it on and I barely recognize the game I once loved. Here’s a photo of my Dad and I playing basketball sometime in the 90’s.
Enough about that, March Madness was always a big deal around my house. So big, that if my grades were good, my dad would come and pull me out of school once a year when March Madness began so I could watch the day games. Its one of my fondest memories and something I truly cherish.
During the 90’s, in basketball’s prime, it seemed everyone wanted a piece of the action. Looney Tunes made movies with Michael Jordan and there were dozens of product tie-ins and promotions from various establishments. One such establishment was Pizza Hut, back when it looked like this:
In 1993 and 1994, Pizza Hut ran a promotion where it gave away Final Four branded street balls. These basketballs were some of the best looking of the time and were a must have for kids everywhere.
The two Pizza Hut streetballs I had were from the 1993 and 1994 Final Fours.