by Beth Ann Cosgrave and Kyle Whelliston
Let me tell you a story you may not believe.
(It's all true, I promise! No, really! Don't leave!)
It's about my friend Bally, who's orange and round,
And the wonderful dream world he magically found.
Bally's a basketball with hands, mouth and feet.
He walks and he talks, almost like you and me!
And being a basketball, his favorite day
Is the day when the Tournament gets underway.
Sixty-five teams, all ranked one to sixteen,
They play one another 'til there's only one team.
From towns and big cities, they all come to dance,
And at the beginning, each team has a chance.
The first game, it started on Thursday at noon.
But on Wednesday at bedtime, that sure wasn't soon!
"I can't wait, I can't wait!" little basketball said.
"I'm excited and nervous, can't sleep in my bed!"
"Think of big two-point dunk shots and rebounds and steals,
Of overtime upsets and long highlight reels.
Count little black brackets, not white wooly sheep...
I guarantee, Bally, you'll soon get to sleep."
He smiled and he yawned at the end of the day,
Excitement was simply a slumber away.
He watched little brackets jump over a fence!
(In a basketball's world, this makes all sorts of sense.)
He soon found himself in a very long hall,
A big, blue, strange place for that little ball!
There was no place quite like it that he'd ever seen.
"I think," Bally said, "That this must be a dream."
He walked down the corridor, and what did he find?
A big red balloon! On the string was a sign.
"Pull Me," it said, in two short little words.
To Bally, this dream world was getting absurd.
But he couldn't resist, and he gave it a tug.
In an instant, his sneakers came right off the rug!
"Wheeeeee!" he called out. (He wasn't that scared!)
Little Bally was flying, way up in the air!
Up, up in the sky, up out over the trees!
Flying so high, with the greatest of ease!
Up, up with the birds and the planes and the clouds.
"What's that over there?" he shouted out loud.
A quaint little town with short buildings, quite small!
But the people who lived there didn't mind much at all.
They cheered in the streets wearing yellow and blue.
A happy parade for their basketball crew!
"We're going to the dance!" a nice lady explained.
"This March Madness stuff has made us insane!
We're proud of our school and we're proud of our town.
And our basketball team is the best team around!"
"We're sure not afraid of those big-city teams!
We'll cheer really loud, we'll all shout and we'll scream!"
The people all waved to the Bally balloon.
"Good luck!" he called out. "I'll cheer for them too!"
Onward he floated in magical flight,
But off in the distance, an ominous sight!
A green-colored skyline and angry gray fog.
As Bally drew closer, he coughed from the smog. (Cough!)
A city of money, of stuff bought and sold,
Skyscrapers of cash, and streets made of gold.
THUMP THUMP and a THUMP. Hey, what was that sound?
Big basketball robots were roaming around!
There were satellite towers in every location,
TV in HD, and radio stations.
They sent out a message to east and to west.
The voices repeated that "Big Things Are Best!"
Bally was scared now! This place was no fun!
But far from the ground, there was nowhere to run.
So he pulled on the string just as hard as he could.
"Get me out of this nightmare! This just isn't good!"
Higher and higher went the red balloon.
Bally was zooming straight up to the moon!
He looked down to see that the earth down below
Was a giant blue basketball. And Bally said, "Whoa!"
"Let me down! Let me down!" little basketball cried.
"I did not sign up for this crazy space ride!"
There were shooting stars whooshing and U.F.O. shells.
He closed his eyes tight, and he yelled out, "Please HELLLLLLLLLLLLLLP!!!"
Bally woke up in bed, and he sat up so straight!
The dream world was gone, he had passed through the gate.
Balloon, town and city, and spaceships were gone.
"Wait," Bally said. "I still don't know who won!"
That's when I rushed in, interrupting the scene.
"It's a Thursday in March, and you know what that means!
Being a basketball, it's your favorite day!
The day when the Tournament gets underway!"
"Sixty-five teams, all ranked one to sixteen,
They'll play one another 'til there's only one team.
From towns and big cities, they've all come to dance,
And at the beginning, each team has a chance."