Gun protests.

Banned transgenders.

A last-minute spending bill and the will-he-won't-he saga surrounding the president's alleged musings of firing Bob Mueller.

A relatively quiet weekend of late, but still enough to send us reaching for the remote, scrambling to switch to any programing other than the news.

Thank goodness for March Madness. And cheers to all those who had Loyola-Chicago in the Final Four on their bracket.

Where are they, let's see a show of hands. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Guess not. But that's the beauty of it, isn't it? That story we love so dear we coined a phrase to describe it ---- the Cinderella story.

But, any avid sports fan will by now have heard their radio or television show host of choice say something to the effect of, "now is the time when the more consistent teams, the blue bloods pull away."

They figure, which might be true, we want to see the madness early but we love to see the top-ranked teams in the Final Four and in the championship.

Perhaps. But given the state of politics and popular culture in the country these days, the degraded game of football and the fact that baseball season still isn't quite here yet, we appreciate the distraction all the more.

If sports is a metaphor for life, or in this case politics, then the frenetic pace of the NCAA Tournament which only lasts a few weeks and is designed to separate the weak from the strong in head-to-head matchups where there are no second chances, that can mean only one thing.

The commissioner of the league that governs the sport of professional politics has expanded the tournament to a yearlong, agonizing, gut-wrenching, hair-pulling teeth-grinding free for all where no winner is crowned. There are no champions and there is no off season.

America is the non-interested spouse in the other room, shouting "are you still watching that same fricking game?"

And we are the fan, too glued to the tube to respond, gorged on chips and beer and clutching the remote with a needless white-knuckle grip waiting for the moment of greatness and hoping it ends in our favor. But it doesn't end. There is another game tomorrow and another one after that.

Meanwhile we keep showing up to work late, stains on our shirt and whispering to our co-workers or sneaking peeks at Twitter and Facebook, sating, "Man, did you see what just happened?"