Mysterious Balloons Interrupt March Madness Final


Vince Kim


“Mommy, a balloon!” shouted someone’s child in the crowd. Yes, it was a balloon, but the game hadn’t ended. And not just any game — the Men’s March Madness Final between UConn and San Diego State. Fans furrowed their brows as several of these suspicious, white balloons began to float up towards the stadium jumbotron, even though it was only halftime and neither team was ready to celebrate yet. 

As if they suddenly remembered their morning NPR news podcast and why such objects looked so familiar, frightened folks started flinging their nachos, hotdogs, merchandise, and signed basketballs to destroy what they allegedly believed were Chinese spy balloons. Only this time, a Chinese excuse that these were weather balloons within a stadium would be struck down as fraudulent on the spot. 

As fears raged on over continued Chinese espionage over the US after the Final on April 3, the US government demanded the Chinese government explain itself. In response to the incessant complaints by US officials, Xi Jinping officially announced that they had indeed launched spy balloons, but that these balloons were not monitoring the weather(obviously…), but instead live recording the March Madness tournament because China had somehow lost all of its basketball streaming services overnight.

Confused that the balloons were not some espionage devices, the US then received a full explanation and details about Xi’s desperation to gain March Madness streaming access. According to the report, the Chinese government had recently expanded its ban list of Justin Bieber and Winnie the Pooh to now outlaw any American streaming services as a jab towards the growing tensions over a US ban on TikTok. However, enforcing this ban ultimately backfired on the Chinese government, as a programming error also barred any members of the government from also watching live March Madness basketball.

When Xi and his closest allies were informed of the untimely error, they launched their “streaming” balloons in a dire attempt to catch the live action before it became too late. While they knew what was at risk, especially after the recent spy balloon incident that put China under heavy scrutiny, China’s desperation to watch the sport they love ultimately won out. Unfortunately, Xi cannot launch another operation on NBA games, as his streaming tactics have now been leaked.