The Madness Behind March Madness

March Madness is a great American tradition.  In particular, the first weekend–with the endless barage of games–has become a cultural staple.  Now with the explosion of the internet and the CBS/Turner Sports deal, you can watch any game of your choosing, where ever you may be—even if you’re at work (This allows you to really hone in on your “Hide Window” keyboard shortcut skills).  I just absolutely love this time of year.  Having said that, I feel there are a few issues I need to bring to the attention of the powers that be (whoever that is).

First of all, what is with this business of calling the 1st Round the 2nd Round?  You may not have even noticed, but what was called once called the Opening Round—or play-in games—is now the 1st Round, thus making the teams that anyone cares about start in the 2nd Round.  The announcers and commentators can’t even refer to the rounds correctly.  I feel like I’m in the middle of some modern-day Abbott and Costello skit.  This whole thing makes no sense and just adds to confusion and anger, but I guess that’s what the Illuminati is going for, so congrats!

It’s always amazed me how people seem to think there is an exact science to picking how the bracket will play out.  Consider this:  after the first day of 1st Round … excuse me, 2nd Round play, out of ESPN’s millions of user brackets, there was exactly one perfect bracket–which was quickly destroyed by the Georgetown upset (more on this later).  Folks love to take to Facebook and brag about how they picked Harvard over New Mexico, but fail to mention how it was the only upset they got correct out of 7 different picks.  But please, pound that chest, bro.  Pound that chest with pride.  With the nature of college sports, you’ve essentially won the equivalent of a coin toss.

And finally, when it comes to picking brackets, often times people let their picks effect their perception of what sports–in particular, the NCAA Basketball Tournament–is really about:  the underdog.  When Georgetown was getting closer and closer to losing to Florida Gulf Coast, Twitter was blowing up with insane amounts of rage.  “If Georgetown loses, I’m going to kick my TV out the window.  #bracketbusted.”  “i sware, if dey lose 2 FGCU (who da hell is dat?), ima boycott everyting wit da name George #realtalk.”  Who are these heartless people?  A 15-seed winning is a great experience to witness, and you’re worried that you can’t boast to your buddies about your Final Four pick?  Especially with a team like FGCU–which plays the most exciting type of basketball a college team can–it takes a lot of stupidity to be upset about their upset.

But despite these complaints, I do love this time of year.

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