March Madness

I was 13 when I first starting filling out brackets for the Mens’ NCAA Basketball Tournament. My P.E. teacher had a “Pop Pool,” where anyone who wanted to could pitch in 50 cents, fill out a bracket, and whoever had the most correct picks at the end of the dance won however many sodas the kitty could buy. Hmmm…as I write that, it sounds like something that today would get a teacher fired. I did not win that year, but I learned a little “bracketology,” as it’s called now, and in subsequent years I did better.

The first year of my mission, I was finishing up in the Missionary Training Center on Selection Sunday. By Thursday, my two best friends from high school and my parents had each sent me brackets to fill out. I hadn’t watched a college basketball game for two months, but I filled it out anyway and ended up beating one of my friends.

When I was coaching speech, the state speech tournament was always the first day of the basketball tournament. State speech was held at a university that was on spring break, so campus was pretty empty, but they kept the student union open. It was always a break from the stressful competition when a couple coaches and I would go over to the union and catch snippets of games. It’s probably the only thing I miss about state speech.

I don’t watch as much college basketball as I used to–there are games on every night of the week, and I seem to get busier every year–but I still love filling out those brackets, and this weekend is one of my most favorite weekends of the year. I call it my basketball hangover weekend. Doesn’t matter if I don’t know or like teams that are playing–I can’t help but watch.

So if you don’t hear from me between Thursday and Sunday, now you know where I’ll be: on the couch, pretending to do homework while I’m watching what I consider to be the greatest show on earth.

4 thoughts on “March Madness

  1. Jules – Matt was just filling out his picks last night. I think I need to learn “bracketology”. But first I should probably work on mentally engaging in college basketball, right? Anyway, had to tell you that I watched Dan in Real Life, and I absolutely LOVED it! I gave it 5 stars. I loved the angst. I loved the characters. “Murderer of Love” – awesome. I loved watching a show with a loving, functional family – that still had crappy stuff happen. And let’s face it – I just plain like happy endings. And oh yeah, I really love Juliette Binoche. We still haven’t heard anything about Hawaii, but we’re pretty sure it’s not happenin’. We’re here for another year. So when are you coming?!

  2. Did you sign up for Scott’s brackets this year? I just filled mine out. The beautiful thing about the NCAA tourney and brackets is that you don’t have to know a darn thing about anything to get them right. Or win a fantasy bracket tournament.

  3. Deb–So glad you liked Dan in Real Life! It is really one of my faves for all the reasons you mentioned. And I’ll be in touch about visiting…Sherpa–glad to know a tourney compatriot.Jennifer–just filled it out this morning! And you are absolutely right about the sheer arbitrariness of it all…

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