We’ve called this year’s household NCAA March Madness Bracket contest for lack of survival.
Every year Kim and I put together our brackets, mostly as an exercise in random probability. I know nothing about basketball at any level. It’s a game played by vastly elongated people following rules that might as well apply to figure skating or cricket as far as I can tell. There is no defense and there are far too many points scored – it’s Short Attention Span Theater for the athletically inclined. Kim at least understands the rules, having been the scorekeeper for her high school basketball teams. But this only makes her jumpy when trying to watch actual games, for fear of missing something she should have written down. Neither of us follows the sport at all.
Filling out brackets is fun, however. There’s an element of luck, a dash of “I’ve heard their names on the news so they must be either good or hot,” and a bit of “I like that university so I’m going to vote for them.” I always pick the Ivy team to win its first game, mostly out of loyalty to my Bright College Days. Once in a while they actually do win, and then aren’t I surprised?
Also, since we don’t have anything on the line other than a general sense of having guessed correctly this year, there’s no stress. I could use a few things in my world that don’t have any stress. They’re in short supply these days.
This year Kim actually filled out three brackets – her One True Bracket, her Sentimental Favorites bracket, and her Random Coin-Toss Bracket. I just filled out the one.
These went about as well as expected.
Each of us has exactly one team still alive at the moment and we didn’t pick either of them to win anything next week, so the contest is hereby declared over. Points have been tallied. Results are in. Thank you for your time, don’t forget to tip your waitress, we’ll be back next year at this very same time.
For a while it looked like I would go down in flaming defeat, as I generally tend to do, but a few games went my way and it turned out that I won by four points (you get one point for a first-round victory, two for a second, and so on – you’d get six for picking the champion correctly). It’s not the most convincing victory in the world and it rests on a foundation of sand, but a win’s a win and perhaps I will go celebrate by throwing a random monkey wrench into the next bureaucratic process I am asked to participate in.
Kim did manage to beat both Random Chance and Sentimentality, which tied for last place. There’s probably something that could be said about that, but I don’t think I will go there.
We don’t have to pay attention anymore, so I doubt we’ll even know who emerges as the eventual winner of this tournament. Go team! Fight! Fight! Fight! Whoever you are! Beat those other guys! Bring pride back to wherever it is you came from!
Now pass me my book.