Monday, March 15, 2010
Method to Her March Madness
Like any other diehard sports fan, of course I look forward to the major sporting events throughout the year. It’s not an exaggeration to say that I have the dates for the Super Bowl, World Series, and NBA Finals circled on my calendar.
But being the fanatic that I am, I take it a step farther and countdown the days to the sports related events where no actual game is ever played. I get stoked for the start of football’s free agency and hold annual parties for the NFL draft. I breathe a sigh of relief when pitchers and catchers finally report and I will drop whatever I’m doing to watch the NBA draft lottery. Yes, I’m talking about the lottery where they do nothing more than just determine the draft order.
Maybe I need to get out more.
There is one day, however, that I look forward to more than all the rest combined: Selection Sunday.
I will never be able to fully verbalize the thrill that I get from all the festivities surrounding the announcement of the teams that will be participating in the men’s college basketball tournament. The pinnacle moment of the Selection Sunday experience is printing off my own brackets sheet and figuring out the favorites, the Cinderellas, and who I believe is going to go all the way.
I usually do very well picking games in any office pools or online bracket challenges that I participate in with friends, but over the past couple of years I have unfortunately crossed paths with an advisory that has made the tournament less fun than a Tiger and Elin marriage counseling session.
My lovely Wife has somehow beaten me head-to-head the last three years and it wouldn’t bother me if I didn’t spend so much time, thought, and energy watching games and pouring over my bracket like I was planning a military invasion of a small country.
Ok, I really need to get out more.
It also wouldn’t bother me if she spent ANY time, thought, and energy watching any games during the season.
I agonize over every matchup, mentally debating the teams based on a multitude of factors. Who has more experience? Who has the better big man? How consistent are they from the three point line? The free throw line? Which bench is deeper? Which coach is more proven?
Apparently my strategy hasn’t been good enough to topple her though, so this year I implemented a new plan.
I picked her brain as we picked our games to find the method to her March madness.
“There are certain school names I don’t like. Xavier is one of them. Gonzaga is another,” she said.
“Why don’t you like those names?” I asked.
“I don’t know,” she replied. “I just don’t like the sound of those words.”
“Oh,” was all I could get out.
“I won’t pick Syracuse because I don’t like their team name, Orangemen,” she continued. “That’s not real! There are no orange men walking around in the world!”
I guess she does have a point.
“I love Tennessee because Pat Summitt is the coach of the women’s team and I like her a lot.”
Well, that makes sense.
“I’ll never pick Ohio St. because my dad grew up in the state of Michigan.”
Even though that logic makes about as much sense as the current season of Lost, I can’t argue with her because she always beats me. I’m going to try that kind of thinking for my picks this year. Hmm... the name of my parents’ dog is Duke and I once got food poisoning while driving through Kansas, so I’m going to go with the Blue Devils and Jayhawks for the title game.
Let the games begin and may the best man win the bracket challenge.
In our case, it will probably be a woman.