Although I’m not a fan of professional sports, I do like college basketball and football. That interest doesn’t extend far outside our favorite team’s conference, but I do actually get excited about the onset of March Madness. Invariably though, that excitement wanes over the course of the endless tournament, only to revive when it’s down to the Final Four games.
One of our sons gets a bracket together and family and friends get involved picking their favorites. Two of my grandsons also fill out brackets and have been known to blow some of the adults out of the contest. This year a new ‘rule’ was implemented that anyone who finished lower than they did would pay a penalty. It’s all fun and the good-natured jeering and complaining about game outcomes is always more entertaining than the games themselves.
I used to pick my winners based on how attractive the team uniforms were, but admittedly my success rate was unremarkable. Later I refined my picking process to the no-fail methodology of which-team-mascot-could-defeat-the-other-team-mascot-in-a-death-match. The method is quite simple: A Hawkeye is going to beat a Gopher because birds eat rodents. A Spartan is equipped with sword and shield, so has a big advantage over a Wildcat. (one can’t underestimate a crazed Wildcat who attacks the Spartan from behind, however.) Bears can take Bulldogs. Badgers and Wolverines are both quite vicious, so further research is necessary into team records, and the ever-reliable ‘how well do I like the team’s coach’?
Before dismissing my method, I should point out that I usually do quite well with my picks, normally placing in the top 25%. One year I actually gave the bracket quite a bit of thought. I researched each and every team’s records, and pondered their strengths and vulnerabilities. I ended up doing no better than my mascot death match method. So I figure, why bother going to all that effort?
How about you? Any NCAA fans out there? Who else has a foolproof way to fill out a winning bracket?