I like to think I’m a nice guy. Need a ride to the airport? Call me. Need help installing your new TV or moving your furniture? I’m your man. But the one thing I refuse to do is offer assistance with March Madness brackets.
Sports consume 90% of my life. I write about sports for a living. If there’s someone throwing a ball somewhere on this earth and it’s televised, I will probably watch it. And March Madness is arguably my favorite period of the sports calendar year.
Maybe I’m nostalgic for my college days, when my friends and I would skip class and park ourselves in front of the TV for hours to watch the opening round. Or maybe I just love the drama and intensity of the one-and-done format.
And yes, I love filling out brackets. I do at least five every year.
But here’s the secret: I suck at it. My brackets are typically destroyed by the end of the first weekend. (I’m looking at you, Butler and VCU.)
Ask my friends and they’ll tell you that I generally know what I’m talking about when it comes to sports. I’m not always right, not even close, but I can least provide a coherent analysis to defend my point. The same applies to March Madness. I can argue ad nauseum why I think Georgetown will beat Belmont, or why I think Long Beach State will upset New Mexico.
And those around me occasionally ask my advice when they fill out their own brackets. “Hey Andrew, who do you like as a first round upset? Who’s a lock to win the first game?” In the past, I would lend a hand.
So what happens when Belmont knocks off the Hoyas or the Lobos beat Long Beach by 30? The fertilizer hits the fan and I get all the blame.
“You told me to take Georgetown! Why the hell did you pick Long Beach State?”
And if my picks happen to be right? I get a thank you, sure. But if the person wins $1,000 in their office pool because of my help, do I see a dime? No. All I get is the satisfaction of helping another human being. Which is wonderful, but occasionally daddy wants a new pair of sneakers.
And if I happen to change someone’s mind on a particular game, and their original pick goes to the Final Four or beyond? I might have to leave the state.
So as you all ignore your bosses and accomplish nothing at work while you enjoy the games in the next few days, I wish you well. I hope your upsets come through and your Final Four remains intact.
Just please don’t ask me to help you pick.