Friday, March 27, 2015
I've been bitten by the March Madness bug! Last week before the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament started, I got an invitation to fill out a bracket and add it to a group of my coworkers' brackets. I usually ignore, I mean, politely decline these requests, but I decided to do it this year.
Now, I am not completely a novice when it comes to March Madness. For many years I've been around people who were involved in varying degrees, with my earliest memories of having any awareness of the tournament being in high school while at a Model UN convention and the guys in my group would use break times to check on the games. This was pre-internet, smart phones or any way of seeing the games other than when they were being broadcast.
After I met my husband-to-be, I got really indoctrinated into the whole bracket thing and was sucked in by his enthusiasm. I was even able to take him to a regional round at Brendan Byrne Arena (now Izod Center) in East Rutherford, NJ, to watch some games on his birthday, which also fell on Easter Sunday in 1989. Score a big one for the girlfriend!
Once my son was born and started discovering his love for sports, it was fun for me to watch as his dad taught him how to fill out a bracket (which was still only accessible in the newspaper the day after the selection show). I have a photo somewhere of the two of them bent over their brackets very intent on making their picks.
Because I'm one of "those" moms, I have kept a lot of Daniel's brackets through the years and he got a kick out of looking at them last week when he was home for Spring Break.
And speaking of Spring Break, Daniel's school has been very cooperative the past couple of years and has scheduled their break to coincide with when the first and second rounds of the NCAA tournament are played, making it very nice for students who wish to sit on the couch and watch games pretty much 24/7 for four days straight!
The NCAA tournament may even be one of the reasons we pay for digital television in our home. Thanks, U-Verse!
So, back to my involvement in the whole March Madness thing. Like I said, I filled out a bracket this year and then spent lots of time in front of the TV last weekend hearing the squeak of the player's shoes on the court and the obnoxious sound of the buzzer. I got stressed out about different teams losing who I thought would win and experienced the agony of a busted bracket (at least in one region).
But at least for today (Friday), my bracket and I have survived enough to be tied for first place among my coworkers. Who knows what will happen with the games this weekend, but I will continue to check the scores on my newly-acquired ESPN app on my phone and see how far I can go on my mostly uneducated picking system.