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Monday, March 12, 2007

Hey March, how much for a quickie?

There are about 39 hours until the first games tip off on Thursday, and the normal funny stuff is going on all across this land which John Mellencamp and others stand beside. Copiers and Printers churn out bracket after bracket. Office drones suddenly have confidence in their decisions and will share them with anyone who will listen within earshot. Nonsensical strings of letters are accepted as real words, and in the case of 'bracketology', a scientific discipline for which there are experts paid handsomely to share their otherwise ignored thoughts on camera for hours on end. Receptionists, artists, homemakers, janitors, and D'Brickashaw operators become as analytically inclined as the seven figure bonus raking gurus on Wall Street. Portable devices capable of providing live display or sound are smuggled into classrooms and meetings. Scores twenty seconds old may as well be from yesterday.

There is something special about this tournament. It is more than basketball, more than gambling, more than the exhaustive coverage on television, more than the colleges and universities, more than the history, more than the upsets, more than the screaming announcers, more than the improbable performances and amateurish mistakes, and maybe even the interaction of all of those things. But maybe not. Maybe it takes all of these things to create such a nationwide obsession. Maybe if you take away just one or two of those, you'll end up with the Division III football tournament or the CONCACAF Champions Cup. Just imagine the tournament without the gambling aspect. It would be like drinking a fine wine or whisky without any alcohol. If you have ever won an NCAA pool with no monetary reward, you will surely agree that it's just like the feeling you get when you wake up next to a girl that you went home with when you were way too drunk, started fornicating with, just gave it up because you got way too fucking tired, and then decided to not rekindle things in the morning because she somehow was no longer the girl you went home with. Sure, if you tell your friends about it they will congratulate you, but deep down you know it wasn't anything to be proud of. While I am no stranger to gambling on sporting events other than the NCAA tournament, there is nothing like winning the pool. I remember my first time winning it. I was in fourth grade. It was an amazing feeling watching all of the games, circling the winners when I got them right, then getting handed the $25 I won. Winning a parlay or a straight wager you go really heavy on is sweet, but compared to winning an NCAA basketball pool, it feels like you just had great sex but it was for money...I imagine, or do I? You'll never know. Seriously, if you do you better keep your fucking mouth shut. Oh fuck. Oh fuck. Shit, shit, shit, I didn't mean to imply anything. Fuck. I'm clean! Clean as a whistle! I have papers from the doctor to prove it! I'm a fucking show dog with fucking papers!

Anyway, if you care I have Georgetown over UCLA, and Michigan is definitely going to the NIT finals. Wolverine Rawr!

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  • At 8:09 AM, Blogger Arnie "The Beekeeper" Solomon said…

    "...and maybe even the interaction of all of those things."

    Thanks for that softball to the stats folks. Nothing like a good mixed effects model to stir the passions, among other things.


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