Nathan's column: Celebrating the middle of the packI think there may be an unwritten rule about writing NCAA tournament columns, though,and it appears to be that you do well with your NCAA picks you don’t talk about doing well with your NCAA tournament picks.
By: Nathan Hansen, Rosemount Town Pages
I don’t know if there is an unwritten rule when it comes to writing columns about NCAA tournament picks. That’s one of the biggest problems with unwritten rules: they’re really hard to keep track of.
There’s a reason we invented pens, folks.
I think there may be an unwritten rule about writing NCAA tournament columns, though,and it appears to be that you do well with your NCAA picks you don’t talk about doing well with your NCAA tournament picks. It’s a little like Fight Club, but instead of beating up strangers in a basement you’re sitting on a couch and eating pizza while athletic young men try to throw a ball through a hoop. Which is to say, it’s not really all that much like Fight Club. I don’t know why I brought it up.
I’m not sure why there are so few columns about people who have had success filling out their NCAA brackets. So-called sports experts are eager every year to give us the benefit of their knowledge before the tournament starts. You’d think they might want to follow up to let us know when they’re doing well.
They don’t, though. They’re much more likely to write about how much their picks were disrupted when, say, Lehigh beat Duke or a team of domesticated squirrels unexpectedly subbed in for Missouri.
It’s almost as if being a high-level sports reporter doesn’t require any particular aptitude for sports beyond a willingness to sit for long periods of time and watch sporting events.
And eat pizza, of course. It’s impossible to stress enough how important pizza is to this process.
I’m not sure why I bring this up. It’s not to brag about my own picks, which are best described as middling with potential. In my home pool, I am currently in fourth place out of five. I have the highest point potential, though, mostly due to an overreliance among the other competitors on the teams from Florida State and Missouri. This is significant, because, as my father’s meticulous spreadsheet records indicate, I have historically performed poorly in this particular pool. I have an unfortunate tendency to imagine I have some secret basketball knowledge that comes from watching a handful of games each year, then pick all kinds of crazy upsets.
I’m not sure if it’s worse that I have been so bad at picking against people who never watch basketball or that my father has spreadsheet records that could tell you, for example, which family member has had the best scoring record going back 15 years.
In my other pool, I’m currently tied for third but have a good chance to move up because, once again, people put undue faith in Florida State and Missouri. I think I might have won a pool against this particular group before, but I can’t tell you for certain. Nobody has a spreadsheet. I think they’d look at me funny if I suggested it.
I don’t know if I’ll get in trouble for writing about something other than an utterly failing bracket. Like I said, people have been lax about recording these particular rules. I don’t really mind, though. March Madness can be about commiserating over busted brackets, but why can’t it also be about reveling in apparent mediocrity? There’s room for that, isn’t there?
Well, that and pizza.