Thursday, March 19, 2009

Beware the Madness of March

Do you remember in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, when the soothsayer says, "Beware the ides of March"? In the Julian Calendar, the ides of March was March 15th. It turned out to be a pretty rough day for Caesar, because he was assassinated. On our modern calendar there is a period right after the ides of March that many people call March Madness. I think it began right around that period. There was a big tournament, and they would throw a lion in an arena with a bear, then they would have a gladiator fight the winner and so on. People would fill out brackets to predict the ultimate winner of the tournament, they would have betting pools with all the people at their primitive offices, and they would even go online and fill out brackets on Yahoo! (It was rough, they had to use Netscape and AOL back then.)

Well, today there is a very similiar tradition. Only instead of having man and beast fight to the death, they have basketball teams stand in proxy of the various men and beasts. People still try to pick the winners, they even still go on Yahoo! and fill out brackets. The main difference now is that no one uses AOL and there are a number of browsers available such as IE, Firefox and Chrome.

At my office, everyone fills out a bracket according to who they think will win, then when your bracket scores the highest you earn bragging rights and you get to know in your heart that you are the coolest. Well, I, of course, participate in this tradition. But, since I don't follow basketball I have a few options A)Just predict that the highest ranked team will win B)Pick entirely randomly C)Come up with some other system that is awesome. Since A and B are both boring and I believe strongly in the doctrine of awesome, I chose C. I felt the best system would be to bring the madness of March back to its routes, and imagine the various mascots in the coliseum in a fight to the death.

I want you to know, not all of them were easy, but I personally played out each battle in my mind and I feel that my bracket is the most correct. If you must know, the Memphis Tigers will win it all. Some of the battles were obvious, for example the Oklahoma Sooners. Do you know what a sooner is? It's a guy who, back in the early days of the US, was too afraid to legally participate in the race to claim a homestead so he would sneak out before it began and claim his land so when the race got there they would think he had just run faster. Ya, they were clearly eaten by the bears. (Pay no attention to the actual outcome of the game, since it happened earlier today.) Another one was the fighting illini, their name comes from Chief Illiniwek. I'm sure that the Chief was really tough back in the day, but he's been doing his war dance at half time since October 30, 1926. I was sure he would be easily defeated, but when he went up against the Hilltoppers, who are a musical group, well, they didn't stand a chance, they had microphones, he had a tomahawk. There were some battles that were really close. The zigs took on the zags, and it was anyone's battle, but the zags came out on top. The Spartans and the Trojans had been to battle before, but the Trojans still fell for that same old horse trick.

After all this, I'm actually somewhat interested to see if real life matches with the most correct way, which is what I have placed on my bracket. Watch those Memphis Tigers. Tigers are fierce animals.


  1. I think you should have taken the Vikings over the Tigers, and maybe all the way. I mean, they're Vikings, c'mon! Just look at all of the carnage! Perhaps the Capital One commercials have tainted your mental image of these ruthless, pillaging pirate radiers.

    Apparently you aren't interested in bragging rights either; I think you're win/loss record would have been better with the completely random option. On the bright side, I don't think anyone will be able to take dead-last away from you at this point.

  2. I always choose the mascot I like best. When I was in elementary school I liked dolphins and other sea creatures, now I think the tigers might actually take it for me. (Go Tigers!)

  3. Jeff, you are so awesome! I think that is the best way ever to predict a bracket. I never pay attention to basketball, but now I want to go look up all of the teams and their mascots. Thanks for making me laugh!

  4. I love the way your mind works. It truly is awesome! I think your method of picking winners will actually make me much more interested in sports. I'm going to try that from now on. :)

  5. I love March Madness! I love your bracket picking strategy. It is truly awesome. And due some awe...

  6. Look Jeff - I read your blog, and I am commenting...

    Good luck on the March Madness!

  7. the tigers lost last night. it was kinda tragic. I sometimes even tigers lose.

  8. I think your method for filling out the bracket is genius! It only makes sense. Considering I don't know anything about basketball, maybe I should fill out a bracket according to my own system. This was a very enjoyable post. Keep 'em comin'.


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