Alright, if you’re anything like me, you don’t know much about sports. However, you still have a good time going to sporting events, rooting for your team, and mimicking the reactions of the crowd when pretty much anything happens. Since I’ve been a student at the incredibly spirited University of Oregon, this has been me at almost every game I’ve been to.
When it comes to basketball, I will give myself some credit, though. I have obviously picked up on some of the rules of the game, and I can figure out when certain things aren’t allowed. However, to the people reading this article that think I can’t enjoy sports if I don’t know the name of the 1984 University of Oregon basketball coach’s wife’s brother’s cousin’s dog, you’re wrong. I do in fact love watching basketball, both as a UO Duck and a Bay Area Warriors fan (yes, I’m a bandwagon fan, and I’m proud of it. Better late than never!).
The best part about college basketball, though, is March Madness. It doesn’t matter how much or how little you know about basketball; you could still be the first person to pick a perfect bracket. That’s right, you heard me! I don’t know every rule of the game, but I do know how to pick out a damn good bracket.
For the past handful of years, the extended family on my dad’s side has been competing in a very intense March Madness bracket challenge. We fill out our brackets, share a family-friendly, trash-talking email thread, and compete for the ultimate prize: a 6-inch, engraved trophy of a basketball with hands… plus the power and the glory of bragging rights for an entire year.
Since we’ve been participating in this tournament, I have won two times, and I’m the current reigning champion. I’m the only one in the family to have multiple wins, especially when some of them haven’t won once yet (sorry, Dad!). I definitely don’t foresee any changes this year.
So, what’s my secret to picking the absolutely perfect bracket that continues to win year after year? I literally pick based on the better mascot and where my friends go to school every single time. I put close to no consideration into ranking or stats, and I just go for it. Clearly, I’m doing something right. For those of who are feeling insulted by my lack of research into the game you’ve loved since before you were born, sorry! Loosen up!
I guess what I’m trying to say here is it’s okay to have an extended background or a basic idea of sports in order to have a fun time getting into them. It really frustrates me when people assume that based on my gender or based on my historical knowledge of the game that I’m not allowed to have as much fun watching games. If this is you, I’m more than happy to start up a bracket challenge with you. We’ll see who comes out on top.
Anyway, get out there you crazy kids! Make a March Madness bracket! Throw a dollar into the pool and have some fun. It’s okay if you don’t know a single rule about basketball; just enjoy the friendly, fun competition that comes with it all.
Family, if you’re reading this, it’s on. The trophy isn’t going anywhere.