Every March, millions or thousands of Americans gather ‘round their offices and attempt to wager money on something they have not been paying attention to. I am no different.
There are many possible ways to organize your March Madness bracket: Attractiveness of players. Age of coach. Likeliness of state to secede. Playing ability. But who knows about that?
That’s the trouble with sports. As opposed to knowledge of literature, where you can easily create the impression that you know what on earth you are talking about by saying “That reminded me of Foucault, but, you know, not excessively,” then looking wistful, knowledge of sports is hard to fake. Who wrote Shakespeare? We may never know. Who has the all-time highest point total for a NCAA player? There’s statistics for that.
It’s a rough season for those of us who frankly would not be able to tell a point guard from a — well, a Not Point Guard — even if they hit us in the head. Especially if they hit us in the head. That would disorient and frighten us.
Show someone art that he has been ignoring all my life, and he will spew forth a 900-word essay in no time. “Seems pointillist,” he’ll say. Ask someone who has not been following the election about politics, and she can conjure an answer that sounds about as reasonable as anything anyone else has been saying. “It all comes down to jobs,” she’ll murmur, sagely. “Jobs and electability.” But ask me about college sports, and all I can tell you is, “I am pretty sure that was not baseball.”
For this reason, March Madness is always a tad dispiriting. All you can do is cling to the knowledge that It’s March, And Anything Can Happen. Just ask Julius Caesar, who picked all number-one seeds.
I’ve just turned in a bracket, but, if we’re being honest, here is what it looked like to me. How was it for you?