Really, is there a more exciting 3 weeks in sports? 68 teams. 67 games, played all across the country.
I have enjoyed bracket season pretty much my entire life. My dad fills out about 12 brackets a year. He follows the games diligently and carefully marks down each score and highlights the games he got right. It becomes something of a spectacle.
It didn't take me long to hop on board.
I was probably in 5th or 6th grade when I began paying a small entrance fee for my bracket. The older kids in grade school would run it...collect 2 bucks for each bracket. Nothing ever came of those entries, and I don't know who actually won. Maybe they just kept the money...
I won't bore you with anymore of my miserable bracket history. But I can give you a few final highlights to chomp on while you fill out your bracket.
- I once watched 12 straight hours of basketball. I literally began watching at noon and did not stop (except to change venues - I went to my friend's house - during halftime of one of the games) until midnight. This was the clear highlight of spring break from college that year.
- Two years ago I picked Michigan State to win the tournament. I was the only person to do so. This was the closest I ever came to winning a pool. Michigan State made it all the way to the finals, playing as a huge underdog in games down the stretch. UNC demolished them in the finals. I was sitting at Woody's Pizza and Pub on Evans in Denver, watching the world unravel before my eyes. I finished in second place and didn't get anything...not even my money back. As you can tell, it still burns.
- The Giant Bracket. My senior year of high school, 5 of my buddies and I covered Luke's basement ceiling with a giant bracket. It spanned about 10" x 12". That is 120 square feet. It was massive. You could sit on Luke's couch and lean back and behold the entire madness of March playing out before your eyes. The paper used for the bracket and for each team were held up with thumb tacks - which I'm sure left a nice impression on his parents' ceiling. The bracket lasted 6 years. This was pretty amazing because as soon as the championship game ended in 2004, I think his parents began threatening to take it down. Here are some pictures that do no justice to its grandeur:
- And, cliche as it might be, I can't post this without bringing up the buzzer beaters. Many times during the tournament I sit and hope for close games so that I can experience the rush of the buzzer beater. It's sick, really, but it's my life for 3 weeks.