...many times a simple choice can prove to be essential even though it often might appear inconseqnetial.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Who Would Have Guessed

I’m involved in what, I have been told, is referred to as March Madness. Apparently this men’s NCAA basketball tournament is a really big deal. People get really excited about it. I have participated in this annual rite of spring one other time in my life; I was in the 6th grade. Our social studies class filled out a bracket for kicks and giggles. I didn’t fair very well, but considering I picked teams because they either had an obvious good ranking or I preferred one name over another (Wake Forest…that’s a great name), I wasn’t too upset that my bracket didn’t pan out.

This time around is a completely different game. Last year, I became vaguely aware of the tournament because P’s beloved Fighting Illini made it all the way to the championship game. I think the entire staff we worked with became more aware of the tournament because of P’s investment in it. We don’t need to discuss the outcome, it’s not worth mentioning and it’s not the point of my story...The point is when I started dating P, I knew what was coming well before March started. And when your boyfriend, a good chunk of your boyfriend’s family, and good chunk of your coworkers can hardly wait for the tournament to begin, you can’t help wanting to be like the cool kids and join in on the fun.

I’ve invested money into our office pool, I even solicited advice from P on who to pick for my bracket. Being the office manager it fell upon me to keep track of the money and to tally points and keep the bracket up to date. Because of this, I’ve been watching basketball like I’ve never done before. I know which teams should be winning because they’re supposed to do well in my bracket (thanks a lot, Ohio State), I have discussions at work with T about who will win (if Duke wins this, I’ll never hear to end of it from him, 14 year olds can be relentless). When I was home on Saturday and Sunday, the TV was turned to basketball. I feel like I have much more invested now then I did when I was 11. That being said, when I figured out the points today, I was a little crushed. What place did I find myself in? Last. Dead last. I knew I wasn’t doing that well, but last? Really?

This would be so much more fun if I was winning, or even if I was in second to last place. I guess there’s always next year. Because there will be a next year, oh yes. I need to redeem my reputation, somehow.

And next year I’ll be rooting for P’s beloved fighting Illini even more because, well, let’s face it, my alma mater will never make it far into the tournament, and I’ve got connections now, so I can be a fan, right?


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