Well the NCAA college basketball tournament tipped off today. The excitement started with 16 games Thursday, and another 16 on the docket for Friday. These games mean money, one way or another for so many … good and bad.
Not All Fun and Games
How many people in your office just so happened to be sick on Thursday? Heck, they might even be gone again on Friday. Probably got a bad case of college basketball fever. There is no cure, but home remedies include mandatory couch time, coupled with plenty of chips, dip, and adult beverages. I have even heard commercials on local sports radio shows from doctors that do vasectomies, prompting potential patients to get the “snip-snip” done during the opening days of the tournament, thus giving them an excuse to plop down on the couch with some frozen peas on their basketballs.
A 2013 survey showed that American companies will lose an estimated $134 Million in lost productivity in the first two days of the tournament alone. It was shown that two thirds of all workers would spend some time following the tournament during work hours. Technology has made the problem worse for business. It used to be you might check the sports websites for a quick peek at the box score or maybe your bracket, but now buzzer-to-buzzer coverage of every game is available online, thus opening up Pandora’s box of lethargy.
Going for Broke
According to statistics from the American Gaming Association and Custom Research North America, upwards of 40 million Americans will fill out brackets for this year’s March Madness. Statistics also showed that the average American will fill out two brackets, which seems obvious to me. This year, especially, you must have your Kentucky bracket and then another bracket just in case the Wildcats stumble on the journey to the national title. I will be honest with you. I am actually having a hard time writing this blog because I keep looking up at the Purdue vs. Cincinnati matchup that is now in overtime, but I will forge ahead.
So, you hear these advertisements about different outlets offering outlandish payouts for the perfect bracket. It has been reported that the odds this year for that happening is 1 in 1,610,543,269. So you’re saying there’s a chance! I could go through all the statistics showing how much more likely you are to be struck by lightning, etc., but I would guess you would rather BE struck by lighting so you wouldn’t have to listen to them.
We all have our favorite memories of March Madness. Maybe yours was watching Christian Laettner catch a three-quarter-court pass by Grant Hill before faking one way and then sinking a fade away jumper as time expired to send Kentucky packing. My favorite happens to be watching North Carolina State knock off Houston for the 1983 crown after Lorenzo Charles caught a short 30-foot desperation shot by Dereck Whittenburg, slamming it home as time expired, to propel Wolfpack coach Jim Valvano into his famous celebratory run around the court and NC State to the win over the heavily favored Cougars.
Funny how it seems each year the tournament seems to get better and better. A new hero or Cinderella could be launched in 2015. It’s very fitting how CBS ends each national championship game with the song, “One Shining Moment” along with a montage of the tourney’s finest moments. This year will be no different. Will there be a Cinderella that can slay Goliath, uh, I mean Kentucky? I doubt anyone is looking for a shoe horn for that glass slipper.