A blog about nothing in particular, with puns, drawings, and charts because I'm too lazy to write a lot.
All originial content by @DuckSauceGeoff

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Game Time: The Anti-March Madness Office Pool

The conference tournaments have come to a close and the field of 68 has been announced.  If you haven't noticed yet, it's time for March Madness.  It's time for upsets, Cinderella stories, excitement... it's pretty awesome.  But as much as I love it, the tournament has been losing its luster in recent years.

It's not really about the tournament itself; in fact, there seem to be more upsets and buzzer-beaters every year.  My problem is with the ridiculous popularity of the bracket pools.  More and more, the conversations and attention have turned toward picks and brackets instead of the actual games.

These pools used to be cool because they were supplementary - they added to the fun.  But now that they've become the focus of the entire event, they overshadow the things that really make it great.  Forget about the mass quantity of great games - people only care about how the results affect their standing in the office pool.  And the bracket bullshit is almost unavoidable at this point - it's promoted on every TV network, it's available on every sports website, you receive 47 invites to join bracket pools on Facebook... ESPN even shows Obama filling out his bracket every March.  

As if that weren't enough, we're also forced to listen to assholes talk about their brackets everywhere we go.  Stop by the water cooler at work and you're sure to be ambushed by idiots who feel the need to tell you how they're doing in their bracket pools.  Then, each one will reel off every team they picked to win as if you asked for a detailed list so you could keep track of their brackets too.  You may want to get in on the conversation, so you'll try to re-focus it on actual basketball.  So you'll say something about the huge upset or the amazing finish that happened the night before, but it won't work.  Someone will bitch about how the upset ruined his bracket because he picked the other team to get to the Final Four. Then, then the office "basketball expert" will chime in, complaining about how he should be winning because he knows more than everyone else.  Of course, you'll want to say that the unpredictability is the beauty of the event, and remind him that even the real experts on TV never get things right.  You'll want to tell him to relax because the secretary who picks based on mascot ferocity will win anyway.  But you won't.  You're in the minority - you'll look like a dick if you rock the boat.

So you're out of luck, right?  Wrong.  There's no reason you have to sit back and let all of these clowns ruin the fun for you.  Everyone and their grandmothers are filling out a bracket, so we should too.  Ours should just be a different kind of bracket.  Other people fill out brackets with basketball teams; we should fill out brackets with the assholes who won't shut up about their brackets.

So how do you play?  First, you need to select the assholes for your bracket.  Think about who will be the most obnoxious bracket pool idiots in your office.  Which guy is going to stop you in the hallway to tell you about all of the correct picks he made the previous night?  Which guy is going to bitch about his ruined bracket when a big upset happens?  Which guy thinks he's a sports expert, so he's guaranteed to tell everyone how smart he is when his bracket is looking good?  If you're playing alone, just make a list of 16 co-workers you think will be the most annoying during March Madness.  If you're playing with friends (ideal), hold a draft.  Start selecting the most annoying co-workers to your "team".  If one of the people you selected to your team turns out to be the biggest asshole at the end of the tournament, you win.

Here's how we'll determine which of your co-workers will be crowned champion of this prestigious competition:

1) Fill out the bracket with the people who were drafted.  Seed them according to the order in which they were picked.
2) When the tournament starts (March 13th), you start listening.  Find the people you picked and keep track of all the annoying shit they say about the tournament.  If they don't volunteer the comments unaided, help them out.  Try to egg them on and see what you can get them to say.
3) Keep a tally of your picks' points (see below).  For your first round match-ups, you'll keep track of everything said during the first three rounds of the actual tournament.  The winners of the round advance to square off in the second round, which corresponds with the Sweet Sixteen and the Elite Eight.  Your final two rounds will match up with the final two rounds of the tournament, so the final four office pool assholes will compete right alongside the final four college basketball teams.
4) The idiot who racks up the most points by making more annoying bracket comments on April 3rd (the day after the NCAA championship game) is the "champion", which means whoever selected him in the draft is the winner.

Here's the scoring system:
  • 5 points:   Guy brings up his bracket unaided
  • 5 points:   Guy lists 1-3 of his picks in one conversation
  • 10 points: Guy lists 4-5 of his picks in one conversation
  • 15 points: Guy lists 5+ picks in one conversation
  • 10 points: Guy tells you how many teams in his bracket's Final Four are still remaining
  • 10 points: Guy tells you what place he is in his pool/league
  • 10 points: Guy lists picks from multiple bracket pools/leagues
  • 10 points: Guy complains because he knows way more about basketball than others
  • 15 points: Guy complains about the upset of a non-local team with a 1 or 2 seed
  • 10 points: Guy mocks another guy for an incorrect pick
OK, now you're ready.  So go draft your squad, fill out your bracket, and for once, start enjoying the annoying shit your co-workers will say in the next few weeks.

(Click to enlarge/print)


  1. I actually enjoyed reading through this posting.Many thanks.

    Filling a Swimming Pool

    1. Thanks, Jasmine. It's great to hear some positive feedback. Hope you come back and like something else too.