Thursday, March 20, 2008

Things I don't understand #28...

...How this became one of the biggest sports days of the year.
Actually, the next two may be the biggest. It's rumored that these two days cost employers more money in employee down time than any other, as workers become distracted by games or by just trying to keep track of their "bracket". Many are known to take extra long lunches and some have just decided to take vacation days rather than deal with the temptation (I must plead guilty to both at some time in my past). What I find odd is the interest and affection that many men and even quite a few women (hey ladies!) hold for this tournament. A large majority of those caught up in "March Madness" would probably have to admit to not watching one regular season game. Now some of you out there might try to blame the seeming disinterest in the regular season on the fact that "so many teams"(65) get into the tournament thus rendering the regular season moot. That's all well and good until you take any time to look at the numbers and realize that 19% of D1 teams make it in. On the other hand, in the NBA and NHL 53% of teams make it to the playoffs. The NFL lets 38% of its teams in. Major League Baseball, which is considered miserly compared to it's professional cohorts, still allows 26% of its teams to compete for the championship. So one could argue, that of all the "major team sports" that America follows, the NCAA basketball tournament is the most exclusive...except for college football which lets less than 1% of teams compete for a championship (Don't get me started).

In the end, the best explanation I can come up with as to why these three weeks are so golden is a combination of the packed schedule and the somewhat intangible fact that it always seems to deliver. Whether it be big upsets or buzzer-beaters, intelligent team basketball or one-man shows, the tournament always gives us something. Sure, sometime Friday night after watching around 20 hours of first-round games predominantly played by teams I don't care about and in some cases didn't even know existed, I might think I can't watch any more... that is until Saturday.

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