So It Sports: Bad Brackets, Good Times

Posted on March 22, 2015 by


This year my friend Ellen and I decided to try something new for March Madness. Once a year, Ellen lapses into an otherwise uncharacteristic sports bro frenzy during the NCAA Basketball Tournament. Around this time, I also lapse into a period of remembering that sports exist, and that brackets are sort of fun looking. Of course, not knowing anything about said sports, there’s not really much I can do about filling out a bracket. What am I gonna do? Research?

Rather than have me do any work myself, Ellen and I thought it would be fun if we each entered her bracket in our own respective office pools. It actually sounded like a pretty fun idea, when we thought about it. With both of us invested in exactly the same thing, our victories were our victories. Our losses were our losses. At the very least, it would be a fun thing to gchat about at work share!

Our losses quickly dominated our victories.

But before I get into that, there’s a little bit of context to establish. Namely, the bracket itself is probably important information. (You can click on each to make big/legible.)

bracket 1

bracket 2

bracket 3

Now, Ellen put time and care into these. I quickly entered all of it into my bracket for my office pool as fast as possible, without question. Or understanding. I had her screenshots in one window and my browser in the other, vaguely gazing at the tiny little team logos, going, “Ok, the Ms win this round… the birds win this round… the paperclips win this round…”


Look, 1) the logos were really tiny, and 2) I was so upset that the paperclips didn't even made it to the Sweet Sixteen.

Look, 1) the logos were really tiny, and 2) I was so upset that the paperclips didn’t even make it to the Sweet Sixteen.

So how is our bracket actually doing? Well, I’m happy to say that on the second day of the tournament, not a single one of our teams lost! Day one is a very different story however.

updated bracket 1


updated bracket 2

Ouch ouch ouch

Two games into the tournament, one of our Final Four teams was out. So it goes! Or, as I eventually put it on Twitter for some reason:

To reiterate, for some reason.

To reiterate, for some reason.

By this point, Ellen and I were definitely feeling the “our losses are our losses” part of the experience. Ellen was devastated – all her sports-ing for naught! I was mostly just upset that I was losing to someone in my office whose ESPN username is, I shit you not, kanyepimpnugget. We were sharing the same bracket, but we were not sharing the same disappointments.

more sports talk

(To clarify this slightly, I had learned on Twitter that one of my former colleagues at NPR from back when I interned there was doing a bracket based simply on what mascots she liked best, and at the moment it was dominating. Ellen was lamenting sports; I was lamenting not thinking to do a quirky bracket. Our priorities are not the same.)

As Thursday wore on, I was tied for last in my office pool. This situation didn’t last long, though! By Friday morning, the bracket was dead last in both my office pool and Ellen’s.

Meanwhile, kanyepimpnugget was in a three-way tie for first.

Now, there is an important point to make, since otherwise there’s seemingly no reason to stay invested in this. I’m the only person in my office pool who has UVA as the winner. There is still a chance. The stakes – however insanely slim – can nonetheless be described as “there”.

And things have since gotten better!

so it sports twitter 2

As of writing on Saturday (are there more games after Saturday afternoon? I have no idea), I’ve now risen from my lowly squalor to second-last, and Ellen has risen to the prestigious sport of third-to-last place! (And kanyepimpnugget is now winning, whoever kanyepimpnugget is.)

Now, sure, maybe this doesn’t seem like an especially high-stakes drama, but keep in mind you’re reading it on this blog, and compare this to the plot of the books we’re reading currently. Yeah, I bet you’re slightly more invested now too! Will our bracket rise through the ranks with a single, fortuitously-chosen winner? Will kanyepimpnugget continue to dominate? Will I ever figure out who kanyepimpnugget is? Is kanyepimpnugget in accounts? Will I have a more sports-related investment in this whole thing? We’ll have to find out! It’s madness!

I feel like there’s another joke I can make out of that last one.

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