Monday, March 17, 2008

March Madness

I've never had very much of a rooting interest in college sports. I was aware of Pitt and Penn State growing up, mostly because I'd occasionally see sweatshirts that told me about them, but I never really actively followed any college teams. As I grew up, I moved on to a Division III school that has, as far as I know only one professional athlete doing anything right now and he was cut for not being in shape. I've gone from there to a team that's actually in a major conference, but isn't, shall we say, feared.

On top of that, I've never been a big fan of basketball. I think it probably had something to do with growing up in a town without an NBA team, but it's not something I care about easily. With the other three major sports, following the team has been something that goes back to some of my early memories. The fact that I still remember watching the Sid Bream play, that I was able to throw out the first pitch, that I remember both Stanley Cups and how it felt watching Neil O'Donnell throw interceptions in Super Bowl XXX gave me a link to each of those teams. I don't have that with any NBA teams, and it seems fake just to pick a team at random, or start cheering for the Bulls because I happen to live in Chicago.

All of that to say that I really don't know college basketball as well as I should. I know a bit, but not nearly enough to intelligently fill out a March Madness Bracket. What I usually end up doing is a combination of looking at statistics and guess work to fill something out which usually fails horribly. So that's fun.

But, because I like brackets and things where you can affect the outcome by changing the tiniest thing, I tend to try to figure out some ways to entertain myself without actually entering picks into the office pool. Besides telling Yahoo! sports to pick everything randomly (which resulted in #16 Portland State winning the whole damn thing just now), I have attempted, over the past few years, to come up with a reasonable Mascot Bracket. The only rules being that whoever's mascot would win a fight to the death advances. If the team name is not something which could be involved in a fight to the death, I'll go with the mascot. If that fails, I'll assign losses randomly.

Over the next few days, I'll be taking a few posts to detail the Murphspot Completely Improbable Mascot Bracket That Has No Relation To Sports At All. It's going to be absolutely nothing like what I actually enter for the office contest and no relation to reality, but it'll hopefully be at least mildly entertaining.

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