by Randy Ooney
My Nickel’s Worth by Randy Ooney
As we head into the Final Four of the NCAA tournament, I suppose most of us feel fortunate if we have even two teams left alive in our brackets. They say that the various office pools and bracket predictions cost American business about 1.8 billion dollars in lost productivity. There may be some truth to that originally, but I disagree in the long run. The office pools give 40 or 50 million people a reason to watch a basketball game between Hard Knocks College and Overshoe University. The CBS cash register rings up a millions, selling ads to their highly rated telecasts. A few million viewers spend Monday through Wednesday going out and buying a Chevrolet, John Deere tractor, or a Coke because they saw it on the tube. Those companies hire more employees so they can spend their wages on everything from Airline tickets to Zubas, and so grows the economy. The newspapers do well also. I saw many full page adds touting fans to enter their bracket contests for a chance to win prizes.
The media comes up with clever names for each round of the tournament, but they only focus on remaining teams. Sweet 16, Elite 8, Great 8, Final 4; but what about the losers? Those that advance in round one could be called the 32 to do, while the one and done are the blue 32 and the maddest of the madness . After the next round we have the blown out 16 candles. The elite advance in the next round by eliminating the ill fated eight. Falling in the quarter finals would be the four no more. And the teams that failed to make the championship game are the boo hoo two.
Some of the more famous people with brackets; President Obama, who picked about 70% in the first round, but had Kansas going all the way so he’s in trouble. Joe Nathan selected a bracket but he needed someone else to fill out the form. Brett Favre was not able to decide whether to do a bracket, and Denny Hecker wanted to get in an office pool but he no longer has an office, and he couldn’t put up the $5.00 anyway. Our webmaster, T-Hav was going to enter a Sweet 16 bracket, but he lost his dollar to Mike Wirz in the position round of the MSC. Just another Minnesota dollar flowing to Wisconsin. Cheese Louise.
So, if you have any teams left at all in the bracket madness, good luck to you. If not, I hear they have bowling brackets at the USBC tournament in Reno. Get on a roll, and win some dough.