I've never really been the jealous type. Sure, I compare myself to others for better or worse, but I like to think that the green eyed monster doesn't often rear its ugly head. That being said, my friend Grace and my cousin Hannah are currently #1 in their respective March Madness brackets, and I'm straight up jealous (but thoroughly proud). Whereas I had initially scoffed at their unoriginality - their presumed selection of the top-seeded teams based on rankings alone - I came to discover that there was indeed strategy involved. Extensive research. And once again, I learn never to assume, as it makes an ass out of u and me.
I feel as though a girl should have some knowledge of the goings on in the ESPN domain. While daily viewings of SportsCenter are not a requirement, the ability to speak intelligently is. This year I decided to join in the fun and choose my brackets. Knowing next to nothing about the NCAA college hoops world, I subsisted off a meager diet of regurgitated statements allowing me to feign some semblance of insight into the wide world of sports. This is where having a brother comes in handy. All those years of him spewing facts at me while I blatantly tried to ignore his presence; I guess there's something to osmosis after all. Throw in a couple random comments about the '96 Atlanta Braves lineup (his once favored team), and already you're up five notches.
And so I leaped into the selection process with much gusto. But how would I, with the sports IQ of a peanut, base my decisions? This couldn't be haphazard, as bragging rights were at stake. And so I opted for relevance. Many of the teams did not ring a bell, so obviously, those couldn't possibly be any good. Oral Roberts? Old Dominion? No thank you. My second line of defense became relevancy. UCLA was a no brainer, as one must always cheer on their alma mater, especially if they were #1 at some point this season. I had friends who attended BC and UNC, thereby determining their success, and I vaguely remember hearing the name Vanderbilt. Nomination by association. And then there is the historical data. One must always learn from the past. I seem to recall a player from last year's Gonzaga team crying like a baby. I don't remember if this was because they won or lost, but the outcome isn't relevant. The point is, I remembered. Ergo, Gonzaga.
My guy friends will make well informed, statistics-based decisions. Having followed the season religiously, they know each coach by heart and can list off the players' respective high school mascots. And the best part is, despite their education and determination, sometimes, it comes down to magical thinking. True, I am embarassingly behind in my fantasy league. But let's hope luck will be a lady tonight.