Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Workplace madness

Ditch your responsibilities. Take a long lunch. Close your office door. Huddle up in your cubicle and do your best to retrain the jubilant yells that want nothing more than to be freed from your lungs, and free them as an ecstatic and altogether silent fist pump. That’s right; it’s time to waste time again… March Madness is here.

Is it my fault that the greatest sporting event of the year takes place largely during work hours? I think not. So I challenge bosses nationwide to heed my advice… don’t bother. There is no fighting the NCAA Tournament. In just a few short weeks the tournament kills more productivity and motivation than marijuana and paint huffing do yearly… combined! (Statistics pulled from an independent study in which I smoked pot and huffed paint throughout the 2007 Fiscal Year)

Americans are simply enthralled by the madness of it all. It consumes them from the initial moment brackets are available online and does not relinquish its grip until a champion is crowned. It is inevitable. Work will have to take a backseat until we all see the “One Shining Moment” montage. Accept it. When employees aren’t finding a way to watch the games, they’re watching the live action scoreboard in the corner of their monitor tick away, or their reading the detailed breakdown and analysis of each game, of their clutching their bracket in frustration as they move dangerously closer to having a sudden brain aneurysm. Well, that, or they’re spending their time writing up their own analysis at work right now (wink*wink).
Come on. What kind of writer would I be… no, what kind of blogger… no, what kind of American would I be if I didn’t use my designated work time to contribute to the monster of March Madness? So here are a few tips from me before the tournament kicks off. Agree with them, disagree with them, I don’t really care. Just as long as you’re reading at work like the rest of us hard-working, red-blooded Americans.

The Dark Horse- Pitt
The Panthers looked monstrous in the Big East tournament and appear poised to go on a big run. After a year in which they lacked consistency and faced injury, the Panthers looked just fined as they handily disposed of Georgetown in the Big East finals. Now, they stand as the team with the best chance of ousting a 1 seed early. Look for Pitt to really test Memphis if they reach the sweet 16, and if my dreams are at all foretelling look for Lavance Fields to put down the winning dunk from atop Dajuan Blair’s shoulders.

The Big Flop- Duke
Maybe this is too obvious because the Dookies are so easy to hate, but they look to me as the highest seed that could flop very quickly (not unlike their defensive tactics). The undersized Blue Devils are going to run into problems against any team with a remote inside force, and if they aren’t hitting from 3-land their offense tends to run dry in the second half. With the task of facing West Virginia or Arizona in only the 2nd round, the possibility that Greg Paulus will never get the chance to get dunked on in a Championship game has become a very real one.

The Cinderella- Bulldogs
It happens every year, a team who no one expects much from makes a deep run into the tourney. This year’s pick is easy, take the Bulldogs. Walk around preaching to all of your friends about how no one realizes just how talented this Bulldogs squad is. They’re scrappy. They’ve got heart. Trust me, bet everyone you meet that you will see the Bulldogs in the sweet 16. Just avoid admission that Butler, Gonzaga, Mississippi State, Drake, and Georgia are all in the tournament, and are all nicknamed the Bulldogs. There’s got to be at least one sucker who won’t notice.

The Favorite- UNC
The Tarheels have been among the nation’s best for the entire year, even while enduring a stretch without their star point guard and floor general Ty Lawson. Now, after winning the ACC regular season title and the ACC tournament the Heels come to the field of 65 as the number 1 overall seed and won’t even have to leave their home state until the Final Four. With several tough opponents lined up in the East bracket UNC’s trip will certainly not be a cakewalk, but the odds of witnessing another awkward, flailing Tyler Hansbrough celebration come April 7th are looking pretty fair indeed.

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