Friday, March 16, 2007

Moment of Glory

Ah, March Madness. It pains me to think I lived so many years blissfully unaware of its existence, ignorant of the joy and the laughter produced by the pursuit of greatness.

Not to mention the gambling.

I'm in a few pools this year, and have done OK in the first round, though I am still annoyed at myself for picking George Washington over Vanderbilt in some of them. And naturally the bracket I am doing best in is the Deadspin.com pool, which is for pride not money. But check it out:

Yes, for a fleeting moment I am ranked equal first in the country. Oh, happy day!

A couple of years ago I actually won my current employer's office pool... before I actually even began working there. It was a "friends and family" pool, and my mate All-Star (who was working for them) asked if I wanted in. You bet I did. I submitted my bracket, and at almost the same time applied for a job there.

I don't know how I did it, but that year I caught lightning in a bottle. I picked Texas Tech and West Virginia to go deep in particular, and consequently was destroying the office pool. During my interview, held just before the Final Four, my boss' boss and I spent 15 minutes discussing my picking rationale.

Yes, I got the job.

The best part about that year, besides scooping the office pool, was my ESPN bracket. As you can see in the above screenshot I have a "MSU Wins!" bracket. Every year I make my second bracket the same as my main bracket, with the exception of having Michigan State win the whole thing. In my office pool of two years ago I had MSU bowing out in the second round or so... while they ended up making it to the final four. Which meant my "MSU Wins!" bracket was absolutely loaded.

From memory I was ranked equal 52nd or something on ESPN.com before the Final Four games, but UNC beating the Spartans and going on to win the title pushed me down to around 1000th in the nation - and I might have even been higher, except for West Virginia bowing out in over-time (I had them going one round deeper). But for a while there it was pretty surreal.

Of course I am now due to lay an egg with all of my remaining picks. But such is the Madness!

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