Let the Madness beginWritten by Chris Schmidbauer | | firstname.lastname@example.org
There are a few events in sports that catch the collective attention of the world. The Super Bowl, the Olympics and maybe the World Series are on that short list. But perhaps nothing captures the nation the way the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament does.
There has always been a running news story that states that office productivity dips severely during the tournament. One statistic claims companies experience up to $1.8 billion loss in productivity over the length of the tournament.
Maybe the figures are a little high, but what other event do you know of that makes people openly shirk office responsibilities to catch a bit of the action?
CBS has made it easier than ever to blow off any afternoon paperwork by broadcasting the games online for free. March Madness on Demand been has broadcasting the games online since 2003, so those stuck at the office can catch every minute of hardwood action. If you haven’t utilized the service, it is ingenious. The video player has a Boss button to the right of the screen, so that a user can click the button and a spreadsheet pops up so that it looks like the user was actually doing work.
With tools like these, it is no wonder office productivity drops during these weeks.
Why do we do it though? To me, there is something about the tournament that brings out the kid in everyone, even yours truly. During the tournament, I will spend many late nights analyzing my picks, poring over season statistics, and breaking down key match ups that might make or break me in my bracket challenges. I am transformed into a hoops junkie, flipping through the channels looking for my next fix, and I am just one of many who are in a basketball frame of mind.
The tournament is the game at its best. It is 96 hours of pure, unfiltered basketball, being played the way it was meant to be played, and that is just the first weekend of the tournament!
To me, the best part of the “Big Dance” is the parallel into what we all love in sports, the classic David vs. Goliath matchup. The tournament puts 65 teams all at the same level, and there are not many things in this world where everyone is on an even field.
The tournament elevates the unknown to super stardom. There many players who are obscure names today, but by this time next week, they might be household names due to a magical performance or a game winning shot.
In an age where sports are often ruled by money, the tournament is the closest we, sports fans, have to an uncorrupted system far from the reaches of sports bureaucracy and money. It’s a playoff between 65 teams, and simply, the best team wins. There is no point formula to decide who gets to participate, like the BCS in college football. There is no money involved where the more you have the better the player you can afford, like in the professional sporting ranks.
The tournament gives Ohio University the same chance to win as it does The Ohio State University. And that’s what college sports should be all about.
I know there are some of you who are snickering at my romantic view of the tournament, but you will have to excuse my rose-tinted view.
You see, I still remember scheming of ways to walk the halls in high school, looking for the one classroom where the teacher was letting his or her students watch the afternoon games.
I still remember racing home from the bus stop to see who won the first set of games and catch the tail end of the second set.
I remember watching my TV with the volume turned all the way down, while I was supposed to be in bed, hoping to see the end of the late games before my parents caught me and put me back to bed.
Yes, the tournament has always been a big part of my life, and even in my late twenties, I still act like I am ten.
So for those of you who need me over the next three weeks, to find me, you need to look no further than my living room couch. You’ll find me there, remote in hand enchanted by what is known as “March Madness. Yes, tournament time is here again. So, let’s dance.