Over the years, I have been becoming more and more of a sports fan.
I’ve always loved baseball, and I enjoy indoor soccer. Nearly seven years ago, I became a true blue football fan.
But basketball? It’s never really been my thing.
My husband, on the other hand, loves March Madness. While he doesn’t keep up on college basketball throughout the entire season, he always watches NCAA playoff games. He also picks a bracket.
This year he picked two: one with some colleagues and another through local personality and sports guy Drew Forrester through his website DrewsMorningDish.com.
My husband was telling me about this one morning. He said, “You know Drew’s bracket is free, and you could win prizes.”
“I know absolutely nothing about basketball,” I responded.
“Doesn’t matter,” he said. Then he told me about a woman he works with who once won a bracket she was in—and she chose her teams based on what uniforms she liked better.
So I decided to try it. Why not, right? My husband listened to part of my rationale for choosing teams and couldn’t stop laughing. It went like this:
“Midwest first. Okay, Kentucky vs. Hampton. Hmmm…my writer friends Fred and Fiona live in Kentucky. I’ll choose them.”
“Lots of folks are expecting Kentucky to win the whole thing,” said my husband.
“Um, okay. But I picked them because I have friends who live there.”
Here’s how the rest of it went:
Next Cincinnati vs. Purdue. I chose Purdue because I like their chicken. Yes, I know it’s not spelled the same.
West Virginia vs. Buffalo. I love Johnny Rzeznik, lead singer of the band the Goo Goo Dolls, was from Buffalo. Okay, I choose them.
Maryland vs. Valparaiso. I think this one is obvious. Maryland it is!
Butler vs. Texas. I love the butler, Carson, on the British show “Downton Abbey.” I pick Butler.
Notre Dame vs. Northeastern. Most folks would pick Notre Dame just because they’re often a great team. Not me. I chose them because that’s where the guy in the movie “Rudy” played football, and I love that film.
Wichita St. vs. Indiana. I chose Wichita. Why? Just because I like saying the word, “Wichita.” Didn’t Glen Campbell sing about a “Wichita Lineman”? I could have chosen Indiana because I do love the Indiana Jones movies. But I still like saying “Wichita” better.
For the East, I chose Villanova over Lafayette. Why? Because I once wanted to go to graduate school at Villanova. After I finished my final bracket, a friend reminded me that I should have chosen Lafayette because he was my favorite character on the HBO series “True Blood.” Dang it.
But just a few short steps in the bracket later, Villanova was a memory. Again, why? Because they were against Virginia. I enjoy going to Virginia. Oh, and I remembered that Villanova rejected me for graduate school. So, Karma, and all that.
Providence vs. Dayton? I chose Dayton. That’s where the great humorist Erma Bombeck attended college, at the University of Dayton, and that’s where I’ve attended the writers’ workshop held in her honor. I was chosen to speak there and be on the faculty. How could I not pick Dayton?
I did. But eventually Virginia would win out over them. At least in my eyes and in my bracket.
I chose Duke because Steve Wojciechowski, also from Maryland, attended there and played on their basketball team. He even served as Duke’s associate head coach and is now the head basketball coach at Marquette University. The real reason, though, is that because of him for a time, many grown men across the United States could actually pronounce my last name.
I’m not going to put you through the rest of my method of madness—as in the March type. Suffice it to say that I’m sure you get the idea.
At the end, my four teams were Kentucky, Arizona, Virginia, and Duke, with Kentucky taking it all. Then I had to choose a score in case there was a tie with two folks in the bracket challenge. I selected the numbers 143. Why? Because they are the number of letters in the phrase “I love you.”
And my top winner? Like many people, I chose Kentucky. But only because my friends live there…
Michele Wojciechowski, when she’s not trying to tune out her husband because he keeps calculating how many points she has in her bracket, and, well, she just thought she could choose teams and move on, writes “Wojo’s World®” from her home office.
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