4 truths to remember when filling out my bracket | March Madness

So, it turns out all that talk of lost time and wages is a bunch of hooha. After a little digging, the startling statistics put out about lost wages ($192M), time (8.4 million hours), and productivity (lots!) during the Madness of March aren’t all that startling.  CEO John Challenger of Challenger Gray & Christmas states these numbers are “a relative drop in the bucket, accounting for less than one-tenth of one percent (about 0.07 percent) of the total hours American workers will put in over the three weeks of the tournament. Basically, there is no measurable impact on the economy or even an individual company’s bottom line.” Even though the stats might not be as grotesque as previously advertised, it’s estimated that over half of us will fill out a bracket.

Office pools can increase the thrill by giving us a personal vested interest in the outcome of every game. It’s the same way that fantasy football and baseball give us a stake in each game or player. A bracket makes us feel a connection to a team that we know nothing about. That is, a team we knew nothing about until Seth Clark or Clark Kellogg or Digger Phelps or Dickie V. told us this team was the Cinderella of the tournament.

But, let’s face it. Most of us will experience a busted bracket before Saturday morning gets here. And I don’t want to miss out on the thrill of March Madness because of the agony of a busted bracket!

This year there are four truths that I want to keep at the forefront of my mind as I fill out my bracket.

  1. God knows the end from the beginning. The Bible is pretty clear on this one. Proverbs 19:21 says, “Many are the plans in the mind of a person, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.”  And in Psalm 33:11, “The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of his heart to all generations.” God knows the outcome of this tournament. Don’t get me started trying to answer the question, “Does God really care that Easter Tulsa beats Western Appalachia?”
  2. I am not God. This should not come as surprise, especially those who know me well (see: Jill Wachter Chmieleski). But, it’s a simple truth that reminds me to keep God in his correct place and me in my correct place even when it comes to filling out a bracket. Then I won’t be faced with that dreaded feeling.  You know the one: “I can’t believe I didn’t pick western Chattanooga River Valley State to beat Kentucky. I knew they were going to win. I knew it. Why didn’t I pick them?!”
  3. Nothing I can do before Thursday is going to help me overcome that I’m not God. But, annually, I fall into the trap of thinking I can. If I just find the right bracketologist, stat, team, player, coach, venue, or theory, then I’ll fill out a perfect bracket. But, it never goes down that way. Teams surprise. Some rise up and win games that they are picked to lose and vice versa. There was a point in life when I could give up all sorts of time to bracket creation. Not anymore. The days of working in a bookstore are over! (Can you feel me Tim?)
  4. So, I’m going to take it easy and enjoy the madness of March. Sports are thrilling. A 68-team tournament is compelling. A 3-week ride of basketball down to One Shining Moment (can we please get a new song?!) is fun. So, I don’t want to lose the thrill of sport for the thrill of my sport (bracket watching). I don’t want March Madness to equal me getting mad because my bracket is busted by 3pm this Thursday. I’m aiming to take it easy, okay (spoken like Jack Black in Nacho Libre).

You’ve heard my thoughts. What are yours?

QUESTIONS: What’s your strategy for filling out your bracket? Do you have any tricks of the trade?

Posted on by Cor in FAITH

6 Responses to 4 truths to remember when filling out my bracket | March Madness

  1. Bryon Krause

    Great perspective Cor!. You had me until you said that you need a new song other than one shining moment. Love that song!

    • Cor

      haha! I agree, Bryon. I go back and forth. The sentimental/traditional side of me loves it. But, there are times when I feel like it’s too 1990’s.

  2. Laura

    This morning I opened my email and saw an invite from my bro to join some family bracketness. Then I opened up facebook and saw the link to your post. Thank you for preparing me for my bracketing experience. And enjoy your new kitchen set up with march madness in mind.

    • Cor


  3. JonNeal


    This just seemed too applicable not to share. :)

    • Cor

      No way. That’s hilarious.

      “I like Huskies ’cause Huskies are made of dogs.”

      “I wish I’d have that information last year.”

      Too perfect.

      Thanks, Jon!

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