Yeah, you heard me right: yesterday was the best Monday of the year. Ordinarily, I’d argue that suggesting any one particular Monday could possible trump it’s 51 brethren was crazy talk on the highest order. Like, seriously, you’d be better off taking stock tips from the “magic” fortune teller that made Tom Hanks Big. It’s like evaluating 52 piles of browning banana peels and attempting to pick out The Best One when no matter which you pick, it’s still just a slippery mound of mushy yuck, you know?
So why on Earth would I possible suggest that yesterday is the best Monday of the whole year?
Because there aren’t any NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament games again until Thursday.
Now, hear me out. I know the tournament is awesome. I do, I swear. But Not having any games until Thursday gives me three whole blessed days when my bracket won’t be getting any worse. That’s a far cry, mind you, from what happened the four days prior to Monday. From noon Thursday until late Sunday night, every time I checked my bracket results and place in the groups standings, my hopes and dreams of being this years Big Pool Winner slid closer and closer to becoming, well, this year’s big poo winner.
As in, I’m not going to win sh…. Err, I mean, you probably get the idea.
Yet therein lies the magic of the NCAA Basketball Tournament Bracketizing. Before that first tip-off Thursday afternoon, millions of children, women, and men across the globe (probably?) stood breathless, poised over a precipice leading to glory or ruin one, clutching a gleaming sheet of paper hope in their hands. The NCAA Tournament Bracket is the Great Equalizer, where everyone, for that one moment, can stand all on the same footing, shoulder to shoulder, with four regions of selections unmarred by error.
That is, until the games begin.
After that, hoo-boy, things get uglier than a guy like me in a Victoria’s Secret two-piece quicker than you can say, “for the love of your eyeballs, children, look away.”
Because that’s when upsets start rolling in, underdogs clinging to scrappy wins and clearing out whole swaths of expectant victory. Soon after your (my) bracket sheet looks like a editor took a red pen to that Chuck Norris Commando fan-fiction I wrote when I was 10.
Spoiler alert: it wasn’t good. Just like my tournament picks.
This year’s lesson, it turns out, is that if you’re going to try to pick some underdogs, it helps to pick the right underdogs. Because otherwise you’ll soon be weeping over the lost dream of a Villanova/Oklahoma Regional Final, and swearing no child or grandchild of yours will ever set foot on Villanova’s lazy, no-good campus, no matter what kind of scholarship they offer*!
At last, though, after days and days and days (what? it was only four? What sort of time vortex sorcery is at hand here? I’ve surely been watching my picks get axed for at least a fortnight!), Monday, sweet Monday arrived, ending the endless siege against my bracket. And as the dust settles, I can now take a moment to gather up the tattered remains of my 2015 NCAA Tournament Picks and do what 90% of us do this one week of year.
Look forward to the 2016 NCAA Tournament, and swear that next year we’re picking every stupid game via coin flip.
*Totally kidding here, Villanova. You’ve got a great institution of higher learning there, and we’ll gratefully accept whatever scholarship money you’d like to fling at us.