Yep, it’s that time of year again. The time of year when my non-ESPN viewing family wastes $50 of my dad’s hard earned cash.
Every year for the past 20 or so years, my father has participated in this GIANT march madness pool set up by his colleagues. It’s $10 to enter. My dad is generous, and when the pool started, my sibs and I were either in school or unemployed, so my dad, eager to spark some dinner time conversation, paid our entry fees. I guess he figured $60 wasn’t that much out of pocket for a family activity.
That was 4 spouses ago. Now my dad’s in for $190. Every year. Four kids, spouses for each and nine grands, plus his and my mother’s entries.
At one point, when we were all living under the same roof and only had one TV (and no cable or remote control), my entire family followed college basketball. Out of necessity. Now, I think only my brothers (and maybe their spouses through osmosis) and my dad and mom do. My mom will always follow college basketball–she’s a Hoosier; it’s her birthright.
But for some reason, my dad keeps entering ALL of us–even the 7 youngest grands, ages 4, 6, 8 and 9–in the pool. Betcha can guess how well they all do.
I have to admit, at least with the internet the brackets are easier to complete. Back in the day when Dad was only out his $60, we had to fax over our completed brackets by noon of the day of the start of the tourney. Lots of busy signals meant for a lot of stress. Now, it’s just a series of clicks. Which is good.
The bad, though? This horrible feeling of guilt. Should I be keeping up with this? Where can I turn to for college basketball advice? So I usually go with my default: do I know someone who went to that school? Yes–good. I choose that one. Have I visited that state? Yes, good. I choose that one. Do I have a favorable impression of their mascot? No, too bad, so sad. Is orange one of the school colors? Great! They get clicked through all the way to the final four.
Let’s see how well I do.