How to Lose to Your Wife in the Bracket Pool

From the iPad of the Hubbster:

Today is selection Sunday. A glorious day for a sports fan like me. Thursday is the start of four weeks of pulse pounding college buckets–and my four favorite days of the sports calendar. This also means everyone and their brother is filling out a bracket.

I have been filling out a bracket for as long as I can remember. And as long as I can remember I’ve done terribly at it. So during our first year in college I had a great idea: play in a pool against Jenny. My thinking was that I would at least finish ahead of her.

Let me explain:

So, I have a really good wife. You knew that already because you read her Blog. But she is really quite fantastic. High on the list of reasons I love her is that she doesn’t mind that I watch sports 95% of the time. I watch college sports, pro sports, hockey, baseball, football, basketball. I read about sports. I even listen to sports talk radio. And for the most part Jenny doesn’t mind this because she knows it makes me happy.

And truth be told, Jenny likes sports too. Exhibit A: the nine pictures of old Illini Football programs hanging in our living room. Also, we’ve gone to countless Nationals, Cubs, Blackhawks, and Illini games over the years. And when I suggested taking the day off work to go to the Nats Home Opener this year, she happily agreed.

But Jenny hates basketball. If I have any hoops game on, she is not the least bit interested. Over the course of the college basketball season, she watches maybe one entire game. So when it comes time for her to fill out her bracket, she has no idea what she’s doing. The first time she did it, she asked me what the little numbers next to the teams were.

Inevitably, she picks teams because she likes the mascot, the name of the school, knows someone who went there, etc. I, on the hand, weigh each choice carefully, taking into account strength of schedule, RPI, conference, and a host of other reasons. I’ve watched games all regular season long, I’ve watched every Conference Tournament, and I’ve researched teams like the Drexel Dragons!

Anyone have any idea where Drexel University is, anyway?

But by the end of the first weekend I’ve lost half my Final Four and my National Champion, while she has correctly picked most upsets and has her entire Elite Eight intact. All the while, I have to tell her that her team just won, because she isn’t really paying attention to what’s going on. When the final game has been played and CBS is reprising “One Shining Moment,” there isn’t much suspense. Jenny has beaten me.

Now, the first time this happened I thought it was a fluke. A one in a million shot. No way could she do it again. Wrong. Every year for the last 5 years, Jenny has finished ahead of me in our pool.

But I’ve got a good feeling about this year. I’m not going to over-think it, just going to go with my gut. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll be able to eek out a victory. Though I doubt it. Something tells me my careful analysis is no match for picking school mascots you like.

(Crap, I shouldn’t have told her about the Drexel Dragons. She really likes alliteration too.)

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