The Madness of March: Women on Fire!

2009 NCAA Basketball Tournament, UCLA vs. Texas A&M, Honda CenterIt’s March, which means it’s time for March Madness.  College Basketball.  The NCAA Tourney.  The Big Dance.  So let me get right to it:  Gentlemen, do not start your engines.  Do not, under any circumstances, get into a tourney pool with your wife or girlfriend.  You do it every year, and every year sends you one step closer to therapy or BA – Brackets Anonymous.

Last year about this time, I offered up my own personal story – isn’t everything in Blog Harbor my own personal story? – of how my wife annihilates me every March when it comes time to fill out our brackets for the NCAA Tournament.  It’s become a tradition in our house.  Your December to March dance card reads as follows: 

  • Christmas Day
  • New Year’s Eve
  • New Year’s Day
  • Valentine’s Day
  • Bracket Humiliation

You’d think I’d have learned by now.  I haven’t.

I’m sure many of you either didn’t read what I wrote or, worse, you didn’t pay attention.  I know this is the case because I’m already hearing many of you talking about the upcoming tournament and how you can’t wait to fill out your bracket so you can take down your wife. 

Yes gentlemen, let’s line up and own up:  You want revenge and you want it bad.  Don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about – don’t make me reach through this screen and shake you . . . I’ll do it.  I’ve done it before.

Memories of  her savagely crushing you and your inferior bracket are starting to filter back into the ole razor-sharp basketball mind, aren’t they?  You’re slowly beginning to remember how she summarily disposed of you with no more regard than one has for shrink wrap on a new CD.  That’s right, your nodding your heads now . . . you’re with me.   

So, I’m going to try and reach out to you again.

As a service to Blog Harbor readers, I’m going to step out of character for a moment and offer some advice.  Far be it from me to even think I’m qualified to do such a thing.  But I’m going to try.  And I should point out I’m speaking to the men first.  Ladies, I’ll get to you in a moment.   And fellas, do understand the gals who are reading along right now – they’re laughing.  At you.  And me.  Stay with me here . . . 

The Blog Harbor 5-Step Program for Bracket-Challenged Men

  1. When the tournament field is announced on Sunday, March 15, stay away from newspaper sports sections and tournament websites until the first game tips off on Thursday, March 19.  I know, I know . . . the mere thought of this makes you break into a sweat.  I understand.  I hear you.  I feel you.  And I’m here for you.  But you must try.  It’s your first step on the road to inner peace and the prevention of FBT:  Female Bracketology Taunting.
  2. Agree to any request, suggestion or project your wife/girlfriend asks of you.  This includes trips to the mall, building an addition to the house by yourself or vacuuming the interstate in an effort to be more community-conscious.
  3. Do not, under any circumstances, turn on ESPN.  Instead, focus your television time on more soothing channels like Oxygen and Lifetime . . . or go to  Spending time with Oprah Winfrey is like cleansing your soul.
  4. No grilling from Sunday to Wednesday.  Grilling leads to beer.  Beer leads to thoughts of sports.  Thoughts of sports leads you down an evil path to a town known as . . . Bracketville.  Bracketville leads to utter humiliation.
  5. Spend Sunday to Wednesday getting in touch with your real self.  Discover that part of you that needs not participate in silly things like filling out brackets and competing against individuals who are vastly superior to you in basketball acumen.

And ladies . . .

Bleeding Heart TavernPlease.  Can you do men a favor and take your need for Bracketology out of the house?  Maybe there’s a back room in a neighborhood tavern all of you can gather in to get your fix.  If you have kids, can you put them first?  Can you think of them before you obsess over whether or not you picked the correct 5-12 upset?  Do they need to see you in a raging fury because it appears Eastern Idaho School of the Mines Technical Institute is about to beat North Carolina and wipe out your entire bracket? 

Think of the children.  Think about what your habit is doing to their future.  And think about the man in your life.  His ego already is fragile.  His threshold for pain – tangible, bracketology pain – is not in the same league as yours. 

You already own his pathetic, tourney-picking posterior.  How about a little compassion?

Photo credit SD Dirk
Photo credit Jim Linwood

Filed Under: College Basketballhumor

About the Author: Christopher Gabriel is the host of the cleverly named Christopher Gabriel Program on AM 970 WDAY in Fargo, North Dakota. You can hear him weekdays from 9 to Noon. As a writer and humorist, his work has been been published online by the Chicago Sun-Times, Reuters and publications within the Sun-Times News Group.

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  1. Mike says:

    LOL… I was laughing as I read this because my girlfriend has already suggested that I fill out a March Madness bracket. I don’t really follow college basketball, so mine would be a total guess. She’s ready to go, though. Maybe I should just take your advice here and avoid all the trouble.


  2. territerri says:

    In the interest of marital bliss (*cough*cough*) I shall refrain from all thoughts of bracketology. It’s going to take tremendous self-control, but I’ll do it. I may have to suppress the urges with shopping.

    (Who am I trying to kid? I’ve never “bracketed” a day in my life! But it sounds really fun!)


  3. CGabriel says:

    Mike, I’m begging you . . . do NOT play this game with her. She’s sucking you in like a Hoover goes after dust. The old “suggestion” from the girlfriend . . . yeah, I know her type. Know ’em well. I married one. 🙂

    And I FOLLOW the damn sport and she still beats me!!


  4. CGabriel says:

    Terri, “Bracketing” is a world of fun . . . for a woman playing against the man in her life. I’m going to venture a guess right now: If you engage in a little Bracketology – and for any kids reading this, do NOT try Bracketology at home – you will crush him. I don’t care if the man played the sport and follows it religiously. His bracket – your bracket? Done. Over. Finished. You will mop the floor with him.

    Game on, Terri. 🙂


  5. Two words for you – Wake Forest….


  6. CGabriel says:

    Your love of Wake Forest has, I believe, propelled their basketball program to levels they never imagined they could reach. I have long believed Tim Duncan chose Wake purely because of the Dancing with Daffodils factor. 🙂


  7. Brittany Mattson says:

    Haha…i enjoyed this.

    So last year, no actually it must have been two years ago (It was the year the gators won I believe..I could be wrong but I think that’s true) Anyway I was sitting in Chemistry, with several members of our JV basketball team at the time who were discussing and making up their brackets and I thought I’d get in on it. So I sat with them and made up my own personal bracket. Now in the years prior I had kind of dabbled in bracket making but never actually made one before the whole thing started (like I would pick up midway and end up doing pretty well :-)) Anyway, basically I had florida winning it all simply because I was thinking warm thoughts at the time…you know how it is early march especially in high school march was always the cold month with NO BREAKS!! (Our Spring Break always seemed to be the first week in April) So the point of this story is I won our little bracket championship and I think 30 dollars and i’ll admit I never watched a game or checked highlights I would only know who won when I would sit in chemistry and the boys would be checking on their brackets.

    Anyway I will see you later this week I think.

    & this is proof that somebody in the fam actually does read your blog!!



  8. CGabriel says:

    Hi Brittany, so nice of you to drop by! 🙂

    It’s quite clear to me you had a solid Bracketology vibe working for you. For starters, you were in chemistry. That’s impressive on its own. I was once in chemistry….I remember very little about it. In fact, I remembered little shortly after the day class ended. Where was I…

    I have no doubt you’re well aware of the very tangible connection between chemistry and the NCAA basketball tournament. It’s complex and well beyond my scope of comprehension. The long and short of it: While you subtly watched the boys checking their brackets, little did they know that you were a matter of games away from crushing them. It’s a woman thing…and you being a young woman, I dare say you could rule the basketball world with your ability.

    MUCH LOVE back to you! 🙂


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