Slightly overweight nineteen year old male believes people care about his bracket
Originally published at freethrows.net on March 16, 2016.
“Yeah, people care! It’s March Madness baby!,”said 19 year old man, Ronald Alford, when asked if he thinks people actually care about what teams he has in his bracket’s Final Four.
March Madness, for those who don’t know, is that time of the year when people acknowledge college basketball’s existence. Additionally, millions give their best shot at filling out the perfect tournament bracket, in order to create a rooting interest (seemingly because there’s no other reason to watch if you don’t find a way to become personally and/or financially invested).
Doing a bracket is a sports fan tradition in America, and one of the few where out-of-shape non-athletes can compete against their social circles (the others being YMCA open gyms, badminton, softball, bowling, and various other forms of sports betting). Similar to other competitions of this nature, it’s less about beating your opponents and more about measuring your own value. In other words, it’s more about proving to yourself that you have a high sports IQ, because what other way can you involve yourself with the sports matrix? Furthermore, a March Madness bracket is clearly a good measure of one’s intellectual capacity.
Anyway, back to Ronald Alford, our man from Michigan. He’s been buying into the hype, and is pretty sure he has an immaculate bracket. “I’ve been watching college basketball all year. Paying attention to the top teams. Reading articles. Watching college basketball shows. This year is mine.”
In the past few days, Alford’s closeted confidence has crossed over to cockiness.
We spoke to his co-worker, Lindsey McDonald, about Alford’s recent behavior: “I’m embarrassed for him. Nobody really cares about his bracket around here. The whole shift on Monday he was telling me about how Oregon might lose to Holy Cross, or North Carolina versus Kentucky State and so forth — you get the feeling that he thinks I should be impressed by it, but like I said, it’s just sad and confusing. He also told me that he’s not coming in Thursday or Friday.”
Alford, who claims he’s calling off tomorrow because of allergies, doesn’t seem to be bothered by the overwhelming apathy he’s been confronted with during recent conversations. Earlier today, he posted a picture of his bracket on Facebook, which received precisely zero likes. He also live-tweeted his picks, which accumulated 67 total tweets.
However, again, Alford’s enthusiasm is resolute, “I put $20 on the line against my friends, so this is big. I’d get $60 if I win! Sixty dollars! I know my girlfriend [Ashley] is sort of upset that I cancelled our lunch date on Friday, but she loves college basketball too. We’re just going to watch the tournament.”
Ashley declined to comment for this report.