The Reason We’re Addicted to March Madness


Most of us are hopeless.

It seems like every day is another day closer to a global oligarchy when only a few entities control everything, from oil to water to media to sports. We’re constantly reminded that we’re expendable and cogs in a machine that can be replaced at a moment’s notice for no reason. Pensions are being stripped and unions are being busted.

We feel like we have less control over our lives and our destinies, even if it is only a perception.

That’s why March Madness continues to have such a grip on the national consciousness. Yes, it’s cool to fill out a bracket. Yes, it’s fun to skip out on work and go watch basketball at a bar all day. But, more than anything, it’s because it provides the opportunity for something that is increasingly rare in our world: the underdogs have a chance.

Not only on the court, either. In a weird meta way, the underdogs of office pools and online challenges always have a fighting chance to win as well. Think about it: how many times have we heard or seen brackets filled out by people that don’t know anything about college basketball (or any sports) triumph over those completed by people that consider themselves to be on par with Seth Davis and Joe Lunardi? It seems like the girl who picks teams based on colors or the guy that chose a champion because he likes their mascot win their pools an inordinate amount of time. This probably isn’t true, but it fits nicely into the narrative.

Here in America, the greediest, most capitalistic society the world has ever seen, most of us will gladly eschew a chance at winning moneyin favor of watching a small school hardly anyone has heard of take down a power conference favorite.

It’s all for moments like this:

Upsets and Cinderellas seem to occur less and less every year, but for a few days each March we’re all rooting for David over Goliath.

Christopher Pierznik is the author of seven books, all of which can be purchased in Paperback and Kindle. He has written for a variety of other sites and works in finance. You can like his Facebook page here and follow him on Twitter here.