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No, I Will Not Enter Your Dumb March Madness Bracket Pool

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If you talk about your bracket, I reserve the right to talk about all of the lunches I ate this week.

I don’t understand why I have to say this as often as I do, but no, I don’t want to join your March Madness Bracket Pool. No, it’s not just because I don’t understand sportsball (though I don’t understand sportsball) and no, it’s not because I’m scared to lose. I don’t want to join a stupid bracket pool because I don’t think it’s fun. I don’t force people to watch Jane Austen film adaptations with me, because I don’t think they’ll find it fun. I’d love it if people joined in, but I don’t peer pressure them because “everybody’s doing it.” I watched afterschool specials, so I’m immune to your cheap peer pressure.

It’s not because I’m a girl. I have many female friends who brack-brack-bracket up. They might want to join you, but that’s because they find it fun. And yes, I could win money if I play, but I think we all know that the odds of me picking the Final Four are pretty slim considering the odds of me naming four basketball teams is pretty nonexistent. The Panthers? I’m sincerely just picking my alma mater’s mascot. They’re not even in the running? Why should I care then?

It’s sweet that you think that this is bonding in our burgeoning relationship, and I appreciate that this invite is a warning that you’ll have basketball on the brain, rather than want to make dinner reservations. I get it, and I’m fine. I got my own shit to focus on, which is a big factor as to why I don’t care about your bracket. I have my own life.

Sure, I’ll ask a few questions out of politeness, but if you start to go on and on about your bracket, I reserve the right to talk about all of the lunches I ate this week. I’ll do it with detail. I’ll tell you brand names. I’ll give you a quiz on lettuce types later. 

It’s okay. I don’t want to belong. I’m perfectly okay not belonging in the same way that you don’t want to belong to my book club. You don’t like our book choices, and I don’t like pretending I’m remotely interested in sports. It’s nothing personally against you. If this were a bracket system for Quidditch, I’d still say no, because even if it were a fictional wizarding sport, I wouldn’t summon up the same fervor you have with that bracket.

I get it. You made that bracket. That is a nice bracket. Do you know that moment when a toddler shows you their finger painting and you have to feign interest and identify the bird when it looks like smattered poop? I feel like that when you show me your bracket. I’m proud that you made something but I can't read that for shit.

Maybe if the teams were the actual representations of their mascots, I’d find it remotely interesting. Maybe if there was a real ragtag bunch of kids who made the underdog team and were coached by a recovering alcoholic just trying to work off a parking ticket, I’d be interested. But if that’s just the case, I’ll wait till Disney gets a hold of it.

I’ve done March Madness before, a couple of times really, and I never had that enlightening moment where I thought that this was a blast. No. It’s stressful. It’s a stressful situation I want to avoid because I get anxious and competitive really quickly. Please step away from my desk. Don’t make me kick your ass.

Image via Flickr.