These are some dark times. Everything is getting suspended: the NBA, the NHL, Major League Baseball, the SEC Tournament, literally every other conference tournament, March freaking Madness, The Masters, Young Sheldon (no, jk on that last one, but one can hope). It’s been a really sad 48 hours (unless your favorite sports team was having a really crappy season), but hopefully it’s a tough price to pay now for a healthier tomorrow. And although this is all a massive bummer, there is a little bit of hope that we can overcome this as South Korea appears to be doing:
But look, I get it. Everyone’s bummed. Sports fans, event planners, small businesses, big businesses, dudes who buy Monster Energy Drink from the local convenient store:
However, there is one person who is trying to hide their smile as we speak. One dude who is fist pumping under the table with every suspension and cancelation that breaks on Twitter.
It’s the guy who sets up your office’s March Madness pool.
March is one of the greatest sports months of the calendar, and in large part because of the NCAA Tournament. Whether you watch every single Duke-Virginia Tech, Drake-Butler, and Grand Valley Rapids-Illinois State game during the college basketball season, or if you don’t watch a second of college basketball until after Selection Sunday, it doesn’t matter. We all come together to fill out brackets this time of year. We live for it. Despite NCAA slogans, we bet on it
But there’s one guy who dreads this time of year – and not just because federal taxes are due soon. He dreads March Madness because he’s essentially the guy (not named Mark Emert) who runs March Madness. At least on a local level. He dreads this month because he has to set up the league on ESPN or CBS or whatever website, even though it doesn’t matter because what site he chooses, someone is going to complain, “Why don’t we do it on THIS site, it’s so much better and easier?!”
If it’s an offline pool, he dreads it even more because he has to keep track of everyone’s score and standing throughout the tournament. He goes through about 15 highlighters of which the company refuses to reimburse him for. “It’s not company work. I’m sorry, there’s nothing I can do,” the head of HR tells him.
He dreads it because if the pool is for money (it is), he’s the guy who has to go around and collect. There’s a reason the tax collectors in the Bible were always the bad guys. Nobody wants to literally pay the piper, or in this case, the March Madness guy. He prefers cash, but most people are going to say, “Ooo, I don’t have any cash on me, can I Venmo you?” even though he sent out a company-wide email yesterday reminding people to bring cash to work the next day.
Even though he made a mandated deadline, people still trickle in after begging and pleading that he’ll accept their bracket. He also has to serve as customer service for disgruntled entrants who want to change their bracket name two days into the tournament, think other people are cheating, or think we should do things differently “next year.” He constant has people hitting him up wondering how the scoring works (even though, again, it was in the email) and what place they’re in. If the pool is online, he thinks to himself, “It’s online, Brian. Look it up yourself!” but ends up being nice and looking it up for him. If it’s offline, he’s forced to bust out the TI-89 and get to calculating.
People always think, since he’s the commissioner and set up the company-wide pool, that he loves to talk about the tournament. Everyone always comes up to his cubicle to ask “Who ya got this year?” Even though they’re only asking that to share who they got this year. They’ll ask him who is sleeper is and who he has in his Final Four, even though he hasn’t even watched the tournament since 2009.
But now he can literally kick his feet up because he has the next month, hell the next twelve months (at least) off. This dude hasn’t felt this relieved since the moment he deleted his March Madness app off his phone last April. Crack open a cold one, March Madness pool commissioner, just not a Corona because I’ve heard those cause this virus.
You just bought yourself a stress free month, aside from the whole deadly worldwide pandemic thing. This guy may end up catching coronavirus, but he dodged a bullet.
Let us not forget those we have lost (over the last couple days)…