Maybe you haven't heard but there's this thing called March Madness going on right now? Sixty-four of the nation's best college basketball teams stymie worker production while generating billions in ill-gotten gambling money for several weeks every spring in a single elimination tournament. Brackets are now more American than apple pie and Bracketology is probably a real course of study via online colleges. Heck, even the President falls victim to March Madness.
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Even I, the one that disdains most wildly popular things, fill out a bracket. For the past eight years I've participated in an online pool with a revolving cast of characters. There's Dave, the group commissioner. He's a pretty swell guy and once used the word "bastion" in a text message, but I'm willing to bet he doesn't remember. Tiffany is in sometimes. She's wicked awesome and is totally someone I would hide behind in a fight. Randy, Rich, Tommy and Ed are usually in with us. We even got some DocK action this year. He's one of the handful of internet freaks I've actually met face to face. He didn't murder me or anything.
|This is how I imagine two of the members.|
My bracket this year is named Flaming Monkey Poo because I figure a monkey flinging poo could create a better bracket than me. That hasn't always been the case, though. For most of the years that I've filled out a bracket, my friend Dr. P helped me. To be honest, doing so was always one of my most favorite things of the year. Dr. P loved college hoops and knew something about every team, every year. Every team. Even the ones no one had ever heard of. After the teams had been set, I could always count on him dropping by my office to help me. We'd go over every match-up and he'd tell me about the strengths of each team. He taught to me to always go with Duke, but not deep because they would always break my (he really meant his) heart.
This year, I had to fill out my brackets by myself, hence the poo reference. Dr. P was too sick fighting cancer. Dirty, stinking, effing cancer. He passed away yesterday. He leaves behind a loving family, an untold number of kids he passed his knowledge on to through teaching. I had the privilege of both being one of his students at JSU and working with him many years. He was a truly great guy and I will miss him very much. That's the point of this. Had I gotten maudlin and weepy, I'm sure he would have found a way to hit me between the eyes with a 2x4.