It’s that time of year again:  March Madness!  Now, some of you may think that 80 degrees in March is the madness I speak of, but the rest of you know I’m talking b-ball.  Don’t tune out just yet.  I know how some of you feel about basketball.  No worries.  I’ve got something for everyone on this front.  Take bracketology, for instance.

What if we applied bracketology to some other things in life like beers, pizza toppings, possible spouses, best songs to shag to, vacation spots, best in-laws, even co-workers?  Think about it.

You die hard beer drinkers could easily come up with 64 beers to test in the name of bracketology, couldn’t you?  Plus, think of the fun time naming the different divisions:  cheap bastard beers, rich bastard beers, lite beers for wussies, maybe even snotty bitch microbrews.  I can only imagine you would have yourself a damn good time, unless of course you got stuck testing the cheap bastard beers of PBR, Natty Lite, Schlitz, Keystone, and whatever poor college kids can get their hands on.

Personally, I’m a huge fan of brackets for your spouse selection.  We could all nominate 64 contenders (I know you’re thinking that you can’t find 1 let alone 64, but stick with me) and you’d have to check them all out before jumping the gun and taking whatever riff-raff shows up first.  Plus, I can totally see the conversations and stat analysis on that one.  In the first round, we have Jeff coming in sporting a law degree but a chronic case of halitosis that could take him out of the game.  He’ll be up against Sam who has his own million dollar on-line company but keep in mind his company sells erotica dvds which may or may not be a deal-breaker.  Chuck comes in with a record, not of 10 and 1, but a record, as in the jail kind.  Boy, I hope he’s out in the first round.  The sad thing is that for some people he probably wouldn’t be and that’s why we need a process of narrowing down!  After all these years, Chandler Bing’s Big Three still ring true:  nice, heterosexual, and employed.  That’s all you need.  However,  the female breakdown would be classic, too.  We have Barbie sporting big boobs taking on Rosy who answers to, “Woman!  Make me some supper!”  How could a man choose between those?

The thing about bracketology is that everybody discusses it around the water cooler, the family dinner table, or little league practice.  Sure, everybody talks about it even if they don’t know jack about it.  You’d be hard-pressed to find someone without an opinion.   And that’s the great part about brackets:  there’s a winner and a loser so all that talk is either backed up or shot to Hell in a matter of a month.  Even better, the winner is sometimes the one who made decisions based on mascots or color coordination.  Sometimes, you can win blindly.  And who doesn’t need that kind of luck once in a while?

Of course, you automatically have luck if you are in the process of picking a place to holiday.  (Love those British ways of saying crap like that.  Sounds all sophisticated.)  What I wouldn’t kill for a few days off right about now!  I’d love to be pondering Bermuda vs. Jamaica or have the Iowa State Fair duke it out with the Spam Museum.  All kinds of options.  In the big scheme of things though, I’d be most excited to deliberate over a vote-off-the-island-elimination bracket of exiling co-workers.  Wouldn’t it be fun if you could get rid of the worst one in rounds of competition?  We have Bill who forgets to alphabetize his file drawers for easy access but he does bring donuts every Friday.  He’ll be taking on Janine who paints her nails during meetings, but does send any memo you don’t want to put your name on.  Don’t tell me you don’t all have a pit-stained, non-paper-pusher, pot-stirrer at your job you’d love to get rid of!  I won’t believe you!  However, maybe we should stick to the bracketology of pizza toppings.  We might get awfully full, but we’re a lot less likely to be the one voted off the island!

Is it sad that my mind is now starting to go through and figure out if I actually know 64 different pizza toppings because I’m not sure I do.  There’s pepperoni, beef, Italian sausage, ground pork, Canadian bacon, ham, bacon, mozzarella, pineapple, chicken, feta, anchovies, mushrooms, olives, onions, okay, so I could probably get to 64.  (Did you really think I’d bore you with them all?  Or are you now counting to see if you can come up with 64?  Got ya!)

Anyway, I’m just sayin’ that brackets are fun.  Who doesn’t like picking winners and losers and hanging up the participation ribbon at the end of the day?  For the record, I’ll be glued to the TV for the next few weeks because as we all know I love an underdog, and I feel a Cinderella story is headed my way, but if b-ball isn’t your thing, not to worry.  I’m sure you can make your own version of a 64 bracket challenge, just promise me I won’t be the co-worker kicked off the team!