Thursday, March 16, 2006

Tournament Challenge

The men's NCAA tournament is underway, and I'm currently watching Boston College beat Pacific in a double-overtime slugfest. I never follow college basketball during the regular season, but for some reason I always find the tournament really exciting, most likely because it tends to coincide with my spring break, which is typically an all-sweatpants-all-the-time affair in which I'm under-motivated and easily distracted. I've racked up a pretty good record with the men's tournament, winning three of the five pools I've entered over the past thirteen years, raking in about $100 and a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles figurine that currently sits proudly -- and to my wife's unending dismay -- over my workspace in the living room of our house. My family has a long history of pointless competition; I'd probably enter a 4th division Romanian football pool if someone else went to the trouble of organizing it.

Within a the next five to six weeks, my wife and I will be welcoming a daughter into the world, and I can only hope these asinine traditions take root in a new generation. We already have four females in the house -- two dogs, a cat, and a human -- but none of these four will ever be able to hit a running bank shot, drain a long three from the corner, or throw a crushing elbow across the bridge of an opponent's nose to stop an open layup. My daughter may well never do any of these things, either, but I have the greatest hope that a year from now she and I will use a small bowl of goldfish crackers to make her March Madness selections.

In celebration of my soon-to-be-born daughter -- and in celebration of the principle of useless, uninformed diversion -- I've set up a group for the ESPN Women's Tournament Challenge. Click the link, set up an account, make your picks, and join the group. The group name is "Title IX: F*ing Alright." It's easy and only takes a few minutes. Make your picks by Sunday morning before the contest locks.

The winner will be harrassed remorselessly for contributions to my daughter's college scholarship fund.