It is the first day of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, which means it is a de facto national holiday and most of the country is performing the annual ritual of filling out a bracket to pick the national champion, peg some upsets and win some money … for charity of course.
My bracket is done, and I went with my alma mater, Michigan State University, because the team is loaded and finally playing to its potential, and when my school is a contender for the championship, I would feel disloyal picking against it.
In recent years, politicians, notably President Barack Obama, have gotten in on the action by publicizing their bracket. Some folks, which I will brand the Fun Police, have moaned that this is a waste of time AND WHY AREN’T THEY DEVOTING ALL 86,400 SECONDS IN THE DAY TO SERVING THE PUBLIC?!
Personally, I love it. It’s fun. I liked reading the MSU players’ reaction to Mr. Obama picking them to win the championship.
Last year, MLive, to its credit had several Michigan political figures fill out a bracket a posted them. One of those was Attorney General Bill Schuette.
I remember looking at the bracket and nearly falling over. Yes, Mr. Schuette had done what several others in Michigan were doing and picked MSU to face the University of Michigan in the championship game.
On the one hand, I thought, that’s fine, showing home state pride. But then I looked more closely and that meant he had picked U-M to beat Georgetown University, his undergraduate alma mater, in the Elite Eight round. At the time, that shocked me, considering that Georgetown was a highly rated 2-seed yet he went against his own Hoyas.
In hindsight, maybe Mr. Schuette was on to something though because the Hoyas suffered a stunning first-round defeat to upstart Florida Gulf Coast and indeed U-M made it all the way to the title game.
What was hard to fathom though was that Mr. Schuette did not pick a champion between MSU and U-M, leaving it blank. I can only assume he did not want to offend fans of one of the schools.
If you’re going to fill out a bracket and especially if you’re going to make it public, you pick a champion. This is obvious.
This year, Mr. Schuette posted a photo of himself on Facebook filling out a bracket and said he was again picking MSU and U-M to make the title game, but this time would leave it to the Facebook masses to pick his champion. Whichever school’s fans left more comments on the post picking their team would be his choice, he said.
A few things.
One, as of this morning, MSU led with 36 saying he should pick MSU to 24 for U-M, so I presume MSU will get the nod.
Two, Mr. Schuette, like Mr. Obama, received some unfair abuse in the comments from the Fun Police questioning his use of time to fill out a bracket. Okay, so people on Facebook, which exists to distract people from work, took the time to tell Mr. Schuette not to waste time. Got it. That seems fair.
Three, showing that this attempt to please all the people all the time was destined to fail, some Western Michigan University fans questioned how Mr. Schuette could leave the Broncos out of the equation since their team is in the tournament too.
Four, pick Michigan State, Mr. Attorney General. Izzo. March. What more do you need to know?