Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Let the Madness Begin

It all started about 20 years ago for me.  I was a new bride and was introduced to the magic of March Madness.  Back then, brackets were hand drawn on plain white paper.  If you were just following the men's tournament, it took 2 pieces of paper with brackets drawn on the front and back.  If you added the women's bracket it took 4.   We just filled out a round at a time.  Once the round was completed, you would choose your winners for the next round.  That first year, it was just Daniel and I.  Then as we were around other family members, we would compare our brackets and figure out who in the family had won the most games.

Times have changed.  Now each of us get an e-mail from Daniel's brother, Philip, giving us the link to the family group on ESPN along with the group name and password.  You go in and click here, click there, choose your final score, and its all done.  ESPN has a point system and the brackets update automatically. Unfortunately you have to make your picks through the whole tournament.  If you mess up the first round, you're in BIG trouble!

Other things have changed too - most notably the size of the group.  As the next generation of Parishes have gotten older, they have started filling out their brackets too.  Now some of them have gotten married and their spouses are filling out brackets.  Even Mom and Dad faithfully fill out their brackets.

Now for my BIG secret (or maybe not so big) - I rarely watch a basketball game.  I usually know little about the teams before filling out my bracket.  All those years ago I based one of my picks on whose name sounded the "coolest".  Without a doubt, no team name sounds better rolling off the tongue than "GONZAGA"!  To this day, I always pick Gonzaga to win at least one game - no matter where they are seeded.  Yes, I have won the family tournament at least once and have often been near the top.

The more sport's minded among the Parishes go about it all differently.  They know stats and all sorts of other useless information.  They figure out their brackets based on the "best".  Now I must ask, "Where is the FUN in that?"  Really, does "Duke" sound cool as it rolls off the tongue?  Just sayin'.

As I type this, my husband is making the picks on his second bracket.  He is making those picks based on the mascots.  If the mascots were to go head to head in a fight, who would win?  Now some are obvious, others not so much.  For example, when a color meets a tree, who would win?

March Madness is just one of quirky things that makes up the Parish family.  We have laughed together and cried together.  We have sang together and prayed together.  We have eaten rice soup and cinnamon rolls together.  We have even camped together (now that's a whole other story involving lots of the color green!). Now from across the country we can....
GO MAD TOGETHER
Let the madness begin!

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