Last year, Mabel set the world on fire and became the envy of her peers when she came in 4th of 21 people in our March Madness pool. I had developed an unnecessarily and painstakingly complicated method for determining her selection, with consideration for team rankings, in which her bracket was determined by which numbered block she put in her mouth first. In the case of some quadrants, I would place certain lower-numbered blocks closer to her to mimic the odds that certain teams would make it to the next round. In the end, she picked Louisville to win it all, favoring the letter “L” from her wooden letter puzzle in the Final Four.
I was hoping with another year’s worth of knowledge – and thus, more than twice what she had last year – that she would improve. Sadly, I fear she may have taken a giant step backward.
Instead of making the method super-complicated to understand, I just made it super-tedious for Mabel. I printed out the logos of all 68 teams and had her go round-by-round, coloring on cats, letters and little orange men until 67 teams were gone. And I took video of all this just like last year, should my critics accuse me of fraud. And things looked good to start. She picked all First Four games correct – which didn’t even count – and had no team ranked worse than a 5-seed in the Final Four.
And then the games happened. Her champion went out three games into the tournament. I think the Cincinnati bearcat claw looked too much like a Blue Clue for her to pass up. And her other team in the championship game lost to Mercer the next day, but just like everyone else, it was worth it to see Duke get embarrassed. Because she currently sits in the 2.3 percentile and last out of 27 people in our pool this year, I don’t feel the need to post all those videos as proof of the validity of Mabel’s selections, but I will post this one picture to prove just how sadistic her father is.
I think we may need to reevaluate the selection criteria for next year’s bracket. Maybe team logos isn’t the way to go.