“Are you shitting me!? How does Morehead beat Louisville? I had them going to the Elite 8!”
~Someone who does not give a shit about NCAA Basketball 50 weeks out of the year
It’s that time of the year again, the only time of the year when people give a shit about College sports that don’t end with “ootball.” People fill out brackets, one of the women in your office who always brag about how much they hate sports will probably end up winning the office pool, and say, “I just guessed all of them!” and ESPN is going to spend way too much time trying to tell us why we should give a shit who Obama or Lebron James thinks will win it all.
March Madness, or “Early Spring Cranial Poxy” as it was called when the first 8 team NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship Tournament began in 1939, when Oregon beat Ohio State 46-33, and every player was pastey white, lanky, and probably chain smoked on the sidelines. The first Early Spring Cranial Poxy was hosted by Northwestern University, which is as hilarious as it is cruel for one of the only teams in the NCAA to have never made the tournament. In 1951, the field expanded to 16 teams for one season, and varied from 22 to 25 teams until 1975, when the field was made of 32. The term “March Madness” originated in the 1980s, around the time that the NCAA tournament expanded to the perfect brackets of 64 teams, and has become a popular way to describe this tournament, where workers slacking off to watch the games and gamble in pools literally cost the U.S. Economy billions of dollars each year.
That number is sure to go up with the advent of live streaming games from espn, because nothing is more American than combining technological innovation with wasting time on the clock.
The NCAA Tournament literally raises billions of dollars of revenue, though all of the players hilarious have to play the games for free (except for Ohio State, who get a pretty healthy salary, but don’t tell anyone that we told you that). And while there’s a rich history of buzzer beaters, bracket busters, heartaches and triumph, the true American pasttime behind the NCAA tournament is simple.
It’s the American traditioni where we try to trick our employers into thinking we’re working for four days a year.
Yes. That’s a boss button. As in, a programmer spent a long time to make a functioning button on the corner of the screen for you to click if your boss shows up (we guess most people aren’t familiar with how “Alt/Tab” works). What happens when you click on that sucker?
That’s right. A fake outlook express email window, with a lengthy message full of hints how to successfully avoid working during March Madness. Just to put a healthy dose of fear in your lives (apart from the ever present threat of fucking starquakes), think about this. Statistics tell us that at least one air traffic controller was on this page during work. Here is the full transcript of Thursday’s Boss Button, which shows a corporation telling you how to avoid doing work at your particular corporation.
From: The CMO
Subject: The Big Test
The first four were exciting for a number of reasons, a lot happened:
1. We learned it’s never too early to have some last second drama
2. The underdogs are gonna be tough, and
3. I almost dropped my phone in 2 urinals, 1 sink, and a cup of coffee.
So far so good…
Hopefully you used the First Four to develop a system for watching the games with your boss (or spouse) on the prowl, because Thursday has 16 games on tap from noon till after dark. You will be tested!
With that in mind, let me take this time to warn you against the biggest rookie mistake of them all; calling in sick. I have a feeling a lot of people are going to have “the flu” tomorrow and nobody is gonna be buyin’ it, specifically your boss. Calling in sick just puts undo pressure on your life. Your boss is looking to catch you in a lie, and if your spouse sees you sitting around the house, perfectly healthy, you’re getting chores.
The key to March Madness success is actually giving the allusion that you’re so busy you don’t have time for hoops. So here’s what you do…
1. Show up early and send an email to your boss about ANYTHING. Your boss isn’t going to be looking to catch you slacking off when you’re showing up to knock out some extra work at 7am.
2. When ANYONE in your office talks March Madness, feign ignorance. Practice this phrase now: “What game? I was knee-deep in (insert task or project here).”
3. Work through lunch. If your boss swings by they will be super impressed at your effort. Plus, where else would you rather be? You’ve got every game right here!
4. And of course use this Boss Button religiously. We built it for a reason.
Remember, its[sic] not slacking off if you don’t get caught!
-CMO, (Chief Madness Officer)
There is so much America programmed in here, we don’t know where to start. Making money you don’t earn is an American pastime. We invented it, and we’re the best at it. Tell that hard working German immigrant working in the nearby cubicle about this feature, and they’d be shocked that people would try to watch basketball games all day during work. Tell an American about it? They respond, “holy shit, send me the link.”
So this March Madness, just keep in mind…every hour you spend not working, and instead watching low-quality-high-drama basketball games? That is an hour you are giving directly to America.