Kyle Whelliston explains why entering the office pool just takes away the enjoyment of what actually happens on the court:
I remember my first March Madness office pool. The year was 1992, I was about to leave my teenage years behind. I had just nabbed my first real actual journalism job, working for out-of-state tuition as a junior copy editor at a farming magazine in Oregon. I recall that the whole bracket thing was a strange and off-putting experience.
The keeper of the brackets was one of the publishing partners at the company. His name was Jeff, I think. Jeff was one of the pioneers in "business casual," coming to work every day in a polo shirt with the embroidered logo of some golf course or other. Everywhere he went, he carried a cellular phone the size of a Subway sandwich.
During a weekly meeting (there was no mass e-mail in the Stone Age), he announced that we'd be having, once again, the annual office bracket contest. Ten-dollar fees and completed brackets would be due into him on Wednesday. Everybody knew how it worked, except for a few secretaries. And me.
"So we fill the bracket out, the whole thing?" I asked him privately afterwards, hoping to save myself some public embarrassment.
"Yes, jackass, the whole thing," came the reply. "That's how you win, see."
I'd filled out brackets before, sure, but not like that. And people don't believe me when I say this, but I haven't filled out a bracket like that since 2003. And I know I don't have time -- the deadline's coming up fast -- but I'm going to try and convince you that you shouldn't either. Don't fill out a bracket this week.
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Note: I've entered one office pool in my life (in 2002, and if Oklahoma would have beaten 5-seed Indiana or had Maryland lost in the final I would have won), and I don't intend to enter another. I do enter brackets on ESPN every year, but Kyle's article helped me realize that perhaps I spend too much effort even doing that.