What happens when my family is asked to create a bracket for March Madness

Well, it’s my family that I married into.

But still, I married right.

So here’s what happened: late last night my brother-in-law sent out this mass email.

It’s rather entertaining and brilliant actually:

Welcome, Welcome, Welcome, Happy March Madness, and may the odds be ever in your favor. Now, before we begin, we have a very special announcement brought to you all the way from Provo. 

     “March, lonely March. No ESPN, orphans, a basketball-less child. This was the tradition that rocked our land. Eleven children continued with the tradition of their fathers. Brother turned on brother until nothing remained. And then came the in-laws, brought a little cultural diversity but most importantly, the true meaning of MARCH. A family rose up from the ashes and a new era was born. But March has a cost. When the in-laws were married into, we swore as a family we would never know this tradition again. And so it was decreed that beginning this year, the various [siblings] and in-laws of the Clan would offer up, in tribute, a Tourney Bracket,  to fight to the Final Four in a tradition of honor, courage and sacrifice. The lone victor, bathed in riches, would serve as a reminder of our generosity and our traditions. This is how we remember our past. This is how we safeguard our future.”
Let me know if you have any questions, I thought this would be something fun for the family to do since we are all scattered around the world. Brackets need to be completed before tip off on March 19th (This depends on the time zone you live in). They take about a minute to do and you can do up to 10. The Winner of the tourney will get 2 tickets to watch The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 2 🙂 If you need any help setting them up let me know. Feel free to involve the kiddos too!
Get in the action now:

Seems innocuous enough right? Seems reasonable? Not too much for any young son-in-law to ask any American family…no, not at all…

Yeah. We’re sorry, Sergio.

Early the next morning, like he lives in England early, we all received this email as a response:

In the words of the farmer from Napoleon Dynamite: “I don’t understand a word you just said.”

What exactly is march madness? Does it have something to do with the birds and the bees?

And it began.


He’s a man of few words.

Over in the Dominican Republic, Joel:
Sergio, I support you!  Though I must warn you that, with [us] and sports, you are tilting at windmills.

At which point I remembered an old comic from good old xkcd.com (enjoy). And then I got sidetracked for a bit. I had a few girl scout cookies. I remembered a rather fantastic showing of the musical Don Quixote that I saw in Orem a few months ago…

During that time, my family just completely lost it.

And I loved it.

My favorite basketball team is Noter Dame. I decided this yesterday when someone complimented me on my very bright, very green shoes. They said they were about the same color as what Noter Dame wears. Except mine are actually brighter. I looked them up. But I guess they’re still my favorite since… I don’t know any other teams… except the Yankees. They’re my second favorite basketball team. So… is March Madness where we watch the Super Bowl?
Goodness, I love my husband.

You guys are confused. You’re all thinking of the collegiate sports tournament held in March. It’s men’s volleyball, I believe.

But Sergio knows this family better than that. He knows we have no interest in athletics, volleyed or otherwise. He must be talking about a previously unknown tournament; one that will appeal to [us] of all ages.

Perhaps it’s a world-wide ballet competition! Or a tournament of orchestras, competing with classical pieces! Or an opera sing-off!

Really, there are so many delightful possibilities. I can’t wait to find out which one it is!

This chart is 100% accurate. But for you Sergio, I’m in. I’ve actually wanted to get into March Madness for a long time.

P.S. Jaime says she can’t do it. You might get mono if she plays.

Provoked by something resembling cake, I finally joined the fray.

Cassie, your email address has made me crave chocolate. Perhaps that is what March Madness is all about? A parade of desserts and a BATTLE TO THE DEATH (by chocolate). I vote that we spend the rest of the month in dessert coma mode.



Linda here, tried to at least be sincere…

Sam has lost the “window of caring” opportunity at this point–not enough exposure to rabid fans in his early youth. Alden, being the popular social kid that he is, might actually have an opinion or know one or two of the teams that are playing this year. Ryan thinks that maybe [we aren’t] playing this year but that he could perhaps muster enough enthusiasm to develop a good algorithm (or find one on the internet) to predict the winning teams. Unfortunately, we are true [members of the family]: no TV except the occasional movie. So unless we can stream online, there’s little hope for us.

I taught one of the star players on the team a few years ago. Have I ever watched him play? No. I’m actually sad about that. I do try to go see my students play.

The only sport we somewhat regularly watch is women’s volleyball. As in 2-3 times a year.

Good luck, Sergio! I think you’re fighting a losing battle!

But Linda, isn’t March Madness women’s volleyball? Didn’t we vote on that?

And even Linda gave in.

Sam about playing volleyball:
“I’m going to get bruises on my hands from playing this sport. I’m worried that the ball will hit me, so I just try to duck and let the other players hit the ball.”

Sam about watching volleyball:
“It’s OK, I guess, but kind of boring. I’d rather stay home and watch a movie.”

Sam after watching an ice hockey game:
“I think I’m more of a badminton kind of guy.”

Alden about the superbowl:
“Ms. [redacted] and [redacted] are for the Seahawks, and Patrick’s for the Patriots. I think I’ll go with Patrick.”

Sam and Alden about going to the basketball game with Ryan: “Do we have to?”

Sam, Alden, and Linda about going to a football game: “it’s, like, 40 degrees out there and raining. No way.”

Alden about playing touch football at recess: “Well, I’m practically the worst player there, but last time no one expected me to catch the ball, and I caught it and ran and scored a touchdown.”

Needless to say, we’re big fans taking the ball and running with it. But just like…figuratively. Sorry Sergio.

3 thoughts on “What happens when my family is asked to create a bracket for March Madness

  1. Good summary of my life and marriage into the Fifield clan 😉 My side of the family is HUGELY into sports, hunting, camping….not music.

    I guess I the best of both worlds.

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