Posted by languageandgrammar on March 20, 2009
March Sadness is not as famous as the trademarked term that rhymes with it, but it more accurately reflects how I feel about the basketball fever that sweeps through this country more quickly than a logging company through a South American rain forest.
An informal poll—meaning I asked a couple of people—revealed a shocking statistic: 75% of people follow the NCAA tournament because they like to gamble on the sport. The statistic was shocking because I thought that the statistic was closer to 99%.
Anyway, for those of you who don’t follow the sport closely, here are a few terms and phrases that you’ll need to know in order to have something to talk about at the water cooler for the remainder of the month (and into April, which makes me wonder if the NCAA shouldn’t consider trademarking a different phrase).
“Bracket” is the term universally used to describe the most common type of gambling on college basketball that’s not done in Las Vegas. A synonym might be “misdemeanor.”
“There are a lot of upsets” is one way in which people who fill out brackets try to make it sound as if it’s not their fault that most of their picks were wrong.
“Upset special” is that special little pick that you say you made because you wanted to separate yourself from the pack since you had “special information,” but you actually got the schools confused (thought it was Iowa, not Iowa State).
“I’m so mad—I originally picked it, but I changed my mind at the last minute” is said when you realize that your 23-year drought of not winning the office poll will continue.
March sadness is also that special time of the year when a team of men who are all 6′ 5″ tall might be said to lack a “big man.” It’s also when “being in the paint” doesn’t mean that there was a home-improvement accident, and “shooting from downtown” doesn’t mean the city isn’t as safe as it used to be.
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