March 21, 2021
It all started on Friday afternoon or decades ago depending on how you look at it.
I call Patrick on my way home. How does my bracket look?
I haven’t look at it he says. A moment later he says, your bracket says zero points.
What? Haven’t I won any games?
You didn’t enter it.
(sigh). I spent so much time on it! Darn! I thought I had some great picks.
Just fill out a paper bracket and text it to me, he says with patience reserved for his mother.
I should have seen the signs. I should have stopped right there. I find a bracket online. I go to the other room so I can’t hear my husband and Patrick talking about their results or picks. I quickly fill out my bracket, still loyal to the Big 10, the original Big Ten.
I text my bracket to Pat.
Then it begins, a weekend full of basketball. Basketball, basketball, nothing but basketball from morning to night.
When I come upstairs after my day of professional development on Saturday, I checked the results of Friday night’s game.
Oh, my goodness! This might be my worst start ever!
You still have Illinois, my husband says.
I hum the fight song mostly to myself.
Hope springs eternal.
And then, more games.
What?! I can’t believe it. I hold my bracket in my hand, purple ink slashing through choice after choice until… I can’t even…
I might not have to tell you that prayer and good defense took my number one pick from my bracket yesterday.
So here it lies.
My broken bracket.
Better luck next year.
I hear every sixteen years or so, Illinois gets in the top seeds.