Slice of Life Story Challenge, Day 27 #sol19

Every year I complete an NCAA Bracket for the men’s basketball tournament and enter an “office pool” (usually a $3 bet).  And every year I come in close to the bottom, never winning.  Not even once.  For those unfamiliar with Bracketology, this once-a-year tournament typically brings big surprises, with teams that are “favored” often losing to “underdogs.”  Over the decades I have been alive to witness the incredible the action, many Cinderella Stories have played out before the watching eyes of millions.  It is always exciting.

But I never win.

This year, I thought I would try a different strategy.  Over the years, I had heard of entrants in office pools choosing winners by methods seemingly unrelated to basketball strength… like team mascot, team name. Even songs.  It seems no science exists to choosing the winners.  So, I figured, why not try something new…why let my children pick the teams this year?  Could be a winning strategy, maybe?

Last week, my two oldest daughters and I sat down to consider each game.  As we deliberated on who would win each match-up, I recorded as the girls seemed to choose based on whatever association they could make with the teams.  “Let’s pick Yale,” my oldest said, “I want to go to Yale.”  Then, “Oh, Syracuse?  That’s where Patrick is from!  Let’s pick them to win.”  And, “Buffalo?!  We love buffaloes!  They’re so cute!”  And so forth (Buffalo was picked to go to the Final Four, by the way).  They looked at me for approval each time.  And each time I nodded, saying, “Sure. You girls pick ’em.”  Eagerly, they did so.

After the first round of games, we checked our bracket.  The girls had picked 23 out of 32 games correctly.  Many of them upsets.  Hmm, I thought…that doesn’t seem too bad, does it?  But the next round brought some key losses.

Yesterday, walking into a crowded teacher lunchroom, I located the standings of our staff pool on the wall, near the door.  As usual, it looked like around 25 or so entrants had tried their luck this year.  Names were listed in order of most points to least.  Scanning the list, I searched for my name.  Then I found it.

Second to last.

Oh well.

Author: Lanny Ball

For more than 29 years, Lanny has taught, coached, presented, staff developed, and consulted within the exciting and enigmatic world of literacy. With unyielding passion and belief in the possibility of workshop teaching, Lanny has worked to support students, teachers, and school administrators around the country in outgrowing themselves as both writers and readers. Working first as a classroom teacher, then as a coach and TCRWP Staff Developer, Lanny is now a literacy specialist, working and living in the great state of Connecticut. Outside of literacy, he enjoys raising his three ambitious young daughters with his wife, and playing the piano. Find him on this blog, as well as on Twitter @LannyBall. Lanny is also a former co-author of a blog dedicated to supporting writing teachers and coaches that maintain classroom writing workshops,

8 thoughts on “Slice of Life Story Challenge, Day 27 #sol19”

  1. You put us readers right there with you in both the selection process with your girls and in searching for your name!
    I run our school’s pool each year and feel your pain of not winning and not even being toward the top of the standings. Next year!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We have a pool at my school too. Family members, children and pets are also allowed to participate. I have been known to fill out two brackets; one for my head and one for my heart. I do not think your method for selecting teams is all that crazy. One year my husband flipped a coin to see what would happen. That year, he found himself at the bottom of the list too, but it was fun to see what would happen. I guess that is why it is called March Madness.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My husband makes us fill a bracket every year (he gives his GringoCool Spanish Extra Virgin Olive Oil and hand painted ceramics to the winner). I fill my brackets exactly the same way as your daughters. In any case, your story is so well developed that you deserve to win! I was hoping also for a better outcome. You should do like my brother did when he was a little kid and run a race. He started saying very loud and happy:”I almost won, I almost won, I almost won”!!! Really? everybody asked. “Yes”- he said- I almost beat the last boy.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. How fun that you picked with your girls! Great father/daughter bonding time! I will have to suggest this to my husband for when our daughter is a bit older. We love March Madness over here, too, but my bracket is always done after the first weekend. Oh well, I tried!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Did a bracket for the family this year. I was so irritated b/c my husband insisted it wouldn’t take long (and it took quite awhile). When he was trying to get me to come up with a name for my bracket, I kept saying, “I don’t care.” And that became my name. And I don’t care is in second place (so far) right behind my DIL who’s in first place.


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