Friday, March 22, 2013

Top 5 ways to recycle your busted NCAA bracket

Be honest. Your bracket is already done, isn't it?

You stared at the brackets, broke down all the stats and just knew this year was going to be the year you picked all the winners and nailed all the upsets, but after one day your dreams of bracket domination are over before they even had a chance to begin.

Harvard wasn't content with being Harvard. They had to be Harvard: Destroyer of All Bracket Hopes.

You don't even want to look at your office pool standings because you know you are behind that lady who chooses teams with the cutest mascot and best dressed coach.

She said she picked Cal because that was the nickname of Calvin, her boyfriend in high school. You don't know Calvin, but now you hate him.

It hurts, doesn't it? But you can turn that hurt into help. Why not use your now worthless bracket to bring some good into this world? Here are the top 5 ways to recycle your busted NCAA bracket.

5. Send it to needy countries - Relief organizations always take the t-shirts of the team that loses in the championship game, couldn't they use the paper from your bracket?

Maybe some tiny island nation is having a paper shortage and your donation of the Pittsburgh Elite Eight bracket will provide the sheet of paper they need to save their economy and start printing paper money.

Just think, your embarrassingly bad bracket selections will be immortalized in their first dollar bill. The citizens will think "Oklahoma Sweet Sixteen" is their national treasurer.

4. Make the world's greatest airplane - There's always time for a great paper airplane. Not long ago, a paper airplane was thrown 226 feet for a new world record. You can beat that!

Laying around beside you are all those blown-up brackets. Use them to start working on your craft, so that you, too can achieve some meaningless record.

Once you break that record, you can actually look back and be thankful you picked Belmont over Arizona as your upset special.

3. Use it as decorative gift wrap - All those lines and angles. The neat patterns the bracket makes. It's perfect for a birthday presents.

Bonus points if you can fold it so number 1 seed Louisville and the other team names in the Midwest bracket spell "Happy Birthday Lou!" Well, bonus points if the present actually belongs to someone named Lou.

If you don't know anyone named Lou, see if you can hire a random person as your "Butler" and give them the gift.

2. Write a love poem to your wife - She's upset that you ignore her every March. She joined the Facebook group that my wife wanted to start "March Madness Widows."

You spent every moment since Selection Sunday digging into the numbers, finding all the obscure stats and you just knew that the Akron Zips would make a historic run to the Final Four. The numbers lied apparently, but that sigh your wife gave as she looked at you and went to bed didn't lie.

Use the back of your bracket to write down a string of words that include what you are feeling besides "hungry." Talk about how beautiful she is and how nice her hair looked today. Yes, they will give you the benefit of the doubt with the effort.

1. Dry the tears from your eyes - Your chance at a million dollar perfect bracket is gone. Even your shot at the bag of fun size Snickers at work is done. (One of these years, you're going to beat the cute mascot/best dressed coach lady! She even picked Colorado State because she's "always wanted to go skiing there.")

No one is looking, right now. Shed your tears, then use the bracket to wipe them all from your eyes. It's one thing to make your wife angry. It's a completely different thing to let her (and your friends) see you crying because Harvard was too smart for New Mexico, your dark horse Final Four team.

Why, Harvard, why? What did I ever do to you?!? OK, I swear I'm not crying. I've got something in my eyes. My allergies are flaring up. My eyes are sweating. ... I'm just going to go to my room for a second.

If you've only got a bracket online and not one printed out, I can't help you. You are on your own. Think about how you can save the pixels you wasted, along with the server space for ESPN. 

If you actually have a busted paper bracket, what are some other ways to put it to use ... besides wadding it up and throwing it across your office when you hear mascot lady talk about her "perfect March Mayhem baseball bracket thingy"?

This is an edited repost.

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