By Colin Daileda
This March Madness, we’re going to bring you highlights from the world of fans. We’ll spend time in bars, offices and in text messages, pulling together the moments when people are pulling their hair out, crying, or admitting that their bracket is so red-inked it is beyond any otherworldly salvation.
Judging corporateness through basketball
Want to know how corporate your company is or has become? Let’s play a game.
Count the number of TVs in your office. How many of them are playing March Madness games right now? Do people gather around those TVs as the clock winds down, or so they steal shamed glances with eyes barely hovering over their monitors?
How many people are watching the games live on their computers? Do they display the game prominently? Say, in the top right corner? Or do they try to cover it in a layer of files they don’t need and haven’t opened in years?
On a scale of 1 to Will Get Fired, how nervous are you that your boss will find out you’ve been doing little aside from staring at scores all day?
Park Slope is not a great place to watch college basketball
I live In Park Slope, Brooklyn, and I wanted to watch some March Madness on the tournament’s opening day, so I went to a sports bar just up the street. It was St. Patrick’s Day and the start of the tournament, so I figured it’d be crowded and rowdy, which it sort of was during most major sports things anyway, but the bar has a lot of TVs and good March Madness viewing requires exactly that.
So I went.
Aside from myself and my girlfriend, I think maybe two people so much as glanced at any of the 10 TVs for the whole 90 minutes we were there. A vaguely 6th generation Irish-American looking dude was DJing in the corner, but it wasn’t even like it had turned into a leprechaun bar. Only, like, eight people were wearing green, and the place held about 40 or so folks.
I stared at their faces. I watched them shovel chips into their mouths and use those mouths to talk to their friends. They laughed. They raised glasses of beer. They wiped their mouths with the nonchalance of humans who have not at all invested themselves in what was happening on the glowing screens above them. Buffalo had just gone up a point on Miami. Maybe no one had picked Miami to go too far in their bracket?
We left to get pizza at a different bar, also equipped with TVs. This will be better, I thought, mostly because it had to be. Then we walked inside, and CNN was playing, and I realized we’d made a terrible mistake.
Watching it all unfold together, miles apart
Colin Daileda is a co-founder of Or Something and a staff writer at Mashable. Follow him on the Twitters: @ColinDaileda