NCAA TOURNAMENT

Del Olaleye: Bracket guy, you are the worst

The NCAA bracket brings out the worst in people. NCAA.com

We’re a day away from the start of the NCAA Tournament. Save your First Four arguments. The tournament starts on Thursday. Semantics aside, this time of year brings out a March menace, “Bracket Guy.” I’m well aware women fill out brackets too, but “Bracket Person” sounds terrible. Because it is March everyone has an opinion on teams they have never watched play. All of sudden people know how good South Dakota State is and why they have a real shot to beat Ohio State. Stop. You’re being ridiculous. You don’t know and frankly I don’t care if you actually do. Keep it to yourself and the same for your bracket.

As a kid I loved when my dad would bring home the Monday paper after Selection Sunday. It had a two-page pull-out of the bracket. I’d keep that pull-out but I didn’t fill it out. It was fun to see the matchups and the regions. Who was going to the West Region? Was Kentucky the No. 1 seed in the South or the East? This was before the somewhat recent change to pods. Now you can be in the East Region but start out in San Diego if you’re a West Coast team. Confusing, but not the reason bracket season bothers me so much. It must be the eagerness and fervor that people approach March Madness with. Emails about bracket contests. Questions about who you like in game that starts at 2:10 in Dallas. Stop it. You don’t really care what I think. You’re just looking to find a reason to put Michigan into the Elite 8.

If I could I use the remote that Adam Sandler had in that movie Click (What up, Kate Beckinsale) my life would be complete. If you haven’t seen the movie, Adam Sandler gets a remote that allows him to fast forward through life’s moments that don’t interest him. Oh the joy of knowing the next time someone wants to discuss their bracket I could hit a button and not remember the mind-numbing conversation that took place 10 minutes prior. Of course a movie like that has to have a message. Adam Sandler’s character realizes he’s been a spectator during his life and has missed all of the important moments. He gets a do-over. I don’t want a do-over. I’d gladly miss all the bracket talk moments. It would be sports nirvana. Just give me the games.

By the time this piece is published you and other likes you may have filled out multiple brackets. I hope the games in Dayton on Tuesday night destroy your bracket. It would be just what you deserve if you pretended at any point to have any real insight on Radford or LIU-Brooklyn. You didn’t watch them play at all. I’d have more respect for you if you picked one of those teams based on their uniforms or the name of the mascot. My co-host on the Raheel and Del show has a young daughter. She’s almost three. She has Georgia State and Lipscomb in the Final Four only because she likes how their names sound. I respect her selections more than yours, Bracket Guy.

There are so many of you that it should be easy to find others like yourself. I’m not a part of your cult. I don’t care if one of your Final Four teams is knocked out during the opening weekend. No one really does. Before you approach anyone about your bracket just take a breath and think to yourself, “If someone tried to draw me into a conversation about how they did in fantasy football this week would I care?” If the answer is no, realize you’re no different than that fantasy player. If the answer is yes and you would care, there is no helping you.

March and early April are for upsets, buzzer beaters, One Shining Moment and Charles Barkley awkwardly analyzing college teams that he’s barely watched.

Beat it, Bracket Guy.