You are hereRamblin’ Gamblin’ Madness - The new past time, time killer at work
Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Madness - The new past time, time killer at work
Sports fans know spring is here when 68 teams take to the basketball court for the month long tradition appropriately called “March Madness”.
Bracketology (the art of predicting the NCAA Tournament outcome) has become a cult-like spell to sports junkies trying to guess which team will win round by round en route to the National Championship. It’s drawn everybody from common college students to President Barack Obama, with everyone having their own selection as to who will stand alone atop the college basketball world.
Missouri. Kansas. North Carolina. Kentucky. People become glued to television screens and web pages to check if their bracket is right on track or on the brink of busting. By the numbers, there are 147 quintillion (18 zeros) different possible outcomes for the tournament with 68 teams participating.
With great chance comes great opportunity. Like most Americans, several CU students chose to place money in league pools in hopes of cashing in on the tournament’s outcome by most accurately predicting who advances each game.
Alan Evans is no exception, who organized a 30 person league and charged five dollars apiece. Others chose to be even bolder, betting 25, 40 and even 50 dollars in hopes of having extra pocket change at month’s end.
This year the Men’s NCAA Tournament surpassed the Super Bowl in gambling wagers, coming in at over $12 billion, making it the highest betting sports event in the US.
Out of nearly 6 million brackets submitted to both ESPN and CBS Sports, less than half a percent predicted all Final Four teams correctly.
Those numbers are miniscule compared to the stats from employers in the business sector. An estimated 65% of employees who work in offices also participate in league pools every year.
It has become common to be distracted from work responsibilities by checking and watching games on the clock. Consulting firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas roughly estimated that employers shell out $175 million to distracted workers during the first two days of the tournament.
In today’s world, people can access content from computers to smart phones and tablets, making it difficult to keep basketball out of the office completely.
Junior Derek Kessinger agrees that people will find a way to check in on their brackets one way or another, and that employers just have to deal with it for the month of March.
“I think it’s going to happen no matter what employers do,” Kessinger says, “I think employers need to just plan for it, and March is just going to be one of those months where they have people out. Maybe make it more fun with the office. Maybe put it on the TV and say on your break watch it, but when you’re in your office we’d like you to still work because we can still monitor your computer.”
It can be compared to the big exam for the sports world, and has become a traditional test to one up each other’s peers as a way to prove who's the smarter junkie. Everyone wants to find the key stat hidden among numbers upon numbers that hopefully proves good fortune in the guessing game of bracketology.