The seedy underbelly of a March Madness pool

I’m sure you’re well aware, but just in case you aren’t, it’s April Fools Day.
Instead of all of the usual prank-filled tomfoolery associated with today’s date, I have decided to reserve this space for something which is actually foolish.
I mean, it is take-it-to-the-bank, without-a-doubt foolish.
What is this foolish thing, you ask?
It’s my March Madness bracket.
(Spoiler alert: The rest of this column is about college basketball. Sort of. It is about what is one of the greatest tournaments in all of sports. Sort of. What it’s really about is the inside scoop on The Southeast Sun/Daleville Sun-Courier office pool. Mercifully, these next few lines are here to give you an opportunity to stop reading now and find some better use of your time.
Go on a tropical vacation, and jump off of a cliff like Tom Brady.
Drink a jar of pickle juice.
Fold laundry.
Read War and Peace.
Watch an episode of “Keeping Up With the Kardashians.”
If — for some strange reason — you decide to keep reading, don’t say I didn’t warn you.)
I have once again entered the newspaper’s yearly office pool, as I have done each year throughout the duration of my employment at this establishment.
For the life of me I can’t figure out why I continually agree to take part in this contest, since it usually serves as a reminder of how wrong I am about everything.
OK. That whole sentence was a lie.
I know exactly why I continually agree to take part in this contest.
It has to do with the first and second prizes, which shall not be named here.
They are not monetary, but I don’t think it’s any exaggeration to say they are indeed local culinary masterpieces.
That whole sentence was not a lie, I assure you.
Last year, by sheer dumb luck, I won.
The grand prize was mouthwateringly awesome, and it was enough to persuade me to fill out another bracket.
The bracket I made has been bleeding profusely since the first day of the tournament (thanks, UAB). Somehow I managed to take the lead, cling to the top of the mountain by a fingernail and stay in first place.
Until recently, that is.
I’m not sure exactly when the coup d’état occurred, but my first-place spot has been overtaken by my boss.
As common sense tells us all, this is absolutely unacceptable.Screen Shot 2015-03-31 at 11.03.16 PM
I’m sure you all understand why I am bitter about this, and agree I am being perfectly reasonable.
OK. That whole sentence was a lie.
I’m not sure you understand with the information you have been given, but I am sure you would understand completely if I had chosen to state the culinary masterpieces which are first and second prizes.
The facts are these.
As it stands at press time, he who shall not be named correctly picked three of the final four teams. Though his championship matchup is doomed, his national champion can still win.
A pair of my final four teams is still alive. I still have a chance to get two teams in the championship game, and my pick for the national champion also still has a shot to take home the title.
The league commissioner, whose word is final and irrevocable, has informed us the outcome of the yearly office pool basically hinges on the outcome of one game.
The game is Duke-Michigan State.
The problem is this.
I must root for Duke.
I watched the Blue Devils’ Elite Eight matchup against Gonzaga Sunday, and needless to say I am a little nervous.
There is a lot hinging on Saturday’s game, and it’s a lot more than a championship.
What’s on the line here is a coveted culinary prize, and I really want to win it.
The trash talk has surprisingly been kept to a minimum so far, but something tells me he who shall not be named believes he has the first-place burger in the bag.
April Fools, boss.

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