"It's the most wonderful time of the year…"

March Madness had begun. I’ve watched a lot of basketball today, and I’m loving it. Reliving past memories. Totally excited that my annual office pool, now in its eleventh year, far exceeded my goals. It all began in 1997 with six people. Last year, I think I had 66 people, so this year I set a goal of 75. And I worked it. I guilted, manipulated, encouraged, bribed, and begged all kinds of people. The result? 109 people in the pool this year. ONE HUNDRED AND NIIIIIINNNNNEEEEEE!!!!

What’s the big deal, my wife asks? I just love it. Love having a reason to connect with old and new friends, love have something to talk about with people, love the feeling of togetherness, even if it is superficial.

Only one upset today, and the games haven’t been memorable. The sad part is, the upset was Duke losing. But, my bracket is still looking pretty good, so I’m still in the running to re-enter the Hall of Fame (SOMEBODY’S gotta beat those Woodwards this year, or I’ll have to change the name of the pool):

Year: Pool Name: Hall of Famer: NCAA Champion: Honorable Mention:
2006 Gregg’s Group X Doug Woodward Florida
2005 Gregg’s Group 9 Nancy Woodward North Carolina
2004 Gregg’s Group 8 Ron Woodward Connecticut
2003 Gregg’s Group 7 Diane Fawver Syracuse
2002 Boise Bowl 6 Lonny Bumgardner Maryland
2001 Boise Bowl 5 Gregg Koskela Duke
2000 Boise Bowl 4 Jim Steele Michigan State
1999 Koskela’s Madness 3 Gregg Koskela Connecticut
1998 Koskela’s Madness 2 Jim Steele Kentucky Diane Fawver
1997 Koskela’s Madness 1 Tim Hyatt Arizona Doug Koskela

(The honorable mention goes way back before ESPN hosted this thing. I had another scoring method that gave you bonus points for picking upsets, and Doug and Diane won under that scoring method.)

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