Are You a March Madness “Bracketeer?”
We don't know if anybody else refers to them this way, but we thought it was kind of fun.
A "bracketeer" is someone who participates in March Madness, the NCAA men's basketball tournament. Here at Townsquare Media in Tri-Cities, we have a number of folks who fill out two, three or even more brackets in hopes of winning.
Technically, having an office hoops bracket pool anywhere outside of Nevada is illegal. BUT the chances of being caught or prosecuted are virtually non-existent so bars, businesses, offices etc. all have brackets where people can win cash, gift cards, or just the knowledge of being better at guessing than their co-workers or friends.
According to 2012 data from msnbc.com, some 50 million Americans fill out or participate in at least one NCAA bracket. The gambling website beyondthebets.com claims 60 percent of Americans would be willing to at least fill one out.
And many people take it very seriously. Various studies indicate most "bracketeers" will devote a total of at least two cumulative hours of work time watching or updating themselves on games during the tournament. Based on last year's data, the website marketplace.org says the work hours lost across the country due to the tournament will be at least four million. But they also say in the grand scheme of things, that isn't really a big issue. Most American workers will compensate to complete their expected tasks, so it's more of a "time-shift" situation than actual hours lost.
Back to the question, are you a "bracketeer? We came up with a few criteria, based on the behavior of some colleagues during March Madness:
- Fill out more than one bracket.
- Check on progress of games on TV or internet at least every two hours.
- Check on or update your bracket at least 3 times a day.
- Spend your lunch hour watching games on TV or computer.
- The rest of your day is ruined if your bracket gets "busted" (A number #14 seed beats a #3, for example).
If you can say yes to at least two of these, you could call yourself a "bracketeer." Happy guessing. Oh -- and don't forget to re-read the annual stories about the chimp who did a better job picking teams than gambling experts in Vegas!