Walsh's Wonderings — Constructive madness

Robert F. Walsh
Robert F. Walsh

The Madness is upon us. The men’s and women’s NCAA tournaments, three-week bacchanals of basketball between the best teams in the nation, is referred to as “March Madness.” There’s something pure and simple in seeding teams in a single-elimination bracket to vie for the title of national champion. It makes one think there must be ways we could use this popular system to settle other issues in a more definitive fashion.
We could finally determine the best of the British Invasion bands, giving the Beatles, Rolling Stones, The Who, and The Kinks the #1 seeds. Led Zeppelin would be upset they weren’t in the top four, and The Yardbirds, Animals, Zombies, and Dave Clark Five would have to duke it out as lower seeds. I’m pretty sure Herman’s Hermits would be happy just to have made the tournament.
More timely would be a bracket listing proponents of ways in which to strengthen Connecticut’s transportation fund for critical infrastructure repair. Supporters of lockbox amendments would be joined by toll supporters, higher gas tax enthusiasts and medical marijuana proponents as the top seeds, with “more effective oversight of existing funds” evidently not making the tournament at all. (If this last option had a coach, that coach would have been fired long ago.)
Fans of local newscasts could appreciate a bracket featuring the 64 common household items that could very well kill us in our sleep. Top seeds: eggs, cell phones, scissors and Cheerios. One need only watch the teasers just before a commercial break as they explain how Grandma’s teaspoons might sicken the whole family (more after the break).
How fun would it be to have the overwhelming number of retirement strategies face off in a winner-takes-all series of contests that would ensure we won’t end up broke in our dotage? Top seeds could include index funds tied to the S&P 500, insurance annuities, mutual fund families, and a blind reliance on Social Security still existing when we’ve finished working. The lowest seed would probably be that new Bernie Madoff Fund we’ve been hearing so much about.
The possibilities are endless. A Biggest Thanksgiving Dinner Blowhard tournament could seed family members by political ideology and finally determine a “winner.” People who believe they know the proper way to load a new roll of toilet paper would finally get to prove their theory correct. We’d all benefit from a bracket listing the 64 most common places to misplace the remote.
While seeding those vying for the 2020 presidential election would seem to be a no-brainer, there’s simply no way to balance that bracket. Evidently, there’s only one Republican and an endless line of Democrats angling to outflank each other further to the left. As of Monday, the top-seeded Democrat hadn’t even thrown his hat into the ring yet, so the season needs to go on a little longer before we determine the players.
Regardless, it’s safe to assume Hilary wouldn’t even make the play-in game. That kind of madness would bust any bracket.
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