Home > College Basketball, Syracuse > Greg Gumbel’s Toupee: Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love My Bracket

Greg Gumbel’s Toupee: Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love My Bracket

Seriously it hasn't changed in 30 years...


It’s finally here.

I’m one of those people who will tell you that March Madness, from Championship Week to ‘One Shining Moment’, is the greatest time of the year. It combines the water cooler event status of the Super Bowl, with the edge-of-your-seat intensity of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, all the while managing to crown a true champion (further embarrassing the BCS). It is the tournament that gives us ‘glass slipper’ Cinderellas, ‘David vs. Goliath’ and Gus Johnson unchained. It’s the only way most of America will remember Northern Iowa or IUPUI, and turns 19 year-olds into immortals forever.

It’s also the time of year that billions are lost in productivity, as America falls victim to the quest for a perfect bracket. I’m one of those people who year after year enters the office pool, studiously pours over the teams and match-ups only to lose to Janet from accounting who picked Duke because it was her dog’s name.

As much as we celebrate the uncertainty of the big dance, and as irrational as it was, it used to drive me crazy. How could I finish behind my buddy Rubin every time? Intellectualizing the situation offered no consolation, until finally I stopped trying.

As much as I complain about my bracket being a joke after the first weekend… that’s what I love about it! It’s a month-long crucible where we get to see who has that extra gear to dig deep and find the resolve to make big plays when it counts. They give birth to more clichés than I can count, but for one month every spring they’re all true. It’s not about the most talented teams, but about who wants it more.

We saw Michael Jordan as a freshman with the ONIONS!!! to go for it with the game on the line, and Chris Webber shrink from the spotlight in the same situation. We learned Farokhmanesh was Arabic for clutch, and are continually reminded that Georgetown still sucks.

I feel good about my bracket this year, for the first time in a while; not because I’m any more sure it’s right, but because I can live with the results either way. Now living with Scoop Jardine holding my alma mater’s championship hopes on his shoulders? That’s another story….

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