Is March Madness good for America?
When the sixty-four NCAA men college basketball teams enter the annual March Madness fray a betting frenzy sweeps the nation. Over forty million people fill out brackets hoping to cash in.
The odds are 9.2 quintillion to one that you can pick the winner of every game. Tough odds.
So if we don’t win, who does? Beer companies. Beer consumption increases almost 30% in March, followed by pizza at 19%. We may lose money, but we won’t lose any weight.
Besides the bracket busting losers, who else loses? Employers who cover lost wages due to distraction and lost productivity—estimated at about $1.9 billion. So, March Madness comes with a cost. But what about the benefits?
For a few weeks we cheer on teams fighting to win in one of the most competitive sporting events of the year. Sure, we lose money and time, but we gain perspective—that March Madness is a lot like life—tough games, with turn-overs, bad calls, heart wrenching upsets, and some mind-blowing come-from-behind-buzzer-beater wins.
The March Madness distraction doesn’t last but the inspiration from the athletes’ hard work, commitment, and determination can.
We know that terrorists are stealing our peace and snatching innocent lives and we know our nation is sharply divided. But March Madness reminds us that winning requires teamwork and that’s our nation's reality too. We'll never win unless we're on the same team.