If things go like they normally do, by the time you read this, my bracket will be busted.
This, of course, is a holiday weekend in America, the time when business pretty much grinds to a halt as bettors near and far put all their focus on March Madness. People who don't know the first thing about basketball enter brackets in the hopes of winning $20, $100, $1,000 or more, and more importantly, they hope to win bragging rights.
I will most likely not be one of those winners.
I have entered brackets in various pools for most of my adult life. I have never won. I came close once or twice, and that was pretty much dumb luck. And dumb luck is pretty much what I bank on nowadays.
Oh, there was a time when I would pore over a bracket, studying it like Einstein studying the space-time continuum in an effort to find that edge that would put me in the money. But as I've gotten older, my interest in -- and thus my knowledge of -- college basketball has waned.
I don't know what the reason is really. Maybe it's the fact that basketball is really not my alma mater's thing. UGA is perennially mediocre. Or maybe it's the incessant fouling that make the last two minutes take an hour to play. (And please, don't try to explain it to me. The sportswriters here have tried. I will never see the point of fouling to stop the clock when down by a margin that is impossible to overcome -- a margin that will only get bigger if the guy makes his shots.)
Most likely the biggest reason is time. When I was 22, I had no problem planning an entire week around The Big Game and knowing everything there was to know about said game by tipoff, kickoff or first pitch.
At 42 (which I will turn on Tuesday, God willing), with a wife and kids and a house to take care of, it's a miracle if I even know a sports season has started, much less who's good and who's playing who.
But, of course, it didn't stop me from entering a bracket. But at least this year I surrendered to reality. It took maybe 10 minutes to pick two brackets. It's amazing how fast it goes when you're just basically guessing. Plus, my bracket has as much chance as those guys' who filled theirs out with a Cray supercomputer.
To start, anyway.
Email Nate McCullough at firstname.lastname@example.org. His column appears on Fridays. For archived columns, go to www.gwinnettdailypost.com/natemccullough.