March Madness recently concluded, and with it came the paying out of the office pool to countless winners who made their picks based on where their aunt lives, which mascot looks the cutest, which colors look the best together, etc.
My fiancee won my family's tournament pool. How? She was a huge Backstreet Boys fan growing up and remembered that Brian Littrel, her favorite member of the boy band, loved Kentucky. Pair that with the fact that they were a 1 seed and boom, natty champs. Then that actually happened, and she's won the pool for the second time in five years.
I thought it would be fun to have her look over all the first round matchups and pick a winner, provided that she could explain to me her rationale. What follows is verbatim.
#1 Vancouver v. #8 Los Angeles
"What's that team with the blue and green and silver uniforms I like? Oh, that's Vancouver? Those are the best jerseys in the league. They'll win."
#2 St. Louis v. #7 San Jose
Winner: St. Louis
"Oh God, San Jose has those hideous teal uniforms, don't they? They'll lose. Those are the worst."
#3 Phoenix v. #6 Chicago
"Well, I think the Blackhawks' name is offensive to my heritage, so I can't pick them."
#4 Detroit v. #5 Nashville
Winner: Detroit via sympathy vote
"Ugh this is tough. Carrie Underwood's man is on Nashville, isn't he? But your blog is about Detroit. I guess I'll pick Detroit though. I really don't like the way they're playing, and I don't think you'll go very far. At least I'll get to see my girl Carrie on tv. She'll go to the games, right?"
#1 New York v. #8 Ottawa
Winner: New York
Her: "I didn't even know New York was good, and I don't know where Ottawa is."
Me: "Yeah, New York got a lot better this year. They've got the best goaltender in the league."
Her: "Really? Then I'm gonna have to look at goalie masks for this one."
Google image both goalie's masks
Her, in reference to Craig Anderson's mask: "Eww what is that? It's horrible! Ugh, ok New York."
#2 Boston v. #7 Washington
Her: "Well, obviously Boston because my cousins live there."
Me: "That, and they're the defending Stanley Cup champions."
Her: "They are? I thought the Penguins won last year. What year did they win?"
#3 Florida v. #6 New Jersey
Winner: New Jersey
"Hmmm. One of our friends lives in New Jersey but your Grandma lives in Florida. Tough one. I'm gonna have to see their costumes. Haha, jerseys! I meant jerseys!"
Google image both teams
"Well I guess I'll pick the Devils, but I don't really want to because the name reminds me of a slutty girl in a Halloween costume.
#4 Pittsburgh v. #5 Philadelphia
Note: This pick is the only one not done according to team seeding. This was her second pick
Her: "Oh, who's that goalie that has his kid's drawings on his mask?"
Me: "Ilya Bryzgalov. He doesn't have his kid's pictures on there anymore though."
Her: "I don't care, I'm picking whatever team he's on. I like him."
There you have it. The picks and rationale from a two-time winner of an NCAA Tournament pool, as they apply to this year's postseason. Look forward to the second round, where we'll do this again. What will she use to choose next time? Sock color? Team logos? The only certainty is if Philadelphia's there, they're getting picked.
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