March Madness brackets are a tried and true office tradition. Nothing else can so efficiently bring cubicles together and tear them apart. There's a lot of pride – and sometimes money – on the line.
Here representing the Times Free Press tournament are three very different staffers from three very different bracket camps. Check back each week to see how their picks and their self-esteem are holding up.
The Sports Fanatic: Jay Greeson
Sports Editor Jay Greeson won his first NCAA tournament by picking No. 6-seed Kansas to win it all in 1988. That was roughly a few years before the other 'experts' on this panel were born. I was happy to agree to this exercise to, a) share my wisdom with world and, b) allow the ladies a chance to play along. It's like Title IX, but only more fun.
The Numbers Cruncher: Maura Friedman
Let's get one thing straight – March Madness isn't about basketball, it's about winning. And in winning numbers are important, mainly No. 1, which is what I plan to be. In the past my brackets have brought me close enough to taste victory, but still too far to sink my teeth into it. Like I said, it's all about the numbers.
This year I'm banking on the stats from data deities Ken Pomeroy and Nate Silver, and a myriad of number sets in between, to take me to the top. Welcome to the future, Mary Helen and Jay. Here we have math, computers and soon, an NCAA tournament win.
The Randomizer: Mary Helen Miller
I’m not a sports fan. Of any kind. In fact, I find sports fans a tad annoying. So, it would give me great pleasure to defeat Jay Greeson’s elderly intuition and Maura Friedman’s carefully researched picks by choosing a bracket using an absurd method. My method of choice? Anagrams.
For instance, “Syracuse” becomes “Scary Sue,” and Villanova becomes “Oval Anvil.” I’ll choose the winner of each match, er game, by deciding which team’s anagram seems more threatening. Let the games -- and poetry -- begin!
Mary Helen Miller joined the staff at the Chattanooga Times Free Press as a multimedia reporter in 2013. She produces audio, video, and graphics for the Web, and occasionally writes stories. Before starting at the Times Free Press, Mary Helen worked as a radio reporter at WUTC, the NPR affiliate station in Chattanooga. She won an Edward R. Murrow award for a story she produced there about the anniversary of the 2011 tornadoes that hit ...