It’s that time of year again: March. In my humble opinion, it is the greatest time of year. For a college basketball junkie like myself, the first four days of the NCAA Tournament are like Christmas. However, while the multitude of games are a blast, it also brings out some of the most annoying people irritatingly expressing themselves with insipid triteness on social media, TV, and the like. Here is my list of the five most annoying types of people during the NCAA Tournament. Don’t be one of these people.
BRACKET BUSTED AFTER FIRST GAME PERSON
In general, just like people don’t care about who their pals drafted in their fantasy football draft, nobody gives a scintilla of a shit about who people picked in their NCAA Tournament bracket. Pro tip: Don’t voluntarily run through your bracket with someone. I promise you, that someone doesn’t care. But even worse than a person’s bracket rundown is when someone announces that their bracket is busted after the very first game. The first game on Thursday is 10-seed Oklahoma against 7-seed Rhode Island. Whomever wins, 1,000 people will lament about how they had the team who lost in their bracket even though the game is worth only two measly points in their bracket pool between two teams who are likely not going to make it past the Sweet 16. It’s so insignificant, and by Friday afternoon, so many of these people will have stopped watching the tournament altogether. This type of phenomenon happens invariably in sports. People are excited about the commencement of a season or an event and expend so much emotional energy when it begins. With the NCAA Tournament, you have to mix in the fact that so many people who don’t even watch college basketball, like your grandpa, mom, uncle, or girlfriend, filled out a bracket for their $5 office or family pools. These folks don’t even know what’s going on half the time and just want to be involved.
“YOU THINK THESE GUYS DON’T CARE” GUY
Boy do I hate when someone on TV or on twitter busts out with the “you think these guys don’t care” line when players are emotional during a game. Is there some sort of lingering question in perpetuity as to whether players actually care about winning in the NCAA Tournament? People like to assure us that players’ are giving maximum effort, yet it is rare to see anyone actually question the commitment of any specific team or player. If this ever happens, it is usually about one player and it is a unique and rare circumstance. Let’s set the record straight right now: all of the players on all of the teams in the NCAA Tournament care about winning. Few people think they don’t care. Can we quit asking that dumb rhetorical question just to make a stronger point? It’s intellectually dishonest. ESPN’s Jay Bilas is a big “think these players don’t care” guy. He sometimes shouts it during games. He also did it on twitter last month:
If you think these players don’t care, I beg to differ. Notre Dame’s players were crying after the loss to Miami. Three men down, and they battled. They care.
— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) February 20, 2018
I think it would be extremely difficult to find one person who questioned the effort of the Notre Dame players involved in this game.
Also, in March 2011, Jay had a message for anyone (if there is anyone) who questioned the commitment of Missouri State’s players:
All you have to do is look at the Missouri State players. You think those players don't care, that they don't want it?! Great competition.
— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) March 6, 2011
“REFS SCREWING US” COMPLAINER
OK, this is everyone. Including me. But still, during every single tournament game, one can easily find a significant amount of complaints about the refs adversely affecting either team. Many are littered with conspiracies. Like I said, we all do this, but do we have to harp on it forever? Basketball refereeing is such an inexact science. Also, just because there is a gigantic free throw differential between teams, it is not official confirmation that the refs are calling it better for one of them. I’m no basketball expert, but it can be possible that one team simply draws less fouls than the other. What if your team chucked threes all game while the other was banging it inside on every possession? Let’s all relax and take a deep breath.
BITTER “EASY DRAW” DUDE
This phenomenon is rampant during the second weekend. A team seemed to have skated through to the later rounds with an easier draw, and people complain in an attempt to diminish the lucky team’s accomplishments. Try not to engage in this behavior. No matter what, it comes off as bitter. It’s not a good look. Just suck it up and say nothing. Or simply admit that it was a good season for the alleged fortunate team. Is it that hard? I’ll confess that I have done this on a few (or more than a few) occasions. I never feel good about it. I feel like a sore loser. I’m going to make a concerted effort not to do it this year.
“COLLEGE BASKETBALL SUCKS” NBA FAN
Every NCAA Tournament, there are a bunch of games involving players few people know about where there are a ton of missed shots and turnovers that end with final scores of something like 52-49. Invariably, during these types of games, there are countless NBA fans clowning college basketball by tweeting something like this:
anyone who actually thinks college basketball is better than the NBA should watch college basketball some time. my god, it's awful
— Ray (@RaymondSultan) March 22, 2015
First of all, this tweet doesn’t make sense. But nevertheless, shut up, man. Who cares? There is something in life called a preference. Nobody thinks the players in college are better than the NBA players. It’s obviously not close. But there are some people who just like college basketball and everything that goes along with it. Why are you trying to ruin the fun for the people enjoying college basketball? I don’t particularly care for paintings, but I wouldn’t go to a painter’s art show and say “paintings suck, sculptures are way better, you losers.” I’d let the painting people who like paintings enjoy their paintings. I am not sure why people try to make this some sort of a competition. It’s not like televising college basketball has any effect on an NBA fan’s ability to watch his or her precious NBA games. If you don’t like it, just don’t watch it. Go enjoy your NBA and leave us alone.
So there you have it. These are hands down the most annoying people during the tournament. Don’t be one of these people. If that’s impossible, try to limit yourself to being two at the most. If you are more than two of the five above, you are probably awful. But otherwise, enjoy the tournament!
Fred Segal is an attorney from West Palm Beach, FL. He operates the popular Freezing Cold Takes twitter account (@OldTakesExposed) which highlights, among other things, hilarious unprophetic and inaccurate takes and predictions.
Fred also hosts a podcast, “Freezing Cold Take Spotlights with Fred Segal,” which you can find on iTunes.