Letter from the Editor 

I'm writing this column later than usual on Tuesday morning, because I had more important things to do earlier — namely, filling out my March Madness brackets for the Flyer's office pool.

Years ago, I won an office bracket pool by picking nothing but the favorites. So now I usually enter two brackets — one that's conservative, favorite-oriented, and predictable and another one that's decided by coin flips, hunches, wild guesses, and blog rumors. I never win.

Some people spend hours factoring in the locations of the games, injured players, momentum, bench strength, and relative conference records. They will never win, either. It's a total waste of time. The winner of your office pool will be the sister of that new guy in accounting, the one who made her picks on a cell phone after slamming a pitcher of margaritas at ¡Chiwawa!

Some people pick games based on coaches' records in the tournament. This is also pointless. For example, Michigan State's Tom Izzo is seen in many quarters as a tactical genius, while former Memphis coach John Calipari is widely disparaged as a hack. Yet, Calipari's Tigers beat the living crap out of MSU in the tournament a few years back. What difference did coaching make? Bubkes.

It's also said that teams reflect their coaches. Bunk. If so, then why aren't all Duke players sour, pinch-faced ferrets, like Mike Krzyzewski? Why weren't the late Coach Rick Majerus' teams composed of massively overweight loners living in a hotel room? Former Indiana coach Bob Knight won a national championship using nothing but blistering rage, profanity, and intimidation. I doubt that his players "reflected" him. They were just terrified he was going to hit them with a chair.

Memphis' Josh Pastner is the anti-Bob Knight, a relentlessly happy warrior who spouts positive coach-speak to anybody within earshot. He doesn't drink, smoke, or curse. He believes fervently and repeatedly in "positive energy." He loves Memphis. He loves Tiger Nation. He loves you. (Yes, you!) His team won 30 games this season. If we are lucky, we will get to see him coach against the genius of Tom Izzo in the second round. I have the Tigers losing that game, but what do I know? I hope I'm wrong. I usually am.

In closing, those of us who fill out brackets should remember the words of the late, great Eugene McCarthy, who said, "Being in politics is like being a football coach. You have to be smart enough to understand the game, and dumb enough to think it's important."

Bruce VanWyngarden
brucev@memphisflyer.com

Comments (3)

Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Blogs

Film/TV/Etc. Blog

Sun Records Episode 1: A Positive Note

Exhibit M

Art Stuff To Do this Weekend

Hungry Memphis

The Beer Bracket Challenge heads to the Round of 8

News Blog

Bike, Pedestrian Projects Win $2.2M in Grants

The BruceV Blog

Your Weekly Danziger

Tiger Blue

#15 Cincinnati 87, Tigers 74

Fly On The Wall Blog

Conservatives Have an Identity Problem. It's Called Their Identity

News Blog

Start Seeing Trolleys (But Not Ride Them)

Hungry Memphis

All-day Breakfast Bar, More, Planned for S. Main

ADVERTISEMENT

More by Bruce VanWyngarden

Readers also liked…

  • A Letter to the Memphis City Council

    The council gets an “F” for its performance on the Greensward decision.
    • Mar 10, 2016
  • Detention Deficit

    Exactly seven years ago this week, I wrote a column decrying a proposal by city engineers to turn the Overton Park Greensward into an 18-foot-deep "detention basin" designed to stop flooding in Midtown. The engineers claimed we'd hardly notice the football-field-sized bowl. "Except," I wrote then, "when it rains hard, at which time, users of Overton Park would probably notice a large, 18-foot-deep lake in the Greensward. Or afterward, a large, muddy, trash-filled depression."

    • Mar 10, 2016
  • Vendor in the Grass

    The lady doth protest too much, methinks. — William Shakespeare

    Is there such a thing as "bad activism"? I'm asking because I'm seeing a lot of criticism of the folks who are protesting the Memphis Zoo's encroachment onto the Greensward at Overton Park.

    • Mar 31, 2016
ADVERTISEMENT
© 1996-2017

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation