I made it clear over a year ago, I don’t fill out an NCAA Tournament bracket. So, it goes without saying that I don’t take time to fill out, or even entertain, non-basketball brackets that have fun with the March Madness format.
These days around March, there is a bracket of 64 for pretty much everything. You hop on Facebook or open up your e-mail and you can view brackets for ice cream flavors, candy bars, past “Survivor” contestants, hard rock bands, fast food restaurants, cartoons, and much more. Aligned on slots just like college basketball teams, these brackets aim to capitalize on the tourney frenzy. I understand the thinking. In fact, a long time ago I liked seeing one of these “fun” brackets every now and then. However, this is no longer the case.
Parody brackets have spiraled out of control. Simply put, there are just way too many of them. Besides the fact that too many exist, I have two main problems.
First, parody brackets are a complete gimmick. People behind a mascot bracket or a comic book bracket do it solely for website traffic or blog hits. Creators view a mock tournament as a way to cheaply reach out to 64 companies/entities/fan bases/etc. and hope that each one will promote whatever lame tournament they come up with. It is all about shares, retweets, and likes. I opt not to advance their quest for viral notoriety as I will never use one of my own social media channels to draw attention to these brackets and most often I don’t even look at them.
Second, parody brackets are completely flawed. The way “champions” are crowned is erroneous. Many times, the creators of these brackets don’t actually have people vote on their favorites through each round. Rather, it is just the nerd making the bracket decisions himself. Take candy bars for example. If you jot down 64 candy bars according to the traditional seeding system, it should play out according to chalk every single time. If you have a Baby Ruth as a #5 seed and a Milky Way as a #12 seed, there is no conceivable way the Milky Way should ever win. As opposed to an actual basketball game where you have two teams playing each other in a physical sense where anything could happen, when you say you like one candy bar more than the other, the case is closed. Your taste buds won’t automatically change and decide they like a Milky Way better than a Baby Ruth. A bracket is not an acceptable way to express the best in a category. Rather, creating a list and leaving it at that is the best method.
In the past I could appreciate a parody bracket that was created simply to bring a smile to someone’s face. These days the intentions are greedy and the methods flawed. Don’t give me a “Best Movie Villain” bracket, I will just stick with the best teams in college basketball. Don’t Blink.