Whether you’re just waking up with a massive hangover from yesterday, or you’re already 2 cups of coffee and a newspaper down, you know that today is Selection Sunday, a tradition similar to the reaping that takes place in the Hunger Games. (Except no one dies, teams would volunteer to get in if they could, and other than their quick feet and deadly shooting percentage, there are no weapons involved. In one similarity though, there is only one team standing at the end).
So what’s the big deal? Or an even better question, what is it? Selection Sunday is when the brackets are unveiled for the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. “March Madness” is the term that you’ll be hearing for the next month although ironically, the tournament ends in April. 68 teams will be given a spot in the tournament, but 8 of those will have to play in a “play-in” game, to get to the final 64-team bracket. Who has to play in the 4 play-in games? Teams from lower-ranked schools that won their small conferences and teams from larger conferences who had been the bubble of actually getting into the tournament in the first place. Also ironically, the actual selection process lasts only an hour and if you cut down all the whoohah in between and commercials, it would take less than 5 minutes to unveil the tournament field.
Why does my guy care? For your guy, it is like seeing the hopes of a national championship unravel before his eyes. If he roots for a team that’s been dominant all year, he’ll be interested to see who stands in the way to a championship. If his team is of the smaller conference nature, the David in the David vs. Goliath battle, he’s looking to see what big-name schools they have a chance to upset. If there’s the element of surprise involved, i.e. his team may not get in, all your guy is looking for is for his team’s name and faces to appear on CBS. He’s also probably mentally figuring out his brackets for any office or friend pools he may be participating in. Or, he’s shooting for the stars and filling out a bracket to try to the that 1 in I can’t even the spell the number it is so big person to win Warren Buffet’s bracket challenge and take home 1 billion dollars.
Why do you care? Today will likely be about 2 things for your guy, and by association, today will likely by about 2 things for you as well: recovering from yesterday, and preparing for Selection Sunday.
So, how do you deal?
Wear your teams’ (or your guys teams’ colors) – Chances are that you went, or your guy went, to a school that is getting a spot in the “Big Dance.” So rock those colors and treat the day as one big pre-party, because it basically kind of is anyways. If you or your guy didn’t go to any of the schools, pick the one from your home state, or your school’s conference, something you can relate to in one way or another. There is nothing worse than having people asking you why you are wearing something, and you don’t have the intel to back it up. But put on a t-shirt, some beads and maybe a washable tattoo. If you immerse yourself in it, you’ll feel more like a willing participant, than a brooding outsider.
Drink (responsibly might I add) – Sure, a Selection Sunday party may not be the ideal way to spend an afternoon. But if you’re at a sports bar, order a couple of cold ones (whatever your cold one may be) and enjoy the bar atmosphere, almost take the Selection Sunday part out of it…it’s just another Sunday Funday at your local pub. If you’re at a party, bring something with you to do drink, offer some to others (you’ll be that cool girlfriend/wife/etc.), and slowly just slip into a little happiness state.
Find an ally (that’s not your guy) – Chances are, there’s going to be other women, and possibly men, in attendance at this party that simply just do not want to be there. Find these people and stay with them as much as you can, without seeming that you are just completely insane. When you guys do inevitably start talking about how much you don’t want to be there, don’t let this conversation go one for very long, and try not to let others hear you. Your guy probably knows that the party really wasn’t your first choice for the day, but its a whole different story if he actually hears you say it, dun dun dun. So, discuss and then move on. There’s tons of other things to talk about and if you’re lucky, these same allies will keep appearing at future parties down the round, score.
Don’t ignore your guy – Sure, give him his guy time but if he invited you along, it’s because he wants you there. So check in every once in a while. Chances are, he’s a good guy, and he’ll do the same thing.
On the same note, don’t smother him – He’ll probably be living it up remembering the glory days or comparing players and teams all afternoon long. Getting in the conversation is great, pouting on his lap, not so much. Let him do his thing now, and reap the benefits of being “such an amazing person for coming with me” later.
Be sure to let us know in the comments how it went!