This is BALLS DEEP With Big Daddy Drew (Balls® is a registered trademark and has been used with the expressed written consent of AJ Daulerio). It's gonna be like an SI Point After column, only with dick jokes. Enjoy.
I am not by nature someone who overthinks things. I am an avid underthinker. Sometimes, when my wife will ask me a question, I won't actually process it until a good 20 seconds after she's asked it. And, when I finally get around to answering her ("Sure. No, wait! Did you ask me if I wanted some tea? No, I don't want that."), she's already pissed at me. It's not that I failed to listen. It's that the information has to travel through any number of obstacles (football, the idea of smoking weed for a special occasion sometime in the future, Laetitia Casta) to reach my cerebral cortex. Most of the gears in there have been completely stripped, and are in danger if falling right off the spools.
Thus, when confronted with a decision, I usually choose the easiest option, sparing my brain from needless overuse. Failing that, I quickly run to the bathroom to masturbate. But there are three definitive scenarios in which my tiny little brain will try and analyze things, or "think," which almost invariably causes my body to become paralyzed, ceasing all involuntary functions such as breathing, heartbeat and bowel control. And here they are:
1. Ordering an entrée at a nice restaurant (I always ask the waiter what he likes)
2. Compiling a fantasy football draft board
3. Filling out an NCAA tournament bracket
The problem with filling out an NCAA tournament bracket is that I don't watch enough college basketball to pretend like I know what the fuck I'm doing. Therefore, I have to mentally "cram" for filling out the bracket by grabbing a USA Today and reading every single word of the team capsules.
Trying to absorb this much information in a single blow does the same amount of damage to my brain as trying to bench press anything over 135 pounds does to my chest these days. Sure, I can do it, but the lasting repercussions from such activity can last for months and months. As I'm typing this, my brain has been consistently lapsing into terrible spasms that cause me RUFF! RUFF RUFF RUFF!!!!
(falls on ground, legs twitching)
I don't know why I put myself through this. The truth is, reading those capsules leaves me no better informed than beforehand (except now I know that San Diego has a player named Gyno Pomare. All he needs is a pair of latex gloves and he can look at any vagina he pleases). And, even if it did, my predictions wouldn't have any better probability of coming to fruition. But it allows me to convince myself that I actually DO know what I'm doing, and that helps me fill out the bracket.
Most of all, it helps me feel like I'm not filling out my bracket like a girl.
We menfolk all like to poke fun at the way women "accidentally" win office pools by picking teams in a completely arbitrary and uneducated fashion. But the fact is, ALL of us pretty much do it that way anyway. (WARNING: Insane generalization ahead.) Even the most avid college basketball fan has likely only seen a handful of teams in the tournament for a handful of games each, if that. That's not enough to break down every matchup like you're Seth fucking Davis (not that Unsilent Majority wouldn't try). To pick that Drake-WKU game, you're gonna have to take a leap of faith on behalf of one team or another. And what will cause you make that leap? Girly thoughts, that's what.
For example, I don't like Stanford in the tournament. And, by that, I don't mean I hope they fail. I mean that I don't get a good feeling from them. I just don't think they'll go very far. Do I have any rational basis for this? No. Is it because they may have fucked me over that one year they beat URI to go to the Final Four? Likely. (Fucking Arthur Lee.) Is it their recent lack of success in the tournament? Sure. Is it because I was too shitty of a high school student to even apply to go to school there? Probably. Is it some combination of subconscious factors inside my head I'm unaware of? Definitely.
They're perfectly capable of winning the whole thing. But I don't like them, so fuck them. They go out in Round 2.
The real reason I read those USA Today capsules isn't because it makes me know more about basketball. If anything, those three-sentence analyses and stats can lead me in exactly the wrong direction. But it helps reinforce for me who I inexplicably like (Davidson), and who I inexplicably do not like (Vanderbilt. Fuck you, Vanderbilt). And that helps me trick myself into liking my bracket when I'm done with it. I've tried the "fill out one bracket completely on instinct" move before. And I always end up fucking hating the way it turns out. USC? In the Elite Eight? Oh, that doesn't look right. I need more information so that I can make a more confident uninformed decision!
So I filled out my bracket after doing this tireless "research." And it wasn't easy. The reason I go into complete brainlock filling it out as because, more often than not, the fucking committee has had the audacity to pit teams I like for no reason against one another, and teams I dislike for no reason against one another. I fucking hate it when that happens, and it happens ALL THE GODDAMN TIME. I don't want to pick between BYU and Texas A&M. They're both fucking losers. Can't they both just die and rot in Hell? And I gotta pick between Memphis and Texas in the Elite Eight? They're both solid. WHY ARE THEY IN THE SAME BRACKET, DAMMIT?
Anyway, I managed to overcome this terrible mental struggle and fill my shit out. And, I have to tell you, as of now, it's perfect. I couldn't picture it any other way. It's a really handsome bracket. I picked a few underdogs, but I didn't have them going too far, nor did I overcrowd my bracket with them. I also made sure to pick my token undercovered big conference team no one fucking cares about that somehow ends up going far (Purdue, because why the fuck not). I'm telling you, I LIKE this bracket. And, by the end of today (or by the time this has posted), it will be a worthless piece of shit.
This thought process is really no different from the chick in payroll looking at the bracket and saying, "Oh, I have a friend named Siena! I like them!" And that's the way a bracket SHOULD be filled out. (It's also why Cinderellas are called Cinderellas. Because they're the kind of teams girls like). Yet, I can't bring myself to do it just like that. That makes far too much sense. The male chauvanist pig in me has to do a little legwork, so I can say to myself that I filled out my bracket like a man.
Which is why I'm going to lose. Badly.