March Madness Arrives

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March Madness is in full-force.

UNITED STATES—Well its that time of year, March Madness! On Sunday, the NCAA announced the teams that would receive a bid in the tournament that has mesmerized basketball fans and those not fans of the sport for years. I can personally speak about the craze because as an undergraduate I worked directly with athletes at my Alma mater which will remain anonymous.

Reports surface each year that the level of productivity during the peak of March Madness is at an all-time low in the work arena. Well, it’s that one-time a year where fans get to root for their favorite school and in some cases root for their rivals when an unexpected elimination takes place. That is the great thing, about March Madness, there is no way to predict what will happen, but back to the productivity thing. I remember vividly the first day of March Madness where the boys basketball team was playing their first game.

It was a virtual ghost town at work; some of us were working, but not many of us. It was almost as if everyone had taken the day off, those who weren’t working were gathered around a TV to see the big game. I felt bad for a few minutes because I suspected I should have been working, but what can you do, when things are so slow there isn’t anything to do.

That seems to be a trend not just at the local sports bars, but at restaurants and many other places of employment, those where many would not expect sports to be a highlight of the workday. What would make things better in the workplace is for management to allow a television or even a radio for staff to get an update during their break or lunch to see what is transpiring with their favorite teams.

Yeah, I don’t believe it’s a smart idea to allow workers the right to venture off whenever they like to watch TV at any given time. Trust me; I’ve known people who would disappear for hours without management even having a clue as to where they went.

Other ways to increase energy at the workplace is to allow staff to wear memorabilia of their favorite sports teams who are participating in the big dance. This does not mean go all out and where costumes that are distractions, but it’s nice to liven up the energy with baseball caps, shirts and jackets.  The one thing that I have found fascinating about March Madness is the level of unity from a city and in some cases from a state.

I vividly recall the 2009 NCCA Tournament which saw my Alma mater proving all the pundits wrong to the point where they made it all the way to the championship game only to be embarrassed in their home town. Yes, it was indeed a sad moment, but seeing the entire city donned in green and white, was a site not to be missed. It was just one of those jovial celebrations that had a level of energy that was inescapable.

So even if you’re not a fan of basketball, I’m certain there is someone in your family who is. Join in on the festivities, you don’t necessarily have to drink to have fun, just being around others rooting for the same team as you is enough to put a smile on your face.