"A lot of teams could win it" and other bullshit generalisms

>> Wednesday

People love to recommend their doctor to you. I don't know what they get out of it, but they really push them on you.
"Is he good?"
"He's the best. This guy's the best." There can't be this many "bests." Someone's graduating at the bottom of these classes. Where are these doctors? Is someone somewhere saying to their friend, "You should see my doctor, he's the worst. He's the absolute worst there is. Whatever you've got, it'll be worse after you see him. The man's an absolute butcher."

For some reason, the NCAA Tournament and the bracketocentric vibe it engenders seem to put me squarely in "Have you ever noticed"-ville every March. This year, I'm afraid, is no exception.

My object of mockery this time around is the bland generalization about
"this year's tournament." You hear these all the time--from the coworkers in the office pool, friends, TV analysts, etcetera--and they're almost always preceded or followed by "especially this year." Taken collectively, they comprise a contradictory, exaggerated, and generally inaccurate lump of nonsense.

Some classic examples, which I will deconstruct using equally unsubstantiated and generalized observations:

There's no clear favorite this year. Rarely is there ever a clear favorite. And when there's a team perceived to be a clear favorite, I'd venture to say that the margin by which they exceed the abilities of other top competitors is exaggerated by meaningless circumstances like name recognition.

There are a lot of good teams in this tournament. The whole point of the tournament is to include good teams and exclude sucky ones. So there had damned well better be a lot of good teams.

There area a lot of exciting players in this tournament. Ditto.

This is a difficult tournament / region to pick. Every region of every tournament is difficult to pick. This is why ESPN and CBS offer like $10,000,000 to any one of its 100,000,000 participants in their Tournament Bracket Challenge Bonanza or whatever that can call every game right. And that is why--for all of the selection committee's diligence in seeding teams, we have now only once had four #1's in the Final Four.

The committee did a good job / poor job seeding the tournament this year. I'm as guilty as anyone on the seeding critique. For most fans, I think, their opinion ultimately boils down to how satisfied or dissatisfied they are with their favorite team's seed--which, coincidentally enough, is nearly always one seed lower than "it should've been." Most years, I think the committee totally chokes on it--that is, Marquette always gets shafted. This year, I was relatively satisfied receiving a 6 after the Warriors' late-season struggles and lack of depth, ergo the committee did okay this year.

This should be an exciting tournament. It's the En-Cee-Double-Freakin-Ay Tournament. It is always exciting. That's why I've been rocking in my desk chair and continuously salivating all week. Just one... more... day...


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