[Originally Published March 12, 2012]

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Dear NCCA Tournament Office Pool Oracle,

“This year will be different,” you think. You will finally assume your rightful place as champion of the NCAA Tournament office pool. Your bracket is complete. Sweet victory will be yours.

Each year, you dream of glory—hoping to finally ascend the elusive mountain of office masculinity. In your eyes, winning the office pool is the capstone of a life well lived.

Like you, I fill out my bracket. Unlike you, I don’t believe my bracket makes everyone else’s bracket look like dog feces. Like you, I will watch the tournament at work and contribute to the drop in productivity. Unlike you, my identity will not be tied to the outcome. I don’t expect you to understand.

Your approach is cold logic. You’ve watched all the teams play and you’ve drawn your conclusions. You talk RPI and seeding and quality wins. You say things like “Let me throw a statistic at you”. All of this information is poured into your bracket picks with thought and precision. The whole affair is highly calculated.

This is your downfall. Year after year, you take superior knowledge and enter it into an office bracket. Yet, year after year, your hopes of office pool glory are dashed.

Dashed by that chick in human resources.

Yes, that chick from human resources who ran the table last year. Remember her? Yeah, well, she’s not a “chick." She’s a woman. A highly competent one. And her name is Julie, thank you very much.

As you recall, Julie picked Butler in the Final Four last year. Julie hadn’t done her homework. She didn’t know how Matt Howard functioned in their offense or about the underrated strength of the Horizon League. She only picked Butler because she used to pick apples at a place called “Butler’s Orchard." This childhood memory is the fuel that propelled her into office immortality.

You were pretty pissed. You found her strategy lacking because it wasn’t based on basketball IQ. But Julie didn’t give two shits. She took the prize money and treated her girlfriends to margaritas at Chili’s.

Julie got results, bro.

There is a reason for this. I’ll spell it out for you: Julie isn’t bound by your statistical approach. Everything is on the table when she fills out her bracket. She’s looking at school mascots, uniforms and team colors. Julie will pick a team if her best friend from high school went there. Any emotional connections with the teams at play are given consideration—bios and backstories that catch her interest, a point guard that reminds her of her younger brother, a coach who admits in an interview that his favorite book of all time, like hers, is To Kill a Mockingbird. And despite your protests, Julie’s approach works.

So get your head out of your ass. You can’t crack the bracket with numbers alone. Look at your track record. You need to a more well rounded strategy. Do some mascot research, for starters. Julie would tell you this herself, of course, but she’s in the break room talking about this great sauteed Kale recipe she saw in Real Simple.

Julie’s bracket success is also the reason a female President is our only hope to save the US economy. We must harness the intuitive sensibilities and unassuming ferocity that have enabled women to destroy guys like you in office pools for decades. It is the American thing to do. Allegedly, our Presidents are pretty smart guys. But how can we stay competitive in a global economy when these jackwagons consistently pick Duke and Carolina in the Final Four?

We can’t. We need a woman.

Women know better.

You say that my theory lacks evidence. You want statistics and facts. Well, I don’t have them. But that’s your problem, man. Not everything can be proven empirically. This is why you always get mopped in the office pool. And it is precisely why we need a female President, like Julie. Her wise intuition, as evidenced by her consistent NCAA office pool success, is our only hope for a better world. So shut your mouth. I’m voting for Julie in 2012. There will be peace in Palestine.

Warmly,
Blaine Lay