As I filled out one of my three brackets the other day, I couldn’t help but wonder: Am I going to be the girl that upsets all of the dudes in this year’s pool?
That got me thinking about the role women play in America’s favorite sports betting event. After doing some research and flagging down the majority of my female friends – and some of their moms – who partake in March Madness bracket challenges, I’ve come up with five female bracketologists that seem to always rear their heads:
Some women just want to watch the world burn. These women are March Madness Anarchists. They simply choose all upsets in their brackets, relying on underdogs to boost their standings when favorites fall. This girl is the Dark Knight Joker of March Madness. Her method can pay off in certain rounds, but this girl will eventually lose and lose badly. She definitely makes things fun though.
One of my best friends is a studier. She’ll research teams, study box scores, read any and all Bill Simmons articles and watch SportsCenter religiously in preparation for March Madness. Her bracket will make all the sense in the world, and she can spew obscure stats about any top-tier team and most Cinderella stories.
There’s just one catch: If you ask her to explain what’s going on during a live game, she’ll probably make wookie sounds at you. Yes, she’s faking her knowledge, and you’re falling for it. The best method for bringing her down is initiating a watch party so you can expose her for the sports fact regurgitator (not a word) she is.
We all know this girl. She’s the one who was invited to the office pool because everyone else was into it and they didn’t want to leave her out. She is vocal about her sheer lack of knowledge of sports, but she plays anyway to be a good sport. Because she gives zero craps about this tournament, she chooses her teams purely based on their uniform colors. Many mothers are also lumped into this category, as they have better things to do than sit around deciding which college basketball teams will prevail. This girl takes the easy way out, but can often make a run out of pure luck. She cannot be trusted.
A subset of the stylist category is the Cat/Dog Lady. This woman creates brackets on behalf of her pets and chooses only teams whose mascots correspond with her animal of choice. Example: a cat lady only chooses Wildcats, Bobcats, etc. If the mascots don’t directly correspond, she will choose the closer of the two. These people have won bracket challenges in the past. I’m not sure what that says about their competition.
Speaking of trust issues, this brings me to the hustler. There’s one in every bracket challenge, fantasy football league and confidence pool. She’s the girl who pretends to know nothing about sports and then cleans the floor with everyone’s tears as she obliterates the competition. Next time you hear a gal talk about how much she doesn’t care about sports, yet has the ESPN app on her iPhone home screen, think twice before letting her into your March Madness challenge. She takes no prisoners, and she will win all of your money.
The most dangerous vixen of March Madness is by far the ringer. She’s (gasp!) a real sports fan, who understands the triangle offense and has most likely played competitive sports at a high level. She picks her bracket based on records, schedules, rankings and “a certain feeling” about a team.
She watches enough regular season games to know who has it and who’s overrated, and she can analyze players’ potential. Ringers know no age boundaries. Like fine wines, they get better with age as they absorb more knowledge. Do not make side bets with her. She will win, and you will cry.
Those are the women to watch out for as you navigate the madness that is the NCAA tournament. We all know girls like the ones above. Some of us are these women. I consider myself a Ringer/Hustler hybrid, and I know plenty of Stylists, Studiers and Anarchists. The next time you log into your bracket challenge, try to determine who’s who. Good luck this March!
Are there some female bracketologists that we missed? Hit us up at BaconSports.com or on Twitter @BaconSports and let us know what’s up.
Rebecca Ramos writes for BaconSports.com. Business casual by week, sports chic by weekend. Originally from Pittsburgh, Rebecca bleeds Black and Gold and cites Casey Hampton as her all-time favorite Steeler. Warning: do not approach her directly after a Steelers loss.