by Charles A. Monagan
Mar 15, 2011
05:40 PM
On Connecticut

A Fine Madness


Of all the media companies in America, which one is most responsible for promoting the idea that everyone should be filling out brackets for the NCAA basketball tournaments that begin this week? Which company do we have to thank for doing the most to turn our workplaces into tournament annexes, with betting pools, bracket gazing and all-day Internet binges? Which company, for God's sake, invented the term "bracketology"?

ESPN, right?


But what activity has been banned from the premises of ESPN's campus in Bristol? That's right . . . filling out brackets and conducting office pools on the NCAA tourney.

It seems that a couple of years ago, an ESPN crew assigned to covering a tournament game left their filled-out brackets in a place where someone associated with one of the schools could see them. This led to an accusation that the network's coverage of the event might be influenced by its employees' picks. The accusation, of course, was worrying to company executives.

The solution? No more bracket betting pools at ESPN, at least not on company time. If that's not March Madness, I don't know what is.

A Fine Madness

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