Bracketology

O.K., Who Is No. 1 in Syracuse? is the funniest piece written by the Post Standard’s Jeff Kramer, a humor columnist that our small burg is lucky to have.

The idea isn’t new, in fact a recent book entitled “The Enlightened Bracketologist–The Final Four Of Everything” has been written about this idea for determining preferences by using the NCAA Basketball Tournament as a model. Co-author Richard Sandomir believes it helps solve one of modern life’s problems, trying to make a decision when confronted with an overwhelming number of choices:

That’s the hidden virtue of Bracketology. It provides an elegant solution to one of the deep-rooted paradoxes of everyday life. The more choices we have, the less happy we are with our decision. If our only menu choice is between a hot dog and a burger for lunch, we don’t whine that we really wanted a ham sandwich. But once the menu offers too many choices, our decision-making process slows and the likelihood of being satisfied with our choice decreases.

Kramer’s column is an attempt to determine the number one “institution” in Syracuse. He sets up four regional sub-brackets: Retail/Dining; Arts/Entertainment; Recreation/Sports and Government/Industry. He even has a “play-in” game where the 64th and 65 “teams” play for the right to make the tournament.

Of course, its the brilliant whipsaw cynicism in Kramer’s comments on each match-up that make the column “snort-milk-out-your-nose” funny.

My only objection to the column, which was keyed toward tonight’s Final Four, was I wish it had been interactive and played in “real time”. It would have been fun to savor the action just like a March Madness tourney–a whole bunch of contests and maybe a couple of upsets, moving towards more heavyweight contests in the later rounds.

I’m going to go back and use Kramer’s seedings and replay the Syracuse tournament and see what I come up with.

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