Slice of Life: Even The Dog Has a Bracket


(This is part of the Slice of Life Challenge with Two Writing Teachers. We write about small moments each and every day for March. You come, too. Write with us.)

You can’t seem to find a counter-top in my house without a college basketball bracket cluttering it up. It’s March Madness, and although our local University of Massachusetts got crushed yesterday by Tennessee after reading the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1998 (lots of groans from the living room of our house as we watched that game unfold), the lure of bracketology is pretty strong.

All three of my boys have brackets going (with my youngest son creating up to three different ones in his first year of understanding a little bit of what is going on), and I have my own bracket (in a few pools). My youngest son even made one for my wife, who is only vaguely interested in the tournament.

The madness

Even the dog has a bracket, which is an annual tradition in our house.


Here’s how that system works, which is quite amusing to watch: My middle son holds a piece kibble in each of his clenched fists and then rattles off each of the round’s face-off teams. Whichever fist the dog’s nose hits first gets the nod on the bracket. As you might imagine, our tail-wagging Duke (our dog) chooses quite a few upsets in the tournament. He even picked Duke (the team) to lose, even though Duke is his given name and you might figure some allegiance. (Me, on the other hand? I don’t like Duke. It goes way back to the Bobby Hurley days when Duke seemed to always crush UConn at key moments of time).

Go figure, though. Duke lost, so Duke won. Kibble is a wise thing, indeed.

So far, my Final Four picks (Virginia, Florida, Arizona and Louisville) are all still in the mix (I have Florida winning it all) But my main team — UConn — is still hanging in there, too, with a nail-biter the other night and game against its old rival, Villanova, tonight. We’ll see how far they can go.

How about you? How’s your bracket faring?

Peace (along the brackets),

  1. I didn’t complete a bracket this year. I’ll go with Duke (your dog). Seems like he’s got the selection system down. Have fun and keep us updated!

  2. I love the manner in which Duke chooses his teams. That’s about what I would need to do. The other day, there was a bracket announced in my doctoral department and I thought of what a comedy of errors that would be, as how much would a bunch of doctoral students know about the NCAA tournament. I know I’m generalizing, but I don’t imagine there would be much “basketball analysis” going on!

  3. Kevin,
    Can the dog win the pool? Will he get to shop for a gift of his choosing at the pet store? Sounds fun. Enjoy watching the hoops-what are the stats of his kibble predicting?

  4. My bracket is busted. But I would take it to watch The Mercer Bears beat Duke. I mean what is life like right now if you are a Mercer Bears fan? (A real one.) I feel we could watch a little basketball together. (I have KU winning it all. Sing a little…”Rock Chalk Jayhawk…”) 🙂 Our five year old picked some good upsets, and we basically used peer pressure and kibble to get him to pick his teams. Does that count? 🙂 We love basketball-it’s a family trait. This is my favorite time of year.

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