The challenge has been set. The gauntlet has been laid. And the chances are against me going anywhere but McDonald's when the game is over.
March brings Madness for any fan of college basketball. Madness is nothing new for my household, so let the insanity commence! I print out a bracket for each of my family members. This includes my children, ages 6, 9 and 11. We've done this for years now, each member selecting their winners.
Then, as the tournament progresses, I keep track of points. The person with the most points gets to select the next restaurant we eat at. It's harmless. After all, we're going to eat out some time. Someone has to choose. We might as well make it fun.
What's fun for me is putting my college basketball knowledge, based on ESPN analysts, against the whims of my family members.
There's my wife, who choose teams based on who was good back in the 90's, when she last paid attention to college ball.
There's the 11-year old who wants to know what colors each team is wearing.
The 9-year old, my boy, relies way too heavily on the rankings.
Lastly, the 6-year old makes her choices based on which team has the funnier sounding name. This is also the reason she cleaned up a few years ago when BUTT-ler made it to the Final Four. She has also been known to ride Cinderella teams to the Championship game, even though they never made it past a play-in game.
One might think I have an incredible winning streak going against this clan. Alas, I haven't won in years. But the whole thing is worth it for an experience that brings our family together. None of the kids care about the bracket past those fateful trips to McDonald's. But we have some unique fun each year around this time, giving us something to joke about and connect on.
We'll watch a few games, cheering on our picks, eating our share of nachos. I get to explain the game I love to my young ones. They get to hang out on the couch with their mom and dad.
In the end, no one cares too much who wins it all and cuts down the nets. But if I had to pick, I'd say the family being together is a #1 pick.