FITB: Bracket Busting
May-ish Madness, anyone? I know what you’re thinking. Isn’t that supposed to happen in March? Like everyone else, Airtype celebrates the unpredictability of the college basketball landscape every year by filling out brackets and waiting for the inevitable upsets and cinderella stories to emerge. This is not that.
We’re talking about the NBA playoffs—the ‘best of the best’ clashing in consecutive seven-game series over a six-week marathon to claim the title of NBA World Champs. I’m unsure exactly how a team can be champions of the entire world by winning in one country, but it’s probably fair to say that our presumptions of global superiority (sans soccer) extend to even the most empirically trivial exchanges (i.e. the valuable life skill of heaving an inflated leather sphere through a metal hoop). Still, professional basketball is certainly at its best in the throes of the playoffs, and I would argue that these weeks of action rival anything college basketball can produce. Unless you’re making the case for the enthusiasm of college fan bases, driven to fandom to help justify insane student loan debt and the fulfilling badge of ‘alumni status’…I won’t argue about the passion that creates.
We’ve reached the halfway point of the NBA playoffs, and so far, developer and “Sausage Fest 2012” organizer Wes Rice is leading the pack in our bracket contest. Closing on that lead quickly is our fearless leader (Ledbetter). The rest of us…well…we’re still waiting on the fallen Bulls and Clippers to somehow advance on a technicality to rescue our brackets from mediocrity. A quick look at our hand-scrawled predictions—current as of 5/24—will tell you where it’s gone right and wrong.
I have to include the fact that Ryan is our most knowledgeable NBA enthusiast, but his contest position has dropped more quickly than the number of ‘Sum 41’ fans. Not a good showing this time around. To be fair, I don’t speak from a lofty peak either. My belief that the Spurs were too old to advance past the Clippers failed worse than Yahoo’s management of Flickr. Anything can happen, but it looks as though either the Spurs or the Thunder will probably win it all.
We based our scoring on two factors: picking the winner and guessing the correct number of games for the series: Here’s where the point totals sit currently (and each person’s projected winner):
Wes: 33 points (Heat)
Led: 29 points (Thunder)
Marcus: 25 points (Thunder)
Dwayne: 25 points (Thunder)
Adam: 24 points (Thunder)
Ryan: 18 points (Heat)
As you can see, most of us bought in to the idea of this being Oklahoma City’s year. I don’t see the Heat closing the deal, especially given the struggles they had with the Pacers (of all teams). Forgive my doubt in his closing ability, but I wouldn’t trust Lebron James with the last shot of the game if we were playing ‘Flip Cup’ or ‘Quarters’, much less a playoff game. We’ll see how it all shakes out.
What does the winner of this much-hyped playoff pool receive for emerging victorious? You guessed it…an inflatable remote-controlled shark. Check this video of the ‘Air Swimmer’ in action, and forgive the bad music:
I’m certain that office productivity will suffer for a few hours once we figure out how to fly this thing. Once loosed from the confines of the studio, anything is possible. In some ways, this is the reason we’re pleased that Marcus isn’t leading the contest. If he does pull off the win, stay tuned for news out of downtown Winston about an ugly incident involving an inflatable shark getting stabbed after hovering conspicuously around the bus station. Kidding…
To quote Adam, the world’s quietest Creative: “Most of us are about as happy as we make our minds up to be.” Actually, that quote was from Abraham Lincoln. Still, we keep things relaxed around the office, and that makes working at Airtype a lot more fun than your average interactive sweat shop. Nothing replaces hard work, but we’re willing to supplement it with silly contests and offbeat incentives to stay as far away from average as possible.