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A return to values

Inside Column | Tuesday, March 29, 2011

There were a lot of bracket disappointments this weekend. From Kansas to Ohio State, it was tough to find a bracket that wasn’t destroyed in some way. My biggest bracket upset came in the NCAA Women’s Coaches Fashion Bracket. I could not believe Muffet McGraw got out in the Elite Eight. And Kim Mulkey of Baylor won? Come on.

Despite my disappointment at the outcome of the bracket, I was glad to see that ESPN was returning to real values in its late Saturday afternoon programming. They were talking about what really mattered with their Fashion Bracket. I only wish that they could have run that bracket before I made my NCAA women’s basketball one. I don’t look for skill in female athletes, I simply look at what they’re wearing or how they do their hair.

I hope ESPN continues this vein of sports entertainment. Let’s leave the sports to the men. We’ll let them sweat it out on the courts, the fields and the tracks. Instead, I propose that next year’s women’s bracket be replaced with a relay obstacle competition.

We’ll stick with five players, for equality of the sexes of course. But this competition involves a series of five challenges that the players must achieve. Before a player can begin her task, the teammate in front of her must complete her task and tag the next teammate in line. The teams are then evaluated on the time it took them to complete the competition and also the quality of their work.

The first event: table-setting. Everyone appreciates a well-laid table. It really sets the ambience of a meal, and its importance should not be overlooked. I’ve seen a poorly laid table ruin a first date.

The second event: cooking. After all, once you have a nicely laid table, you need food to eat from it. The meal doesn’t necessarily have to be anything fancy, but it does have to be well-balanced. No use in contributing to the obesity problem in America.

The third event: cleaning. Naturally, after a meal the kitchen or dining room will be messy. Players should expect to run the dishwasher, mop, wipe down counters and possibly vacuum.

The fourth event: laundry. Laundry is an important facet of life. Do it wrong and you may ruin all your clothes. Never do it and you’ll lose friends. Folding techniques will also be judged.

The fifth event: baby care. Babies are inescapable. From changing a diaper to calming a crying infant, this may be the toughest event in the competition and should not be taken lightly.

I hope ESPN seriously considers my idea. This style of play could even free up airtime to concentrate on what really matters in March: men and basketball.