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Let the Madness begin -- and for the love of Coach K, let us enjoy it

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march-madnes-money.jpgThere's something about waking up on the first Thursday of the the NCAA tournament. There's a certain palpable sense of excitement, not unlike a child on Christmas morning for some of us. But the Debbie Downers of the media won't let us completely enjoy our zone defenses, bounce passes and front ends of one-and-ones.

Every year, there's myriad stories about how March Madness zaps workplace productivity and costs businesses billions of dollars.

This year's figure is somewhere in the $4 billion range.
"Start with a pay scale of $18 per hour. There are 58 million basketball fans watching the NCAA tournament. Those fans are driving hard to the Internet and TV to the tune of 1.5 minutes per day over 16 business days. That comes to $3.8 billion lost productivity.

"It's never a good idea to put yourself in a position where you give the employer a reason as to why you might be the next one who gets the pink slip," said Kathy Masera, with the California Job Journal.

That math is very impressive, but it's simply wildy inaccurate. Sure, we avoid doing actual work like the Plague on the first two games of the tournament. The games are on in the afternoon and it's simply impossible to not get caught up in the insanity.

But after those two days, there are no games scheduled between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. -- the generally accepted workday hours. And to think that these same workers aren't wasting 1.5 minutes a day searching the internet for dancing manatees or pictures of Taylor Swift is just ignorant.

So, I offer this simple plea to those penny-pinchers who are worried about our greatest basketball bonanza ruining our already downtrodden economy: Lighten Up!

Let us have our fun. Let us pull for our mid-majors in the breakroom with the weird guy from IT. Let us compare brackets over Gmail. Let us give in to the Madness for these two days.

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Here, here, Kyle! I worked for a turd-bag of an employer once who made it a "fireable offense" to check scores or watch tourney action online. So naturally the flu, food poisoning, migraines and dead great-uncles conveniently ran rampant in office throughout the tournament.

Kyle responds: I mean, 1.5 minutes. Why do people hate fun?

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This page contains a single entry by Kyle Koster published on March 19, 2009 9:40 AM.

Dancing Celtics fan Daylon Trotman makes appearance on 'Ellen' was the previous entry in this blog.

Coach K on Obama: He should focus on the economy is the next entry in this blog.

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