HERE are some shocking statistics from the Federal Organization With Unlimited Time (FO'WUT), of which all Human Resources Managers worth their triplicate forms should be aware:
Personnel-ly, a dive in
this pool is uncool
Every March, an average of $4.6 million in copy machine paper is pilfered from businesses small and large throughout America.
The average water cooler break becomes 13.23 minutes, as compared to 3.48 minutes in other months.
Internet abuse is rampant in March, as employees access non-work-related websites 14.95 times-per-work-shift, as opposed to 4.42 the rest of the year. (Also, the most popular slacking sites change in March, as lollygaggers hit CNN/SI.com and dickiev.com instead of rickymartinfan.org and nakedgirls.com.)
And numbers can't begin to calculate the heartbreak of families doing without necessities because of $5 wagers made by millions of breadwinners.
Where does the Madness end?
Right here, I say. Let me be the first to align myself with personnel departments throughout the land in eliminating the scourge known as the office pool.
As a sign of protest - and to show what a dedicated company man I am - I did not participate in the Star-Bulletin's NCAA Basketball Tournament Pool (which doesn't really exist, anyway, because it's illegal) this year.
OK, I'll admit the real reason I didn't turn in a bracket: I had no idea who would win in the first two rounds.
Now be honest, as you cross out five of those teams you had going to the Elite Eight. Did you?
Seedings? Misleading. Last time I saw this many No. 2s bite the dust was at a pencil-fighting tournament in intermediate school. By the way, did it ever really matter where Cincinnati was seeded?
The world is upside down when UCLA and North Carolina, who used to have lifetime Go Directly to Final Four cards, celebrate like they won the whole thing after surviving round two.
The Bruins have the closest thing to a local tie in the tournament. Freshman Jason Kapono, who came up big in the first round against Ball State, is of Hawaiian ancestry.
How about Gonzaga? If not for this fine basketball team, I'd still think it was the name of a cheese you grate onto pasta.
It seems like some of these Gonzaga guys have been around forever. Remember Richie Frahm, Casey Calvary and Axel Dench losing to UH in the NIT two years ago?
I also remember them ousting Florida last year in the NCAA round of 16.
A rematch between the Gators and Bulldogs this year could only happen with the national championship on the line on April 3 in Indianapolis.
The knee-jerk reaction is to say it's possible, because anything is in this topsy-turvy tournament.
But my guess is that Gonzaga beats Purdue, but can't run past athletic LSU.
If UCLA stays hot enough to topple Iowa State it loses to Michigan State.
Because of all the upsets in the East and South, Duke's roughest road-bump on the way to the championship game is now Florida.
The Gators are just as youthful and talented as the Blue Devils. But from what I saw covering several Florida games this year, UF's point-guard tag team of Teddy Dupay and Brett Nelson is way too inconsistent.
Michigan State over Duke for the title - and personnel thanks you for waiting 'til lunch to place your bet.
Dave Reardon, who covered sports in Hawaii from 1977 to 1998,
moved to the the Gainesville Sun, then returned to
the Star-Bulletin in Jan. 2000.