March Madness is one of the biggest sports traditions in American history. Hell, it is probably the second biggest sports event in America next to the Super Bowl. But why? Because of degenerate gamblers. This event is tailored specifically for gamblers because of the bracket system. There is no way to do an educated-statistical prediction on who will win March Madness, the BCS Championship game, or the Super Bowl because they are one game championships; perfect for gamblers because the odds are really 50/50, anyone can win one game. While the NBA, NHL, and MLB playoffs are based on series’ and truly come down to who is the better team.
Sports coverage has now been molded for gamblers. When is the last time you have seen a sports coverage program that didn’t break down the odds on upcoming games/sporting events? The 24-hour sports network is the new craze because it is constant information and breakdown for the gamblers. Albeit die hard sports fans, like myself, enjoy these programs as well.
The MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference is a key example of how the sports world wants the fans to be more informed by breaking down sports as much as possible statistically. It seems there is a new stat for sports every year. Who does that benefit? Not me, I find it interesting but I don’t really care about the +/- of Kevin Garnett when he’s on the court (for example). This data helps gamblers get a better understanding on who to bet on.
March Madness to me falls right in line with those fantasy sports leagues, it is meant to intensify the sports-watching-experience. And so far it is quite successful. I fill out a March Madness bracket and I play in fantasy sports leagues but I do not gamble with either. I am not a fan of baseball or college sports so these activities draw my interest into those sports.
Sports should not be constructed solely for gamblers. Everyone likes sports and honestly the gamblers are the minority and the majority gets tired of these complex stats. I am not saying there is anything wrong with gambling on sports. Hell, I do it on occasion. But sports analysis should not be molded just for that group of the viewing audience.
Do you want your favorite sport to evolve into what horse-racing is?