It's that time of year again. The sun sits a little higher in the sky, the daffodils are abloom and we've planted the peas. Yes, it's time to fill out the NCAA tournament bracket. It's a family affair and an awful lot of us in the Team Sabo department fill out brackets to see who's the best prognosticator. Or sheer guesser, however you look at it. Last year, for example, Evie almost won our tournament challenge and she admittedly has no clue who's any good in college basketball. A lot of it is a feeling, or a hunch, or whichever team you hit on the dartboard. One year Brenton prepared for March Madness by watching as much basketball as he could for an entire week before the tournament. The dude did not sleep for like a week scouting every team and it paid off because he was killing us for the first two weeks of the tournament. Unfortunately things went downhill for him and, um, I won that year. He still refuses to talk about it.
Taylor is taking a different approach. No dartboards for him. No scouting on ESPN or anything like that. Nope. Taylor has faith. This year he decided to retire to his room to pray over his bracket. He was up there for like an hour. Then he started reading the Bible. He came out and announced that he had just read in Ecclesiastes 9:4: "...a living dog is better than a dead lion." So he went through the bracket and picked all the teams with "Dogs" as mascots. Like Butler and Gonzaga. Any team with a Lion as a mascot ... sorry. You're going down. Then he came across Ecclesiastes 9:11: "The race is not to the swift." So he looked for all of the "swift" teams such as Texas and Villanova. If you're fans of these teams, Taylor has some bad news for you. They're toast. As in burnt toast. He also picked St. Mary's because Mary ministered to the Lord in the gospel of Luke. That's got to count for something, right? Especially come NCAA tournament time. Then he came across Luke 8:30: "But the Pharisees and Lawyers rejected the will of God for themselves, not having been baptized by Him." You may be wondering what on earth that passage has to do with March Madness. Well, Taylor came up to me and asked which teams have a good law school. "Georgetown," I said. "Why?" Taylor just said, "They're going down." Don't you see the correlation? The lawyers rejected the will of God ... so obviously Georgetown, as a good law school, is going down in the tournament! So Taylor has them losing to Ohio. Talk about an upset. But it's in the Bible!
Ethan just came downstairs and was talking to Taylor about his picks and then Taylor was explaining to him about his picking method this year. How it's Biblically based and all. Ethan stared at him for a really long time. "What percentage are you joking Taylor?" he said. "Do you really think God gave you those picks?" Taylor responded yes. Then Taylor laughed really hard. Ethan looked flustered. "I personally think we should outlaw this type of thing," Ethan said. "Because if he wins, he didn't really win."
I don't know if any of you all who read this blog are familiar with the term "hermeneutics." Essentially good hermeneutics in the context of the Bible is rightly interpreting and handling Scripture. For example, bad hermeneutics would be taking passages of the Bible and twisting them for self-serving purposes. Or foolish purposes. Like when Julie got wind of this newfound method. "You're using the Bible to pick your bracket?" she said to Taylor. "I don't want people to think we're weirdos using the Bible for stupid purposes." A discussion ensued and Taylor explained that he was honest with the Lord and told Him that you probably don't really care about this, but he was going to pray about it and whoever the Lord puts on his heart, that's who he's picking. "All glory to God if I pick right," Taylor said. And what if his picks don't pan out? Taylor laughed. "Well, we'll know who's a false prophet," he said. It's an interesting, entertaining family discussion. At one point Julie looked over at Taylor. "I like that you do everything unto the Lord," she said. "You're sitting down filling out this bracket and bringing the Lord into it. Saying, `OK Lord, here I am sitting down and filling out this bracket. If you want to contribute, go ahead.'" Julie giggled. "Maybe God really does care about your bracket."