13. Terrible Bracket
RCS: Have you ever had a terrible bracket?
Wetzel: When I worked at Sportsline, I covered college hoops and I was dialed into the sport. I knew everybody. I knew someone on practically every staff in the country, something about 300 programs. But I still couldn’t pick the bracket – it’s still impossible to predict this stuff.
They made me fill one out though and they posted it online. This guy in Iowa sent me an email and said he took my bracket and entered in like the Cedar Rapids Gazette contest and there was like 2000 entries. I came in like, 1700. So I couldn’t even beat 1700 people in Cedar Rapids. At that time I thought about college basketball 365 days a year, talked college basketball 365 days a year. I had scouting reports, I watched these kids when they were playing in high school, and I still couldn’t do it. I lost to 1700 people. So all my brackets are bad.
RCS: When that happened, how did you respond to the annoying people who said, “And you’re supposed to be a college basketball expert?”
Wetzel: Yea, that’s kind of what I’ve been saying. I don’t know if anyone who reads my columns regularly thinks I know how to predict a game. I once wrote a column asking why anyone asks me to predict anything. Where did I learn handicapping? I don’t know anything about it. It’s ridiculous. As a sportswriter, you must be able to predict games – Why? I didn’t get trained on that. I didn’t play professional football. I don’t know who’s going to win. Not that the guys who played professional football know either. I almost never criticize the on-field performance of a player or a coach either. All I do is tell you what the stories are. I can go find out what was going on with Nate Miles while he was a high school prospect. I can give you that. That’s my job. Not to predict games. If I knew how to predict games I’d be living in the Real World suite at the Palms right now.
Previously from RealClearSports:
10 Questions with Kevin Blackistone
10 Questions with Richard Justice
10 Questions with Mike Vaccaro
10 Questions with Tony Kornheiser
9 Questions with AJ Daulerio, Editor of Deadspin
10 Questions with Jay Mariotti
8 Questions with Mike Bianchi
9 Questions with Erik Rydholm, Creator of PTI