So what’s the draw? I know not all the fans of March Madness are college grads cheering for their alma mater. Maybe the attraction is to be a part of the “in-crowd”? We certainly make it a “social happening” to share happy hours, pizza and wings, etc. while we watch the games. I asked my son, a real sports enthusiast that enjoys college and professional sports, what was his take on this phenomenon. Baby Boy's response, “Its one and done!” My response, “What?” He explained, “They play the game and the loser goes home.” I said, “Yeah, maybe that’s it for the “real” sports fans, but that can’t be the thinking for everyone!” He thought for a moment and said, “People like to follow college sports, its not like the pros, the kids don’t get paid”… and I interrupted with “So, …its pure competition at its best” and he agreed.
I think our schools could capture that same excitement and enthusiasm about books! I know, I know, it sounds crazy, but hear me out. We just have to think like March Madness promoters and have the same components, such as:
NCAA - Brackets to fill in and follow as you cheer for your team.
Your School's Name - Book Brackets would be used (see photo above). Have the students “vote” to eliminate titles in each bracket. Plan the schedule for “voting” to match the NCAA game schedule as close as possible (many schools already do something similar).
Video highlights of NCAA Teams and their schools are shared to help participants get pumped up about their picks.
Videos/power-points of favorite authors/book titles using the school’s available technology would be made by the classes to build excitement.
Time to socialize - Happy Hours, family gatherings, etc. are held to cheer on favorite teams during the games. Lots of pizza and wings are sold.
“Book Buzz” - time for the kids to socialize and share why their favorite books should be selected to build excitement before the “voting” occurs to eliminate titles. It would be nice to have refreshments during this time, but that may be difficult with many school’s having stringent food policies.
NCAA Championship Game – final two teams battle for the championship title. Presentation of the trophy and championship hats as well as the ceremonious cutting of the net happens after the game. More pizza and wings and beverages are served all across the country!
Your School's Name Championship Title – final two books are voted on and the winning title is celebrated. Winning book could be displayed prominently in the school’s front hall with lots of fanfare! Maybe celebrate in the cafeteria during lunch so food could be served – pizza and chicken nuggets are popular items on most school menus.
NCAA Champions Visit the White House
Ummm… I may need some suggestions for this one! Schools could Skype in the author maybe?
I think I’m on to something…start planning now for next year’s March Madness at your school! “Books and Basketball” a winning combination!
Good Luck to all of you that still have a possible winning bracket for the NCAA Championship Game!
PS Hubby's take on all this - "Just watch the game!"