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Around the Bluhmin’ Town


Judy Bluhm

Let the madness begin! No, I am not talking about the spectacle of Presidential campaigns…I am talking about the real March Madness. And it only has just begun. Yep, it’s that time of year again, when the NCAA tournaments send millions of fans into a synchronized frenzy each year (hence the name March Madness). Actually, what we are watching is the concentrated hype of 68 teams vying for college basket ball’s biggest prize. Oh, the glory of heart-pounding, last-second, buzzer-beating baskets that result in the euphoria of winning, while the rest will cry in agony and have to go home. There will be tears, sweat, and greatness with a champion team at the end of this chaos.

So how is your bracket shaping up? Let’s forget about brackets for a moment and move on to “rackets.” Did you know that there is an increase in vasectomy procedures done during March Madness? It seems that many physicians advertise heavily in February with ads that scream: “Get A Vasectomy, Recuperate Watching the NCAA Tournaments & Free Pizza Delivered Daily!” I am not making this up, Dear Readers. It seems that vasectomies are a slam dunk during March Madness! Even the highly esteemed Cleveland Clinic claims that vasectomy procedures increase by fifty percent during the NCAA Tournaments!

So it seems urologists all over the country do a great business in scheduling vasectomies in March, and as one doctor in Los Angeles happily claims his appointments go up “30 percent” during March Madness. Could it be because he runs a “special discount” ad that says “If you have four kids and want to make certain that they are the Final Four – call for an appointment and get 40 percent off.” Ha! I’d like to call a “foul!” Ladies, we better demand we get pedicures and a spa day when we have those “female procedures.”

I asked a physician friend if he thought that this type of advertising was ethical and he laughed and looked at me like I had two heads. “It is a safe procedure, of course it is ethical,” he chuckled. Hey, I wasn’t talking about the procedure, I was asking about the pizza (and maybe beer) eating, yelling, screaming, high-fiving, and general fist pumping that goes on when you are watching the NCAA Tournament! I mean wouldn’t hot tea, an ice bag, and watching Downton Abbey reruns be more conducive to healing post-op?

One physician in Cape Cod defended his “brilliant advertising” of pizza and hoops as simply “value-added marketing.” You know, that’s like when you go to the dentist and spend $600 and walk away with a little toothbrush and a miniature tube of toothpaste. One time I bought a horse and an old saddle was thrown in for the same price. Oh, and thirty years ago I opened a checking account at a bank that was giving away free toasters if you deposited more than $50. I loved that toaster. Well, I guess times have changed!

One man said that having his vasectomy during March Madness was the “best week of his life.” Stayed in his man-cave, controlled the remote, no chores to do, ate junk food, and wife brought him beer and Tylenol extra-strength upon request. What a way to watch your brackets get busted. Long live Gonzaga!

Back to brackets and all that, which is a mathematical equation that allows us to overanalyze and obsess over every little stat. Did you know that the odds of making a perfect bracket are over 9.2-quintillion-to-one? In fact, the odds are so miserable that if every individual in the world completed a bracket, the odds would be a billion to one against any of them being perfect! So why do we even get our pencils out?  Even our President has made his bracket picks, which are all wrong. Kansas in the top four? Never.

Now that the games have begun, work efficiency all over the nation will begin to drop for the next few weeks and quite a few men will be “laid up” eating pizza while they recuperate from a certain “cut” (and I don’t mean nets or teams).  So the drama of the hoops begins!

So while we forget about other news (politics) for now and hold our collective breath on which teams will make it to the Final Four…maybe we should forget about brackets! My Final Four picks this year? A large pepperoni pizza, cold beer, the remote, and ice pack seem like the only clear winners.

Judy Bluhm is a writer and a local realtor. Have a comment or a story? Email Judy at