March Madness Without Making Your Boss Mad

Mary Katharine Ham
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Posted: Mar 16, 2006 11:59 AM

Y'all don't tell your bosses I told you this, but CBS Sportsline is streaming all the games from the first three rounds of the tournament on the Web for FREE. There are so many, many reasons the Internet is one of my best friends.

I'm watching Oklahoma (6)/ Wisconsin-Milwaukee (11) right now. Totally just as an experiment in Web technology and the user interface and all that. Nonetheless, let's just not tell my boss about it. Thanks, guys.

There's a "waiting room" for the streaming video once you sign in, as the system does have limited capacity, but I was only in there for maybe 4 minutes. The video's also kinda herky-jerky. But overall-- purdy neat.

Many companies are, of course, frightened of a massive drop in productivity during the tourney.

Studies show that productivity wanes every year during the tournament. But 2006 stands to be the biggest hit ever to the workplace thanks to the decision by CBS SportsLine.com, whose parent company, CBS, holds the national broadcast rights to the 65-team tournament, to stream the games online at no cost to viewers.

One Washington area employee with a major defense contractor said the company also was making a preemptive strike by disabling computer access to CBS SportsLine.com.

ESPN's Page 2 offers tips for Tournament Etiquette, so you don't lose all your friends, money, jobs, and spouses.

Sportsline also has expert picks for those of you who'd like to spend time pondering where you might have gone wrong on your bracket.

I am in the minority of March Madness fans-- I don't ever fill out a bracket because I've been convinced since I was fairly young that God would find some way to smite my team if I went around betting on them. That's what happens when a kid is raised in the Bible Belt and on Tobacco Road-- the cultural messages get mightily mixed. But, my team has made 14 Final Four appearances (most during my lifetime) and earned three championships, so I don't wanna go messing with a good thing.

Luke Winn is tournament-blogging over at Sports Illustrated (could require a subscription). Rough gig, huh?

All right, so what was meant to be a meditation on the emergence of web video and its effects on the intersection of the modern sports and work worlds turned into just a bunch of basketball links. I trust that you'll find it in your hearts to forgive me.

Enjoy the madness, folks, but stay safely employed out there.

I'll be enjoying my March even more than usual, especially now that a helpful reader has pointed out to me that it is entirely appropriate and even encouraged for me to walk around dyed blue this month. It seems I have foiled the t-shirt vendor after all.

Also, can you believe Ray Allen is back to playing after that nasty eye injury?

All right, all right, boss. I'm going back to work.