I love March for a lot of reasons. It is the light at the end of the winter tunnel and we get some warm days thrown in with the crazy Spring weather. One of my favorite things about March though is March Madness and NCAA basketball. I grew up in a household where sports was on 24/7. My Dad and 3 brothers all are HUGE sports fans, they have played and watch lots of different sports. I have one brother that works part time for ESPN and another brother that was a sports and UFC anchor for years. I don't regularly watch college basketball, but the NCAA tournament games are so exciting and fun to watch and it has been a tradition in our family for years to fill out brackets. It started with my brother Ryan, the sports anchor, he INSISTED that EVERYONE fill out a bracket, including his children. As soon as they were old enough (about 2) to participate, he would show them a picture of the teams logo and have them pick which one they wanted to win. Ryan was killed in a car accident on May 31, 2006, but every March I can't help but think of him and his tradition, and we have carried it on ever since. My son isn't old enough this year, but next year he will definitely be choosing a bracket. My nieces and nephews are older now and really get into it. They have such a fun time picking teams and seeing how many of their teams are winning. Most of the brackets are done online now, but I have found a simple way to include the younger kids in the bracket fun.
I print out the teams logo, use a little bit of double stick tape, and attach it to a Popsicle stick. I show 2 Popsicle sticks and have them choose which one they want to win.
We usually post the brackets and highlight the winning teams for them to see. I don't know what it is about logos on Popsicle sticks that is so fun to play with afterward, but they always love them!
I use the pictures below, it has most of the teams. It may seem cheesy, but it is a really fun tradition in our family.
It all starts next week, and we always have nights to sit and cheer on our beloved Utes. I usually make a fun snack, I thought I would share a quick recipe for some yummy popcorn.
Cheesy Barbecue Popcorn
2 TBSP melted butter
1/2 TSP chili powder
1/2 TSP garlic salt
1/4 TSP onion powder
8 cups popped corn
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
Combine butter and seasonings; mix in popcorn until well coated. Sprinkle with cheese, stir well. Serve immediately or store in airtight container.
Do you celebrate March Madness at your house?