With the winnowing of the NCAA Tournament field to those Sweet 16, odds are relatively good that your March Madness bracket has officially become useless as a money-making enterprise. And if that's the case it's certainly lost any positive it's-Tournament-season vibes it was throwing off in late February. With that in mind, and given the nation's serious paper-art shortage after that fire at the National Museum of Napkin Origami and Straw-Wrapper Projectiles, I'd like to offer a few suggestions about turning your own failed NCAA bracket into a piece of inscrutable transgressive art. (If you don't have your own 2011 NCAA Tournament Printable Bracket, follow along on that one! Feel free to write your own incorrect picks for the Elite Eight and the Final Four into the margins before we begin; I like Pitt, Notre Dame, Syracuse, and Texas, personally.)
1. Connect religion to something you dislike in a provocative way. Write the names of your 64 least favorite religions into the blanks of your bracket. The First Four teams are famine, pestilence, war, MTV Skins, and whatever else you're implicitly blaming on those religions. The 16 seeds are, say, Native Traditions. In the National Championship spot, write Hate!! or MTV scripted programming!! When you've finished framing your bracket, consider urinating on it.
2. When in doubt, get sociopolitical. Right now Kansas's Sweet 16 contest against Richmond is just a reminder that you thought it would be a great idea to be the guy who picked Louisville to come out of the Southwest bracket. But a sly, un-pin-downable sociopolitical assertion is a great way to turn the discussion from your dumb picks to Foucault's conception of power dynamics throughout history.
Bonus: The ketchup you spilled on your bracket while you watched the First Four at Buffalo Wild Wings looks a lot like dried blood!
Consider binding your printable NCAA Tournament bracket into an austere, hardcover book called THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD, with the blood-ketchup spilling haphazardly over the word "history." Then consider urinating on it.
3. If you're short on time, just use the National Championship game. Fold your printable bracket in half and, with an adult's help, cut carefully around the Final Four with a fun pair of scissors. Out of the Southwest bracket, write in "The People!"; out of the East bracket, write "Big business!", or "Cynical Teen-Sex Dramas!" In the winner space, write in "Never us!" A glue stick and some construction paper will really brighten up even the worst failed bracket or indictment of the military-pornographic complex.
These are just three options; in the world of transgressive art, your future is limited only by how much you've had to drink in the last four hours. When someone wins your pool, and takes the cash prize, consider urinating on it.