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The Etiquette of March Madness

March Madness

March Madness is upon us, and with it, the potent combination of basketball, gambling and pitcher beer. It’s a powerful trio, enough to inspire all sorts of uncouth behavior if you’re not careful.

So instead of advice about your bracket, we thought we’d provide a little wisdom on how to watch the games in appropriate style, with passion and zeal...but a minimum of madness.

Control YourselfWe believe in passion, above all things, but that’s no excuse for immoderation—and if you find yourself whooping at every basket, you may be on the wrong side of that line. Having said that, if there’s a game-winning free throw, you can expect to be out of your seat.

We’re All Fans HereThat goes double if you find yourself watching the game with opposing fans present. Keep it quiet enough to avoid any bar fights, and (although this should really go without saying) taunting is extremely bad form. Passion is no excuse for rudeness either.

Leave Your Jersey at HomeThis one’s more style than etiquette, but it has to be said. Ball caps, lapel pins and (we can dream) college scarves are all fair game. Jerseys, not so much.

Keep Your Bets to YourselfWith a pool in every office, there are probably more than a few betting interests kicking around your social circle...which means it’s more than likely at least one of your friends bet the other way. The only way to avoid the awkwardness is to keep quiet and let the game play out.

...Unless You’re Buying a RoundHaving said that, a free drink will smooth over a surprising amount of awkwardness.