I'm an evil turncoat and just couldn't resist this. Revisiting the big takeaway posts reminded me of a suggestion that I made on Lady Grey's blog back in 2010 about a possibility for dealing with the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. AKA March Madness.
Smarch in this case is not the fictitious month of a Simpson's Halloween Special, but submissive March Madness.
This idea popped into my head as it seemed fitting for the tournament and thinking about ways in which, following/watching any of the tournament might actually be worse than being denied watching/following the tournament.
Since I am aware that not everyone is familiar with it...
The NCAA tournament begins with a field of 68 teams that play through a single-elimination tournament to determine who is the national champion.
It consists of several rounds:
1. Opening round: 8 teams play a single game each (4 games total) and the winners are granted entry into the standard 64-team tournament bracket.
2. Round 1: 64 teams, 32 games.
3. Round 2: 32 teams. 16 games.
4. The Sweet 16. 16 teams. 8 games.
5. The Elite 8. 8 teams. 4 games.
6. The Final Four. 4 teams. 2 games.
7. The National Championship Game. 2 teams. 1 game.
One thing that is extremely common is for people to enter betting pools where they attempt to pick the outcomes of every game before the first game is played (or before Round 1 is played). If you have known an adult male in the past 25 years, there is a VERY strong chance that he has taken part in these. The bracket looks something like this:
I was actually very successful with these and have won quite a few of them. While some of it is luck, the people who have followed the basketball season have a much greater knowledge base going in. Knowing who is hot and who is struggled. Which teams suffered major injuries to key players. Which teams present matchup issues for one another. The 5/12 upset history, and so on.
A key factor in this is that the farther you get into the tournament, the fewer people there are truly competing in the betting pool as people who have chosen teams that got eliminated early are pretty much out of contention by the time you hit the Elite 8. This is the source of the true torment that I will get to in a bit.
I'm actually tailoring this with Karl in mind. I'm sorry, Karl. I am a turncoat. If you ever read this I hope that at least you'll agree that this is a pretty twisted way to go about the NCAA tournament for a sub that enjoys watching it.
The "Game" of it:
The sub fills out their bracket predicting the outcome of every game in the tournament with rewards for correct choices and punishments for incorrect ones. This can be done at the field of 64, or with the opening round to make it more difficult.
There are varying ways to go about this and I'm sure there are sadistic folks out there that have a better way to spin this, so I will generically say "reward" and "punishment" as I don't have anything specific in mind.
Basic form - Choosing the correct outcome leads to a reward. Choosing incorrectly leads to a punishment. The early part of the tournament frequently has a high success rate due to the seeding system. The later part of the tournament relies heavily upon how accurate they were in the earlier rounds. e.g. if they reach the Final Four and they predicted all 4 teams incorrectly, that means they automatically lose those 2 games plus the national championship game.
Since the early games are much easier to have a high success rate than the later ones, the games from each round could be given a weighted value. (It is common for someone knowledgeable in college basketball to correctly predict ~30 of Round 1's games).
Opening Round Games - 1 point each.
Round 1: 1 point each.
Round 2: 2 points each.
Sweet 16: 3 points each.
Elite 8: 4 points each.
Final 4: 8 points each.
National Championship Game: 16 points.
With this system, a correct pick would earn positive points, and an incorrect pick would earn negative points. The goal would be for the sub to finish with a positive score.
This could also be spiced up a bit by adding point spread/margin of victory and/or total score.
To use margin of victory they would have to guess by how many points the winning team will win by and comparing it to the actual outcome. This could easily become very painful, especially where they pick the winner incorrectly.
Predicting total score is basically adding the scores of the two teams together and comparing it to the prediction.
In both of these cases there could be an error bound, but it seems a little bit more wicked to make them predict it perfectly with punishment for any mistakes. Since there are exact numerical figures in play it might be interesting to use these for a spanking count or number of minutes spent in uncomfortable bondage.
A potential "reward" would be that any game played where the sub correctly picked the two participants... they get to watch. I'm sure it would make things more interesting when they have a truly vested interest in the outcome.
Going perfect requires correctly choosing the outcome of 67 games (63 if you ignore the opening round). I have entered hundreds of these bracket pools and went a perfect 63/63 one time and a half a dozen 62/63's... back when I was heavily following college basketball.
This is my bit of evil that I share with you. It's too late for this year, but next year maybe?