FT. WORTH, TX - Recently in Greg Stedman's small group, pneumatology and eschatology have taken a back seat to bracketology. The men in his Bible study are planning to revive their annual March Madness bracket competition for the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament.
Just like the other guys in the group, Greg hasn't watched a single college basketball game all season but pretends like he knows what he's talking about. "Oh man, I'm totally going to own these guys," he reported. "Duke all the way. They're still good, right?"
Other men have admitted to making their picks without knowledge of the teams' abilities or past performance. "I usually just let my daughter tell me which mascot she likes the best and I go with that one," said group leader Lewis Peters. "I think one year I had Lehigh winning it all."
The men of Crosspoint Church are a microcosm of what happens all over the country among friends, families, and coworkers as the Big Dance approaches. Pool participants are choosing between teams they've never even heard of, let alone watched.
Psychologist Susan Court says the phenomenon is rooted in a decades-old stereotype of men and sports. "Apart from the handful of guys who actually follow the sports intently, most men are just projecting an image they think is expected of them by society. It's the same reason women wear high heels. We don't actually like them, it's just something we've always done."
In addition to making March Madness picks, the members of the Crosspoint group are also preparing to say they know what the "crease" is in hockey, understand what "offsides" means in any sport, and can stay awake for an entire baseball game.