What You’re Looking Forward to the Most After COVID: The Bracket
After a full year of COVID lockdowns, we are knocking on the door of a return to some level of normalcy in the next few months. To celebrate (and hopefully not jinx) this momentous occasion, we are proud to present the theme for our 4th annual March Madness bracket….What You’re Looking Forward to the Most Post-COVID.
Over the course of the next two weeks, 64 teams will compete in 4 different regions of a post-COVID world (Little Things, Work, Socializing, and Experiences) for the coveted WRD bracket championship crown.
For those who are new to this, go check out our brackets from previous March Madness tournaments.
A special shout-out to the folks at Morning Brew, who were so impressed by last year’s Best Inventions Since Sliced Bread bracket that they decided to take not only our idea, but our writing style and overall content strategy, with their “Greatest Product of All Time” bracket. It’s a nice try but please focus on newsletters and leave the brackets to us, the inventors of March Madness, comedy and ideas in general.
This March, support small businesses and vote with Work Retire Die.
How It Works:
There are 16 teams in each of the 4 regions – Little Things, Work, Socializing and Experiences with two major caveats to team selection.
1. We know – we may never get back to totally normal, but “Post-COVID” implies a world with minimal or zero restrictions. So yeah, I’m sure Karaoke is still happening somewhere and you can go to the gym today, but you’re voting for the version that exists in a “normal” world.
2. We’re not including anything that’s health related or overtly political. These either would obviously win (looking at you “no longer worrying about killing your grandparents”) or are too polarizing. We get it, you can’t wait for COVID to be over so the liberal left can stop trying to destroy small businesses and get rid of Dr. Seuss or whatever. Not that kind of bracket.
- Voting is performed by The Committee, a team of 7 intelligent and handsome consultants. We each get 1 vote.
- Fans will get the opportunity to vote on 4 of the 8 rounds in the Instagram Stories. Their votes count as 2 votes.
Why don’t you get to vote on every round? First off, it would take forever and you’d get bored by the end of it. Second off, and more importantly, we have actual jobs and this shit takes forever. Sorry. Buy our merch and maybe next year we’ll be able to do this the right way.
The four rounds of fan voting will occur on the below dates.
- Monday 3/15 – Round 1
- Fans and Committee vote on Rd. 1. Committee votes on Rd. 2
- Results published on Wednesday 3/17
- Thursday 3/18 – Sweet 16
- Fans and Committee vote on Round of 16. Committee votes on Elite 8
- Results published on Sunday 3/21
- Monday 3/22 – Final Four
- Fans and Committee vote on Final Four.
- Results published Wednesday 3/24
- Thursday 3/25 – National Championship
- ONLY FANS VOTE. Part of the reason we do this is so we can make an OnlyFans joke, but we also want to reward the loyal WRDies and put the fate of the tournament in your hands.
- Results published Friday 3/26
Any questions? Good, let’s get into it.
Little Things Region
This scrappy region is full of the parts of daily life that you completely forgot existed a year ago.
The Favorite: #2 No More ‘Forgot Your Mask’ Panic
Winner of the ‘Benefits of Not Having to Wear a Mask’ conference, this team means the departure of that horrible moment when you’re two blocks from your apartment, realize you forgot a mask, and have to decide if you should go back and grab one from home or try to buy one from the nearest store without getting thrown out.
Dark Horse: #5 Uber Pools
A sneaky squad that’s consistently slept on by top pollsters, the fifth seeded Uber Pools team makes up for what they lack in convenience with affordability and surprisingly great opportunities for networking and meet-cutes.
Cinderella Team: #13 Never Having to Hear ‘Unprecedented Times’ Again
A pre-season favorite, this plucky upstart got off to a hot start this season before fading down the stretch, as people slowed down on using the dreaded phrase. Will they rally for the tournament season or go home early?
Matchup to Watch: #7 More Predictable Sports Lineups vs. #10 Posting Someone Up
Sure, #7 Predictable Sports Lineups has their strengths and makes gambling an easier process, but anyone who played pickup basketball during the pandemic knows how sorely the 10th seeded Posting Someone Up squad was missed. Will this nation let COVID and Steph Curry team up to continue to kill the mid-range game? It’s up to the loyal WRDies to decide.
At some point, we’ll all have to go back to the office in some capacity. These teams will actually make you grateful you no longer can worke in sweatpants from your couch.
The Favorite: #1 Leaving Work on a Friday
This streaking, high energy squad is a welcome relief from a typical COVID Friday, which consists of simply closing you computer, moving 3 inches on their couch, and have 2 more beers than a normal night.
Dark Horse: #5 Meeting Your New Coworkers
Anyone who has started a new job or had someone join their team in the last year knows just how necessary this 5 seed is. While this team can be beat by the anxiety factor (will my jokes over Slack translate to in-person banter?) their secret weapon – the chance to flaunt a good outfit – might carry them to the finals.
The Cinderella: #11 Commuting
While the 11 seed has their flaws (expensive, time suck, sweaty back during the summer) the criminally underrated Commuting squad not only gives you the opportunity to listen to podcasts and mentally prepare for the day, but also serves as the perfect excuse for being late to work when you actually just overslept.
Matchup to Watch: #7 Hanging out in the Conference Room after a call ends vs. #10 Using the Corporate Card
Two perennial powerhouses face off in a battle of wastefulness, as #7 Hanging out in a Conference Room is a delightful drain on company time that simply disappeared during WFH life while #10 Using the Corporate Card boasts the undeniable thrill of hemorrhaging corporate resources on a $89 room service dinner at the Holiday Inn.
The Socializing Region
Easily the most high-energy region of the bracket, these teams are just rounding into form and are ready to explode in the summer months.
The Favorite: #2 Bar Hopping
A loaded, senior-heavy team, #2 seed Bar Hopping will be tough to beat with their lethal combination of spontaneity, making new friends you’ll never speak to again, and waking up at 6 am to a Chase alert for a $387 charge from a placed called “Village Tavern” that you have no recollection of stepping foot in.
The Dark Horse: #4 No More Zoom Parties
One of the most versatile teams in the tournament, No More Zoom Parties is a welcome relief to all of us who’ve had to sit on a Zoom and awkwardly sip a Bud Light for someone’s birthday, a family holiday or oddly uncomfortable going away happy hour for your coworker.
The Cinderella: #7 Being Able to Read Facial Expressions
The semi-finalist in the “Benefits of No Mask” conference tournament, this 7 seed is vital for determining if someone is laughing at your hilarious joke or feeling uncomfortable beyond belief and wishing you’d never speak to them again.
Matchup to Watch: #4 No More Zoom Parties vs. #13 Small Talk Not About COVID
While the 4 seed is primed for a deep run, they could meet their match in #13 Small Talk Not About COVID, a favorite of this blog that is sorely missed by anyone who is sick of discussing vaccine roll-outs with the friend of a friend they got sat next to at a group dinner.
The Experiences Region
The region with the most grey-area on what ‘normal’ looks like, this region is for specific experiences that were either completely shut down or greatly impacted by the pandemic.
The Favorite: #1 Attending a Live Sports Game
The current #1 seed in the entire tournament, Attending a Live Sports Game is unmatched in its combination of binge drinking, camaraderie among strangers, and the knowledge that you and your definitely not obnoxious chanting are the only reason your team won that night.
The Dark Horse: #7 Dave and Busters
One of the most unique teams in the entire tournament, the 7th seeded Dave and Busters is an experience that simply cannot exist at half capacity. They’ve battled injuries all season long, but if they can get back to full strength, they’ll be a tough out in this region.
The Cinderella: #14 Adult Sports Leagues
#14 seed Adult Sports League might be the most up and down team in the tournament and can either be a way too competitive waste of time or the perfect excuse to drink on a Tuesday. We’ll see which version comes to play on Monday.
Matchup to Watch: #5 Weddings vs. #12 Casinos
A battle between two heavyweights from the “Reasons to Get Dressed Up” conference, fifth-seeded Weddings can honestly be an inconvenience at times and could have their hands full with a very streaky Casino that can give you the best night you’ve ever had or ruin your life forever.
Get off your ass and follow us on Instagram and vote this Monday for your favorites.