Editor’s note: This column originally ran in the March 22, 2013 issue of the Banner.
With St. Patrick’s Day wrapped up and Easter on the horizon, that can mean only one thing: March Madness is here.
If you’re not familiar, March Madness is the NCAA Division I basketball championships, which typically conclude in April, not March. (But there’s no April Madness.) I’m a fan of the madness, especially the first week, which has already started. The first few rounds are so exciting because of the upset potential; I’m convinced that in the near future, we’ll finally see a No. 1 seed lose to a No. 16 seed.
What’s truly maddening is that the most exciting round starts on Thursday morning and is played throughout the day Thursday and Friday. You know, when most people are at work. The loss in productivity caused by March Madness-watchers and those more interested in their brackets than their deadlines is estimated at anywhere from $134 million to $1.7 billion. Especially with the games available for online viewing, it’s a struggle to balance basketball with the daily grind, and workers spend an average of one to three hours per day checking on scores instead of clients.
I think I do a good job of making up any time I miss. I work from home, so the coffee maker and water cooler are only six feet away. I eat lunch at my desk and avoid unnecessary meetings. If I ignore my phone and email and never use the restroom, I can shave at least three hours off any workday.
It also helps to have some easy game-time recipes when the workday is done. This recipe uses store-bought dough stuffed with meats and cheeses to make stromboli, which is sort of like a cross between pizza and a big sandwich. As long as the dough is thawed, this comes together and bakes in about a half-hour. It’s so easy that I usually make two and bake them at the same time, swapping the pans between racks halfway through the cooking process.