Friday, September 29, 2023
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March Fairness

It's March Madness time once again and the annual question pops into my head: Why does it have to be so mad?

Wouldn't March Sanity be better for all of us?

OK, it lacks alliteration, so let's revise that - Spring Sanity? March Morality?

I've been thinking about this more this year perhaps because I've gone mad but I think it's because the NCAA decide to allow 68 teams to compete instead of 64 - apparently on the off chance that the 68th team was unfairly overlooked and would have won the national championship if only given a shot.

But what about the 69th team?

Where art thou Northwestern Wildcats and Colorado Buffalos?

It's just madness.

So in the interest of a more perfect world, I propose we make the tournament truly fair. Let everyone in.

There are 346 Division I men's college basketball teams. If you play two games a week, the tournament would be down to a final and truly-deserving 5.375 teams by week four.

Special recognition should go to any .375 team that actually wins the tournament.

While on this topic, I have to note there are many other areas of athletics and life in general that could use some additional fairness.

College Football. Start the playoffs at the beginning of the season. Crown a national champion in early December. And then hold bowl games as usual.

You get a well-earned season championship followed by bowl games designed to guarantee the traditional national pastime of arguing over who's really Number One.

Large Claims Court. We bar lawyers from small claims court to make things fair. So why do we let pro per parties go up against lawyers in other courts? It's not fair.

We could bar lawyers from all courtrooms. That would cut down on litigation, but it would probably drive judges insane (the ones not already insane, of course) and put lawyers out of work.

So the obviously fair thing to do is assign lawyers to everyone who shows up in court.

Full employment for lawyers, relative orderliness in court, and a fair chance for all parties.

Ah, but you're thinking, lawyers are not fungible. A lawyer appointed by the court may not be a match for a high-powered law firm.

That's easily fixed. Judges just need to draft lawyers from one side over to the other to even things up.

A good lawyer should be able to argue either side of a dispute.

Rankings. Rankers should be ranked.

Ranking systems - particularly for such things as schools generally aren't all that logical. All sorts of disparate areas are lumped together and subjectively given relative importance. And a lot of the stuff can't really be measured.

So I was really perplexed by a press release issued last week by Loyola Law School with this headline: "Loyola Law School Ranked 54th in Nation in 2012 U.S. News Law School Rankings."

We're No. 54! Hurrah!

And, the press release noted, this wasn't 54 out of mere thousands. It was number 54 out of 190.

Even more impressive: Loyola was up two slots from 56 the year before.

Am I missing something here? Should I be detecting a note of irony?

Maybe, just maybe, Loyola is telling us not to take these rankings all that seriously. Maybe the school is pointing out the unfairness of rankings.

So to make things at least a little bit more fair, I think we should rank all the rankers in terms of how well they rank.

And then issue a press release.

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