Wednesday, April 21, 2021

NCAA Tourney: If you can't beat 'em...

| March 24, 2021 1:00 AM

Bosses, don't get mad.

Get snacks.

It's the most wonderful time of the year — if you're a basketball fan.

Right now, it’s unclear if anybody can beat Gonzaga in its quest not just for its first basketball national championship, but to become the first team ever to conquer a 64-squad field with an unblemished record.

The Zags are the real deal.

While everybody's a Zags fan right now, our region is also packed with Pac-12 alums. Perhaps you noticed that of the five Pac-12 teams that snuck into the NCAA Tournament, four advanced to the Sweet 16. No other conference has looked so good.

When you stir NCAA women's hoops into the tourney mix, there are great games galore. But sometimes fans' work schedules get in the way of those who despair at having to miss one shining moment, let alone massive chunks of the action.

Suggestion: Bosses, take a deep breath.

Better yet, join the fun, even though we know that's no uncontested layup.

Estimates show workers' lost productivity during NCAA Tournaments cost businesses some $13.3 billion a year. That’s not chump change, and the losses are regrettable.

Yet making allowances for employees to engage in March Madness during working hours could pay even greater long-term dividends. Why not provide the chips, dip and soda when there are good games on? Or at least look the other way when Billy Bob in delivery is screaming for his guy to shoot the ball with the shot clock winding down, and Wendy Putznik in accounts receivable is pounding on her desk after someone makes a swipe and a sweet dish to a trailing dunker.

Talk about team-building. As we slowly emerge bruised and battered from COVID-19’s full-court press, this is as good a time as any to reward those who kept your business afloat, and will help lead the way to a prosperous future.

And there’s this: Gonzaga really is poised to make history. Who in the entire Inland Northwest wants to miss a single stroke of this masterpiece?