March Madness

US Wealth Napolitano |

By: John P. Napolitano, CFP®, CPA, PFS, MST

When most people think of March Madness, they think of College Hoops. Of course, that thought enters my mind but I think that March Madness applies to many aspects of our lives.

For starters, daylight savings time. In the Northeast, it’s no problem as everyone goes along with the change. But if you live in Arizona or some of the other parts of the country that choose not to adopt the time change, it is even more confusing. The older I get, the more difficult it is to get used to that time change. I know it’s only an hour, but it still feels weird.

Spring never springs in March. According to the sun and others natural physical happenings, I guess that March 21 is officially the start of spring, but it sure doesn’t feel like it. The most recent snow storm surely confirms that March is not spring time in the northeast.

St. Patrick’s Day is further evidence of March Madness. I recall my days as a rookie accountant at a big firm in Boston where I learned just how big a day that St. Patrick’s Day can be in Boston. I was looking to make an appointment with one of the senior partners one St. Patrick’s Day in 1979 when I learned that would not be possible because the partner had a tradition of spending the day at The Black Rose. In fact, this day is so big in Boston that they created a holiday that just happens to fall on 3/17 every year; Evacuation Day.

Evacuation Day is a public holiday in Suffolk County (including Boston), Massachusetts on March 17 each year. It celebrates the date when the British troops evacuated Boston during the American Revolutionary War. It appears that politicians in Boston take the removal of a British Occupation very seriously.

Growing up in NY, March 1 to me always signified the start of baseball practice. Eastchester HS (My Alma Mata) has always been known as a baseball town, and starting practice every March 1 like clockwork probably had something to do with it. If it was too cold to work outside, we would hit from a batting machine until your hands blistered or bled, and then run the hallways and the stairs for what felt like an eternity. I remember exhibition games where the snow flurries would make it tough to see the ball.

And, last, but not least, the Men’s and Women’s NCAA Basketball tournaments, aptly nicknamed March Madness, is truly a mad experience. These stats (courtesy of Wallet Hub) blew me away.

  • America’s corporations estimate $4 Billion in corporate losses due to unproductivity during the tournament
  • In the 2015-2016 season, the NCAA doled out $205 Million to D1 schools
  • Legal wagering is expected to reach $9.2 Billion, with almost the same amount expected to be placed illegally through bookies and private pools
  • In 2016, there were approximately 70 million brackets completed by Americans
    • In 2016, 129 million Americans cast a ballot to vote for President
  • In 2011, CBA/Turner Broadcasting paid $19.6 Billion to acquire the TV rights for the tourney until 2032
  • TV ad revenue in 2015 was $1.19 Billion
  • The NCAA basketball tournament started in 1939, and had only 8 teams VS today’s 68 teams
  • UCLA has won the most titles – 11
  • University of Kentucky has the most appearances – 56

We hope that you enjoy your Mad month of March, and that you’ll celebrate the start of April by joining us on 4/3 for our Red Sox Jimmy Fund Opening Day Party at our beautiful Braintree Headquarters. First beer poured at 1:30.