Can you imagine if this is happening in America with just one sports tournament and if this is indeed true, what the costs would be if you added costs from Soccer, Rugby, Australian Rules Football, and so on and so forth. The cots are astronomical!!! … Bob Jacobson
by Jack Shafer
The NCAA Tournament gets under way on Thursday, and it’s reportedly luring diligent workers away from their desks to manage office pools and watch their favorite teams—to the great detriment of the U.S. economy. In a 2006 “Press Box,” reprinted below, Jack Shafer revealed that speculation about how much the productivity of the U.S. economy suffers during March Madness amounts to nothing more than fuzzy math and hype. Also, in a 2006 “Dismal Science,” Jeff Merron explained how those workplace-interruptions calculations are taken out of context.
If you believe what you read in the press, fan devotion to March Madness could cost employers $3.8 billion or more in lost productivity as workers slip away to check NCAA Tournament scores, participate in office pools, read stories about the contests, or avail themselves to CBS’ free streaming videocasts of the games on their office computers.