Dan Didio sat in his office early Thursday morning, his bald brow furled with sweat. He stared anxiously at his computer screen and then back to a large whiteboard filled with scribbles and frenzied calculations. "This week has been a terrible one for me," Didio admitted as he hastily scratched out something on a piece of paper. "I've barely gotten any sleep."
What's the cause of Didio's consternation? It's March Madness, and Didio has isolated himself from the world until he's perfected his bracket.
"Yeah, I told my secretary to hold all my calls Monday morning," Didio told the Outhouse after he called on us for bracket advice. "And I threw out my cell phone after Andy Diggle kept leaving me voice mail messages, so that it wouldn't distract me. I haven't heard from a single creator or editor since Monday."
"This year's bracket is incredibly hard to sort through," Didio admitted. "Should I pick Georgetown over Florida? Can Gonzaga really beat Wisconsin? These questions have been eating at me for days now. I can't concentrate on anything else, especially when "
When asked why he was so focused on getting his bracket right this year, Didio's face darkened. "DC's annual bracket pool," he said. "I came in second last year, right under some stupid intern. He's just been rubbing it in all year. I will not let Vlad Kozinkerkov beat me again. There's money on the line here!"
However, Kozinkerov might have an unbeatable strategy of his own. "They say, 'Vlad, go fill out bracket,' So that what I do," said Kozinkerov, a 19 year old NYU intern. "I sent my winnings to my family back in Russia. They used it to give my sister lifesaving surgery. I tell Mr. Didio all the time, 'You save my sister with bracket! Thank you so much!' He never seem happy about it, though."
Didio seemed unconcerned with abandoning his DC responsibilities for so long. "Listen, my editors and creators can go a couple of days without me," he said. "My team knows not to rock the boat during tournament season, so I doubt anyone will have walked off their projects while I'm gone. Now, help me out here: VCU or Akron?"