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Sometimes a headline says all you need to know. And this one basically does that. Yes, a SuperBook employee was fired for using a March Madness bracket to teach math to second graders. Not only that, a gambling reform group referred the behavior as “child grooming.”
According to Sports Handle, Taylor Mathis’ sister asked her to talk to her class about math and use sports to teach a lesson.
“I was back in Illinois for my sister’s baby shower,” Mathis told Sports Handle. “She asked me to come into her classroom and help her out. Our original plan was to show the class how a scorecard works in baseball, as baseball is what I concentrate on professionally.
“Then I said, ‘Why don’t we do a bracket? It’s March Madness, and it can be relevant to them because it’s going on now.’ She said they’d love it, especially a group of basketball-crazy boys she has in her class.”
Fairly common practice, really. I probably filled out my first March Madness bracket when I was around second grade. In fact, my dad used to run bracket pools and would make me grade them. I learned a TON of math from that exercise!
But back to Mathis for a moment. Essentially, they went around the room and filled out the bracket together. The kids picked teams and discussed the seeding numbers as it relates to math concepts. They probably had more fun doing math on that day than any in their lives.
But here’s where Mathis made her big mistake. Thinking she had done nothing wrong — since she hadn’t — she posted a picture of the bracket the class filled out.
Posting a picture of a second-grade class and a filled-out March Madness Bracket qualifies as ‘child grooming’ now?
According to Sports Handle, this caused everything to come collapsing down around Mathis.
“Mathis got an email from her boss at SuperBook on Saturday morning. She was told SuperBook got an email from a gambling reform group. The group accused Mathis — and, by extension, SuperBook — of … child grooming … Mathis was told to delete the tweet and issue an apology. Which she immediately did. Through tears.”
SuperBook then sent her an email terminating her employment.
“It said I was being let go and I have to delete everything about my relationship with SuperBook and I can’t talk to any employees or interact with anyone at SuperBook until further notice,” Mathis said to Sports Handle.
They also reported that Mathis had already given prior two weeks notice as she was leaving for a new job. Still, the “delete everything about [her] relationship with SuperBook” seems like overkill.
Mathis’ only real crime is picking Arizona to reach the championship game.
Leader in the clubhouse for most ridiculous sports headline of 2023
It’s early in the year still, but this has to be among the leaders for most insane headline. Accusing people of “child grooming” for making them watch adult men parade around in g-strings is one thing, but for filling out a March Madness bracket?
The idea, I assume, is that she’s grooming them into little gambling junkies. Except, she didn’t talk about gambling or money. Everyone fills out a bracket.
Hell, my high school suspended me for running a bracket pool in 2006. True story.
One day, the assistant principal calls me into his office.
He says, “Dan, who’s your favorite college basketball team?”
“North Carolina,” I respond.
“Is that who you picked to win your POOL?!” he asked snidely.
“No sir, I picked UConn,” I calmly responded.
He gave me a one-day suspension and told me to return all the money to the people who had entered. But, since I was the one who was suspended, I kept the money and told everyone the school took it from me.
If you’re a former high school classmate of mine, you’re probably reading this for the first time. Whoops! I might owe you $5 from 17 years ago.
The moral of the story is that everyone does a bracket pool. It’s time to end the stigma.
March Madness brackets are not a gateway drug to hardcore gambling addiction.
Follow Dan Zaksheske on Twitter: @RealDanZak
4 CommentsLeave a Reply
So, who are the idiots running SuperBook? Mathis will be fine after all of this, but I would hesitate working for people who took such an extreme position.
Never heard of SuperBook but if it’s a sports book hoping all clients hit massive parlays this weekend.
Sounds like a classic case of panic projection by a SuperBook exec.
Mathis took an opportunity to tie a real-world event to their math class and make it fun for everyone. SuperBook (whatever that is) is completely wrong here, and I wish the best for her.