Vice President Joe Biden’s NCAA basketball bracket is still flawless going into the Final Four, a feat that none of the other 5.5 million participants in this year’s online bracket competitions has even come close to achieving, sources within the White House confirmed late Wednesday to The Daily Caller.
The odds of accurately predicting the March basketball tournament are so small, statisticians tell us, that that even if everyone alive filled out a different bracket, it would be highly unlikely for one to successfully pick the right teams to make the Final Four.
Biden first filled out the bracket, which he eventually submitted to NBC Sports’ $50 buy-in online Bracket Challenge game, on a handkerchief during last year’s Beer Summit at the White House. The July 30 summit that brought together feuding Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates and police officer James Crowley occurred well before the teams that would play in the March tournament were even finalized.
“Oh, that makes a lot more sense,” Gates said in a somber interview with news affiliate KCBS this morning, when told of Biden’s bracket. “That whole time when we were drinking and he was talking about Butler, I thought he was referring to me.”
He added, “God damn, I just finished a book on racism in the White House. Really wish you guys told me this earlier.”
The White House said it had not informed the public that Biden has a perfect bracket for fear that his Final Four picks will turn out to be incorrect. Top administration officials, who just recently announced a major proposal to expand offshore oil drilling, reaffirmed on Wednesday that they would have preferred the perfect bracket stay a secret.
“Joe’s a lot like Eric Massa,” complained White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel, who has spent time in the showers with both men. “I wouldn’t want to be alone in a secret bunker with either one of the bastards.”
Despite the apparent discord in the White House, industry heavy-hitters say that secrets are hard to keep when you’re always in the public eye.
NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker confirmed during an interview in his New York office that even the most carefully laid plans that have been pondered for years can “really blow up in your face if you’re not careful.”
When told the vice president was the one holding the only flawless bracket in his company’s NCAA competition, Zucker and his assistant, a twenty-something named Jonathan, were visibly stunned.
“We’re working on a sequel to ‘Deal or No Deal,’” Zucker said, enthusiastically pointing to concept drawings for the new show hanging on his office wall as ideas clearly raced through his head. “Maybe we could get Biden to host it, when he leaves office.”
Jonathan nodded approvingly, typing every word his boss spoke into his Blackberry. “Good idea, sir.”
Zucker pressed on. “What could we call it?”
“’Big Fucking Deal or No Big Fucking Deal?’”
“I like it. Write it down,” Zucker responded quickly. “This could be huge.”
Almost as big a story as the vice president’s bracket, though, is how the White House was able to keep it a secret for so long.
“Joe’s been riding Amtrak all over the country to watch tournament games in different venues,” President Obama said in a speech two weeks ago, spilling the beans on Biden’s obsession with March Madness. ” He’s really just one of the regular folk, paying the usual $43 each way for his commute to work.”
Top White House adviser David Axelrod said that the administration got lucky when an autistic teenager drew headlines last week for having a perfect bracket and distracted attention from the vice president.
“Reporters, you know, they were closing in on Joe’s bracket,” Axelrod told The Daily Caller. “But then an autistic teenager, Alex Harman, comes along, and he’s called every game right, too.”
“Now, you guys are journalists,” Axelrod said as he folded the morning newspaper. “Would you rather do a big story on an autistic kid, or Joe Biden?”
BREAKING 7:05 A.M.: A thorough comparison of Joe Biden’s bracket to the one submitted by Harmon, conducted by The Daily Caller and verified by numerous media outlets, reveals that a large amount of the vice president’s bracket was, in fact, plagiarized.
“The picks were not the vice president’s,” White House spokesman Robert Gibbs confirmed today in an e-mail to the White House press pool. “Mr. Biden was not aware that it is inappropriate to plagiarize another fan’s bracket and regrets the error.”
The political fallout from the vice president’s decision to gamble on a major sporting event, and then to copy someone else’s bracket without attribution, is still uncertain. But at least some experts are suggesting things aren’t as bad as they appear.
“Look, it’s the Final Four,” a source who has it out for the Republican National Committee told The Daily Caller. “Biden will survive this. Basketball’s a bonding experience, not a bondage experience.”
UPDATE 4/2/10: Regardless of what Howard Kurtz tells you, this was an April Fool’s joke. Please disregard everything except the part about Rahm in the showers.