At this writing, the CU Buffaloes are mere hours from tipping off against the Pitt Panthers during the first full day of the annual NCAA men's basketball tournament, popularly known as March Madness. How to watch the action, and all of the hoops craziness that will follow in the days and weeks ahead, without being fired? As we noted last year at this time, the folks at Howcast.com have created a video filled with advice. We've supplemented the clip by breaking down the photo-illustrated suggestions, sports-geek style. Count down all eight steps below. 8. Learn how to watch the games online
For everyone who isn't still using a Razr from 2005 (guilty as charged), this is a no-brainer. But just in case you're clueless, NCAA.com's March Madness link is the one to click -- if, that is, your workplace doesn't block streaming video. If it does, you may have to take more desperate measures. But for now, let's move on. 7. Offer to run your office pool
By taking on this chore, you've got a built-in excuse to spend more time today watching basketball than earning a paycheck in the usual way -- probably. If your boss is a jerk, though, being publicly known as Bracket Guy might make you first victim in his daily game of Whac-A-Mole. Be careful. Continue to keep counting down our eight ways to watch March Madness at work without getting fired. 6. Get in early on game days
A little late for this one today, but it should work tomorrow. If you hit the office first thing and schedule meetings before the games get underway, you can offer evidence of actual accomplishment if that fun-killing supervisor catches you indulging in hoops-watching. 5. No paraphernalia -- of the school spirit sort
Want to make sure your fearless leader keeps you under a microscope throughout the tournament? Hang up a pennant or a poster of your favorite team in your cubicle. On second thought, don't. Continue to keep counting down our eight ways to watch March Madness at work without getting fired. 4. Wear a headset
This is a good one: If someone comes to your office and you're wearing a headset, just pretend you can't hear them and you're on an important phone call and he or she will likely back away while making apologetic gestures. Nothing but net! 3. Bring your mobile device to meetings
This only works if you can make it look like you're checking on things that come up in conversation, rather than ignoring them. Practicing the pantomime could pay off in a big way, as long as you can avoid jumping up and cheering when something exciting happens. Continue to keep counting down our eight ways to watch March Madness at work without getting fired. 2. Lay the groundwork for a case of the flu
One to keep in mind for next week, or next year. Over the week or so before the day you want to take off for couch-potato purposes, make sure your boss sees you blowing your nose, coughing and looking progressively more under the weather, so that by the time you call in sick, you seem like you're succumbing to the inevitable, not shirking your duties in a big way. 1. Start a campaign
Arguing that having the entire office get together to watch the games would be a great way to build teamwork strikes us as risky. If it works, you can actually keep up with the action without resorting to subterfuge. If it doesn't, you'll still be able to, but only because you won't be employed anymore.
For more, watch the complete Howcast.com video.
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