The General Accounting Office reported that millions of people called in sick on Monday after their teams failed to make the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament.
Most were inconsolable at the thought of being on the outside looking in at March Madness -- a three-week high of team spirit and gambling -- and couldn't bring themselves to sling hash, tote bales, make widgets or enter data with their usual verve. Many stayed at home and stared at the brackets for hours, hoping that their teams would magically appear. Others used magnifying glasses to scour the fine print in hopes that they'd overlooked their team.
"Will somebody please shoot me with a T-shirt canon?" one distraught fan cried.
CBS and ESPN switchboards were deluged with calls from Arizona State, Virginia Tech, Illinois State and Dayton fans, asking through sobs if the Selection Show was a prank and when the real show would be aired.
Hospitals and emergi-centers across the country said people showed up in zombie-like states, unable to comprehend even basic commands like "What is your name," and "Can you give me a high five."
One victim of Selection Sunday shutout lay in the fetal position in a Syracuse, N.Y., doorway and kept repeating that "the bracketologists were wrong. I cannot trust the bracketologists."
Several Ohio State fans said they appreciated Jay Bilas' bellyaching efforts, but that no amount of whining about Kentucky's inclusion in the tournament would compensate for the Buckeyes' misfortunes in 2008.
"Who the fuck cares about the NIT?" one Buckeye fan screamed.
Meanwhile, hordes of fans descended on their respective athletic departments dressed in pink, not to draw attention to breast cancer awareness, but to indicate that their coaches and ADs were sissies for not scheduling tougher non-conference opponents.
"I am in an RPI funk right now," a Mississippi fan said.
A dejected Nebraska fan said he was "so alone and forgotten. I can't even show my face around fans from other power conferences."
Meanwhile, a Florida fan said the good times were over in the Sunshine State and that it was time to fire Billy Donovan, who'd won the last two national championships.
"He won 21 games this year -- big fucking deal," the fan said. "Now, I don't even have the strength to fill out my bracket.
"But on the bright side, Millersville and Ouachita Baptist are still alive in my Division II bracket."