Three friends enjoy the NCAA Tournament at ESPN Zone in Denver.
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6 Excuses to Ditch Work & Watch March Madness


Managers across America know to save their biggest projects for the week between Christmas and New Year's and the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament. There's a palpable energy surrounding these times that only make employees want to work, and managers would be foolish not to capitalize.

Can you imagine not getting a head start on end-of-the-year reporting when Lisa from accounting has been on a QuickBooks heater? That's like Phil Jackson pulling Michael Jordan in Game 7 of the NBA Finals.

But, hypothetically, let's say it's mid-March and you've come to terms with being a complete disappointment. You'd rather dedicate the last two days of your workweek to watching college basketball than filing TPS reports. How do you get out of it?


Use one of these six excuses. You'll be golden.

6 Excuses to Ditch Work & Watch March Madness

Fake Being Sick, But Show You're Committed

An excited sports fan reacts at a bar.

Antonio Masiello via Getty Images

COVID has made this too risky for the office, so this one is for the remote workers out there. The idea is to show you're so dedicated to the job you're willing to battle your own health.

Let me set the scene: the whole team is on Zoom going over the tasks for the day. Tom, who will be referred to as Boss Tom going forward, is giving the rundown but has been on mute the entire time. Once he's done, you subtly unmute yourself and cough. We're not talking a minor cough. We're talking a cough with some umph to it. If you can't feel it from your chest to your sinuses, you're not doing it right.

The team pauses until someone asks "Hey, [insert your name here] are you alright?"


"Of course," you reply. "Nothing major."

The meeting goes on, but in between talking points, you turn off your camera and grab tea -- another tell you aren't feeling great. Near the end, you unmute and cough again. If they ask if you're mic is broken, your hand slipped and hit the unmute button as a result of the cough.

"Are you sure you're ok, [insert your name here]?"

"All good," you answer.


At this point, you turn your camera off again and spray yourself with water to make it look like you're starting to sweat. You come back and people are expressing serious concern. Once the meeting wraps up, Boss Tom DMs you and says you don't look well and should rest.

"I'm good," you respond.

"Really," he says. "Go home and take it easy."

You make one last plea to stay, but he insists. Mission accomplished.


This one shows you have toughness and don't want to let your team down. Two essentials to succeed in March.

You Slept on Your Arms. They're Now Asleep & You Can't Drive to Work

This one works best for stomach sleepers, but don't worry if you're not. The Wednesday before the tourney kicks off, sleep with your arms under your body. Don't move. Fight through the discomfort. Nonstop basketball is only 12 hours away.

Your arms are noodles when you wake up. You would endanger everyone on the road by getting behind the wheel. You can't possibly commute to work in this condition.

"Get Your License Renewed"

Tip: Disdain for the DMV is a great way to bond with coworkers. That being said, when you say you need to get your license renewed and the only appointment you could get was at 11:15 AM CST on the opening Thursday of the NCAA Tournament, people will understand. You just so happened to forgot your second proof of insurance, then their system malfunctioned and your original spot was given to someone else. The earliest they could fit you in was at 5 PM. Total inconvenience.


You Can't Answer Calls or Emails Because Your Phone Fell in a River

Loyola Chicago fans react after their team beats Illinois.

Jack Dempsey/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

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Find a river in your town. Hurl your work phone into it, thus preventing any email or call from disrupting you.

"Can you believe this river?" you tell your boss the next Monday. "I saw on the news my phone was the river's 5,000th victim this week alone. I had no idea a river was capable of such debauchery." If your superior then asks why you can't use your computer for e-mails, calmly look them straight in the face and say, "I envy you. For you have not had your life ruined by this river, and I pray you never know my struggle."

Voluntary Jury Duty

Jury duty is a classic, but what if duty hasn't called yet? No problem. You love the justice system, and nothing will stop you from performing your civic responsibility.


"Sorry boss, I have to go. I heard a juror dropped out of the McKinley case, and I'm going to head down to the courthouse to see if they need anyone."

Say You're Leaving Early to Watch March Madness

Honesty is the best policy, and you're bound to earn some respect if you straight up tell your boss you're cutting early to watch hoops. This excuse requires unbridled confidence though. You cannot falter.

If your boss tells you you need to take vacation time, politely refuse and say you've never worked a day in your life. Every day is a vacation.

If these fail, quit. Four days of March Madness on weekdays > a stable income.


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