HIGH POINT, NC - Lots of people have traditions when it comes to March Madness and brackets. Like my producer, Michael, who filled out five brackets. (He said it was too much to make it an even 6.)
Then there’s our viewers, like Mark Moore who said he has a long-standing tradition of giving away lots of money to people who actually win the brackets and pools
Well, let’s hope this year goes better for you, Mark.
And then, there’s Danny Cronin, who hand-crafted an impressive bracket board.
It’s four feet by eight feet. You almost have to see it in person to actually appreciate the size and beauty.
Cronin’s creative and magical brackets started in the 8th grade.
“Actually started this process 30 years ago,” Cronin explained. “I was always kind of an artistic guy so I decided to draw out the brackets on something bigger than an 8x11 piece of paper.”
The biggest thing Cronin could find at the time was a poster board. So, the young basketball fan grabbed some magic markers and colored pencils and started hand drawing his first super-sized bracket. And as he grew up and got bigger, so did the brackets.
Now, the board comes from a sign shop in High Point and is so big, it must be delivered to his home because it won’t fit in his car.
And every Sunday before the tournament begins, Cronin brings out the magic markers.
“Stuck to the roots of the handwriting of all the teams and the drawing of the brackets,” said Cronin.
It takes Cronin between six and seven hours to create the board. Every year he adds something special. For 2017, he decorated it with pictures of what he called, key moments in the NCAA Tournament history.
Cronin named a few examples, “Back in 1982 when Michael Jordan was a freshman at Carolina, hitting that big jumper.1993, Chris Webber calling the time out that Michigan did not have that propelled the Tar Heels to the championship.”
As a father of two young boys, Cronin said he would love to see his sons join him when they’re old enough to create their own brackets.
“I’m not going to say pass it on because I’m not going to stop doing it but if he would like to create his own little board to go with the big board, that would be great.”
And, is there any chance the board will grow?
“Would I like to go bigger? Absolutely. I just don’t know what kind of challenge that would be.”
The only downside, if you could call it that, would be the space it takes up in his home.
“Unfortunately, my wife has a four foot by eight foot board in the living room for three weeks out of every year, but I think she gets to the point now where she enjoys it.”
Cronin, by the way, picked Southern Methodist University to win it all.
"I went out on a limb with that one," he admitted.