Getting Ready for Lent Madness
Lent Madness is a single-elimination tournament with four rounds. The object (from the saints' perspective) is to be the last saint standing who will win the Golden Halo.
In the Lent Madness tournament, 32 saints are pitted against one another in a March Madness (that's the annual NCAA basketball tourney for those who aren't in the U.S.) style bracket. Every day a new matchup is posted and anybody who wants to participate may vote (once!) for his or her favorite saint. A favorite is defined loosely - perhaps you think one saint is just more important than another in the grand scheme of things; or you have a favorite because of your name, country, town, event, etc,; or you are persuaded by the Celebrity Blogger's writeup (this is my favorite way to judge, but I'm biased); or you read others' comments and decide either to go with the saint that looks like he or she is going to win; or you vote for the underdog just to be different. This is definitely not about getting the answer right.
To play, visit www.LentMadness.org every day to see the matchup for that day, read the writeup about the two saints in contention, and vote for your favorite right there on the site. (There's a "vote" button at the bottom of the writeup.) The polls are open for 24 hours - from 8:00 a.m. until 8:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, so wherever you are, you have a 24-hour window in which to read, decide, and vote.
It's a little bit silly and a lot of fun, not the least because of the online community that forms around Lent Madness. And it truly is educational. The writers work hard to come up with interesting information to present on behalf of their saints (not just that Saint Jerome was said to have removed a thorn from a lion's paw but that someone actually sells a Saint Jerome doll that turns inside out to become a lion).
In the run-up to Lent, the guys at Lent Madness are putting on Celebrity Blogger week at the Lent Madness blog. As it turns out, today is the day that my Celebrity Blogger profile is up. So head over to the Lent Madness website (click here!) and check out this year's bracket, read about the bloggers, watch the silly videos Tim and Scott (creator and enabler of Lent Madness, respectively) post, and meet some new people.
It may even make you look forward to Lent!