Monthly Archives: March 2014

Holler in New York

What a beautiful spring day in Houston.  I skipped the first half the Sparty/Huskie game to take the kids to the park and take the day in.  But we watched the 2nd half from Buffalo Wild Wings.  It’s hard to tell, but I think my azaleas are starting to bloom:


There have been years with more buzzer beaters, more upsets, etc…but this year has just had some really good games.  The momentum arrow at MSG moved more times than the possession arrow this afternoon.  In the end, UConn prevailed, and so when I hear Mateen on XM 91 tomorrow, he will be pissed.  Not pissed are Ryan Basset and BFOX2, who were the only two that picked UConn.  That launched them to 5th and 27th, respectively.  Other than that, the game had very little impact on the standings.  Note that an MSU win would have shaken up the standings quite a bit.

Michigan and Kentucky had a wild one.  Again, another close one that was just a damned good game.  Kentucky won and just like in (I think it was) 2011, a low seeded Kentucky gets to the Final Four on talent and coaching despite an unimpressive season.

Speaking of unimpressive seasons, all the talk on Sirius XM 91 all season long was that the SEC was terrible at basketball.  Yet they account for 50% of the Final Four.  So the SEC rules?.  Well, maybe that logic works….because Aggies suck, yet they account for 50% of the Graham marriage (“forget it, he’s rolling.”)

Only 7 people picked Kentucky; 50 picked Michigan, btw.

I am packing up my game and headed up north for the Final Four next weekend.  Saturday is semis with ARH, CCM and Rob.  Sunday is poker at Winstar.  Monday is the finals with CCM, Rob and KTL.  Tuesday is a long drive back to Houston.  Holler if you want to join us, particularly for the Winstar trip.

I got up

One thing I can tell you is that Scott “Hot Shot” Anderson wins money no matter what.  The second thing I can tell you is that I will not win money no matter what.  Nor will Brian Trampe.  Speaking of Trampe, and this is a true story (and unlike all my other “true” stories, this is really a true story), we were playing poker last December and he asked me, “Seriously, do you ever stop talking?  I mean really, are you capable of not talking for like 10 hands?  I don’t think you can.  I bet you $40 you can’t do it.”  People who know me well (one such person would be KTL who won the Craig Friou Trivia Contest at my 40th birthday party) know that one of the few “extremes” that are more extreme with me than my non-stop talking is my desire to win a bet.  Trampe thought it was a unbelievable that I I said nothing for 30 minutes.  And I am 40 dollars richer, which is cool, but what is cooler is that he is 40 dollars poorer.  Suck it, Trampe.  Who’s talkin’ now?

(a sad note to that story is that he didn’t even consider it a bet.  He thought it was worth $40 for me to just shut up and get off his nerves for a bit.  I cried a lot when he told me that.  I have feelings, too.)

I think this is right.  If not, blame it on 2 martinis at Candelaris (might need to click on it to read):


follow us on Twitter.  (wtf is twitter?)


Sorry that this post is late, I typed up a massivle long post then my PC froze up and I completely lost it.  We got home late from dinner with the Honey Glazes and I didn’t have the time, patience or energy to write it all over again.  Dinner with the Glazes was fun.  Sugar Glaze and I spent the entire time talking about Ferruzzos’ new house but there were just so many square feet to cover and so little time so we didn’t cover the entire house.

I realized this morning that Elise was the only Friou left with a chance. She just needed Florida and….Arizona.  So now we have no horses left in this.  I hate March Madness and I hate you.  No, really, I am sincerely happy for those of you still in the pool (maybe that’s a lie.”

I’ve seen all of Dayton’s games, and they can play some smothering D. Kim Hock loves Dayton these days, and she definitely loves the D.   But she was left unsatified after watching Dayton’s D go down last night.

Breathe it in,
And breathe it out.
And pass it on,
It’s almost out.
We’re so creative,
So much more.
We’re high above,
But on the floor.

It’s amazing to me how Israel stayed on top of the pool for so longseeing as how he picKed the underachieving Bill Self and the Runnin’ Selfies to win it all.  He was a paper tiger, and he went 0-2 last night.  Bye bye Israel.

At the top of the standings are Scott “Snot” Anderson, Chuckie G. and cousins Hickey and De La Garza.  Glazy Glaze is looking phat in 5th place with a shot at 3rd.

A software upgrade means I can run the scenario report mid-round instead of having to wait for the round to be complete.  A lot of you are still in the running.  Keegan locked up last place for $20.  Keegan logic:  1.  Enter $20 pool.   2.  Make bad picks to intentionally get last place.   3.  Win last place $20 prize.   4.  Profit.

Longer post tonight, until then, some sage advice:


From Marcy to Madison Square To the only thing that matters in just a matter of years

OK, that was incredible.  And the UK-Louisville game was nuts.  You don’t get the intense crowd in the first and second rounds quite like you do for a Regionals.  But play THAT game in freaking Indianapolis, and the crowd was totally into the game.  And it was overwhelmingly for Kentucky.  I personally think Coach Cal is an ass, but he won.  There was so much talent on that court, probably a record amount of talent for an eight v four game.  I loved how the momentum swang and how you saw how the swagger affected the game,  The ultimate punctuation mark on that statement was the Louisville irrelevant “dunk” at the end of the game that didn’t go in.  That, to me, demonstrated how each team went back and forth between being inflated with confidence to being deflated based on who had the momentum.

Pitino’s  interview after the game was the classiest thing I have seen from a loser since that old guy that ran for President with Sarah Palin gave his speech when he lost to President Obama.  In an age where we only care about the winners and the now, it is refreshing to see men (and women, but in these two examples, it is men) take loss with dignity.   There is something to be said for putting your chin up and congratulating the other guy (I’m talking to you Pete Carroll and your stupid quarterback).

And Izzo did it for the 8th time in 15 years.  WTF?   SRSLY?

So four more games down and we have our Elite Eight.  I have updated the current standings as well as the scenario report.

I was so proud of myself for staying on the first page (that is, when you look at Current Standings, you did not have to scroll to see me) for so long.  I am no longer a first page guy.  I will not take this with dignity.  I will do the opposite of John McCain’s speech and say this:    CRAP.    I want to be a first page guy.

Angie Martin is not a first page girl, but she is a page 3 girl.  (ok, I never slow down to explain a joke but if you missed that one, back up and try again.  Seriously if you can’t get it, install The Google on your computer and see if you can get it.)  And hit page down twice.

When you look at the scenario report, you might be depressed.  Many of you have no chance to win 1st through 6th.  BUT….you can still win the quotation contest.  How do you win?  That is a great question, and I am glad you asked.  The official scoring system is that for every post you can get a maximum of 3 points.  You get a point for citing the source of the quote (that is, the “quote” is the title of the post).  You get another point for pointing out its relevance and one more point for seeing another relevance.  For a decade, this has always been won by either Kim “Dukie” Hock or Beau “Smarter than you’d guess by just talking to him ” Ryan.  There have been some great efforts by Champ “smarter than John Green” Canonico and Todd “Will gamble on anything” Bryant.  But the Ryan/Hock stranglehold on the quotation contest is like KU’s hold on the Big XII championship.   Except I hate Kansas and I love Champ and Kim.

For a a little over decade, the quotation contest could easily be won by just copying and pasting the quote into The Google and spending 2 seconds figuring out how it tied into the post.  Two years ago in an effort to de-Tiger the course, I tried to make it more complicated by leaving clues in earlier posts that were critical to solving the later ones.  Beau got it.  Last year I went with a single theme such that if you got it, you would nail all quotes.  Kim got that.  This year, the main hint I can give is to just take a big step back.  Just like Martin Hart said “The solution my whole life was right under my nose … And I was watching everything else … my true failure was inattention.”

And for realz, how comes so many Freemans pay so much money but they can’t even sniff the top of the pool this year??  Between you and me, I think they have lost it.   Just lost the ability to make picks. They just suck at picks.  I don’t care, Derek bought me an incredible dinner at Mark’s, still one of the best dates of my life with my wife.  Just a great night for two desperate parents needing time away from two terrible lovely kids.   So despite the Freeman/Munger incompetence, I will always let that clan play with us.

Sorry the updates were slow to come tonight.  I had to take care of marital duties (arguing, complaining about in-laws) which took a while.  Not as long as it takes Hickey, though.

Planck emailed me that he “can still kick Keegan’s a$$”.  I am going to sit back and get some popcorn and watch this.  Rodney told me he is betting on Keegan.  Glaze is betting on Planck.

Mrs. Friou is a bleeding heart liberal (in Texas, your heart is considered bleeding if you oppose 5 yr-olds owning machine guns).  She asked me to ask you if you wanted to get in a consolation pool for the womens’ Final Four.  I officially asked.  I know Leffler is in.  Anybody else?

And on that note, my sweet wife leaves me alone to do this for three weeks.  I get showered with tips, gifts, compliments.  She does not.  And I don’t think she reads this.  If you know her, please tell her “thank you” for being cool with being ignored for 3 weeks (I’m talking to you David Hock.)

I think I avoided any f-bomb so far this year, but if I accidently dropped one, let me know so I can feel terrible but out of pride not change it.

Oh, and Martin Buniva is beating my mom.  Not like Sean Penn beating Madonna, more like UT beating OU on 10.12.2013.  OU sucks.    (almost dropped an F-bomb, but God bless the back-space key.)

I slept 3 hours last night, so if nothing I wrote made sense, it is because I am on fumes.  Hey, how come Holly “Hickman” didn’t enter?

good night

The common people pray for rain, healthy children and a summer that never ends. It is no matter to them if the high lords play their game of thrones, so long as they are left in peace.

The downside to my getting busy at work is how short the update will be.  The upside is that you can get an update that involves me staying up for the last game.

Four games down and not a lot of movement.

One person picked Dayton correctly: Richie Auter.  Well done, Tricky Dickie.   Dickie was the president of Young Democrats of Dallas when we worked together.  Now he lives in the municipality of Pest.  Or is it the municipality of Buda?  Either way, he wears a Speedo, smokes cigarettes and eats a lot of cheese.

The 12 of us that picked ‘Cuse to win it all are now having to root for Dayton.  Fly on, Flyers.

Baylor lost, which dramatically reduced the risk of any dancing in Waco.  Leffler took it well.  He just shrugged his shoulders and said “hey, these things happen.”  Then he kissed his wife, left the house and went “all Columbine” on the entire city of Frisco, TX.  Brad hates to lose.  To be honest, I don’t entirely understand why he likes Baylor so much but I suppose he has his reasons.

Yes, I know that somehow the Welcome/FAQ page reverted back to the 2013 page.  I think we’ll just leave it be.  Thank you for the emails.

Thank you, also to Larry Cooper.  His picks suck, but he provides hilarity.   Here is him passing the rock to Dardo.

Large black-and-white bear-like mammal, native to China

Money is pouring in.  If you still haven’t paid, do so.  I have received many strange things in the mail: a naughty dog keychain from Beau, a subway gift card and malcom young (AC DC) trading card from Davis Rushing, a Best Buy giftcard from Hugh, to name a few.

I am very much looking fwd to the Louisville-Kentucky matchup, more so than any 4-8 seed matchup ever for sure.  Two teams that are much better than their seeds would indicate, methinks.

Ferruzzo wrote that this will be the last time he’ll play in the pool.  He bought a big fancy house in Memorial and “has better friends now.”


Never gonna give you up

I got up the scenario report. A few notes on how to read it:

  • There are 32,768 (that is 2 to the power of 15) ways this tournament can play out.  We call each one a “scenario”.
  • Find your name.  The most important column is the one that titled “Best Place Finish”.  If this is between 1 to 6 (inclusive), you can still place in the pool and win money.
  • A “t” means that you would tie for that spot and then the tiebreakers apply.
  • The last column (“Root For”) tells you what you need to happen to achieve your Best Place Finish.  The first team is who you want to win it all.  The first two teams are the ones you want in the finals.  The first four teams are who you want in the Final Four.  All eight teams are the ones you want to win their next game.
  • If you can win under more than one scenario, it list just one such scenario and then says “+__ others”.  So if it says “+82 others” then you have 83 chances at winning.
  • Not all scenarios are equally likely of course, so if you win under 83 scenarios, your odds are not equal to 82 divided by 32,768.   If you have a quality basketball program like Florida then you are much better off than needing, say, Dayton to win.
  • The number of scenarios is the number that gets you to your best place finish.  If your best place finish is 1 and you have 83 scenarios, that is 83 scenarios that get you to 1st place.  There could be other scenarios that get you to 2nd, 3rd, etc in which case you still win money.

And a reminder on the payouts:

  • First place – 40% of the pot
  • Second place – 25% of the pot
  • Third place – 15% of the pot
  • Fourth place – 10% of the pot
  • Fifth place – 6% of the pot
  • Sixth place – 4% of the pot
  • Last place & winner of quotation contest – each get money back
  • There is a $19 deduction for software costs and a couple entries will be DQd if, for instance, their check bounces

Some observations:

  • There are 239 out of 369 players can still place 6th or better and win money
  • 111 players can still place as well as 1st.  The lowest person in the current standings who can is Dan Foscalina, currently  in 323rd.
  • An additional 57 players can still place as well as 2nd.  The lowest people in the current standings who can are Scott and Dylan Freeman, currently tied at 323rd place.
  • An additional 28 players can still place as well as 3rd.  The lowest person in the current standings who can are Jennifer Taylor currently in 362nd place.
  • An additional 15 players can still place as well as 4th.  The lowest person in the current standings who can is Brian Rea currently in 278th place.
  • An additional 15 players can still place as well as 5th.  The lowest people in the current standings who can are Linda Oletti #1, Finley Watt and Nick Ayraud currently in 339th place.
  • An additional 13 players can still place as well as 6th.  The lowest person in the current standings who can is Eric Oldfather currently in 323rd place.
  • That’s 239 by my math.
  • Four players can still place in last place: 3 Keegans and Scott Freeman
  • All Frious in the pool can still win money except Jane and Elliot
  • All 369 of you can still win the quotation contest.
  • The highest current standing of a player without a chance to win money (i.e., Best Place Finish of 7) is a JM2 Swingle, currently in 113th place.

She lost her braces, got in MarSeLee…

The Cats beat the Zags and we have our Sweet Sixteen.

There will be plenty posted here next week, but for now, congrats to

  • Israel,
  • Donna Swingle,
  • John “Daddy smells like scotch” Graham,
  • Chuck “OMG Who was the Hot Chick with Chuck at Hugh’s Wedding?    SRSLY?  WTF??” Girard,
  • Parag “Doesn’t Talk to Fro” Parikh and
  • Scott “Blind Squirrel” Anderson.

At the bottom of the rankings are 3 Keegans, which is sweet justice for the fact that Sean paid for 5 family entries by mailing me 100 one-dollar bills (hmm, that gives me an idea for a game-watching party location Thursday night).

Those who have been around know that the most important update comes out tomorrow, when I lay out all scenarios and whether you still have a chance.  Quite a bit more of you still have a chance so just hang on for that tomorrow.  The program to calculate it runs over night so in theory I could post it tomorrow morning.  But I have to “work” sometimes, so I will just promise that it will be up some time Monday.  Seriously, I have a lot going on, but don’t give up on the pool before seeing tomorrow’s post.

And the “that’s so 1987” award goes to Margaret Mallia who said, “I don’t get your updates.”

I replied, “the humor resonates with really f’d up people.  Maybe you should watch Full House.  Or Happy Days.”

“No I don’t GET them.  Do you have the right fax number?  I haven’t received a single update.”

Check your mail, Margaret.  It might take up to 3 days for the mailman to deliver it.

Beer down you Beers of Old _?_aylor U We’re all for you!

SFA lost and Rodney Martin cried like a little bitch.  Baylor won and Leffler put on his tutu and danced around the house.   Then he remembered that dancing is strictly forbidden at Baylor and just sat in his tutu and sang “We are the Champions” by Queen.  Then he drunk-dialled Chris Collins (different Chris Collins) and they had some late night chat about Baylor love (I think that’s what kids call it these days).


gotdam, your man Israel cracked the can open again

Only 7 people picked Tennessee.  To be fair, only 2 people picked Mercer, one of which was Jay Hawley (get ’em, Jay!)  Iowa State was picked by 271, but it sure made a difference, launching our man, Israel, up to first again.  Donna Swingle got both of those right and made a huge move in the standings.

or most anywhere in the Middle East for that matter



Where did you do it?

Sydney Conrad, daughter of Erich “Poopie Pants” Bradley Conrad made a huge jump to 8th place by correctly picking Stanford.  Then we got the answer to one of the original questions in this pool: it appears the Shockers won’t go very deep after all.  There were 78 people who picked UK to go to the Sweet Sixteen, which is pretty surprising for an 8-seed but pretty telling about how most sports fans felt about WSU.

Standings are updated.  (in  answer to 10 emails I am about to get, just hit “refresh” on your browswer.)