Monthly Archives: March 2019

I make big money. I drive big cars. Everybody know me. It’s like I’m a movie star

God bless Michigan State. Rich Paterson and I might be proven to be the two smartest people on the planet if they win it all.

But the smartest people today were actually the six who correctly picked Auburn to go to the Final Four. But onto the pool…

The field has narrowed….

Last place is clinched by Patrick Keegan who will use his winnings to buy a polo. He only owns 27 polo shirts in 27 different colors so he could do really use a 28th.

There are 17 people who can finish as well as 1st through 6th place. Of those, Glen Wheeler and Andrew Aguilar have clinched that they will finish in the money no matter what. Glen can do no worse the 2nd place and Andrew no worse than 5th. Both these guys went 3-1 in the Elite Eight. The only other 3 to do that are Daniel Potter, Mehul Patel and Travis “Tabis Jump n Spash” Flinchbaugh. All five of the guys are in the 17 that can still make money. Here is the whole list:

NameBest FinishNotes
Wheeler, Glenn 1 Finishes no worse than 2nd
Stiver, John1Married well
Trampe, Brian2His friends think he is a wuss
Aguilar, Andrew2Finishes no worse than 5th
Friou, Craig2Charming, funny.  Great guy
RUSHING, Davis2Yo mama, yo papa, yo greazy greazy…
PATERSON #1, RICH 2MSU is his alma mater
Ryan, Jake3He almost wasn’t in this pool
Flinchbaugh, Travis 3Elliot might have a favorite cousin soon ….
Mallia, William4Grandmother is CRAY CRAY For realz
Patel, Mehul 24Is the Indian guy in Geto Boys. Plays clarinet on their White Album
ferruzzo, John 24Debunked “fact” that a turkey is a flightless bird
Ryan, Beau5Like father like son
Swingle, Bill5Taught me everything I know
Freeman, Emma6Wants to grow up to be as pretty as mom
Potter, Daniel6Speaks decent English, surprisingly
Powell, Chris6Body double for Aquaman

Note that the above place still requires winning a tiebreaker in almost every case. Here are the standings (and here it spells out exactly how tiebreaker affects outcome) if…..

The quote contest is up for grabs. You can start to send me your answers and just tack on the answer for any remaining posts (probably just one after semi finals). Most people drop it in Word and email it to me. Whatevs, I am flexible. Email me or leave a reply here if you have questions. Robert Dies, don’t leave your answers in the reply section here.

Yabba dabba do.

I’m not dead yet.

Standings and your favorite report are updated.

There are 33 people who can still get 1st-6th place. See ugly-formatted table below.

Look for long post on Monday which will catch up on everything and set up the Final Four. And probably make fun of Needham.

NameBest Place Finish
Mallia, William1
Ryan, Jake1
Wheeler, Glenn1
ferruzzo, John 21
Stiver, John1
Freeman, Anne1
Trampe, Brian2
Fleming 2, Jonathan2
Aguilar, Andrew2
Friou, Craig*2
RUSHING, Davis2
PATERSON #1, RICH2
Freeman, Emma3
Oletti, Linda #23
Ryan, Beau3
Powell, Chris3
Flinchbaugh Travis3
William O Butler4
Martin, Rodney4
Potter, Anthony4
Patel, Mehul 24
Roeck, Brent4
McBoatface, Boaty4
Powell, Grant4
Preng, Stephen4
Canonico, Cade5
Family, Freeman5
Hickey, Lukester5
Swingle, Bill5
Reid, Kevin6
Watt, Finley6
Ramos, Israel6
Potter, Daniel6

*indicates God status

I learned a lot I wouldn’t have learned roaming the streets of Dallas.

Jonathan Mullins used to tell me that from tiny acorns grow mighty oaks. From mighty oaks fall those fuzzy things that cover my whole yard. Today I bagged up 14 bags worth of those stupid things. And after breaking my back doing that, there is nothing I wanted more than to sit on the sofa and not move a muscle and watch some basketball. But the boy wanted to watch Karate Kid, the original, so I was left watching the hoops on my phone out of one eye and Karate Kid out of the other eye. But after he went to bed, I finally got to watch it on the big screen. What a game that was… That Virgina basket at the end of regulation remind me of a famous shot by a Virginia Cavalier, albeit while wearing a Rockets jersey. Anybody? Bueller?? Conrad?

I have a favorite niece. You really shouldn’t play favorites. I don’t have a favorite kid. Or a favorite nephew. But I have a favorite niece. If she were your niece, she’d be your favorite niece, too. She’s pretty (that’s not rare). She’s smart (that’s rare). She laughs at my jokes (that makes her one of a kind). She was asking about the Incident mentioned on this website, which is a story over a decade old now. Basically my pool got too big and I was having trouble collecting money and one guy got tired of my asking for money and he threatened to hurt me in a way not seen since I last beat up David Mallia (which is back when I was bigger than him which would be about 30 years ago). Anyway, when people threaten to hunt me down and beat me up rather than pay me a stupid $25 fee, this stops being fun. But since we have just kept it with us guys (us 317 friends who are all like besties), it’s been a labor of love. You guys are the best. Like you are half Jesus, half Mother Teresa and half Tim Tebow. You are that awesome. And if you are Muslim, replace Jesus w Mohamed Ali, and then you get the point.

There were actually 13 people that picked Purdue. Those lucky 13 were really lucky, until they weren’t. Buh-bye, Purdue.

So the biggest movement in the pool is Glen Wheeler, who was 2-0 today, moving up to a tie for first place. Jonathan Fleming and Andrew Aquilar also went 2-0 and make big moves today. Daisy went #2 and made a big move today.

And lookie who is hangin around at 33rd place but can still win first if Izzy Izzo keeps winning…

Near last place is Jeff “I am the man from Nantucket” Needham. But he has clinched it that he won’t make dead last, which is cause for celebration. I have a picture of him just so you know what he looks like and so you know that if you see him, especially if you have your kids with you, you should run as fast you can and get away.

stay away. and be afraid. be very afraid.

Sweep the leg, Johnny

Standings updated. William Mallia is in first place with that big Texas Tech win. The worst thing for William isn’t that his dad is a dufus. Nope, it is that he has Tennessee in the Championship game. Contrast that with John Stiver who is only in 6th but has Tech to win it all.

Your favorite report is updated, too. You can still see a ton of people are still in the hunt. Still. And that includes me, still.

Did you graduate from Auburn? No, but I have a couple people working for me who did.

Sweet Sixteen done and the Elite Eight looks very chalky save Auburn. When you beat UNC by 19 points, you don’t need no stinking chalk. And the Auburn Tigers now face conference foe Kentucky. The world doesn’t really like playing the SEC or having to listen to SEC fans so maybe its best they play each other and give us a break for a game. (btw, my all time favorite SEC goofiness is when they lose a bowl game it’s because “our conference schedule is so tough, our teams just can’t get up for the Sugar Bowl. The Sugar Bowl is basically a big let down after you have been battling it out in our conference. Huh?!?”)

Standings updated. Not a lot of change since last post. Jake is still in first, Rodney went undefeated and Needham still looks like an overweight, bearded guy who isn’t legally allowed within 200 yards of an elementary school or a Chuck E Cheese. Linda Oletti is up there fighting for first, hoping to make the short list of repeat winners. Patrick Keegan is still in last place. His strategy is to win the last place prize money and buy him self a new pair of khaki pants. He currently only owns 26 pairs of khakis so he could do with a new pair. He wants a pair that screams 1997. Shea Thomas is in 8th place but has Tennessee to win it all. Oops. Israel Ramos is in 4th place and he got so excited he threw up outside my car but managed to make a mess of everything. Again. Emma Freeman is in 2nd place and wants to use the prize money to buy a Milk & Cookies franchise. But then she realized the 2nd place prize can only get you a double scoop of ice cream.

Your favorite report is updated, too. You can see a ton of people are still in the hunt. Amber Tierce can still get 1st even thought she is in 175th place. Keith Buchanan can come from 198th place to get 6th and make money.

I figured out how to make links from names to their picks, have fun with that. It took a long time (even child labor in Malaysia takes a long time to use their little blue makers and write out 317 names AND underline them.) But SRSLY, running that report with the links to picks takes longer than you’d think so I had to choose between that or a post last night. Also, I know I never got the user friendly version of everyone’s picks working correctly. I don’t think I will but at least you can click on people’s names on the the Current Standings and navigate to their picks that way.

UH almost won that game but just came up short in the end. It’s a shame because if they only make the Sweet Sixteen every 35 years, most of us will be dead by the time they make their next one in 2054. If I am not dead, I will be 81 years old and living in a post apocalyptic world where Jeff Bezos owns everything that China doesn’t, the Keegans will have 136 grandchildren and 2/3 of them will be in jail for fighting or some sort of violent crime and there will be a massive shortage of gasoline and paradoxically we will spend the whole movie driving and burning gasoline… in pursuit of more gasoline.

All we are is dust in the wind, Dude.

I know you already heard about it but the West U Minor AAA Bulls won again tonight, this time 16-4. That blonde kid that looks like my wife tore it up at the plate. For a team with a complete dope for a manager, they sure do win a lot.

On to basketball…

Two more games, and what games they were. Tom Izzo and the Fighting Izzos kept my bracket alive (I’m not dead yet!) and Auburn pulled off a drubbing of UNC. Only 22 people picked Auburn correctly. One of those was Rodney Martin, who is the only person that is 6-0 so far in the Sweet Sixteen. And that propelled him all the way to 2nd place. Yes, that Rodney Martin. The guy who peaked in life when he made an out in a beer league softball game. That’s not a very high water mark, but that is Rodney’s life in a nutshell. Jeff Planck used to beat him up and take his lunch money and he lost his starting position at free safety to a much skinnier version (and 30 years younger version) of me on the LHS junior varsity football team. But here he is today on top of the world. Well, almost….Jake Ryan is truly on top in first place w 69 points. And his daddy is in 4th place.

More to come tonight.

Five little ducks went out to play…

Tax the rich.
Feed the poor
‘Til there are no
Ferruzzos no more.
(I’d love to change the world…)

– EBT, circa 1990

A rabbi, an Aggie and a Swede walk into a bar. The bartender asks, “why the long face?” The Aggie replies, “because despite our obsession to make it not so, we are largely irrelevant to the entire world outside of Bryan-College Station.”

It’s fun watching Dennis Rodman play for UVA. I guess he solved all the problems in North Korea (presumably with margaritas and Katie Perry songs) and is back to playing basketball.

After watching Tennessee and Purdue score almost 200 combined points, it was a different feel watching the first half of TTU-Michigan. 22-16? That sounds like a football score to me. Tech ended with the win which felt like the second deuce dropped in the punchbowl of my March Madness bracket party.

If this is gonna be that kind of party, I’m gonna put my stick in the mashed potatos

Dan Quayle

You can knock me down and watch me bleed
But you can’t keep no chains on me

“Them” or “they”

There were 117 people that could dream it in their head that Tech would beat Michigan. I dream it in my head that I have the body of Bradley Cooper, the brain of John Greene and the pretty face of Rob Lowe. Instead I have Homer Simpson’s body, the brain of a 10-yr old (his name is Elliot) and a face only a mother could love (her name is Melinda).

Am I the only one that remembers this? Where is Merry Davis when I need her?

Travis Flinchbaugh picked the Lubbock Red Raiders and his guns were up all night. As well they should have been.

A whopping 3 people took the Ducks to beat UVA: Michael Keegan, Rich Sharko and Izzy Dudley. Sucks to be them.

Only 12 people went 4-0 today (deuce-free punch at their party). Four of those are our top four: Jake “Thought it was a Snake” Ryan, Emma “I got this” Freeman, Brian “Aim for the Stampe” Trampe, and Honest Abe Garcia. Also going 4-0 and moving up the list are Rodney Martin (who made the winning play at the plate to win the championship for the Lee High School Junior Men’s Softball team aka “the out heard ’round the world”), Jonathan Mullins (who usually only wins if Villanova wins but is somehow doing well anyway and Margaret Mallia (who can drive 8 hours to Lubbock with my mom and talk for all 8 hours, usually about what a dope David is but sometimes about what a goofball David is.)

Na-noo, na-noo.

You can be young without money but you can’t be old without it

Only 35 people went 2-0 on the two early games tonight and 5 of them are our top five: Chris Powell, Jake the Snake Ryan, Emma and Thomas Freeman and Brian Trampe Stampe. That Purdue-Tennessee game was pretty awesome. We had turned it off downstairs and went up to get the kids going on their nightly routine and by the time I turned it on upstairs, Tennessee had pulled off a 16-point swing. I thought the no-foul on Tennessee’s Williams was the right call…but that foul at the end of regulation on the 3-pointer…don’t do that. Either mug him and make him miss or leave him alone but that was just a silly worthless little foul, and it cost the Vols the game.

With the Tennessee loss, Martin Buniva can kiss his bracket goodbye. That’s not the only thing he can kiss IYKWIM. This guy also lost the Tennessee game: Perfectamuno nada mas.

John Williamson made a huge jump in the standings by going 2-0. John is going to need that money if Trump does build that wall to keep out our North American neighbors and forces them to pay for it. AMIRITE?

Few may have believed in the Zags but fewer believed in FSU. That said, all in the Canonico house went w Mommy’s alma mater. I could hear the screaming and crying coming from their house which is just around the corner. Lauren was smashing dishes and glasses and boiling bunnies and throwing away Chris’s poker trophies that he won that John Greene didn’t and basically going insane. The kids were crying and Chris was calling West U 911. It was a right mess.

Well I didn’t pick Tech but I am rooting for them in this game going on now. Because I love my nephew.

Friou out.

So you’re saying there’s a chance

OK, a little bit about how to read your favorite report:

Look at the 6th column, “Best Place Finish”. If your best place finish is 6 or higher, you can still win money. The “Root for” column tells you who you need to win for your best case scenario. It’s in order, too, so the first team listed is the one you want to win it all, the next one you want in the final game, the next two are the rest of the Final Four you want and the last four are the balance of the Elite Eight you want.


Each game is binary (has exactly 2 possible outcomes) and there are 15 games, so 2 to the 15th power (2^15) equals 32,768 possible outcomes for the tournament.

Most people can win under more than one scenario, so when it says “+ 469 other combinations” that means you win under 470 out of the 32,768 possible scenarios. But your odds of winning money are better than that because the 470/32,768 would be the percentage of scenarios in which you win your “best place finish”. You may finish lower, like 6th place and still make money.

Sticking with the above example, your odds of getting your best place finish is not = 470/32,768 because not all scenarios are equally likely.

Some people get confused when their best scenario involves rooting for teams they did not pick. My first instinct is to say something snarky like you shouldn’t have majored in history and should have taken a math class here or there, but I will resist. Say you had Wisconsin to win it all. You need to root for Oregon to kick butt and win the region so that all those points that you AREN’T getting for Wisconsin are also points nobody is getting. Call it good defense if you will. You don’t win the pool by having a high score, you win by having a highER score than others.


Some observations:

Let’s begin with the end in mind. Ten people are fighting for last place:

Canonico, Lauren S.
DQ TEXAS 2
keegan, Connelly
Keegan, Ellie
Keegan, Michael 4
Keegan, Patrick
MAG7
Planck, Mayson
Poindexter, Heath
Powell, Catherine

So 4 of those 10 are Keegans. Idiots.

So 253 out of 317 of us can do was well as 6th and place in the money. That’s almost 80% of all punters in the pool. This includes Michael Keegan and Eric Oldfather who can catapult from 293rd currently to 1st place! Also, DEECUE HOUSTON in 307th can still end up in 5th and win money. So I believe that for a very large number of people, their odds of winning are higher than they suspect.

But the converse is also true. Somebody like Marlowe in first place might seem to be charmed but with 1,107 scenarios leaving him in first that is only about 3% of all scenarios. So, C-Bass really shouldn’t go out and buy that Maserati just yet.

And, what if your family don’t like bread?

That’s a wrap on the first two rounds. Oregon won, and we have a 7-way tie for first place. Joining the fray is Beau Ryan who went a perfect 16-0 over yesterday and today. Touche! Jake Ryan isn’t too far behind.

Then there is a group of 6 people 1 point behind our co-leaders and Naughty Dawg John Ferruzzo joined that group by going 15-1 this weekend. John is poorer than Jesus (his words, not mine), so it would be really nice if he won some spare change in this pool. True story: he once took Andrea out on a date and paid for it with change found in the sofa. It would be downright charitable if he won, and since April 15 is coming up, we should all be able to get a charitable donation for the portion of our $25 going to John. Maybe he can buy a loaf of bread to feed his family with his winnings

All you long time pool participants know that I will have a big old post tomorrow afternoon. I have to run a report over night that calculates who wins what place under all 32,768 scenarios of how the tournament plays out (in 2,048 of them, Texas Tech is the national champion and in zero of them girls find Needham attractive). You’ll be surprised at how many people (typically, a good 30-40% of the pool or say 100 people) still have a shot at the money, so don’t give up yet.

But you don’t have to wait for that report to know that you can still win the quote contest. For every quote, tell me the source (e.g., from the movie “Pulp Fiction”) and the relevance (e.g., “you mentioned Pulp Fiction in your post”) and score points. You get 1 point for source and 1 for relevance. The quote might have 2 or more aspects of relevance and you can score on up to 2 of them, so that is a total of 3 points you can score per post. Send in your answers after the post following the semi-finals. Winner gets $40 and bragging rights.

My buddy in game watching couldn’t make it through the late game:

I don’t know why it’s upside down. Maybe it’s right side up, and you are the one that’s upside down!