Wednesday, April 30, 2014

See You In The Second Round, Bitches**

Bro hugs
The Washington Wizards, yes, the Washington Wizards, vanquished the higher-seeded Chicago Bulls last night in their first round playoff match-up. The Wiz last won a playoff series in 2005, coincidentally also on Chicago's home floor (we were at Champps post-softball when Gil hit the game winner), and prior to that I think the last playoff series win was in the early 80's (this is why we need a research intern). For some reason (the history of the franchise), not many folks gave Washington a chance in this series. I wasn't one of those people:

So, adios Chicago, adios Carlos Booze and his Wooly Willy beard, adios Kirk Hinrich and his Rec Specs, adios Mark's boy Joakim Noah. Only two first round playoff series have concluded so far, and amazingly one of them includes the victorious Wizards. Washington now awaits the winner of the upstart #8 seed Hawks vs. the vomiting-all-over-themselves #1 seed Pacers (seriously, I CANNOT wait until we find out what actually happened amongst the personalities in that locker room). Here's hoping that series goes a full seven games so Nene can rest his Elijah Price-esque body a few extra games.

Hey Kirk, check out this loin bump
No Washington pro hoops post would be complete without this video:

Other bits I want to include in here before I begin beating them into the virtual ground via hashtag overload:


#TheCerealKillers (for those unfamiliar with this team, they have a rather unhealthy and insatiable love of (kid's) breakfast cereal
**Cannot take credit for this headline. That is Shlara's doing. Now let's hope this team can make it to the Eastern Conference Finals.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Rob Loves Good Beats

Most of you have probably not heard of Evidence. Evidence is a West Coast MC who first rose to prominence as one of three members of the group Dilated Peoples. Dilated first became a name known in hip hop circles when they dropped the single "Work the Angles" in 1998.

Dilated has since dropped three major label albums and is currently working on a fourth. Since their last album was released, Evidence has struck out on is own releasing two solo albums and multiple collaborative albums while also becoming a prolific producer and owner of one of the better, more artistic Instagram feeds around (his late mother was a photographer). None of that, however, is why we're here today. No. Today we honor the bond between Evidence and our own Tiny Dictator. You see, it seems Rob and his crew are Evidence's collective muse. Don't believe me, just watch.

We promised you dipshittery. And we always deliver. Most of the time.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Monday School

Race in America is a topic that's never very far from the surface, regardless of how hard we as a society might wish to forget it. The racist stylings of Cliven Bundy and Donald Sterling are just this week's flareups, sparks thrown off a persistent brush fire that seems impossible to extinguish.

As a white guy who spends most of his time around white folks, and has done so for the vast majority of his 43 years, I'm wildly unqualified to offer much in the way of educated, or at least experientially-informed, opinions about race in the U.S. I did, when I was 13, spend half of a school year as a student in a school that was majority African-American. But since I got to come home to a neighborhood that was almost entirely white (and partially Australian!), I'm not sure that brief span of time qualifies me as an expert on the topic.

Since I find it difficult, if not impossible, to fully appreciate the minority experience in America, I turn to others to help me gain perspective. In particular, I read everything Ta-Nehisi Coates writes at The Atlantic.

Coates is at once a beautiful writer, a gifted historian, and a fearless examiner of his own motives and biases. His observations on everything from hip hop lyrics, to the Civil War, to his summer-long immersion in French culture, to his upbringing in inner-city Baltimore, to the history of America's racial politics are often revelatory and always thought-provoking.

Of late, Coates has despaired of the past, present, and future of the relationship between white America (read: the historical instruments of wealth and power) and darker-skinned minorities. The natural optimist in me hopes and wishes that he's wrong, but the pragmatist in me realizes how deeply researched and considered are his opinions.

His essay outlining the contours of his current feelings is required reading. As is his exchange with New York magazine writer Jonathan Chait on race and politics in America. Gawker weighed in with a round-by-round account of the latter, which is an amusing juxtaposition of intellectual heft and schoolyard sonning.

Reading Coates makes me uncomfortable. He challenges my assumptions, lays bare my ignorance of hugely influential historical forces and events, and makes me feel entirely intellectually inadequate.

We're lucky to have him.

(I expect book reports from each of you regarding the Coates/Chait debate on my desk by this time next week. And I need one of you to post something stupid and pointless in short order. We've got a reputation to uphold.)

Saturday, April 26, 2014

In Forty Hours, A Man Will Be Five Feet Deep In My Ass: Everything You Wanted to Know (But Were Afraid to Ask) About My Impending Colonoscopy

I won't be eating much on Sunday. Some eggs for breakfast, then a vanilla yogurt snack, and then some jello and Gatorade after that. The reason why, you might ask?  My first colonoscopy. Though I am a wee bit shy of 40, there is a history of colo-rectal cancer in my family, so I figured I'd combine two loves: avoiding cancer and having foreign objects inserted into the forbidden orifice.

One bit of good news is that my Dr. Assman tells me the laxative I have to ingest at 5 PM on Sunday and at 6 AM on Monday is less unpleasant to drink than the old stuff. I am curious to see the effects. I ate some absurdly spicy wings for no good reason for lunch today, so I wonder if it will depart in wave 1 or wave 2.

Keeping the fairway open is important because, after all, they're going five feet deep inside me. FIVE FEET. That's almost one whole Rob. But there's little to worry about. Dr. Assman tells me that there only complications with 1 in 200 patients. The common complication, you may ask?  Perforated anus.  But only half of the perforations require surgery.  That must be a fun message from the doc as you wake up. "So, um, about that procedure. Well, we tore your anus and had to fix it.  My bad." 

I will endeavor to keep you all up to speed on the comings and goings (mostly goings, actually, until one big coming occurs at noon on Monday) in casa de TR.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Alert Your Admins

Like Paul Revere, G:TB is in the business of offering early warning to our community. Today, we give you distant early warning of a pair of events worth your consideration, in terms of attendance, and in one of the two cases, engaging your networks in support of a good cause.

On June 20-22, Robinson High School in Fairfax, VA hosts the first annual Tom Tufts Lacrosse Festival. The festival honors an All-American defenseman at the University of Massachusetts in the late 60s, and a member of Garber's Gorilla's, UMass' undefeated 1969 squad. Tufts later joined the U.S. Army and served with distinction before retiring to become the head coach of Robinson High School's boys lacrosse squad. At Robinson, he built a powerhouse, his teams compiling a record of 185-36-1 over his 14 seasons. He was named the Northern Region Coach of the Year in 1991 and 1992, after which he refused the award - allow me to suggest that he'd have won it nearly every year thereafter, until he retired in 2004. Lt. Col. Tufts passed away last August at the age of 65, far too young.

Tom Tufts is also the father and namesake of one of my best friends from high school, and the first lacrosse coach I ever had. I took up the game too late to be any good at it, but not too late to learn the fundamentals, and a whole lot about life, from Mr. Tufts. All of us have people in our lives that personify character, and what it means to us. Tom Tufts Sr., and his son, my friend, Tom Jr., are among those in my life that I hold as ideals. If you like lacrosse, or just like being around a big event for a great cause, make plans to be at Robinson in June.

After you're done digging some lax, head to RFK Stadium for a far less personal, but probably equally exciting event. Volkswagen Rallycross D.C., will turn the venerable stadium complex from Redskin to Red Bull (in here, somewhere, is a finely articulated anti-Snyder joke, but I'm a little bit tipsy and a lot lazy). Tiny cars driving fast over dirt, jumps, and marginal asphalt while people drink heavily and cheer for something they barely understand - is there anything more American? Focus on the last part of that sentence, and don't think too hard.

Now that your calendars are marked, I'll ask you to take lots of pictures. I'll be at the first day of the Tom Tufts Lax festival, but then I'm heading to Cape Cod. Because I'm an elitist bastard. Tell me how the Rallycross is, 'cause it looks like fun.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

A Wolf in Sheep's Hairpiece

I have not seen a second of "Wolf of Wall Street," but I know that it describes allegedly true events that occurred at the brokerage firm Stratton Oakmont and features a character called Nicky "Rugrat" Koskoff, a lawyer who wears a toupee. Said toupee is referred to as a "piece of shit hairpiece" in this film. Another character named Donnie Azoff discusses the toupee, stating "Fucking Rugrat that wig-wearing faggot I can't believe that fucking guy. I want to kill him."

Rugrat "is portrayed as a criminal, drug user, degenerate, depraved, and/or devoid of any morality or ethics." This is not a quote from the movie. It's a quote from the complaint filed by Andrew Greene against Paramount Pictures and various other defendants in the Eastern District of New York. Mr. Greene saw the movie and apparently believes that the Rugrat character is based on him ... because he went to law school, he worked at Stratton Oakmont, and he frequently wears a toupee. Seriously, he does! Here's paragraph 27 from the complaint:

Mr. Greene was so offended by the Rugrat character that he sued (natch) ... for $25 million. His causes of action? Violation of Sections 50 and 51 of the NY Civil Rights Law; violation of his common law right to privacy; violation of his common law property right to the commercial use of his image; libel per se with malice; and libel per se with negligence.

I'm sure you're saying to yourself "E.D.N.Y? That must be a typo." But no! This does indeed seem like a case well suited to S.D.N.Y., given its long standing history as a premiere venue for commercial litigation, as opposed to E.D.N.Y., given its long standing history as a premiere venue for organized crime prosecution. According to the complaint, Mr. Greene lives in Huntington Station, NY, hometown to zwoman and FOGTB FD (aka FuhDuh, aka Elmer FuhDuh) and home of Walt Whitman High School, alma mater of zwoman, FD, and all the characters from The Wonder Years, hence the E.D.N.Y. venue.

Winnie Cooper y'all! And Paul Pfeiffer ... former roommate of FD and me! Throw in TR and we have a suite reunion!

I don't know if Mr. Greene will win, but Paramount filed a motion to dismiss and it's pretty interesting. As an initial matter, it notes that NY does not recognize a common law right to privacy or publicity. Mr. Greene's complaint notes that he recently passed the NY bar exam; I guess he didn't pay attention to this portion of the BarBri review.

Paramount's motion also notes that the book upon which the film is based (1) portrays Mr. Greene pejoratively and (2) has another character who wears a toupee. It asserts that the Rugrat character is a composite of these two wig-wearing men, so the movie does not misappropriate Mr. Greene's likeness. And to the extent that there are similarities between Mr. Greene and Rugrat, Mr. Greene really did engage in some shystey shit. For example, he was found "personally liable for $2.18 million in compensatory and punitive damages stemming from securities fraud (the same activities depicted in the Film)." The truth is a defense against libel. The book also calls Mr. Greene a "shyster lawyer" and a "toupeed motherfucker" with "the worst toupee this side of the Iron Curtain." And it describes' Mr. Greene's participation in a criminal conspiracy to conceal his friend's illegal ownership of shares of Steve Madden. (Parenthetically, who invests in Steve Madden? How many slinky shoes can they sell?). The book also says that Mr. Greene went to "some Mickey Mouse law school in Southern California--earning a diploma that held about as much legal weight as you'd receive from a Cracker Jack box." And it describes his penchant for smoking pot.

Paramount also notes that Mr. Greene's name and image are not used in the film, which they assert defeats his section 50 and 51 claims. And they note that this story is newsworthy because it really happened. Paramount says that newsworthy stories are protected by the First Amendment.

So it appears that by filing suit, Mr. Greene inadvertently reminded everyone of his acts of securities fraud and participation in a conspiracy, drew attention to his subpar legal education, highlighted his love of pot, and betrayed his general misunderstanding of his common law rights in New York. All because some movie involves a character who does not share his name but wears a terrible hairpiece. Because he frequently wears a terrible hairpiece. Or at least he did "[a]t all times relevant hereto." Which everyone knows because he admitted it in his complaint. In which he seeks $25 million for being "portrayed as a criminal, drug user, degenerate, depraved, and/or devoid of any morality or ethics."


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Caption This

Seriously. Just do it. Because God knows nothing else is being posted.

[via @bubbaprog]

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

rob just sittin' on his ass...

...creeping people out:

Monday, April 21, 2014

Patriots Day

Adding more words to the many already written about what today means to Boston seems a bit gratuitous at this point. But if you're interested, Sports Illustrated's piece this week is terrific. And if you want our raw take, here's what we wrote last year.

I've found myself emotional already this morning hearing Boston's mayor, Marty Walsh, interviewed on the radio. I'm looking forward to many more moments like that as the town and region celebrate and remember.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Resurrection (May Contain Blasphemy)

It's been a cow's age since I anticipated a new record as much as I do this month's Old 97's release. Twenty years since the band's first album, Most Messed Up is being hyped as a return to its roots, a rollicking, raunchy mess. I mean that in the most positive way possible.

Various reviewers have described the record as "a boozy, blurry whirl", "balls-out, country-fried rock", and "blistered, blasted, and brilliant". After a run of releases that were perfectly good, hook-heavy pop offerings, the work of a rock quartet maturing in and out of the studio, the band's long-time fans are thrilled by the notion that the 97's may be returning to Too Far to Care's barely-on-the-tracks vibe.

The record comes out on April 29. It's the first one I've ever pre-ordered, so I get my first listen next Friday. Until then, here's 97's frontman Rhett Miller with a solo version of the title track. It's most definitely NSFW or for children's ears.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Double Duty

It's a G:TB tradition, born of laziness and lack of new ideas, to replay our ode to playoff hockey at this time of year. And that still may very well happen.

But it's also NBA playoff time, and something came across our desk yesterday that made us stand up and take notice of things roundball.

Troy Daniels is a rookie for the Houston Rockets by way of VCU, where he owns the school's single-season record for made three pointers. He drained 124 triples in his senior season, including 11 in one game against East Tennessee State.

Daniels has spent most of this season in the D-League, where he's averaging 21.5 points per game, shooting 40.1% from deep. His long-distance acumen has translated from college to the professional level, as he's making five three-pointers per game, and 78% of his shots come from behind the arc. He takes 12.5 threes a game in D-League play. He was named a D-League All-Star, and has led the Rio Grande Vipers to a berth in the playoffs, while setting a D-League record for three-pointers in a season with 240.

He also caught the attention of the Rockets brass, who signed him to an NBA contract in February and brought him up to the League in March. Daniels has played in five games for Houston, taking advantage of starters resting in the season finale to score a career-high 22 against New Orleans on Wednesday night.

He dropped those 22 just a few days after playing in a Vipers D-League playoff game and a Rockets game on the same day. On April 12, Daniels started and scored 30 points in 44 minutes as the Vipers fell to the Iowa Energy. He got on a plane (with Vipers teammate Robert Covington) and traveled to Houston, where he played 12 minutes off the bench. You can forgive him if his legs were a bit tired, as he only made one of five shots in the Rockets' 111-104 win over the Pelicans.

Daniels has earned consideration from Rockets coach Kevin McHale for a spot in Houston's playoff rotation, something that seems inconceivable for a rookie with five games of NBA experience. McHale said after the season-finale, "He's very diligent, he plays hard. He's a bright kid. He knows what we are trying to do. I like him."

If nothing else, the 6'4" Daniels has earned a look next season. But only if he's held to one game per day.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Peeple Get Ready

This one is aptly entitled "Everyone peeps"
Earlier this week, as I prepared a memo for the G:TB staff regarding our participation in The Washington Post's annual Peeps Diorama Contest, it came to my attention that the contest was actually already over, and that the Post team had chosen winners.

I find this as much of an outrage as you do, but consultation with our lawyers reveals that we have a very tenuous argument on the facts, and that standing outside the Post's offices screaming, "I object" is more likely to get us forcibly removed than to get them to address our grievances.

So it is with great regret that I must inform you that, once again, we've failed to win. Next year, lads. Next year.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Norge Gheorghe

From the Norwegian art collective Kreativiteket (like you don't know from Kreativiteket), comes among the more Gheorghey works of public art in recent memory. The village of Orje, Norway is the unlikely keeper of the legacy of Monty Python's Ministry of Silly Walks.

Flights to Oslo start at a reasonable $1309 from DC. I think we owe it to ourselves to make this happen.

(h/t to The Dish)

Monday, April 14, 2014

Gheorghe: The Travel Guide Presents OKC in Pictures

While I'm not quite the baller Rick Steves is, I do get to do a tiny bit of traveling in my gig as a small cog in our country's great big financial machine, albeit to the oil and gas production centers of this country (ie, Houston, Dallas and Oklahoma City). One of these trips was two weeks ago, when I spent a sunny and slight boring 36 hours in Oklahoma City. I got into town a day ahead of a client trip to a very entertaining Thunder-Spurs game and subsequent meetings with companies. Here's how it went. 

There is one "jewel" (speaking in a relative sense, of course) in Oklahoma City and that is Bricktown, a quaint synthetic downtown walking neighborhood with a man-made river that has bars, shops and a surprisingly cool minor-league stadium around it. It looks like this:

And it has rad bars. Like this one (Toby Keith's I Love THIS Bar & Grill):

I ate at a New Orleans-themed place, rolling the dice on ordering blackened catfish in Oklahoma. It was pretty good. 

As you  get away from Bricktown, you can see roads named after famous local Oklahomans. Like this guy and this musical group: 

And in case you're wondering, Flaming Lips Alley is really an alley. Not too exciting.

And there are other celebrities with roads named after them. Like this guy:

And especially this guy:

In fact, the Mick is plastered all over the place in OKC. There is a Mickey Mantle's Steakhouse, the aforementioned road and a big to-do at the minor league stadium, which looks larger than its 13,000 capacity. It is the home of the Oklahoma City Redhawks, Houston's AAA affiliate, and looks like a sweet place to catch a game. I bought a shirt for myself and a pair of them for the kids. Here is the tribute to the Mick outside the stadium:

There is also a tribute to Warren Spahn, but there was a pair of tourists mingling there and I have the attention of a fruit-fly, so I did not get a photo. But Spahn's legacy is even more amazing than I knew. All I knew was that he won 363 games. I did not know that he did not get his first win until the age of 25. After a mixed start to his career under Casey Stengel at age 20, he was sent down to the minors and then served three years in the military, getting his first win in 1946. Sounds like he was a solid dude. He died in 2003 at the age of 82 and lived in OKC for most of his post-baseball life.

A couple more interesting tidbits about OKC. We are in the Bible belt, so apparently signs like this are needed for local offices:

Also of note is that my hotel was next to the Chesapeake Energy Arena. It was my second time seeing a game there.  The crowd there is so into the team that I don't feel all that bad for the city of Seattle. Maybe that's short-sighted, but this team is such a part of the fabric of the community. The Spurs-Thunder match was a huge one, with the Spurs riding a 19-game win streak. From start to finish, the fans were LOUD. Of note is that they never cursed at fans in Spurs jerseys, which a New Jerseyan like me found very amusing. Here is the outside of the arena:

As you can tell, they really like their players.  All of them.

And in case you're wondering, you can't bring your gat inside here either:

Before the game, we met with an energy honcho at the Petroleum Club, a swanky set of lounges at the top of a high-rise a couple blocks from the stadium. It had a urinal that was so complex and high-scale that it gave me stage-fright. It was water cascading onto ice cubes in an open, floor-level trough about ten feet wide, offering views of the city from about thirty floors up. I took one photo that wasn't great, but it didn't feel right to be snapping too many photos in a strange public restroom. So I took this one and quickly hopped into a stall to TCOB.

OKC - Go get some.

Friday, April 11, 2014

It's Good to Be the King

Breasts. A tradition like no other.

Friday Filler

Annie Clark, aka St. Vincent, has a terrific new album out. You should listen to it.

She also performed 'Lithium' with the surviving members of Nirvana last night in celebration of the band's induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (we'll save the snark on that institution for Clarence's lengthy exposition on the topic).

Here's some really lousy video captured by some idiot who had no idea who she is:

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Don’t Throw Away the Chicken Carcass

Has it even been a month since the last recipe? Who knows. But we welcome all content here. Besides, it's a semi-recurring bit now, and those are few and far between for us. So here's your next G:TB Recipe of the Month.

Whether you bought a chicken roaster at the grocery store or you roasted one for Sunday dinner, don’t throw it away. Make soup. (from the carcass) No its not soup season. I probably make more soup than anything else. My freezer is full of little containers labeled with the type of soup it is. Soup is one of the easiest things you can make, the cheapest, and can be popped out of the freezer for lunch, easy dinner, etc.

Asian Chicken Soup

Chicken carcass
Swiss chard
Soy Sauce
Cayenne Powder
Udon noodles (not to be confused with national title winning Uconn noddles. - lame ass TJ joke)

Cover a chicken carcass with tap water
Simmer until the bones and meat are falling apart.
Drain the liquid and save it in a bowl. You now have a poor man’s stock. (real stock would have onions and vegetables in it, but you will add those to your soup)
Pick out all the meat and toss into bowl with stock and discard bones and skin and fatty parts. Or have your kid do this.

Sautee 1 large onion or 2 small onions and a few cloves of garlic in the same pot you made your stock.
Add in your stock/chicken you saved in a bowl. (depending on how much water you added you might not need all of it—you can save some for other stock uses—it freezes well)
Add in chopped swiss chard or other greens (bok choy, spinach, kale)
Add in chopped mushrooms
Add in soy sauce to taste. I used the annoying little packets that were floating around in the back of the fridge.
Add in spice—cayenne, chili powder, a dash of thai chili paste, etc
I didn’t have ginger, but ginger would be good here.
If you are eating carbs, add in udon (uconn) noodles.

Top with cilantro, lime juice.  

The awesome thing about making chicken soup is you can have a completely different recipe with the same process if you add in carrots, celery, peas, and turnips with thyme and oregano and take out the veggies and soy sauce above. Super traditional chicken soup. Or add in black beans, tomatoes, corn, peppers, and onions for a tortilla soup. And they all give you a lot of soup to eat/freeze with something that could be easily be tossed.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Separated at Birth

(h/t to Clarence for pointing out the resemblance)

Monday, April 07, 2014

Relegate: Alive?

Please, please, please
When we last looked in on Fulham, the Cottagers were off to a mediocre start, sitting in 18th in the Premiership table having just sacked their manager. Now,with five league matches to play, they...sit in 18th in the Premiership table having recently sacked their manager (again).

While the tight battle at the top of the Premiership has justifiably received a great deal of attention, there's arguably more action down below. With just over a month remaining in the season, ten teams are within 12 points at the bottom of the table.

Fulham are on 27 points through 33 Premiership matches, ahead of only Sunderland (25 points) and Cardiff City (26). The Cottagers trail Norwich City (32) and West Bromwich Albion (32) by five points, with Swansea (33) a point further in front and Crystal Palace (34) and Aston Villa (34) yet one more point clear of the relegation line. Hull City (36) and West Ham United (37) will be forgiven if they consider themselves safe, but might wish to tie up any loose ends, just in case.

Magath has cool specs, bad team
Despite, or perhaps because of its precarious position, Fulham have actually begun to show some life over the past few weeks. The Cottagers topped Aston Villa on Saturday, as halftime substitution Hugo Rodellega scored with four minutes remaining to give the visitors a vital three points. The victory makes two in four for Fulham, who surprised Newcastle at Craven Cottage on March 15.

Fulham Manager Felix Magath, who replaced Rene Muelensteen, who had replaced Martin Jol (to say this year's been a bit of a circus under owner Shahid Khan would give the big top an undeserved black eye) said before the Villa match that his side needed four wins in its final six to avoid relegation. They had seven in the previous 32, which gives a sense of the hill Fulham must climb.

Next Saturday, Norwich City visits Fulham in what essentially amounts to a must-win for the Cottagers. A win would close the gap between the two teams to just a pair of points, and Norwich's final four matches are a murderer's row (home matches against Liverpool and Arsenal sandwiched around road trips to Manchester City and Chelsea).

'Hairy guy in a little tie...'
Fulham closes the Premiership campaign with a visit to Spurs, a home match against middling Hull City, a roadie at Stoke (40 points), and finally, a home tilt against Crystal Palace. Winnable matches all, with the exception of the top-flight Tottenham squad. No other side in the relegation battle faces as many mediocre opponents, with the exception of Sunderland, who has oddly played only 30 matches thus far. Jozy Altidore and his mates face Cardiff, West Brom, and Swansea, in addition to five of the league's top teams.

It will still take some doing, and some help from others, but Fulham's slight stirring under Magath has the Craven Cottage faithful holding out hopes. Not. Dead. Yet.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Life Goes On

Like most of Twitter, it seems, I'm wildly unexcited by tomorrow night's NCAA Men's Championship game. It's not terribly fair to the two teams involved - both UCONN and Kentucky have played exceptionally in this tournament, and deserve to be in the final. Kentucky's run to the title game, in particular, is one of the great sustained pressure performances of all time. It's just that I liked the stories of the two other Final Four teams better, and as most who don't have rooting interests, I pull for novelty over royalty.

Our admiration for Bo Ryan is well-documented. And I really fell hard for this Florida team after reading several profiles about its senior class, particularly this one from Sports Illustrated's Andy Staples.

This picture, taken as the Gators waited for a plane to take them home after their loss to Connecticut, won't help ease Mark's pain, but it will make you like Patric Young and Will Yeguete even more.

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Hello Friends...Welcome to the Final Four

Tonight, Jimmy Nantz, who for a major media figure has questionable taste in women (eg. the woman he cheated with and then married), will welcome folks in homes and bars all across America to North Texas, home of this year's Final Four.  This annual ritual is the first leg of a week long CBS/faux nostalgia/Nantz sporting orgy that, for me at least, marks the true beginning of spring.   Screw that vernal equinox thing, it is not until we reach the Final Four, see "One Shining Moment", and take in "A Tradition Like No Other", that spring has finally sprung.  After this winter, I can't wait for the coming of our new Easter Bunny overlord.

"I, and the Heritage Foundation, fully endorse Creepy Easter Bunny for president." 
That brings us back to tonight's event, the NCAA Basketball Division I Men's Semifinals, AKA the Final Four.  While most of us will be watching as long as we can stay awake, some folks actually root for one of these teams and care beyond how the results might affect their chances of winning the office pool.   For them, today is a day of nervous energy and heavy drinking due to fandom largely predicated on the college that they attended or the fact that their parents had sex and gave birth in the state where that school is located.  With that in mind, and since I have no idea who is actually going to win these games, let's break down each fanbase to select a winner.

7 UCONN vs. 1 FLORIDA: (6:09 Tip-Off, clearly there is a frat guy at in charge of scheduling)

Today is going to be a long day for G:TB member Mark fretting about his Gators before the early evening start time.  I felt bad for him for a moment until I realized that he will be spending the day in a beach bar, getting drunk outside.  F that guy.  That said, I hate UCONN so I will be a Gator backer for at least one night.  As for the break down....

Student Bodies:  The Preps vs. The Ladies of the SEC


This one was rather easy and predictable.  Tanned coeds always beat pasty white guys in dockers.  

Non-Alum Fans: Hedge Fund Douches vs. Jorts


This one was a tough call, but I have to give to nod to the dudes crushing Natty Lights.

Wild Card: A guy who thinks he is God vs. A guy with God on his side


Geno Auriemma may be the best basketball coach in Connecticut (and the most likely to tell you that he is), but Geno ain't coaching tonight.  I'm going with Timmy and the good Lord.  

Winner:  Hot chicks, Jorts, Natty Lights and Jesus?  How can they lose?  Florida in a land slide

8 KENTUCKY vs. 2 WISCONSIN  (8:49 Scheduled Tip-Off)

This battle matches one of the most storied programs in college basketball history against a state that loves cheese.

Student Bodies:


This was a tough one.  Not much to distinguish one from the other.  Maybe this is unfair, but I'm gonna take the fat guy in a Santa suit over the folks with a history of institutionalized racism.  I think Big Gheorghe and this guy would agree....

Non-Alum Fans:  We might need to nuke these folks from space....


My father lived in Wisconsin for several years while I was in college.  Each summer I would go visit and was stunned by the fact that even in June & July all people talked about was the Packers.  Nobody really cares about the Brewers, the Bucks, or the Badgers.  On the other hand, all Kentucky has is college basketball & some horserace.  Gotta give this one to the Cats.

Wild Card: Ashley Judd vs. Thornon Melon


Everybody knows that Ashley Judd is a huge Kentucky fan.  What you may not know is that the University of Wisconsin was actually the setting for Back To School's Grand Lakes University.  As much as I love me some Ashley Judd, she (like the rest of us) is getting a little long in the tooth.  I'm going with Thornton Melon as long as Derek Lutz does not break up the pep rally to protest US nuclear policy.

Winner:  I'll take some of those fuzzy things you cheer with and pick Wisconsin to win in a squeeker.