Tuesday, April 7, 2009

What the big toe said to the little toe

It's over, and we have a tie for first place between Nowakowski and R Wanger, with 328 points. Third place goes to J Go Owls, with 327 points, but third prize goes to J PHINO, with 326, because J Go Owls chose not to pay. J Marshall also had 326 and also chose not to pay. As reported earlier, the prize for leading after the field was chosen was won by R Schlegel.

The last time we had a tie for first place was 2005, a year in which, oddly enough, North Carolina was champion and a Wanger was one of the contestants who were tied for first (although in 2005 it was K Wanger, now known as K Ripley, who is right now probably kicking herself for choosing to go through childbirth at the time the pool was due). Even stranger, in 2005 the person K Wanger was tied with was Butscher, who in eariler posts we erroneously concluded would be a prizewinner this year.

Official final standings may be found both on the right side of this page, and here.

Kudos to Nowakowski, R Wanger, and J PHINO. Your checks will soon be in the mail.

Thus endeth the 2009 PreNCAA Contest. Please return in February 2010 for more fun and profit.

Enjoy the rest of your year.

Our bad

It was erroneously reported on this blog that if UNC won the title Butscher would be tied for third place. Upon closer inspection it appears Butscher chose Louisville as his national champion, and not UNC as previously believed, which means Butscher in fact is tied for 21st place and will not be among our prizewinners. We regret the error and apologize for any inconvenience and/or misplaced euphoria to which it may or may not have directly or indirectly contributed.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Going Green

Walking to Ford Field yesterday afternoon, we probably saw 50 Michigan State shirts for every one of any of the other three competing teams. A sea of green, if you will. Inside the arena, it was without doubt a home game for the Spartans, with the usual home game result. The second game had a miniscule fraction of the intensity of the first game, but that may have simply been a reflection of Villanova's shooting percentage. If it's any consolation to any Nova Gang members out there, Villanova's band was the best by a large margin.

Depending on the game results, our winners will be:

1. Nowakowski 328 (tie)
1. R Wanger 328 (tie)
3**. J Go Owls 327**
3. J PHINO 326 (tie)
3**. J Marshall 326**

1. Karlsruher 296
2. S Adams 291
3. Nowakowski 288 (tie)
3. R Wanger 288 (tie)

**J Go Owls and J Marshall are non-paying entrants, and thus will get nothing and like it.

The omen-seeking commissioner's son has declared from his perch in a Detroit suburb that everywhere he looks all he can see is Michigan.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Take your omens as you find them

Sometimes one has to suffer for one's obsessions. This particular commissioner traveled to his 20th Final Four yesterday, a fact that utterly failed to impress the USAirways automatic assistant when it called four hours before the commissioner's scheduled departure time to inform him via pre-recorded message that his flight had been canceled. Humans working at USAirways were similarly unsympathetic, asserting that all other flights to Detroit were booked solid, leading to this hypothetical conversation in the commissioner's about-to-spontaneously-combust brain:

Commissioner: No kidding it's booked solid. It's the friggin' Final Four! You canceled my flight on four hours notice, you can't squeeze me onto another plane?

Unsympathetic USAir employee: Sorry, we're only required to do that if the situation is our fault.

C: I've had a reservation for four months and you canceled it on four hours notice. Who's fault is it?

UUE: Would you like to fly somewhere else?

C: Would you like to move the Final Four somewhere else?

Ultimately, we compromised on tickets to Akron/Canton, Ohio, a mere three and a half hour drive from Detroit, a flight which had the added advantage once we arrived at the Philadelphia airport of being postponed for four hours, making our door-to-door travel time a pleasant ten hours.

But that's not what this story is about.

We finally arrive at Akron and trudge out to our rental car, for which Hertz has compassionately agreed to charge us only $157 since we're picking the car up in Akron and dropping it off in Detroit the next day. The commissioner's eight-year-old son wanders around to the back of the car, to stow his backpack in the trunk, when he stops and calls out in horror, "OH, NO! Daddy come quick!"

We're standing in Ohio on our way to Michigan, but the license plate of our rental car says, "North Carolina."

We'll see what it means tonight. Enjoy the games.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Tag Team tenacity

The waters may get muddy, but eventually the dirt settles to the bottom. As has been happening since the dawn of time, lawyers (248.67) have finished below humans (255.1). So it is, so it has been, so it shall ever be. Amen. Spiny anteaters (264.0), of course, have evolved beyond the other competing species.

Also in line with the immutable stars, females (261.5) are better than males (254.69). The No Child (252.20) Left Behind legislation has clearly failed.

The average entrant this year has a score of 254.67, which is a huge drop from last year at this time (290.49). It appears Darwin never studied our contestants. The average commissioner's score is 236.50, which says something but we're not planning to expound upon it. Paid contestants score an average of 257.59, while once again non-paying participants (244.81) have shown they fail to pay for a very good reason.

Among technical professions, accountants (268.33) added things up better than engineers (268.11) and IT Consultants (255.0). Teachers (255.33) apparently only think they know more than students (260.88). The only other professionals worse than practicing attorneys (257.67) are members of the liberal media (249.67), whose slanted coverage has finally come back to haunt them. Retired people (243.33) should stay that way.

Among employers, Urban Engineering (261.0) and Conrail (261.0) are equivalent. They'll be swapping their staff any time now.

Regionally, Central NJ (263.0) beat out the Philadelphia suburbs (261.35) for the high ground. Such as it is. Western PA (257.4) edged the Beltway (253.0) and urban Philadelphia (246.83). If it's true that the South (246.36) is gonna rise again, they better start working on it.

In the turbulent Tag Team tussles, the Marshall Plan (281.5) beat back the Adams Family (275.33) for the spot of honor. The Donadios (263.0) finished ahead of the Ripley-Believe-It-Or-Nots (261.0) and Whiteside and people who don't like him so much (259.67). The D'Zurans (254.5) are safely ahead of the South Philly Playground Guys (248.0), and the Paston Brothers (236.0) are still giving thanks that the Lord created the Leach Gang (228.25).

It's a good year to be a John Doe (277.67). Rick (269.0) and Luke (269.0) tied among names ending in the "k" sound. Bob (265.5), Chris (263.5), David (261.5), Ken (258.5), and Ed (256.0) are above average names, while Brett (245.0), Matt (220.0), and Nick (218.5) should think about getting theirs legally changed.


The weeping thing seems to be working for Karlsruher (296, Pitt) who is currently in first place and thus ahead of that pesky Millan (281, UNC), but if UNC wins it all, Karlsruher may really be crying because in that case he'll be conquered by his rival once again.

Whiteside (276, UConn) clings to a 10 point lead over co-worker McKillip (266, UNC), but (again) if UNC wins we may see a change in the pecking order. As seems to be her annual fate, sister-in-law Booth (237, Okla) is eating Whiteside's "shabbalicious" dust.

Also rooting for the boys in baby blue are Joe Mc (263, UNC), who can sneak ahead of daughter McAtee-Gattone (264, Pitt) for the first time ever if UNC wins, and Coach Doc (277 UNC), who can shove aside daughter S Adams (291, UConn) under the same unfortunate circumstance. Alleged Duke-loving M Peloso (273, UNC) can master her husband B Peloso (277, Pitt) if the Heels win, with the added bonus of losing all her credibility and self-respect.

B Peloso is currently fending off archnemesis Sullivan (266, UConn), but he will fail miserably if UConn takes the title. Sullivan already knows she's better than husband D'Zuro (244, Okla), and can claim bragging rights at her next séance with dead mother-in-law Haklar (244, UConn).

R Wanger (288, UNC) has finally bested daughter K Ripley (253, UNC), but he had to beat up on a 10-month pregnant woman to do it. P Ripley (242, UNC) chose the wiser course and bowed to his wife for the third time in their three year marriage.

Children L Schlegel (259, Pitt) and B Kleiman (236, Memphis) made valiant but ultimately unsuccessful efforts to unseat their fathers, R Schlegel (263, Okla) and M Kleiman (237, Pitt) as head poolpicker of the household. In the Donadio home, however, youngins Jr Donadio (279, UConn) and L Donadio (279, UNC) pwn their parents, J Donadio (262, Okla) and ME Donadio (236, Pitt), as well as sibling N Donadio (259, Louis), who at least was able put his mom in a time out.

M Paston (218, Okla) got hammered by a sibling with an unidentified initial (? Paston, 255, UNC). Commissioner M Josephs (233, UConn) is so far behind his dad, D Josephs (283, UNC) that it doesn't matter whether his champion wins or not. P Leach (240, UConn) can pound patriarch E Leach (246, UNC) if UConn wins, but there's no absolutely no hope for the Leach Kids (185, Pitt).

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

All Name 2009

First Team, Crazy Long Name Division
Grlenntys Chief Kickingstallionsims, Jr. (Alabama State) (Captain)
Lacedarius Dunn (Baylor)
Chinemelu Elonu (Texas A&M)
Kyievarez Ward (Texas)
Orlando Mendez-Valdez (Western Kentucky)

First Team, Normal Length Name Division
Beloved Rogers (Oral Roberts) (Captain) -- Name of the Year
Grievous Vasquez (Maryland - they call him "General")
Derwin Kitchen (Florida State)
Avery Jukes (Butler)
Idong Ibok (Michigan State)

Third Team
Kwadzo Ahelege (Northern Iowa) (Captain)
Dogus Balbay (Texas)
E'Twaun Moore (Purdue)
Lazar Hayward (Marquette)
Divaldo Mbunga (Montana State)

Third World Team
Zaire Taylor (Missouri) (Captain)

Old Testament Team
Jeremiah Dominguez (Portland State) (Captain)
Isaiah Thomas (Washington)
Solomon Alabi (Florida State)
Marshall Moses (Oklahoma State)
Ishmael Smith (Wake Forest)

Honorable Mention for Religious Connotation
Xavier Gibson (Florida State)
Emanuel Maybin (Binghamton)
Dionte Christmas (Temple) (Holiday Division)
Osiris Eldridge (Illinois State) (Greek Division)
Epiphanny Prince (Rutgers Women) (Women's Division)
Brooklyn Pope (Rutgers Women) (Women's Division -- what's in the drinking water up at Rutgers?)

Spelers of the Yeer
Jrue Holiday (UCLA) (Captain)
Jimmer Fredette (BYU)
Justynn Hammond (Portland State)**
Semaj Inge (Temple) (Backwards Division)
Steffphon Pettigrew (Western Kentucky) (Department of Redundancy Department Division)

**Siblings of the Year: Justynn Hammond apparently has a brother named Christiaan Hammond and another named Uranus Golden. We wonder if Uranus Golden has ever met 2008 Name of the Year winner Yauney Neptune?