Friday, April 10, 2015

And a Child Shall Beat Them

Congratulations to Natalie for continuing a family tradition of great runs in Tournament Challenge.
Thanks to being the only Poophead to pick Duke to win it all she scored 1150 points, good enough for a finish just outside the top 10% nationally.
Unfortunately her triumph came at the expense of her older brother who for the second time experienced heartache on championship night.
Back in 2008, he wept when Memphis loss. But this year Evan took Wisconsin's defeat in stride.
The mother of these ace prognosticators finished third, proving the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.
I'm very proud of my boys who finished 4th and 5th and even picked their own brackets. I only changed one of Chase's picks, NC State to make the Final Four. I was holding my breath and actually rooting against them so I wouldn't have to tell him.
JuJu almost rode Wisconsin to a second place finish.
And even though I finished down the list, I was in great position to win my first title but Gonzaga and then Kentucky let me down.
And special mention for Damino, who didn't have enough faith in his own team to pick them. Had he done so, he would have been the runaway winner.

2014: Billy
2013: TON
2012: Reissberg
2011: Mrs. Poop
2010: Vacated (I forgot to keep accurate records)
2009: Mrs. Poop
2008: Pa Beers
2007: Michael

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Song of the Week

"Chattahoochee" - Alan Jackson
"It gets hotter than a hoochie coochie."
One of the best things we discovered when we went away to college was there was a whole other class of music out there called "country" that we were never exposed to on Staten Island. This is one of the best of those songs.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

I Still Hate the Dookies

Congratulations to Damino who vanquished his brother and took down Duke's 5th national title.
It was a great game and I really thought Wisconsin was going to win it until Grayson Allen took over.
With 13 minutes left Wisconsin took a 9 point lead.
Then Allen made a 3, a steal, got fouled while hustling for a loose ball and on that possession made a layup, got fouled and hit the free throw.

From 9 to 3 on the deficit in just about a minute based solely on the effort and execution of one player.

I don't believe much in momentum, but I do believe that the strategy of games change drastically based on lead size. Once Duke cut the lead so much so quickly, they never had to enter a desperation mode.

After that Kaminsky went cold, Tyus Jones went off and Duke won.

And Grayson Allen established himself and the next great white hated from Duke.

In 20 years he may have his own documentary.

The Curse Claims Another Victim

Just a few days after Misao Okawa died, Gertrude Weaver of Arkansas was named the world's oldest person.
Five days later, she died.

The world's oldest person curse claims another victim. Every time someone receives the title they die soon after.

Jeralean Talley, watch your back.

Monday, April 06, 2015

Brother vs. Brother

"The one thing that I do think about is after the game. There is going to be one winner and there is going to be one that is going to be totally disappointed. My thoughts go to that one that will not experience the thrill of victory." - Mama Damino

One brother will rejoice, one brother will revile.

In case you don't know, Damino went to law school at Duke, and Big Kev attended Wisconsin. And BK is actually in the Annapolis -- I mean, Indianapolis -- for the game.

I really don't know who is going to win, but I would have to favor Duke slightly. Watching them I've been incredibly impressed with their depth of talent and their ability to fast break without making mistakes.

Obviously Wisconsin slew the giant but that doesn't make them the presumptive champion. Sometimes teams that pull off that big victory have blown their proverbial load by the time they get to the title game.

It should be a great game and I look forward to watching it and may the best Damino win.

By the way, that quote at the top was actually said by Jack Harbaugh before his sons, John and Jim, coached against each other in the Super Bowl. But this is pretty much the same thing.

How They Did It

Due to Passover I didn't have the chance to watch the games on Saturday night as I would have liked. But I did notice three things that helped Wisconsin pull off the shocking upset:

1) That horrible uncalled shot clock violation. I know there were other calls that went against Wisconsin, but not as obvious nor as pivotal as this. The punch to Gasser's face wasn't a missed call. It was a judgment call. They reviewed and judged it to be incidental contact, not a malicious act. I agreed with that decision when I saw it. But the shot clock violation I saw blatantly and couldn't believe they missed it. And it did really change the tenor of the game.

2) Speaking of shot clock violations. Kentucky basically had 3 of them in the final five minutes. Just horrible. And when they did try to score they just handed it to a Harrison brother and let him recklessly drive the lane. Terrible endgame strategy from a team that has so many good options.

3) Wisconsin made the plays. Sam Dekker won the game with his step-back 3-pointer. All the other stuff wouldn't have mattered had Wisconsin not made they plays to win. And for that they deserve immense credit.

2015 Baseball Season Predictions

NL East: Washington Nationals
NL Central: St. Louis Cardinals
NL West: Los Angeles Dodgers
NL Wild Card: San Francisco Giants over Atlanta Braves

NLCS: Washington Nationals over Los Angeles Dodgers

AL East: Toronto Blue Jays
AL Central: Cleveland Indians
AL West: Anaheim Angels
AL Wild Card: Chicago White Sox over Seattle Mariners

ALCS: Anaheim Angels over Chicago White Sox

World Series: Anaheim Angels over Washington Nationals

NL MVP: Bryce Harper
AL MVP: Mike Trout
NL Cy Young: Clayton Kershaw
AL Cy Young: Felix Hernandez
NL Rookie of the Year: Kris Bryant
AL Rookie of the Year: Carlos Correa
NL Manager of the Year: Matt Williams
AL Manager of the Year: Robin Ventura
NL Comeback Player of the Year: Matt Harvey
AL Comeback Player of the Year: Shin-Soo Choo