Wednesday, March 17, 2010

St Patrick Saves Us From Apocalypse

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,

It’s that time of year again. Well yeah, it’s St. Patrick’s Day where he postponed the Apocalypse from starting by killing snakes on the Emerald Isle centuries ago or chased dragons off or whatever it was exactly (still want to make a kick-ass movie with a drinking game where you take a shot every time a redhead tries to seduce St. Patrick…which will be plentiful) but that’s not what I’m talking about. This time, I’m referring to March Madness, which officially started yesterday…and so far, my bracket is sitting at 100% with a mere 63 games to go. Arkansas-Pine Bluff started the season 0-11 and now has the pleasure of losing to Duke in the first round of the tournament. Why did I pick them to beat Winthrop (based in Rock Hill, SC)? Well, they started 0-11 and have now gone 18-4 since then. They’re on a roll. I have a few surprises coming up in my bracket…like Cornell & Utah State making it to the Sweet 16 but honestly, I have all four number one seeds making up the Final Four. They’re just honestly the best four teams out there by far. Rather than bore you with all my picks, I’d rather get you better acquainted with some of the colleges represented in the tournament. I did this a few years ago, so it might be a little review…but here you go. Oh…and UConn women’s team is going to embarrass the rest of the field. That’s how it is when you basically sign the All-American team every year. Anyway, here you go…

Men’s Bracket Awareness

UTAH STATE – Ah yes, the Aggies are based in the beautiful campus of Logan, Utah. I’ve made a few trips up there in my high school days (engineering & academic nerd competitions). I think the spirit of Merlin Olsen may be watching over them this weekend.

Lehigh – Representing the college in both the men’s & women’s brackets, they are based in the little town of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Where I believe Football Jesus was born before he set roots in South Bend, Indiana. Tehehe, this university was founded in 1865 by a man named Asa Packer. I’m not joking. He went into politics too. He was a congressman. It’s okay though…because Lee Iacocca attended here…and he did alright.

Northern Iowa – Again in both brackets, they are in Cedar Falls, Iowa. That’s it. Like their state motto says, “Hope you brought something to do” Interestingly enough, Kurt Warner played football here, then bagged groceries for a few years, then rewrote the Super Bowl record books. True story.

New Mexico State – Las Cruces, NM – Most interesting thing I could find was their fight song, which is fitting for today because it states “And when we win this game, we’ll buy a keg of booze / and drink it to the Aggies / till we wobble in our shoes A-G-G-I-E-S!!!” What better college fight song?

Vermont – They’ve made it to both tournament…and in basketball this time, not hockey. Oh…and they’re in lovely Burlington, VT. You know, where they have coat factories, I think. Besides hockey players like John LeClair & Martin St Louis, apparently Ben Affleck spent a semester here…before going to Harvard to hang out with Matt Damon while he was a janitor solving math problems.

Vanderbilt – Located in Nashville, Tennessee and named after Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt. As you might expect, there are a lot of notable alumni here like Al Gore.

Murray State – No, Murray isn’t a new state in the Union, they’re just based in Murray, Kentucky. Any basketball fans out there? Well, the pioneer of the jump shot & hall of famer Joe Fulks went here and then joined the marines during WWII. Now you know.

Oakland – Yes, there are colleges in Oakland, California…but not this one. “Wait, what do you mean it’s actually in Auburn Hills, Michigan? That’s ridiculous.” Indeed it’s true. It’s located in Oakland County. That’s where the name comes from. Oh it’s even better. Have you ever wondered where “Booger” from “Revenge of the Nerds” went to college? No, not Adams College. Here. Along with David Hasselhoff & Freddy Kruger (Robert Englund).

North Texas – Located in Denton, TX and the alumni include musicians Roy Orbison, Meat Loaf, Don Henley, Norah Jones, & Pat Boone. As well as behemoths among men like “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, “Mean” Joe Greene & Dr. Phil.

East Tennessee State – These Buccaneers are in Johnson City, TN. Hmm, since they’re in both tourneys, I wonder what the Lady Bucs wear… Hmm… Kenny Chesney got a degree in Advertising from here.

Cornell – My sleeper Sweet 16 pick hails from Ithaca, New York and was founded in 1865 by Ezra Cornell. The champion of the Ivy League (at least in basketball) has learned 28 Rhodes Scholars & 41 Nobel laureates and some Cornellians include Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Janet Reno, Adolph Coors, C. Everett Koop, Dr. Atkins (from that f**king diet), Henry Heimlich (“It’s not dry humping, I’m saving this woman’s life”), Joyce Brothers, E.B. White, Dick Schaap, Keith Olberman, Bill Maher, Jimmy Smits, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog (no kidding), Huey Lewis, Pop Warner & Christopher Reeve.

Wofford – Established as an independent liberal arts college in Spartanburg, SC in 1854 by Methodist Reverend Benjamin Wofford with a bequest of $100,000. Now you know.

Morgan State – Founded in Baltimore, MD in 1867 as Centenary Biblical Institute, renamed after Rev. Lyttleton Morgan in 1890. Most famous alumni, probably Academy Award winning actress & comedian Mo’Nique.

Siena – I have this Loudonville, NY school upsetting Purdue…and then losing to Utah State. You heard it here first.

Sam Houston State – Hey kids, Dan Rather went here. The Bearkats (not misspelled) are oddly enough in Huntsville, TX which is about a 45 minute drive from Houston. Oh well, that’s not too bad. Stephen F. Austin University is in Nacogdoches, which is about five hours from Austin (clap clap clap clap) deep in the heaaaart of Texas.

Old Dominion – Named after the nickname for Virginia given by an English king…but not founded until 1930, it’s located in the city of Norfolk, VA and is basically produced two of women’s basketball’s greatest & most influential players, Anne Donovan & Nancy Lieberman.

Robert Morris – Again, located in Pittsburgh, PA and named after “the other guy” that helped finance the Revolutionary War (along with Alexander Hamilton). He signed the Declaration of Independence.

Women’s Bracket

Southern – Black college in Baton Rouge, LA that I’m familiar with thanks to the most misunderstood commentator in sports & former Spurs great Avery Johnson but it also boasts alumni like baseball legend Lou Brock, jazz musician Branford Marsalis, THE Randy Jackson (“Yo dawg”) and David Banner (and yes, I’ll be singing “Cum” while typing the rest of this entry)

James Madison – Founded in 1908 as the State Normal & Industrial School for women in Harrisonburg, VA in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley, it has changed names a few times before settling on our shortest Commander-in-Chief. However, probably it’s most famous & infamous graduate…is Scott Norwood (a.k.a. Ray Finkle?) who went into hiding shortly after Super Bowl XXV.

Middle Tennessee State – Former VP Al Gore may have gone to Vanderbilt in Nashville…but his daddy went to MTSU in Murfreesboro, TN.

Austin Peay – Located in Clarksville, TN and renamed after the Governor who died in 1927.

Marist – Adjective meaning having to do with the Holy Mother…and a college in Poughkeepsie, NY. Also were “The Flying Dutchman” NBA center Rik Smits & hate monger Bill O’Reilly went to school.

Lamar – Located in Beaumont, TX and originally named…wait for it… South Park Junior College when founded in 1923. Then in 1932, it renamed itself after Mirabeau B. Lamar, the 2nd President of the Republic of Texas (after Sam Houston). Janis Joplin & the Big Bopper skipped classes there for different reasons.

DePaul – The largest Catholic university in America and located in Chicago, IL. Named after St. Vincent de Paul who promoted philanthropy, that I did not know. Alumni include Scully (Gillian Anderson), Tom Bosley, Joe “Fat Tony” Mantegna, John C. Reilly, & NBA legend George Mikan,

Liberty – Founded in 1971 by Jerry Falwell (oh yes, THAT Jerry Falwell) and is among my favorites because it’s a fundamentalist Baptist / Evangelical Christian university…and it’s located in Lynchburg, Virginia. What else is located there? That’s right. The Jack Daniels distillery. Mmm mmm… Just kidding. That's in Lynchburg, TN. Everybody (with a drinking problem) knows that.

Anyway, that’ll about do it for my educational trip today. Maybe I’ll have to see who makes it to the Women’s Sweet 16 in Sacramento next weekend. May be worth a few bucks. Back to St. Patrick’s Day…

Be Careful at the Bar – Ladies and gentlemen, tonight is a night of levity for Irish of any nationality…but please be careful, use a designated driver, and if something’s too good to be true, it just might be. For example, a middle school teacher was accused of biting off part of a man's ear during a confrontation at a St. Paul, Minnesota diner. Prosecutors said the 30-year-old woman was drunk when she attacked the man at the Uptowner about 4 a.m. Sunday (Really? Drunk at 4 AM on a Sunday? What evidence do you have?). Here’s where it gets good though. A criminal complaint said the 33-year-old man was eating with friends when one made a comment about one of the women with the suspect (“Oh no he didn’t!”). The complaint says the suspect approached the group of men, licked the victim's ear, then bit off part of it. So step by step, let me break this down for you. A friend of the victim…made a comment about a friend of the suspect. Not the victim referred to the suspect in a negative manner…but a friend of to a friend of. Then the suspect approached the group of men (probably stumbling along the way). This is where it gets REALLY interesting. My guess…is that the suspect approached the victim in a seductive manner…probably having no idea whether he was the one who made the comment or not…but figured it was a good guess. She said a few cute things in an awkward, slurred manner as she sat on his lap (What’s he supposed to do? Throw her off?), leans in to whisper something, gives a little lick on the lobe, his friends react with cheers at this free amateur lap dance…and then she bites down, rips off a piece of ear, spits it to the side (not a swallower) and walks back to her friends, laughing like a hyena & saying “Don’t be talkin’ bout my girl like that!!!” It’s one of those situations that seem like a movie scene, where your wettest fantasy turns into a horror flick with the flip of a switch (like Jennifer’s Body…only in real life). So yeah, be careful out there everybody…and play safe.

That’ll do it for today. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve been crock potting a corned beef with potatoes, carrots, pearl onions, and a few shots of Crown Royal (it’s not Irish…but it’s what I had for whiskey) all day…and I’m ready to try it out before hitting the bars for some Irish Carbombs & Guinness. Let’s toast to your health & pray we all don’t get “strep throat” again. Have a great night everybody!!!

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