A confession: I’m not really much of a college basketball fan, but I absolutely LOVE March Madness, or the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament as it’s more formally known. I love how any division I school has a shot at making “the big dance” if they just win enough games.
I love the Cinderella stories. Give me North Florida, Dayton, Belmont or Hampton. I love the fact that some “Cinderella stories” return year after year until they are acknowledged by the pundits as powerhouse programs like Gonzaga or Butler, or even Villanova was once upon a time.
Even for the experts, who analyze this stuff for a living, the tournament is a crap-shoot. It is a one-game elimination tournament. College basketball only plays two halves, so things can change as quickly as lightning strikes.
And of course, March Madness is the last major sporting even of the winter; and then baseball begins. But I digress…
The last few years I’ve printed off a tournament bracket and tried to pick the winners before the tournament begins. Like millions of others, I usually throw my hands in the air during the first day of the second round, as my bracket lies in ruins.
This year, I decided to actually keep track of my bracket. I didn’t sign up with any online contests like ESPN, or CNN’s; nor did I even follow the “First Four” opening round, focusing instead on the traditional start of the tournament with the pool of 64 teams. Here’s my results so far;
2nd round: 23/32/ 72% Pretty impressive, I think considering I don’t even follow the game much.
3rd round: 9/16. 56% At this point, I’m still ahead of President Obama’s bracket.
4th round 5/8. 62% Woah!
UPDATE 3.29.15: 5th round 2/4. 50%. One side of my bracket is now completely shot. On the other hand, I did successfully predict the elite 8 and final four teams from the regions. Maybe I’ll even try one of those online challenges next year.
Changes by Tupac
Come on come on
I see no changes. Wake up in the morning and I ask myself,
“Is life worth living? Should I blast myself?”
I’m tired of bein’ poor and even worse I’m black.
My stomach hurts, so I’m lookin’ for a purse to snatch.
Cops give a damn about a negro? Pull the trigger, kill a n****, he’s a hero.
Give the crack to the kids who the hell cares? One less hungry mouth on the welfare.
First ship ’em dope and let ’em deal to brothers.
Give ’em guns, step back, and watch ’em kill each other.
“It’s time to fight back”, that’s what Huey said.
2 shots in the dark now Huey’s dead.
I got love for my brother, but we can never go nowhere
unless we share with each other. We gotta start makin’ changes.
Learn to see me as a brother ‘stead of 2 distant strangers.
And that’s how it’s supposed to be.
How can the Devil take a brother if he’s close to me?
I’d love to go back to when we played as kids
but things changed, and that’s the way it is
[Bridge w/ changing ad libs]
Come on come on
That’s just the way it is
Things’ll never be the same
That’s just the way it is
I see no changes. All I see is racist faces.
Misplaced hate makes disgrace to races we under.
I wonder what it takes to make this one better place…
let’s erase the wasted.
Take the evil out the people, they’ll be acting right.
‘Cause both black and white are smokin’ crack tonight.
And only time we chill is when we kill each other.
It takes skill to be real, time to heal each other.
And although it seems heaven sent,
we ain’t ready to see a black President, uhh.
It ain’t a secret don’t conceal the fact…
the penitentiary’s packed, and it’s filled with blacks.
But some things will never change.
Try to show another way, but they stayin’ in the dope game.
Now tell me what’s a mother to do?
Bein’ real don’t appeal to the brother in you.
You gotta operate the easy way.
“I made a G today” But you made it in a sleazy way.
Sellin’ crack to the kids. “I gotta get paid,”
Well hey, well that’s the way it is.
We gotta make a change…
It’s time for us as a people to start makin’ some changes.
Let’s change the way we eat, let’s change the way we live
and let’s change the way we treat each other.
You see the old way wasn’t working so it’s on us to do
what we gotta do, to survive.
And still I see no changes. Can’t a brother get a little peace?
There’s war on the streets and the war in the Middle East.
Instead of war on poverty,
they got a war on drugs so the police can bother me.
And I ain’t never did a crime I ain’t have to do.
But now I’m back with the facts givin’ ’em back to you.
Don’t let ’em jack you up, back you up, crack you up and pimp smack you up.
You gotta learn to hold ya own.
They get jealous when they see ya with ya mobile phone.
But tell the cops they can’t touch this.
I don’t trust this, when they try to rush I bust this.
That’s the sound of my tool. You say it ain’t cool, but mama didn’t raise no fool.
And as long as I stay black, I gotta stay strapped and I never get to lay back.
‘Cause I always got to worry ’bout the payback.
Some buck that I roughed up way back… comin’ back after all these years.
Rat-a-tat-tat-tat-tat. That’s the way it is. uhh
[Bridge ’til fade:]
Some things will never change
One of The Auteur’s close friends, who is now a neighbor of ours, got pregnant a few months before we did and just had her baby yesterday. She had a boy, as are we; and I have to say that I’m getting bit by the baby bug once again.
I want to meet our little boy. I want to see what he looks like and I want to discover his personality – how he takes after The Auteur and how he takes after me. The Auteur is showing. The Baby is looking like a real baby in his most recent ultrasound photos. I just want him out now.
I think we chose a name. Thursday night, we drove down to Columbus to see a WWE NXT house show. On our way home Friday, we decided on a name. Granted it was a name we were leaning toward already, but I think we made our final decision.
Today, I’ve been gearing up for another round with Jabba, which has had me searching for old computer files. While doing so, I came across some old photos of The Kid when he was a baby, which is making the baby brain thing even worse.
Oh yeah, and The Old Man’s first name is also going to be The Baby’s middle name. It only seemed right…
Last week, The Auteur told me that it looked like my hair was starting to thin on the top of my head. I pulled out a mirror and saw exactly what she was talking about.
Losing my hair.
This is not going to sit well with me. I will shave my head before I get a bald spot. My hairline has managed to outlive those of my closest friends and I refuse to allow it to wither away now. A Scorched Earth Policy, indeed.
I mean, it’s bad enough that I notice myself gradually getting nearsighted…
This is something that a fellow blogger whom I follow wrote. I thought it was especially relevant to me, given what’s going on – both with my relationship with The Kid and the recent passing of The Old Man.
I didn’t feel “the hole” with The Old Man; rather, I want to be sure that The Kid never feels it with me.
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,600 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 27 trips to carry that many people.
THE FOLLOWING POST WAS WRITTEN 1.14.15
The Old Man had another surgery yesterday. The cancer has spread. The tumor in his shoulder has gotten bigger. There were also tumors in his femurs, which he had replaced with titanium rods yesterday.
I learned more about bone cancer through my dog, Worf, than I ever hoped to need to know. Phred told me Sunday that if the Old Man didn’t get the surgery, there was a good chance that he could have broken both his femurs – had he tried to walk.
This is getting very personal – this cancer thing and me. This disease tried to take my mom from me. Now it’s going after my dad and it looks like it’s going to get the job done. But not without one hell of a fight from The Old Man…
I want the Old Man to come home again. I want him to meet my unborn child. I want to take him to one more Tiger game. I want The Kid to be able to see him again. He is too young to lose both grandfathers.
One More Day
When staring in the face if death, I think its normal to think of these things. I can only imagine what’s going through The Old man’s mind during all of this.
Wednesday night was New Year’s Eve and for some reason, I was in no mood to party whatsoever. I wasn’t angry or anything; I was just a little tired and didn’t feel like I was going to miss anything by not celebrating. I’m sure this feeling in part was due to the fact that The Auteur has been sick off and on over the last several days. As it turns out, 1B had some friends over for the night, so The Auteur and I still ended up ringing in 2015 with the kids after all.
Those feelings serve to me as one of those reminders that I really am getting old. Not in any negative sense, mind you; it’s just that partying doesn’t seem as important to me as it once did. Of course, given the fact that The Auteur and I are having a baby, it’s not like she could have gotten festive – i.e. drunk – even if she really wanted to. Partying just really wasn’t that important to me this year. I was much more content just spending a quiet night with The Auteur.
Perhaps that’s not a sign of getting old as much as it is a sign of maturing.
It’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything. My life has changed considerably in the last six weeks or so since I last graced this blog. Things have been happening that, quite frankly, I’ve been reluctant to go public with. I have a few posts – namely here, here and here that I will one day soon go public with.
I hope that everyone has a safe and happy New Year’s Eve and I wish you all nothing but the very best in 2015. My New Year’s Resolution for this blog is to write much more frequently…
I’ve been thinking a lot about this stuff lately. This felt kind of timely, with the new year approaching…