Wednesday, March 16, 2016

NCAA Tournament 1st and 2nd Rounds

And let's just say how relieved I am that we are using this video and not the NIT on AXS intro music. I like to think I'm like a 9/10 on the Wisconsin Sports Optimism Scale (WSOS), but I won't lie to you: there were times when I thought going to the NCAA Tournament was simply not in the fold for this team. I had doubts, and let me tell you how much I am thoroughly enjoying being wrong with those doubts. 9-9 with losses at home to Western Illinois, UWM, Marquette, and at Northwestern? If you're going to sit here and pretend like you were all 'dude the streak will live and I'm talking about the top 4 in the B1G streak in addition to the NCAA streak' I'd tell you to STFU and/or GTFO. ACRONYMS ALL DAY.

But #Gardo happened, and it's going to be our mantra for the next infinity years. It's so beautifully Wisconsin that our football and hoops programs are led by these Wisconsin bros that look like the guys smoking old school tobacco pipes and drinking High Lifes at the end of the bar in Ashwaubenon. They're just a couple of sloven looking white guys that have nowhere Wisconsin written all over them. And I LOVE that! I am speaking in purely complimentary terms.

And let the record show, I care like .7% that Bo was pulling trim on the side. I loved Bo Ryan and I continue to love Bo Ryan, but this is a hardened old man from the streets of Philly. He's no angel. Once it was shown that he really didn't violate any university rules and he's been working with his wife to get over this, I stopped caring. Thank you for the years of winning and recruiting the right kids and not stooping to pay-for-play levels and B1G championships and back-to-back Final Fours and manhandling Crean at all opportunities and that one time you gave us pizza when we were waiting in line for tickets and that time you were a thief in Texas and everything else you did for UW hoops. Enjoy your retirement.

With that said, I can't wait to see what happens in the first of many #Gardo NCAA appearances. This team is playing with house money: even IF they lose to Pitt, I'll be over it like 14 minutes after the game. We're a team that can beat anyone, but undoubtedly can lose to anyone. Why do I sometimes use caps lock and sometimes italics? NO ONE KNOWS.

What I DO know is that anything can happen in March, and I'm ready for anything. Go out and shock the world. Win a few games. Enjoy the lowered expectations. Because next year and beyond? Look out.

PS - Can I tell you how clutch this is?

I'm having such a Pizza Hut Carb Party on Thursday it's not even funny. Hands down my favorite tradition.


Time for a crash course in everything you need to know about Pitt, other than what their basketball team is like.

One of the oldest traditions is "Lantern Night", an annual ceremony that serves as a formal induction for freshman women to university life.
This is how I'm interpreting that tradition:

A romantic tradition involves the legend stating that if lovers kiss on the steps of Heinz Memorial Chapel, they are then destined to be married there.
I demand statistics on how often this actually plays out.

Perhaps the most prestigious tradition involves the Omicron Delta Kappa Walk, a stone walkway between the Cathedral of Learning and Heinz Chapel that contains the engraved names of Pitt's Omicron Delta Kappa Senior of the Year award winners. The walk is the only one of its kind in the country.
Wait. Are you telling me there's not ANOTHER Omicron Delta Kappa Walk at some other university? How has Pitt managed to keep this rare treasure of a tradition so secretive?


In the early 20th century, epidemics of polio began to hit the United States and other industrialized countries. As hospitals filled with patients in iron lungs, and tens of thousands were left disabled, the fear of polio grew, leading to the closing of many public facilities. Meanwhile, Dr. Jonas Salk had set up the University of Pittsburgh's Virus Research Lab in the basement of what is now Salk Hall. By 1951, Salk and his team had begun immunization experiments in monkeys using dead polio virus. Soon, however, Salk began to test inoculations in paralyzed polio patients and by 1953 human trials among the general population were initiated. 
By the spring of the following year, the largest controlled field trials in medical history were underway, and by 1955 the vaccine developed by Salk and his researchers was declared effective. By 1962, Salk's vaccine had reduced the incidence of polio in the United States by 95 percent. The breakthroughs in immunology and vaccine development at Pitt by Salk and his team are considered one of the most significant scientific and medical achievements in history
Gah, IRON LUNGS! Those things look worse than death. Did people ever recover from one? Like, did any child spend a month in an iron lung and then just BAM be healthy and live forever?

If this story happened today, that little weasel would have patented the polio cure and then sold it for a BILLION dollars per dose. People are the WORST.

  • Jeff Bergman (A&S 1983) — voice actor who provides the modern-day voices of classic cartoon characters including Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck. What an unfairly cool answer to the first date 'so what do you do?' question. This guy's playing with a freaking loaded deck.
  • Fred Rogers — host of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. Mr. Rogers went to Pitt? DID YOU KNOW Fred Rogers wrote the intro song to the show? Mr. Rogers was the man.
  • Mark Cuban — owner of the Dallas Mavericks NBA franchise. IN YOUR FACE, IU.
  • Dan Marino — professional actor. Is there an age cutoff where people know Marino more for his stellar work in Ace Ventura than his football career? Do kids still watch Ace Ventura? It's not like that movie is dated and isn't funny anymore.
  • Susan Arnold (MBA, Katz 1980) — Vice Chairman of P&G, ranked 10th among the 50 most powerful women in business by Fortune. Well, she used to be one of the 50 most powerful women in business. She's since dropped off the list. But guess who squeaked into spot #51!
  • William S. Dietrich II (A&S 1980G, 1984G) — industrialist and philanthropist. Pictured here:
Pennypacker 1, Dietrich 0
  • Thomas Usher (undergraduate, master's and Ph.D degrees) — Chairman of U.S. Steel and Marathon Oil; Director of the Extra Mile Education Foundation and Boy Scouts of America. Wait, this guy's got steel AND oil money? Is he a baron AND a magnate? That's absolutely outrageous.
  • Tung Chao Yung — Chinese shipping magnate, founder of the Orient Overseas Line (now OOCL), and owner of the largest ship ever built. Another magnate! God I want to be a magnate so badly. Power titles, RANKED:

Honorable Mention: Commodore, because that guy in Boardwalk Empire looked like he was living pretty damn well.

5) Mogul. Sounds a little on the dorky side. Doesn't strike fear in the hearts of peasants everywhere.

4) Magnate. Just because it's a confusing word and people will think you sell industrial magnets or something.

3) Tycoon. At this point you're so rich and can do so many things that no one else can do who cares what you call yourself.

2) Baron. I'd officially rename myself Baron von Wolfenstein and start paying people to shampoo my hair for me because it feels good and fudge you I can afford to pay a person to do nothing other than give me scalp massages in the shower. My personal shampooist makes more in a year than both of your parents combined because Baron von Wolfenstein pays his people well. Barons are respected more than they're feared.

1) Czar. It's got a real Russian vibe to it, which terrifies me in multiple ways. These are the people that hold all sorts of tyrannical political influence, control an entire country's water supply, and require foreign government coups to shake from their spheres of influence.

CHICAGO BADGERS: The stars have aligned. Everything is well in the world. The Badgers snagged the #FAW tipoff time, which means those of you fools that are working on Friday can get to Will's in time to guzzle buckets of beer with your friends. I know I'll be there. Don't overcomplicate this. Should we get a custom Snapchat geofilter? I think I already know the answer to this. I'm on it!

PS - If you didn't know, Snapchat recently allowed people to submit their own geofilters and it is BRILLIANT. I'm going to waste so much money on this. I made one for a St. Patrick's party and it was the most oddly enjoyable thing I've done in a while. I had so much pride watching people take dumb snaps with my filter on it. Damn you Snapchat for being so cool.





(2) Michigan State
Opponents: Middle Tennessee, Dayton/Syracuse
Undefeated Chances: 99.7%
Oh, you're so clever picking MSU to win it all: I bet you'll win your pool with a ballsy pick like that! I HATE HOW GOOD THEY ARE AT THIS.

(5) Purdue
Opponents: Arkansas Little Rock, Iowa State/Iona
Undefeated Chances: 73%
Are these guys good: I'm not sure. When we play Purdue, I walk away thinking they could be competitive in the NBA. They have 9 guys that are 7' tall and coordinated, they hit every shot, and Matt Painter looks like he could get a cameo in Goodfellas. I think I'm just gonna pick them to win everything and hope I look smart.

(5) Maryland
Opponents: South Dakota State, Cal/Hawaii
Undefeated Chances: 34%
WOULD YOU RATHER: Have one year of Diamond Stone, one year of Henry Ellenson, or 4 years of Ethan Happpppppppomgyes

(5) Indiana
Opponents: Chattanooga, Kentucky/Stony Brook
Undefeated Chances: 44%
There's no way IU/UK happens: I REFUSE to believe this DREAM MATCHUP will actually come to fruition in the second round. Something crazy has to happen. That monster on Stony Brook drops 60 and UK chokes. Yogi turns it over 14 times and Crean gets ejected for throwing a Diet Coke at the official in an endlessly amusing IU debacle. IDK. But I just feel like when everyone starts hyping some crazy hypothetical matchup, it rarely pays off. Other than MSU and Virginia, since I think they are contractually forced to battle every year.

(7) Wisconsin
Opponents: Pitt, Xavier/Weber State
Undefeated Chances: 13.5%
LET'S GO WEBER STATE: Shock the world, boys!

PS - If I think of UW/Pitt, this is all I'll allow myself to remember:

Dickie V KILLED that call!

PPS - "Wisconsin has never been ranked higher than 6" just a reminder that this program has elevated to levels that were once impossible to believe.

(7) Iowa
Opponents: Temple, Villanova/UNC-Ashville
Undefeated Chances: 8%
Fran McCaffrey just seems like such chill dude:

PS - We still #NeverForget:

(11) Michigan
Opponents: Tulsa, Notre Dame, West Virginia/Stephen F. Austin
Undefeated Chances: 4%
WHO IS STEPHEN F. AUSTIN: He was el empresario, which is Spanish for... the empresario. But he was also known as the Father of Texas, so it's HIS damn fault Texas is such a source of American shame. Hey Stephen F. Austin, you suck!


(14) Green Bay
Opponents: Texas A&M, Texas/Northern Iowa
Undefeated Chances: 1%
The Phoenix Bandwagon: ALLLLL ABOOARRRDDDD


Marquette lololol


This is my current favorite song that I discovered after everyone else but I'm pretending like I've been driving the bandwagon since day 1. You shoulda seen them with me at that 8 person club 10 years ago. Knew they were gonna be stars.

On the flip side, I think I AM early on the Struts! In your FACE... people!

Female lead singer + hooky guitars = SWOON


Our Ability To Maintain Appropriate Expectations vs. The Anguish Of Eventual Defeat. I already alluded to this, but you need to check your expectations at the door to Will's. This team has been a blast to watch since mid-January. They're young, they're going to be amazing for the next 3+ years, and they arrived an entire year ahead of schedule. The transition from Bo to #Gardo has been smoother than that time a girl accidentally knocked her barstool over behind her and I casually caught it with my foot and flipped it back up for her. We iced the top 4 streak and the NCAA steak.

Now we dance like we're blacked out and we don't care how dumb we look because at least we're out having fun and not sitting home watching Netflix pretending like that's what we really want to be doing on a hot Saturday night.


Please oh please, Nigel

Don't make this the end for you



This is the kind of prank the world needs more of. Nothing cruel, nothing that's going to tarnish friendships or cause couples to break up. Just some good old fashioned foreigner humor that wouldn't work in America because Americans would not have the patience and easy-going nature to let this play out for more than 30 seconds.

PS - 

'Bangin' is an international adjective? Why is this blowing my mind? I demand to know how to say 'bangin' in every language.

So Tiger Woods creates a golf course for kids, and the first kid to play it aces the first hole in front of Tiger and media and all these people? Am I allowed to hate this kid? Because I kinda hate this kid. What is he, like 13? Sure, it's all downhill from there, but that's the kinda peak that most humans only dare DREAM of. Tiger Freaking Woods had to hit after him and couldn't do what this little kid did.

I get nervous teeing off on the first hole of the Hampton Hills Country Club when there's 2 guys from Brookfield chugging Miller Light waiting for their turn. This kid, so annoying.

Endlessly amusing, accurate title.

Video proof that #MURDERICE is real and deserves all of the fear and respect it commands. Also, obligatory:


Brightwok is my new favorite lunch spot in the Loop and I don't foresee anything taking that title away from it in 2016. Once they started selling this absurdly good fried eggs on top it just went to the next level. That's basically a bowl with rice, chicken, thai basil sauce, broccoli, onions, green peppers, and the best fried egg in the world. SO CRISPY. Everything about this is a flavor explosion that only Guy Fieri could appreciate as much as I do.

If you work downtown in Chicago, go try it and thank me later. Plus it's like almost healthy!


Got to travel to Ft. Lauderdale for work last month and ALL I wanted was one kickass sunset. This was like a 6/10, and I needed a minimum 5/10 to qualify. Trip: SUCCESSFUL


What do you guys think? Head picks or heart picks? What's the right approach? I'm still riding the high from nailing the score of the Holiday Bowl. Not sure what to do.








  1. Ok. All's right with the world. I'm almost ready to make a road trip to Will's to watch the game. Almost.

  2. Good work blogging your face off. Several LOLs at the desk this AM.

  3. It is not bad to dislike someone. Everyone has his own likes and dislikes and no one can force you to change your likes.