Sunday, March 29, 2015

I'm in first in my work bracket. I have Gonzaga winning today while EVERYONE else has Duke.

I've pretty much given up hope on college bracket, but Gonzaga getting to the finals is my only hope. Edit: MSU just won, so a Gonzaga win puts me in 1st place here too. 

And I've got Gonzaga in Calcutta.

Both Gonzaga and Duke have looked real good and I expect it to be close. I'm all in on the Zags.

Edit 5:19 pm: Fuck.

March Madness Players I Liked Watching

This was the first time that so many different players stood out to me as individuals that were fun to watch.

T.J. McConnell, Arizona
Zach Auguste, Notre Dame
Sam Dekker, Wisconsin
Przemek Karnowski, Gonzaga

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Two Years In A Row

Arizona loses to Wisconsin in the Elite Eight and then Wisconsin loses to Kentucky in the Final Four.

What are these, reruns?

Edit: Twist!

Friday, March 27, 2015

It's 75 in Denver and summer makes me want to drink beer and eat hot dogs. So that's what I've been doing.

I really like craft beer. And I like bourbon, tequila, rum. I realized that I don't really care for wine. I've had some good ones and plenty of bad ones, but there are so many other good drinks, that I find myself wanting to track and rate my beers and have no interest in entering the world of wine.

Anyways, summer makes me want to drink cocktails and beer and it feels like summer in Colorado.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Beers To Try

Never Had
Odell Lugene Chocolate Stout
Odell Runoff Red
Odell Levity Amber
Left Hand Milk Stout

Liked Before
Deschutes Twilight Summer Ale
Deschutes Fresh Squeezed
Odell 5 Barrel Pale Ale
Blue Moon Farmhouse Red
Tommyknocker Maple Nut Brown
Russian River Pliny the Elder
Fort Collins Major Tom's Wheat
Fuller's Honey Dew
Wynkoop Colorojo
Oskar Blues Mama's Little Yella Pils

Tried Since Original Post
Dry Dock Apricot Blonde - didn't like
Odell Loose Leaf - very nice, easy to drink, good flavor
Breckenridge Vanilla Porter - delicious. Not a huge fan of porters, but love vanilla and this was great. Best porter I've tried to date. Got better as I drank it.
Sierra Nevada Nooner - okay. Reminded me of miller lite. Not offensive, but wouldn't buy again.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

I love March Madness

I love the brackets. I love seeing upsets. I love going from game to game, just watching the last 5 minutes. I love that your team doesn't have to be good or even in it. I love that I have really strong opinions about Gonzaga-Iowa or Dayton-Oklahoma. I love it when a #1 seed goes down. I just love everything about it.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Fun Facts / Sunday Preview

In my work bracket, even though I had Villanova in the title game, I still picked MSU over Virginia. Which is fine. But somehow, I accidentally picked Belmont over Virginia in the first round. Stupid. If I lose by 10 points, that would be really stupid.

In my college bracket, I almost went with UNC in the Final Four. I had that locked in for three days and then during Calcutta I switched it up and put Arizona over UNC in the elite eight. So I still stuck with my UNC over Wisconsin pick. At the moment, UNC is trailing Arkansas by a point with 14 minutes to go. So...yeah.

Also, tomorrow's first game is a doozy. A lot of people have Virginia in the Final Four or even winning it all. I've got MSU in the Final Four. That game will swing a lot in both my brackets.

And then the game after that is Duke. I've got Gonzaga in both my brackets (and Calcutta) so I would love, love, love to see Duke go down at any point.

The game after that is Wichita State - Kansas. Which doesn't affect me too much bracketwise, but should be a great game. I love that KU wouldn't schedule the Shockers but now have to play them on a neutral court (Omaha). Also, ironic or something, that usually the stereotypical neutral field example is Wichita, but in this case it wouldn't be neutral. Omaha seems like a perfect replacement.

Then the next two games are my Calcutta teams. I care 100 times about Gonzaga than Dayton. First of all, I hate Iowa. This year I had a bet with a co-worker of Illinois basketball vs Iowa basketball. So all year I was rooting against them, and they kept winning. So I hate them. And since I'm all in on Gonzaga, I really need them to win.

In the time it took me to write that, UNC now has a three point lead with 12 to go. Time to watch that.

Edit: I just turned on the game and instantly was annoyed that I was rooting for UNC. I just think they're better than Wisconsin. On the bright side, if Wisconsin does beat them, it will be enjoyable to see them lose.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Now Boarding

For the first time in my life, I went to a ski resort. Our department at work all went to A-basin for a day of skiing/snowboarding and eating and drinking. I skateboarded a little in high school and I love sledding, so snowboarding always appealed to me. One of my friends had a complete set of extra gear including a snowboard.

I got all geared up. Another friend said he would go with me on the bunny hill for my first run. He pointed to a wide, mostly flat area. It had about as much slope of as my backyard. That? That's the bunny hill? That's nothing.

They have to show me how to get my feet into the board. I got tired just doing that. I'm not joking. Then I had to take the lift. The hill looked small enough that it seemed easier just to walk up it, but fine. I get on the lift easy enough. And then I realize I'm going to have to get off. I manage to do so, only partially falling.

I take my first run. From the top, it looks much, much steeper than from the bottom. As I'm going, the board twists around me and I switch my stance. It feels good. I'm going fast. I fall. I get up. Another friend helps me work my way to the bottom. It's fun. The friend that helped me on the run said I would be doing greens by the end of the day.

I'm excited to do my second run on the bunny hill. I take the lift and depart much smoother this time. All my friends are now on greens/blues, so there's no pressure of people watching me. I take off and get going real fast. And then I fall. Hard. On my ass. I scream out. I sit there.

It hurts really, really bad. It is at this point that I no longer want to ride ever again. I'm sitting 1/4 of the way down on the bunny hill, just sitting in the snow. I want to take my board off and walk down but I know that's not an option. After a few minutes, I get up. It's not easy to get up. But I start again.

And then I fall again. Just as hard on my ass. I scream again. Later people will tell me that the bunny hill is basically ice and it hurts much less to fall on a blue. I'm now 1/2 of the way down. And it hurts like hell.

I really don't want to go down the hill anymore. So I sit. Three-year-olds pass me doing just fine. I just want to get off this board. So that's my motivation. Get the bottom and get me out of this board.

I get going and fall again. But this time I purposefully fall on my knees. Hurts much less. I make it to the bottom.

I take the board off and change out of the heavy boots. I put on my sneakers. It hurts to sit because my ass is in so much pain. I make my way to the bar. It's 10:30 and I'm done boarding for the day. I start drinking and watching the first day of the tournament. I see Baylor and Iowa State lose.

In fact, it's over 24 hours since I fell and my ass still hurts more than just about anything I can remember. Maybe the only thing worse was the softball injury where I couldn't lift my arm. Thus concludes my snowboarding career.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

So basically the same?

Monday, March 16, 2015

NCAA 15 Selection Process

Yesterday, I saw something that I had never seen before. A list that showed how the committee ranked every team from 1-68. I have recreated the list and marked in green the automatic bids.

So you have your teams that win the power conferences, those tend to be pretty good. You have three mid-majors that were safely in but won their tournament anyways and then you have 22 teams that wouldn't make it in without winning their conferences.

So this reveals this year that the tournament includes the top 46 teams in the country. What we don't know is if the committee were to rank the next 22 best teams, if Wyoming would be in that list. Kenpom has Buffalo at 54th in the country but Wyoming at 102nd, so that's not really a useful guide. Regardless, if you're in the top 46 teams in the country, you're in the tournament.

Also, most people are shocked that UCLA was ranked so highly (not even in the last four in) so I thought of one simple metric to judge resumes: record vs tournament teams.

Here are the records vs tourney teams for the 10 bubble teams, sorted by winning percentage, green made tourney, red didn't.

Old Dominion 3-1
Colorado St 4-5
Dayton 2-3
Richmond 3-5
Ole Miss 4-7
Illinois 4-8, UCLA 4-8, Boise State 2-4
Temple 2-6
BYU 1-5

I know this isn't a perfect metric. Here a loss against Wisconsin is the same as a loss to Wyoming and a win over Georgia State is the same as a win over Baylor. But I still find it interesting.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Top 7 teams in the Big Ten made the tourney.

Illinois finished 8th in the conference.

Saturday, March 14, 2015


In my old age, I have discovered something beautiful. When your team doesn't make the playoffs, instead of adopting a second team (which never really works) it's much, much better to root against a team you don't like. It worked like gangbusters for me in January. 

With the NHL playoffs on the horizon and the Avalanche missing out, I have a solution. (Technically, they're not eliminated. To have a >50% chance of making the playoffs, they would have to go at least 11-2-1. To have a >95% chance they need to go 13-1.)

This year, my playoff team is Not the Wild. 

Last year, the Wild beat the Avs in a 7-game series. They took out one of our best defensemen and their fans proceeded to whine about everything. I don't like the Wild. 

Anyways, it looks like they'll make the playoffs. But I'll be rooting against them every step of the way.

Running Back U.

So Illinois may never be great at football, but they can be good at some things. And in the next 5 years, that might be running the ball. In the last 15 years, we've seen Pierre Thomas, Rashard Mendenhall and Mikel Leshoure.

Joining the team this fall:

4-star OT Gabe Megginson
4-star RB Ke'Shawn Vaughn
3-star RB Dre Brown (Edit: April 18, Dre Brown tears ACL, medical redshirt likely in 2015, should be a freshman in 2016 now)

On most lists, those are the three best Class of 2015 recruits. 3-star QB Jimmy Fitzgerald and 3-star DT Jamal Milan round out our top 5.

And today we've added 2 recruits to the Class of 2016.

4-star RB Kentrail Moran
3-star QB Eli Peters

From this vantage point, over the next 5 years, RB depth looks pretty good.

(Edit: Jan 22, 2016: Moran has decommitted.)

Friday, March 13, 2015

Bloopers & Outtakes

I know I made this post once, but I can't find it. And I'm sure the links are all broken. So here are some of my favorites.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

I associate March Madness with spring weather. In Chicago/Champaign, there were many times when the brackets were out and it still felt like winter.

It's absolutely beautiful in Denver and I'm ready for some basketball. Bummed that Illinois won't make it, but whether or not they were a tournament team, it was clear they weren't a sweet 16 team.

Anyways, it's still a really nice time of year.

For the last couple seasons, when the Chiefs implode it's on to the Avs for me.

Well, Illinois basketball is done (except for the NIT) and the Avs are going to miss the playoffs.

So it's on to...the September? The schedule's not even out yet. Sigh.
I stopped watching when it was 15-14 Illinois. I'm assuming they held on for victory?

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Illinois basketball has won 19 games this year. If they win 10 more, they're national champions.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Official sports drink of the NHL makes sense...Honda as Official Vehicle of the NHL doesn't.

It's a commercial for the CR-V. So this family SUV is more NHL-official than Toyota's? What does that even mean?
It's no this, but it's close.

In case you're curious, that's the program Spotify running a commercial for Spotify and the name of the commercial is Spotify.

Saturday, March 07, 2015

He's kind of a big deal

So why is Rayvonte Rice trending worldwide? THIS.