Monday, March 5, 2012

2012 Charitable NCAA Pool & "Nearly" Idiot Proof Instructions

First, I'd like to dispel the rumors that I had a coronary during my beloved St. Bonventure Bonnies' victory over Xavier that miraculously put them in the Tourney. I blacked out 5 times, but at no point did my heart stop - or so I was told by my seemingly disappointed wife.

Anyway, if you are up for this year's NCAA Tourney charitable pool, please read the below rules. They are followed by "nearly" idiot proof instructions for how to enter your picks on our Yahoo site. (I've given up on simply calling them idiot proof instructions.)

1.Send Money To Gary Manis at 20 Oak Street, Natick MA 01760 – Just like last year, Gary Manis has again agreed to take full responsibility for collecting all the money. Why on earth would he do so? Not sure. My guess is that the birth of his daughter on February 27th has opened up a lot of free time. You know, the time that he used to spend sleeping.

So, if you want to make a $25 contribution/donation to this “charitable” pool, you need to make your checks out to Gary Manis and send your $ to him at 20 Oak Street, Natick MA 01760. In other words, you are not to send your dough to me.

2. Yahoo - As in the past, the pool will be run via Yahoo and in the classic "fill out the bracket" format with points doubling each round. (No points for the 4 preliminary round games.) The whole pool will be on one Yahoo site that can only hold 250 entries. You, therefore, might want to join soon to assure yourself a spot.

Also IMPORTANT to note is that every year the Yahoo Tourney site temporarily crashes - usually the day after Selection Sunday and the hour before the first round starts on Thursday. Avoid this aggravation by joining soon.

3. $ prizes - 1st place: 60% of pot, 2nd place: 20% of pot, 3rd place 10% of pot, 4th place - 5% of pot, Jimmy V Foundation - 5% of pot.

4. Cost - $25. Well, unless you don't care to receive any winnings. See, the pot for the pool, like last year, will come from all of the contributions/donations for this site that Gary Manis receives. That's right, every penny I get I'm putting toward the pot. I'm not keeping a cent. You can also join the pool for free.

However, if you don't donate $25 and you finish in 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th place, your share of the winnings will be sent directly to the Jimmy V Foundation for Cancer Research. If you donate $25 or more and you finish in 1st, 2nd or 3rd or 4th place, your share of the winnings will be sent directly to you and you can make whatever charitable donation you see fit.

Bottom Line - if you want the winnings sent to you, donate at least $25.

5. Deadline to donate - You need to have your check in an envelope postmarked on or before Thursday, March 15, 2012 if you want a shot at having a share of the winnings sent directly to you. Once again, your checks need to be made out to Gary Manis, (NOT ME) and sent to 20 Oak Street, Natick MA 01760. If you send a check with an envelope postmarked after March 15, 2012 it will go directly to the Jimmy V Foundation. If you want to confirm that Gary got your check you can email him at

6.Enter With Your Actual Name - It's VERY IMPORTANT that when you create the name of your entry for our Yahoo site, you enter your actual name. Otherwise, Gary will delete you. It is a severe pain in the ass trying to keep track of who everyone is when people are not using their actual names. So, if your name is Keith Mangas create your "bracket name" to be Keith Mangas. Also, if I do not know you, you must email me at prior to joining to let me know who you are. If there is an entry in our pool whose name I do not recognize, Gary will delete it.

7. Multiple Entries - If you really want to submit multiple entries, then convince someone else you know to join and make the picks for that person. You might also want to try to convince that person to give you the $ if you win.

8.No Mercy For Mistakes – If for whatever reason your picks do not get entered as you hoped, you’re simply out of luck – much earlier than most. There will be no refunds for anyone who messes up his picks. This includes the sadly all too common error of failing to pick the winner of the final game. The best way to avoid this problem is to follow the below instructions and recheck your picks once you have finished.

9.Friends/Recruits - Feel free to get your friends, family members or whoever else you know to join the pool. But please make sure they realize that if they join they need to email me and let me know who they are or they will be deleted. Also, don't just forward other people the password and group id#. Make sure they get all of the rules.

10. How to Join our Yahoo group site - Though I have listed "nearly" idiot proof steps to join the Yahoo site, many of you should be able to figure it out at Go to join group. The group id # is 5729. The password is driftwood - (If you can figure out why "driftwood" i'll be impressed. Explanation is below.) Please remember that when you enter your "Bracket Name" to USE YOUR ACTUAL NAME. You also might want to remember to sign back in to the site after Sunday March 11 - so you can make your picks.

Nearly Idiot Proof instructions on joining the Yahoo Group

(1) Go to OR you can go to Yahoo, click on sport, click on fantasy, then click on Tourney Pick'em.

(2) Click on “Join a Group” (Not “create a group”)
(3) Click on “Join Group” (different screen from step 2)
(4) Enter your own personal Yahoo ID and Yahoo password on right side from your own personal Yahoo account. Note that these are NOT the same as the ones list below for entering our group. COMMON MISTAKE – is entering the info to join the site. Try not to make that mistake.
(5) If you do not have your own personal Yahoo account click on "Sign Up" under "Don't have a Yahoo! ID?" Otherwise, go to step (6).
(5b)Enter the requested personal info (name & your creation of an id and password, & code) on the page.
(5c) Write down your personal id and password then click on "agree" to the terms then click on “create my account”.
(5d) Click on “continue” to Yahoo Sports on right side of page.

(6) Enter our group id# 5729 and our password driftwood. (DO Not enter your personal Yahoo id and password.)
(6b) Click on “save and continue”. (Oh and why driftwood? That was the name of the fictional St. Bonaventure grad, with almost non-existent basketball skills and even less intelligence, in the movie The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh. Yes, I'm pretty sure I could have aced that role.)
(7) Enter your actual full name as your "bracket name". Please NO NICKNAMES!! Gary will delete entries that do not comply.
(8) Click on the box next to “Terms of Service”
(9) Determine whether you want to enter Yahoo's separate contest for $5mil - if so, enter the requested info and accept terms.
(10) Hit submit (lower left corner) – You are now in our group.

Now you need to make your picks - which, of course, you cannot do until about 6:30pm on Sunday March 11th.

(11) Click on your name in the standings. If you do not see your name, don't have a coronary. Click on "view complete standings". Ah - there it is. Now click on your name in the complete standings.
(12) You will now see an entire empty bracket. Just click on the team you want to win each game of each round in all 4 regions, the final four AND THE FINAL GAME. (Don't think that you have chosen a final winner just because you have entered a final score.) You should make 63 total picks. (Since we don't use the score of the final game as a tie breaker, filling that in really doesn't matter.)
(13) Click on SAVE BRACKET - this may be the most important thing you do all week.
(14) Look at the left side of the screen. You should see a note near a green bar stating 63 of 63 picks made. If not, you missed some picks.
(15) Log back in sometime later to make sure you Saved your Picks

Take it easy,

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Hopefully Humorous Rankings 2011-12 (#3)

Here's my quite belated 3rd installment of some hopefully humorous rankings. I'm going straight chalk with these. Well, other than #4.

1.Kentucky - The NCAA might want to think about re-instituting the the rule that freshmen can't play on the varsity team. No, not for any academic reason. But so Kentucky wouldn't be able to field a varsity team.

2.Syracuse - The US Green Building Council gave an award to SU's Melo Center for being a high performance green building. Unfortunately, it's namesake, Carmelo Anthony, is a bit disappointed. He was hoping that the building would be orange.

3.Misssouri - I love how this school refers to itself as Mizzou. Though swapping each s for a z looks pretty cool, I really love how they dumped the "RI" - something everyone from New England dreams of.

5.Kanasas - the Naismith Committee has announced that the KU student section is amongst the finalists for the student section of the year. For the Jayhawk fans to win they just need one thing - that the Naismith Committee has a very loose definition of student.

My latest "Things That Might Annoy . . . A Duke Fan" - Ask him why the mascot is compelled to dress like former Chicago Bear Jim McMahon.

Take it easy,

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Hopefully Humorous Rankings 2011-12 (#2)

Below is my latest attempt at some hopefully humorous rankings.

1. Kentucky - The Wildcats have a super player in Michael Gilchrist. Actually his last name is Kidd-Gilchrist. But isn't everyone on Kentucky a kidd?

3.Syracuse - The Orange are 7-0. So I guess everything on campus must be fine.

5. North Carolina - The Tar Heels lost to UNLV. Apparently the pundits are right when they say that any team can beat another team on any given night. Though it helps when one of those teams is coached by Roy Williams.

9. Florida - I am declaring that Irving Walker is now my new favorite player. He's only 5' 7" and he's amazing. I'm 5 inches taller and I stink. Wait a minute. . . . I think I need to alter my declaration to: I'm now declaring that Irving Walker in my new least favorite player.

Things That Might Annoy A Duke Fan (#2) - Ask a Duke if his school is truly filled with brilliant students why is it that the most creative chant they can come up with is "Let's Go Duke!"

Take it easy,

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Hopefully Humorous Rankings 2011-12 - Week1

To All,

College hoops season is finally here and there are lots of new names to learn. So, for this season's first installment of Hopefully Humorous Rankings I'll try to help familiarize you with some of the best names in the game. Just to clarify, that's the best names, not necessarily the best players.

#17 - UCLA: After giving birth to 7 children, it seemingly made sense to the parents of the Bruins junior college transfer to name him De'End Parker. But then came De'Condombroke.

#57 - St. John's: You'd think that a guy named Sir'Dominic Pointer would clearly have the best name on his team. You'd be wrong. That honor goes to God'sgift Achiuwa. Wow. And you thought your parents put pressure on you.

#84 - Duquesne: The Dukes have a freshman forward named Mamadou Datt. There is a pretty good chance that he is the only player in Div 1 hoops whose name explains his conception.

# 264 - South Dakota: The star of the Coyotes freshman class - Nimrod Hilliard. Actually that's not completely accurate. It's Nimrod Hilliard IV. That's right, he is now the 4th person to suffer with that name. Note to Nimrod: please make the pain stop with you.

Also, in case you don't know, I've written a book with comedian Paul Nardizzi called, "Things That Might Annoy . . . A Yankee Fan." We have similar books coming out soon and we're hoping "Things That Might Annoy . . . A Duke Fan" is amongst them. Each time I put up a new post I'll try to include one thing that might annoy a Duke fan. If you have any ideas, please feel free to pass them along.

Things That Might Annoy A Duke Fan: #1 - As Coach K gets closer to the all time wins record, remind a Dukie of what happened to the last college coach after he surpassed a wins record.

Take it easy,

Monday, April 4, 2011

One Sh!tty Moment - 2011

For all of you who, like me, had their brackets busted about 2 weeks ago, I give you the 2011 version of One Sh!tty Moment - interspersed within the lyrics of One Shining Moment. For the handful of you whose bracket are still intact, feel free to laugh at our pain.


The ball is tipped
(The channels are flipped) 

and there you are

(It best not be far)
you're running for your life

(There’s gonna be strife)
you're a shooting star
(Wait. TruTV there you are)

And all the years
(As the Tourney nears) 

no one knows
(your bracket glows)
just how hard you worked
(but something awful lurked)
but now it shows...
(Yup, here come those woes)

(In One Sh!tty Moment)

(Boeheim could only whine)
(One Sh!tty Moment)

(Morehead? Why this time?)

But time is short 

(ND blown off court)
and the road is long
(picking Duke was just wrong)

in the blinking of an eye
(Kiss Texas goodbye?!)
ah that moment's gone
(Your final four’s all but gone.”)

And when it's done
(Pitt had a game won)
win or lose
(yet they still lose)
you always did your best

(So you need all the rest)
cuz inside you knew...

(then down goes OSU)

(One Sh!tty Moment)
(Jimmer’s shots went wide)
(One Sh!tty Moment)

(Bill Self wished he weren’t alive)

Feel the beat of your heart
(You went with your heart.)

feel the wind in your face
(Coach Cal shoved it in your face)

it's more than a contest

(Kemba was at his best)
it's more than a race...

(Butler made its case)

And when it's done
(Yes you’re all done)

win or lose

(You’re gonna lose)
you always did your best

(You’re nowhere near the best)
cuz inside you knew... 

(Cuz of friggin VCU)

(That One Sh!tty Moment)
(Just go on and cry)
(One Sh!tty Moment)
(Maybe Women’s hoops you should try)

Take it easy,

Monday, March 28, 2011

Desperation Shots 5-7 & Who's Who is Pool

Below is another set of hopefully humorous desperation shots. Below that is a "Who's Who" of who is still alive in the pool and their potential charitable winnings.

Desperation Shot #5 - It was great that the games were on 4 different channels. That way when they cut to a commercial on CBS you could switch over to TNT. And watch a different commercial.

Desperation Shot #6 - It's is amazing that Calipari has brought Kentucky to the Final 4 in just 2 years. It'll be even more amazing when in a couple more years he makes that Final 4 appearance disappear.

Desperation Shot #7 - So after literally countless hours of watching this tournament, I can say I've only learned one thing for certain - 1993 was the year that "Whoop There It Is" was released. Or was it 1995?


We ended up with 121 entrants. 105 opted to make a contribution with the other 16 choosing to play for the Jimmy V Foundation. The total charitable pot is $2620. So, 1st place - $1,572, 2nd place $524, 3rd place $262, 4th place $144, Directly to Jimmy V - $141. Once again, those who weren't playing for Jimmy V will get their winning sent to them and, of course, are expected to forward it on to the charity of their choice.

VCU Rams beat UCONN Huskies in finals
1.Amy Young ($1,572) - The girlfriend of my neighbor Craig. At the beginning of the season he incredibly predicted the Rams would be in the Final 4. Unfortunately he was referring to his Fordham Rams, not the VCU Rams.

2.Bruce Mitnick ($524) - My friend Dr. Tony Schwagerl's brother's boss. That's right, his name is Bruce and he is "The Boss." No word on whether he was born to run.

3.Tim Humongo Dong Connors ($262) - A man who obviously has very small hands.

4.Mark Jones ($72)- A good friend of Attorney Dana Gravina who still holds out hope that someone, anyone, will respond to his advertisement on this site.

4.Mike Walsh Jr. ($72 going directly to Jimmy V) - A young man who might be wishing that his dad was a bit less charitable.

VCU Rams beat Kentucky in Finals
1.Mark Jones ($1,572) - see above

2.Kevin Florenz ($524) - A buddy from St. Bonaventure who thanks to Facebook always remembers my birthday. Maybe if I become "friends" with my wife, she'll remember my birthday too.

3.Eugene Chin ($262) - The father-in-law of a woman whose daughter went to preschool with my daughter 5 years ago. This definitely proves that I ask every person I've ever met to join this pool.

4. David Ayres ($144) - When I was a mere 18 years old I caught the garter at his wedding to the best looking girl in my neighborhood. He and all his buddies started yelling, "Go for the monkey David!" I still have no idea what that means.

UCONN wins it all.

1. Bruce Mitnick ($1,572)

2. Mike Walsh Jr ($524 - for Jimmy V)

3. Mike Walsh ($262 - playing for Jimmy V) - a friend of Attorney Jim Rogal who took a case with me all the way up to the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachussetts. For those of you who are not lawyers, the phrase "took a case" is a euphemism for "lost".

4.Amy Young ($144)

KENTUCKY wins it all

1.Mark Jones ($1,572)

2.Kevin Florenz ($524)

3.Nico Karagosian ($262 - playing for Jimmy V) - a man who has openly admitted to being a friend of "Golden Balls".

4.Eugene Chin ($144)

BUTLER beats Kentucky in Finals
1. Mark Jones ($1,572)
2. Kevin Florenz ($524)
3. Eugene Chin ($262)
4. David Ayres ($144)

BUTLER beats UConn in Finals
1. Amy Young ($1,572)
2. Bruce Mitnick ($524)
3. Tim Humongo Dong Connors ($262)
4. Mark Jones ($72)
4. Mike Walsh Jr. ($72- For Jimmy V)

Finally, thanks again to Gary Manis for collecting all of the charitable donations. And for agreeing to deal with the authorities should they refuse to believe this pool is in fact charitable.

Take it easy,

Monday, March 21, 2011

Desperation Shots 2-4

The first 2 rounds of the Tourney are now over. (Or was it 3 Rounds? Who knows.) So as promised, I give you 3 more hopefully humorous desperation shots. You might even enjoy them more than the Florida State - Notre Dame game.

Desperation Shot #2 - It's nice that CBS shows the scores of all the other games on the top of the screen. You know what would be really nice? If CBS didn't show all the scores of all the other games on the top of the screen. That way I could actually the see the game that I'm trying to watch.

Desperation Shot #3 - VCU: Vindicating Committee Unbelievably.

Desperation Shot #4 - My wife got me a shirt that says "Bracketologist". I guess she thought that the shirt that said "Super-Mega-Dork" would have been too subtle.

Take it easy,