woooo, cross-promotion.

Thing you guys already know: I am a college football freak.

True, my freakishness is a bit myopic, in that nearly all of it is filtered through the lens of Ohio State football and what everything might mean for the Buckeyes. But that doesn’t diminish my freakdom, and it doesn’t mean I can’t sit in front of a TV for 12 hours on a fall Saturday, trying not to sprain my remote-changing thumb.

I’ve written about college football stuff here for years, and I’ve written about it elsewhere as well, mostly for the now-defunct Draft Day Suit blog. And that … led to this:

CnClogo

Let’s back up. I had been contributing to DDS for a while when we started kicking around ways to add different kinds of media to the lineup; one natural was to get together a weekly video chat where we could make NFL picks. They were fun, pretty good and the source of perhaps my greatest moment of football punditry, when early in the 2012 season I told Goon Squad Sarah that third-round pick Russell Wilson would be a better NFL quarterback than second overall pick RGIII. I will never tire of reminding pretty much everyone how right I was about that.

At some point during that season, my friend and former colleague Carla — who was not only a DDS contributor but also an actual sportswriter at the time — decided to branch out into picking college games. As I recall, the first season — and probably the subsequent two or three — were a bit erratic; we didn’t do shows every week and we didn’t really settle on a format for a long time. But there we were, posting the vids from our chats on the blog and on the socials.

As we went through subsequent seasons, we took gradual steps towards something that one could almost call “polished.” The above logo (which was all Carla’s doing). Consistent naming and format conventions. A Facebook page. And, as of 2017, an audio version — I believe the kids call it a podcast — that posted to iTunes and a whole bunch of other places. We’ve even added a correspondent — hi, AJ! — who gives us a rundown of the stupid fun Group of Five games I’m too old to stay up and watch.

We’re now in our eighth season. And I bring up the show here because we’re actually having a pretty good season so far. The format is solid, we have some fun little things we do each week and — somewhat oddly — we’ve actually been pretty good with our picks. And while I don’t want to speak for Carla, it feels like a lot of fun this time around, even after we spent the month of August boggling at the notion that we’d been doing this for eight years.

Look. This is a little show. I’m sure it’s mostly friends and family who are listening. And hey — that’s you guys. If you’re of a like mind as far as college football goes, give us a listen.

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chump? not so much.

uva

After watching Texas Tech absolutely lock down Michigan State in Saturday’s semifinal, Sports Chump — if he had been following the possible outcomes of the Thirteenth Practically Annual Uncle Crappy NCAA Final Four Challenge (Brought To You By Piper’s Pub) — was probably sweating.

Mr. Chump picked a high score in the final, so if it came down to the tiebreaker, his pick was looking a little rough.

The Chump and Scooter From The Land of  Suburban Shooting Guards both finished with six points, on the strength of UVA making it to the title game. Scooter’s tiebreaker total was 136 points — a feasible guess as it turned out, given Tech’s defensive strength. Chump’s tiebreaker total was 164 points, which, as previously mentioned, would require more offense than Tech generally allows.

And here’s the interesting thing. At the end of regulation, the score was tied at 68 — or a combined total of 136 points.

Scooter? I’m sorry. You were so close.

But the 26 points scored in overtime gave this year’s TPAUCNFFC (BTYBPP) title to Sports Chump. I know Mr. Chump is named Chris, and that he lives in the Tampa, Florida, area — Jackets in seven, by the way — but we’ve never met in person. Mr. Chump, the choice is yours — if you’re going to be in Pittsburgh anytime soon, I’ll be happy to offer you tips on spending $50 at Piper’s Pub; if you have a local pub or brewery where fifty bucks might come in handy, I can PayPal you or send you a check — if that’s the case,
email me the pertinent details.

I wasn’t going to do AUCNFFC this year. But once again, it made the tournament more fun than it would be if I were just watching my office brackets go down in flames. Will I do it again next year? Uh. Maybe?

(Will I post anything on Uncle Crappy between now and then? C’mon, guys — let’s not get too crazy here.)

Regardless of what happens here in March 2020, I appreciate your participation, your support, and your lousy basketball picks — I mean, I almost won this thing myself.

Thanks, yinz.

it’s blutarsky time.

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I don’t think I’ve seen anything quite like the wreckage of Thirteenth Practically Annual Uncle Crappy NCAA Final Four Challenge (Brought To You By Piper’s Pub), in terms of how many people we’re going to honor with a Blutarsky Award here in just a sec.

Chalky picks only work if the higher seeds win, and the higher seeds failed to do that last weekend. Carolina. Duke. The Aforementioned Basketball School Up North. All dumped on their keisters before making the Final Four.

So who might win this thing? No one — not a single TPAUCNFFC (BTYBPP) contestants correctly picked the Final Four. But nevertheless, there are a few possibilities:

Four plus (Two correct Final Four picks and the possibility for more points):

  • Uncle Crappy (HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA)

Two plus (One correct Final Four pick and the possibility for more points):

  • Socialist Joe
  • Dr. Scooter
  • Breaking Brews
  • Sports Chump
  • Ethel
  • Kelsey
  • The Other Scooter

Four and done (Two correct Final Four picks but no more points possible):

  • Curl Girl Michelle

Two and done (Two correct Final Four picks but no more points possible):

  • Lorenzo
  • HP

Before we move on, boys and girls, I would ask that you recall The Crappy Rule, as outlined in the contest’s initial post a couple weeks back. It says, in part:

If I were to come out on top of my own contest (and believe me, boys and girls, there is very little chance of that happening), the Piper’s gift card would be awarded to the next runner up (although I retain full bragging rights, which I would exercise almost daily until next year’s contest).

So pay attention if you still have points coming — you’re still in this thing.

And then … we have the people who most definitely are not still in this thing. You have managed to achieve the ultimate in college basketball futility … and for that, you deserve an award.

animalhousebelushi

A Blutarsky Award.

Why does a college basketball pool have an award named for a fictional character from Animal House? For this one line, which perfectly describes your TPAUCNFFC (BTYBPP) performance:

Blutarsky Award winners (No correct Final Four picks and no points):

  • Otimemore
  • Expatpghgirl
  • Aunt Annoyed Angel
  • Kewyson
  • Redbuppy
  • PghRugbyRef
  • Sara Without An H
  • Lunchbox Birdshit
  • Juan

Thank you for playing, Blutarsky people. And good luck to the rest of you.

we don’t suck.

school-writing-chalk-500x500

At least, not yet.

Thanks in part to some pretty chalky entries — and I am as guilty of this as anyone, boys and girls — most of the contestants in Thirteenth Practically Annual Uncle Crappy NCAA Final Four Challenge (Brought To You By Piper’s Pub) are in pretty good shape going into Sweet Sixteen weekend.

But don’t worry, boys and girls — there is still plenty of time to screw this up.

I haven’t done any calculations, but I took a quick spin through the list, with the idea of providing a quick update. Here’s how it looks so far:

Final Four is intact:

  • Socialist Joe
  • Otimemore
  • Aunt Annoyed Angel
  • Kewyson
  • Breaking Brews
  • Lorenzo
  • Sports Chump
  • Curl Girl Michelle
  • PghRugbyRef
  • Scooter (not doctor)
  • Sara without an H
  • Uncle Crappy

Three left:

  • Lunchbox Birdshit
  • Dr. Scooter
  • Redbuppy
  • HP (who never actually told me who’s winning this whole thing)
  • Kelsey

Two left:

  • ExpatPghGirl
  • Ethel

One remaining:

  • Juan

The Sweet Sixteen games get underway shortly, kids. I hope this remarkable streak continues … but I doubt it will. And Blutarsky is lurking off in the distance.

 

 

 

 

TPAUCNFFC (BTYBPP) has tipped off.

ct-spt-ncaa-tournament-tom-izzo-yelling-michigan-state-20190322

The tournament has begun, and things are … intense. Right, coach?

I appreciate your patience while Mrs. Crappy and I took in a Jeff Tweedy show in Indianapolis earlier this week. Without further ado, let’s get into all of the entries for Thirteenth Practically Annual Uncle Crappy NCAA Final Four Challenge (Brought To You By Piper’s Pub). Note that you will see that some teams in our picks have already been eliminiated; on Monday, I’ll go through the list and assess where we all stand.

As is tradition we begin, as usual, with me:

Sparty beats Florida State, and UNC beats Virginia. And in the title game, the Izzoheads beat Roy’s boys, 74-70.

And then, the rest of yinz guys, in no particular order. First up is noted Morgantown Democratic Socialist Joe:

Final Four: Michigan, Michigan State, Purdue, Kentucky

National Championship: Michigan State, Kentucky National

Champion: Kentucky Tiebreaker: 133

Faithful AUCNFFC participant Otimemore, who still occasionally lives in Pittsburgh:

Final Four
Duke vs Gonzaga; North Carolina vs Tennessee

Final
Duke vs UNC

Winner
Duke 75-68

First-timer (I think) Expatpghgirl:

Final 4 – Duke, Syracuse, Villanova, North Carolina

Championship Game – Duke, North Carolina

Champion – North Carolina (79-74).

OG AUCNFFC player AAA:

Duke – Gonzaga
Tennessee – North Carolina
Final – Duke & Tennessee
Winner Tennessee, 86-61

Here’s an old Twitter nickname — Dr. Scooter:

F4: Mich St/Nevada, Purdue/UNC

Title: Mich St/UNC

Champ: UNC 92-84

Kewyson‘s annual opus references my Globetrotters question:

Although with a lifetime record of 26,000+ wins to 6 losses, I didn’t even see the Globetrotters in the #16 play in games. So I will stay local to my abode (play the odds) – I have Duke playing Purdue (both Virginia and Tennessee will fall) and North Carolina playing M*ch#g!n.

In the final I have the 4th Battle of the Blues of the year – Duke vs. UNC. With Coby’s electrifying pink shoes helping UNC to beat Duke and Zion’s reinforced Nikes. UNC 84 / Duke 81.

Quick summary for your ease:
Duke vs. Purdue; M*ch#g!n vs. UNC
Duke vs. UNC; UNC 84, Duke 81

I know for a fact that Redbuppy would make good use of a $50 Piper’s Pub gift card:

Let’s go with Gonzaga and Villanova losing in the semifinals, and Duke beating Kentucky, 81-73, in the final.

I didn’t ask defending AUCNFFC champ Breaking Brews if he used all $50 at last year’s Imperial Breakfast. But he’s still alive, so I’m guessing he’s smarter than that.

Are you ready? Here’s how it’s done: Michigan State vs. FSU Tennessee vs. North Carolina. Michigan State vs. North Carolina. North Carolina. Screw Duke!!!!!!

Lorenzo:

Duke Michigan Virginia Kentucky. Duke Kentucky. Duke. 77-74.

The Sports Chump is back:

Duke over Michigan, Virginia over Houston.

Let’s go with Duke over Virginia by a score of 88-76 in the Final game.

Happy March, everyone!

Curl Girl Michelle has been doing this forever (and nearly won last year):

Final Four: LSU v Texas Tech, Virginia v. Kentucky

Championship game: LSU v Kentucky

Champion: Kentucky, 77-60

PghRugbyRef is channeling his inner Kewyson with his two-part entry. Here’s part one:

This post inspired me to start my predictions, as Sweet Georgia Brown (Teddy Riley Remix) played in the background I looked at the bracket and started selecting teams. As the song ended, I got to my Final Four:

Virginia Tech v Michigan
Wisconsin v Houston

And part two:

Ok, I have some time to work on this:

Michigan v Houston

Houston 133 total points

Thank you (and Piper’s Pub) for doing this again. I look forward to it every year.

HP from Lakewood, with the first-ever AUCNFFC photographic entry:

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Ethel, probably from her shiny new kitchen:

Final Four: Michigan State, Syracuse, Cincinnati, North Carolina
Final: Michigan State vs. North Carolina
Winner: North Carolina
Points: 122

Ohio State and Browns/Cavs/Tribe fan Kelsey:

I like . That said, I think the final 4 will be a battle of the mitten (UM vs MSU) and Wisconsin vs Kansas. I predict Sparty will beat Kansas 74-68!

Scooter from the Land of Suburban Shooting Guards:

Duke, the Rats from the North, UNC, UVA

Duke beats the Rats; UVA beats UNC

Duke 71, UVA 65

F Burris

(Editor’s note: Huh. I wonder what he means by that last thing?)

Sara Without An H:

Final Four
Duke vs Gonzaga; North Carolina vs Tennessee

Final
Gonzaga vs UNC

Winner
Gonzaga 82-79

Lunchbox Birdshit‘s basetball entry:

Duke/Gonzaga and Wisconsin/UNC

Gonzaga beats UNC, 88-85

Finally, we have Juan, oh he of little basektball knowledge. He is entered each and every year against his will (or, at least, without his approval); I couldn’t find picks from Phil’s Mom, so we’re going with the Penny-Flipping Method.

IMG_3565

And so we all understand my absolutely shameful handwriting:

LSU/Arizona State and Iowa/Georgia State

Arizona State beats Georgia State in the title game. I don’t think we’re going to worry about a tiebreaker.

And that’s what I have, boys and girls. As is always the case, if I missed your entry, it’s nothing personal — I’m just an idiot. Let me know and I’ll add you to the list. Hope you’ve enjoyed the games so far. And good luck to everyone. Especially me.