Mission No. 1: ABM, or anybody but (that team up north).
Mission No. 2: The successful completion of Twelve-point-five-th Annual Uncle Crappy NCAA Final Four Challenge (Brought To You By Piper’s Pub).
As previously mentioned, TPFAUCNFFC (BTYBPP) came down to two teams … and two contestants. If Kansas moved out of the Final Four and won the title, Curl Girl Michelle would have been pregaming July’s Styx show at Post-GazetteFirst NiagaraKeyBank Star Lake with the help of a $50 gift card from our friends at Piper’s.
The other option? A Villanova win, and Jason at Breaking Brews gets to blow that entire fifty bucks at the Piper’s Imperial Breakfast in a couple weeks.
Thanks to my friends at Piper’s for making this thing possible after a year off. Thanks to Mrs. Crappy, who is always willing to give me the time to take care of my AUCNFFC duties. And especially, thanks to you guys for coming back after a hiatus and making this as much fun as it always has been.
And now? Let’s all weep for Jason’s liver as we watch One Shining Moment:
As I said before, if you’ve ever been an AUCNFFC contestant, show up at Piper’s Pub Thursday night — I’ll be there around 7:45 or 8 — and I’ll buy you a beer. I can’t imagine we’ll get there, but I’ll buy one beer per person until I hit $50 … or until it’s time for me to go home.
And if you want to stay for another, and maybe watch some basketball … or not … please do. I hope I see you there.
When it came time for my going-away party, I suspected there was a decent chance that I might take home a bottle of beer or two. And my friends at The Times didn’t let me down.
I mean, who could not get excited about a thoughtful, carefully considered six pack like that?
Because I am the beer nerd that I am, I promised that I would give each of these classics the full Beer Guy treatment. A couple Fridays ago, I broke ’em all out, taking notes on each one. Here you go, boys and girls, in order of appearance:
Were there winners in this experiment? I’ll count myself among the winners, because it was legitimately fun getting back in touch with some of these beers. And if we’re talking about the beers, let’s go with Rolling Rock, because it may have actually improved when it was taken over by our A-B InBev overlords, and IC Light, because it sort of tastes like beer and not so much like bowl of corn flakes soaked in honey.
And I should point out one additional thing: my friends also came through with a very generous Bocktown gift card, so I was able to buy a few more six packs with beer that’ll prompt many fewer complaints.
Thanks again, guys. You couldn’t have done it any better if I had picked them out myself.
Back in January, I wrote about an unpleasant decision: picking between Notre Dame and Alabama on the day of the football national championship game.
Today? Another title game, and another unhappy choice.
Back then, the basic choice was between a team I can’t stand versus a conference I hate above all others. This time, the choice is more complicated, because I’m picking between what should be good for my conference versus … uh … that Team Up North.
Let me make one thing clear — this doesn’t really have a whole lot to do with Louisville. I’ve lived there, I love the city and I’ve even seen a Dead show in the old Freedom Hall. And I have nothing at all against Rick Pitino; I was living in Kentucky when he took over at UK, and those undermanned teams were a blast to watch, what with the incessant threes and unrelenting full-court press.
No, this choice has everything to do with Michigan. Which is a word that is even uncomfortable for me to type.
Here’s the thing. My gut reaction is to want Michigan to not only lose, but lose badly. Don’t even want it to be close. Twenty points-plus. Back in January, I wrote about the terrifying potential for overbearing smugness on the part of ND fans, should the Irish win the championship; as I recall from 1997, Michigan fans are even worse, even if this is only a basketball title.
Don’t want any part of it. No thank you.
But then there’s this logical part of my brain — you know, the part that usually should keep you out of trouble. This time, my logical side is poking at me about how the Big Ten would benefit from a national championship tonight. It would help in a tangible sense and it would help improve the perception of the conference with those vote in polls or pick the participants in next year’s tournament. It would be a big deal for the B1G on nearly every level.
But shit, we’re talking about Michigan. If it were Michigan State, Indiana or maybe even Wisconsin, I wouldn’t have a problem. But it’s Michigan.
So what am I going to do? I’m going to have a beer and hope there’s something good on the History Channel.
I will, however, pay attention to tonight’s game, in the sense that we’re about to wrap up the Eighth Annual Uncle Crappy NCAA Final Four Challenge (Brought To You By Bocktown). I have done exactly zero work to figure out what has to happen for who to win whatever … but I’ll work all that out in the morning and let you know who’s won the Bocktown gift card so generously donated by Chris Dilla.
That year, 2012, was rough in a lot of ways. As you may have gathered from my six-month sabbatical.
But when we were able to set aside the pain-in-the-ass stuff, 2012 was also a lot of fun — shows, football, family … and more friends than I could begin to count.
I’ve done some ridiculously detailed end-of-the-year posts in the past, and I’m not going to do that here. But I will say this: You guys continue to make me happy I chose to get involved with all of this social media stuff years ago.
I have professional reasons for being pleased about my online dabblings — I’m having a blast writing the column, and one day I might even make consistently decent videos — but the personal stuff is almost always a bigger payoff. In the past, I have rarely been disappointed when I’ve met an online friend in real life, and that continued in 2012.
I will start 2013 as I have the last four years — by meeting a bunch of people at the Mon Wharf and jumping in the freezing-cold river. I know everyone who’s committed to showing up in the morning, but, as always, the fun thing will be to see who else shows up. I’ve noticed a few people lurking on my links to the Plunge posts, and I hope we’ll see a new face or two in the morning.
Because outside of my wife and my family, you guys are the ones who make my life what it is. I am grateful to you for the past year, and I’m looking forward to more fun, starting here in just a few hours.
Happy new year, yinz guys. Hope I see you again soon.