Tuesday, April 05, 2005


The Story of My Bracket

The Final Four (copyright 2005 NCAA--don't sue me!) has ended, and I can report my most successful bracket ever. Overall, I picked 42 of 63 games correctly, which is not bad, considering you have to pick them all in advance. I got 23 of the 32 first-round games correct, which is not too sporty, but I wasn't counting on Kansas and Syracuse both playing like choking dogs on the same weekend. I did, however, pick Wisconsin-Milwaukee to beat Alabama.

I got nine out of sixteen right in the second round, including Utah over Oklahoma and UW-M over Boston College. I may be the only person in America to put Wisconsin-Milwaukee into the Sweet Sixteen who wasn't an alumnus.

In the regional semifinals, I hit on four out of eight, highlighted by Louisville's victory over Washington. In the regional finals, I picked three out of four. I could have had all four, if Kentucky had come out of the locker room here in Austin. Too much partying on Sixth Street, perhaps? I shouldn't complain, because I've never had as many as three of the Final Four previously.

In St. Louis, I correctly picked Illinois and North Carolina to win on Saturday, and the Tar Heels to prevail on Monday night. On ESPN.com, a total of 74,620 people finished ahead of me. That doesn't sound too impressive, until you consider the almost 2.7 million people who finished behind me. My percentile score was 97.3, which I consider pretty fair shootin'. When coupled with the home theater I won playing fantasy football last season, I'm starting to believe my own hype.

Sunday, April 03, 2005


Terri Schiavo, Karol Wojtyla, RIP

Our long national nightmare is over, and the kids in the elementary school next to Terri Schiavo's hospice can go back to class now. It took about twelve years longer than it should, partly because her parents couldn't let go, and partially because they were hijacked by the national right-to-life movement and their associated political maggots from Tallahassee to Washington. The Florida Legislature passed a law they knew full well to be unconstitutional; they did it to appease Bible-thumpers who might have put them out of office otherwise. Republicans in Congress passed a similarly dubious law, to get federal judges involved. Ironic, isn't it, that the party which bemoans judicial activism did everything they could to find a judge that agreed with them? President Bush didn't budge off his ranch when a tsunami killed 175,000 people, but he dutifully trotted back to D.C. to sign this piece of legislative dog-squeeze. Don't even get me started on Tom DeLay. This sniveling little bastard had no trouble pulling the plug on his own father, but was willing to do anything to prolong the biological functions of a woman whose brain had long since turned to tapioca. Now, he wants to "investigate the judiciary," as if the Constitution granted him such sweeping powers.

No matter what side of the argument you find more compelling, ask yourself this: would you have ever heard of Terri Schiavo if her eyes weren't open? If the answer is negative, then you know what I know, which is that emotion has overwhelmed reason once again in our national discourse, which happens with depressing regularity. I don't pretend to know the truth of this woman's wishes, but I do know what she didn't want: to be shown on TV lolling about her bed, used as a tool by people who claim that every life is precious, but who aren't above shooting a doctor or bombing the occasional clinic.

A few days later, Pope John Paul II, who did more good in this world than Tom DeLay, Randall Terry, and the Bush family combined, was allowed to pass away with the quiet grace and dignity which characterized his life. Would that we had allowed Terri Schiavo that privilege.

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