The Seventh Annual Big Johnson College Basketball Tournament Classic is history. As is my reputation for competent prognostication, but we will get to that later. For now, let me congratulate the winners:
Chris Gruber won the Mens Tournament competition, after a comparison of final game point totals determined that he came two points closer to predicting the total final score than did Scott Breunig. Scott claims they tied based on absolute numbers, but all decisions of the judges (me) are final. Nyah, nyah.
Chris is the winner of a brand new iPod Shuffle, handsomely engraved with his name and achievement!
Chris Hannemann (a distant relative . . .) won the Womens Tournament contest going away. There was simply no way any team would beat the Huskies, and Chris wisely chose Louisville to upset Baylor and Maryland to get to the final four.
Chris has a different plan for his winnings:
Though it against my better judgment as an engineer to forgo fancy electronics, I am already the proud owner of a perfectly functional iPod. Instead of taking the $80 in iTunes cash, I have decided to go the route of Ms. Deems (victor of last year’s college bowl challenge) and have it donated through a charitable organization. Now most of you would say, “obviously, Chris will be sending a check to a fund focused on curing alopecia” (specifically, alopecia areata barbae . . . seriously, you should see my patchy stubble). But no, I instead am going to invest the money through kiva. Kiva is a microfinance/microlending organization that allows you to make small loans to specific people & projects around the globe (in fact, Kiva teams up with several partners, making it more of a microfinancing warehouse). The loans are used to help budding entrepreneurs in developing nations buy equipment, stock their stores, and otherwise get off the ground. As the money is paid back, you can donate it to the next project. I haven’t chosen which project(s) to donate to yet, but I will probably focus on manufacturing ventures.
Now let’s discuss the big loser – me. In the Mens Tournament, I was beaten by 52 of the 59 entrants. Never have I been ground into the dust to that extent. Naming everyone would take up too much space, so let me list those I did manage to beat: Jon Coggins, Christy Cunnington, Brendan Hannemann, Ron Frazier, Brian Johnson, and Michelle Boyd. In the Womens Tournament, I did better – aside from Chris, only Jason Pollan, Tiernan Doyle, and Pat Hayes beat me, with Jim Cocco managing to tie The Man.
However, given my appalling performance overall, I have made the Executive Decision to pay off every participant with Strawberry Twizzlers. If you were entered in either contest, you can expect to receive your Twizzlers either in person or in the mail soon – meaning when I get around to finding the appropriate mailers, etc, etc. . . !