Last year, I came sooooooo close to winning the NCAA pool. When my team lost in the finals and I ended up, instead of in first place, in 11th, I was sad, sure, but still, all seemed right with the world. Pigs were still earthbound, Hell was still scorching hot, and “Yes, Dear” was still drawing surprisingly strong ratings for CBS on Monday nights.

Well, this morning, the sky was full of flying oinkers, and Hilter’s soul was seen putting on a sweater. Despair, fans of Mike O’Malley and Anthony Clark! Despair!!!!

From the very aptly phrased email sent out this morning by our “bracket manager” (whatever that means) to everyone who entered:

Armageddon has arrived.

Although he’s toyed with it in the past, this is the first time he has claimed a victory in our NCAA tournament pool. The grand champion for 2004 is…Jerry! We should have seen it coming. Here’s a man who doesn’t watch sports, who couldn’t tell an Okafor from a McNamara, and who tends to look at this sporting event as an unwanted interruption to his Survivor watching. In other words, he had everything going for him that one would need in order to win one of these things.

Congratulations, Jerry!

And, from my aptly phased response:

I’ve been waiting for that email all morning.

I think you left the last four words off your opening line:

Armageddon has arrived…

AND I AM GOD!!!!!!!!!

Because I am a kind god, I won’t gloat too much. I said “TOO” much.

Because I am also a charitable god, if anyone stiffs you on the entry fee, feel free to take it out of my bountiful winnings. I know what it’s like to organize one of these pools and end up eating the cost of a lotta deadbeats. Speaking of deadbeats, I know I hadn’t paid you yet, but I would’ve… I swear to me (i.e., God). (You can definitely take that $5 out of my winnings.)

By the way, I learned two very valuable lessons this year that will help me in the future. #1: When most of your pool is from Oklahoma and/or attended Stanford, you’ll do better when those teams lose early. And #2:


There will be a special place for them someday in my Heaven.

Your Lord has spoken,


P.S. What’s an Okafor?

Yes, I’m a sore winner. But I already know how I’m going to spend my loot.

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