Social networking is for famous people, high school girls, the tech savvy and people with something to say/share.

Oh, and journalists.


I am an ally. 

I feel everyone should have the right to be with whomever they desire, no matter what. I, as a straight male, want to be with a woman who loves me for who I am — faults and all. And I think every person deserves love just as much as I do.

I believe in God. I was raised in the church, and I listened when I was told to love my neighbor as myself. But I don’t see that love being shared with all people like I was taught.

When I started college, I had an English professor who loved to use Biblical analogies to talk about the literature we studied. On the first day of class, he asked if anyone was a believer. As a shy 19-year-old, I raised my hand. From that point on, the jig was up. All of my classmates knew what I believed, and that professor called on me often to aid in his analogies. After an out-of-class function one evening, a guy who was as openly gay as I was Christian approached me. He thanked me for treating him with kindness instead of hate and said I was the first believer he’d ever met who treated him like a person instead of an abomination. He said I’d restored his faith in people.

That changed me, shaped me. It also made me sad because I don’t have the same faith in people yet.

Today, my beloved hometown, Oklahoma City, hosted a Gay Pride parade. It made me think about where we Americans stand on equality. We still have so much work to do, and I want to think we’ll get there soon. A hobby of mine is asking people whether gay marriage or marijuana will be legal first in Oklahoma; essentially, I’m curious what old, white conservatives are more afraid of. (It’s gay marriage. They’re more afraid of gay marriage.) As state after state begins to legalize marriage equality, I wonder when my home state will get it together.

The sad reality about equality throughout human history — and especially American history — is disenfranchised groups never accomplish their ultimate goal alone. They’ve always needed people to fight for their cause with them. The truth is that men had to support women’s suffrage for the better half to get the right to vote and everything else that came with it. It’s a battle we’re still fighting, and men still need to stand with women for equality in pay, hiring and representation. White people had to support the Civil Rights movement for black men and women to finally receive the full rights of American citizens. Again, it’s a battle we’re still fighting, and the white majority still needs to stand with our black equals to eliminate racism, prejudice and unequal treatment in the workplace and political sphere. Our country was only founded because the Crown supported Protestants’ right to religious freedom. Once more, it’s something we’re still fighting, and the religious majority needs to accept that all faiths should have equal places at the table and devoid of governmental interference or symbiosis, as is guaranteed by our First Amendment.

And straight people need to stand with queer people. One of my close college friends is gay and lived in fear of his family and community finding out. He was so scared to be himself because of what they will think — what God will think. He deserves the same rights I enjoy, free from fear or prejudice or malice. A good friend of mine was born with the wrong parts, and he needed surgery to correct the disconnect between his body and mind. He deserves the same rights I enjoy. His girlfriend, who loves him no matter what he’s packing, deserves the same rights. One of my closest and dearest friends is bisexual. She deserves the same rights.

So why should you be an ally, too? Why should you stand with those begging for acceptance and demand they receive it?

It’s not because it’s right. “Right” and “wrong” are too polarizing and carry too much societal and religious baggage. It’s not because it’s unavoidable (even though it is). It’s even not because history is written by the victors, and equality will win in the end — it always does.

It’s because it’s the decent thing to do.

"Love your neighbor as yourself." Well, I do. I’m an ally. Are you?


There seems to be a lot of confusion these days about when to blame media outlets for a story not receiving the exposure you feel it deserves and when to look in the mirror.

In this modern age of Facebook, Twitter, news aggregators and Yahoo’s tailored headlines widget, the impact of reporting seems to be lost. Few people actively read a newspaper or watch the news daily anymore. The generation that did or still does is retiring or, unfortunately, dying off.

These days, many people get their news from social media (mainly Facebook). Occasionally, when you get bored enough, you might run across something on an aggregate site (which pulls stories from various outlets into one place, usually at the expense of the outlets it pulls from) that interests you or you think is important. But mainly social media.

You may occasionally browse a news website or two — The New York Times, USA Today and/or a big regional paper (my home state’s would be The Oklahoman or the Dallas Morning News) if you care more than the average person — or you may visit a slanted site to get a digest of what those who share your worldview think is important, such as CNN, MSNBC or Fox News.

(As I’ve said many times before, if you want to truly be informed and are wary about bias in the media, get your news from several different sources. And don’t use those stupid tailored headlines widgets in your browser. Excluding the select few who are too busy to peruse a news site and just need the quick hits, those tools are for lazy news consumers. And they never give you a full picture, just a slice.)

In the end, though, the media’s job is simply to gather and report news. It’s not the media’s job to make sure you pay attention; that’s on you.

So say this news story you feel should be plastered in lead-story spots around the Web, TV and newspapers is something that’s a couple of months old. Let’s say you — and most people — didn’t pay attention when the media reported it as breaking (i.e. did their job completely). It is not the responsibility of the media to keep reminding you of old stories they think you should know.

You’re either willing to be informed or you’re not. And that is a daily decision. Being informed isn’t a part-time gig.

The media and the people have to work together if you want something to get exposure. Think back to the big events of the last few years: Newtown. The Colorado theater shooting. The fiscal cliff. The debt ceiling. Where did you hear about those? Odds are it wasn’t from a media outlet. For each one of those stories, I first heard about it through social media (or, in one case, a news alert on my phone). People in my network saw those stories and shared them or talked about them, which made me seek out a news outlet to read what was going on. Then I, in turn, shared the story and/or my thoughts about what was happening.

It’s called the public conversation for reason.

The media cannot force you to pay attention. They can’t force anyone to pay attention. They could stand on the mountain tops and shout the news you need to know, but unless you listen, it will fall on deaf ears.

That’s where your side of the relationship comes in. It’s a two-way street of responsibility. The media gathers and reports the news, and you have to pay attention and help spread the word.

When media outlets report a story and see only 100 page clicks or a handful of Facebook shares, that says to them their audience doesn’t care for that story, so they only do follow-ups if they feel it’s truly important (and even then, many times those follow-ups can be buried 17 pages deep, at the end of a broadcast when no one is still watching or at the bottom of a web page people rarely scroll all the way through). The media has to make room for Sarah Palin’s new book tour, Miley Cyrus’ latest run-in with alcohol, Carrie Underwood’s new haircut or President Obama’s March Madness bracket — stories they have proof you actually see/hear.

However, if that same audience decides months down the road that a story deserved better exposure (because some obscure, niche blog mentions it or someone writes a scathing guest op-ed piece) and blames the media for “burying” a story or somehow intentionally under-reporting it, they are unfairly placing their responsibility on the media.

And media does fail to do its job from time to time. It hypes a murder trial that should be cut and dry simply because the mother who killed her kid is white and somewhat attractive. It neglects to properly measure the social value a story will have with its audience and makes the wrong news-judgment call about a story’s placement. It runs an Associated Press piece that fails to localize an issue when it should have had a staff reporter do a little extra leg work. 

That’s fair. The media is made up of people like you and me — people who make mistakes from time to time. Cut them some slack. They’re trying their best to keep you informed, and they don’t complain about you (publicly, at least) when you fail to do your job.

If the media does screw up, it is your responsibility to call them out on it. But you can only call them out on it if you’ve held up your end of the deal. The guy who grips the rope with just one hand and half-heartedly pulls has no right to chew out his friends if they lose at tug-of-war. But the guy who still has a vein popping in his forehead from giving everything he had to win has every right.

Be that vein-popping forehead guy with the news. The world is full of too many one-handed, half-hearted guys with the news. Save your judgment for when you actually deserve to levy it.

The media is a mouthpiece for current events, but that mouthpiece is limited in its ability to reach its audience. It can raise its voice (splash a story across a front page, lead the evening news with a story or display it prominently on its website), but it can’t shout loud enough for everyone who actively ignores it to be forced to pay attention.

You, dear people, are the megaphone. You have the real control over whether a story takes root in the public conversation because you are the members of the public having the conversation. You set the agenda, control the level of exposure and play a far more crucial role as “gatekeepers” of information than the media do. Read. Watch. Listen. Share. Discuss. Spread. But if you don’t do your job, you can’t blame the media for that.

Everyone has their own task in the grand scheme of social responsibility. The media acts to find stories that are important and their audience will care about; the media does the leg work to get all the pertinent information and ensure the whole story is told; and the media publishes or broadcasts those stories to their audience.

In turn, the public is tasked with being informed and helping those around you be informed. You have the easy job. You don’t have to track down experts, conduct interviews, do extensive research or write a 1,000-word story about something you didn’t know existed until five minutes ago — the media does that for you. All you have to do is read, watch or listen. It’s a simple task far too few people do anymore.

Instead of taking responsibility for those tasks, though, most people like to sit at a computer and spend their time complaining about the bad job they think the media is doing. In Internet lingo, we call those people “trolls.” In real-life terms, those people are passing the buck.

A handful of (mainly) conservatives made it fashionable to trash-talk the media when they launched a “war on the mainstream media,” but all they really did was make it socially acceptable for people to fail at holding up their end of the deal and send the blame elsewhere. Politics has worked like that for decades upon decades, and when politicians successfully (and unfairly) politicized media, it works like that today. But it shouldn’t.

So take responsibility for your task in the grand endeavor to create and maintain an informed electorate. If you think a story is important, share it. Because if you don’t, one of your friends might end up blaming the media for not breaking into his house and plastering that story all over his walls. And if he does complain, remind him he has a role to play, too, and he failed to do it. He can’t blame someone else for his own shortcomings.

To Christians, Matthew 28:19-20 is known as the Great Commission. Jesus commands His disciples to go out into the world and share the Good News with everyone they meet. It wouldn’t be fair if the disciples blamed Jesus for not telling everyone Himself — that wasn’t His job.

Though I’m remiss for having just compared the media to Jesus, I hold fast to the idea that in the same way it was the disciples’ responsibility to spread the Good News, it is our responsibility as the public to spread the news.

The only way this is going to work is if we work together. Stop the blame game. Stop passing the buck. Stop shirking your responsibility as a citizen of this free-information age. Stop actively ignoring the media or half-heartedly clicking on the first three or four stories you see. Step up and do your part to make the world a better place.




National Signing Day is a real enigma, isn’t it?

I mean, think about it: Hundreds of amateur athletes who, under the current system, stand to make exactly zero dollars at the college level make a big show of choosing where they’ll play. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t money to be made from their decisions — just not for them.

College programs make millions every year from ticket revenues and licensing agreements, adding to the riches by selling merchandise and TV rights for top-dollar prices. Colleges drool over the country’s best recruits, collecting high-profile pieces and filling roster gaps with glee like a kid building his first-ever Pokémon deck.

The athletes? Well, they get a free education to go with free food, housing, facilities and training, but many are past the point of believing that’s enough compared to the money their work and likenesses make for their employers.

Yet even in the face of this strange system, the big shows continue year after year on National Signing Day. Kids are lining up to take advantage of their potential employers to catapult themselves to fame. They eagerly sign papers that waive their rights to a share of the pie just so they can get their piece of the spotlight. Fans let their speculations run wild, trying to simulate the coming season with the newly added help in hopes a title waits for them in January or April.

But the whole system is backward.

Once these student-athletes reach the next big change-of-scenery day, the roles reverse. Though they held all the power going into National Signing Day, when Draft Day arrives, they sit quietly, powerlessly in green rooms or at banquet tables waiting for their turn to be chosen. The choosers become the choosees.

And in the case of a pro draft, the wait sometimes pays off. After a year or three (or four) of busting their butts for the financial benefit of their university, they get a chance to bust their butts for their very own multi-million-dollar pie. If they get chosen, that is.

A player like Adrian Peterson gets to enjoy the best possible scenario of the whole ride: his choice to play basically wherever he wants in college, a few seasons of bliss during which he wows the country en route to making a name for himself (and his university), numerous awards at the collegiate level, the opportunity to become a millionaire overnight and a professional career ripe with endorsements, big contracts and Hall of Fame chatter.

A player like Heisman Trophy winner Jason White gets the mid-level scenario of the whole ride: a smaller but respectable group of colleges pining for his talents, a few seasons of bliss during which he wows the country en route to making a name for himself (and his university), numerous awards at the collegiate level, a less-than-likely chance at becoming a millionaire overnight and a professional career selling air conditioners.

A player like Drew Allen gets the low-end scenario of the whole ride: a smaller but respectable group of colleges pining for his talents, a few seasons riding the bench while he watches others make a name for themselves (and his university), no real shot at awards at the collegiate level unless he transfers to another university, an icicle’s chance in hell at becoming a millionaire overnight and a professional career in whatever it is he’s studying.

There obviously are tons of players who fit somewhere between these three scenarios (Sam Bradford, Mark Clayton, Brian Bosworth, etc.), but the issues with the system remain nonetheless.

Side note: For any folks who like and know Nebraska instead of Oklahoma, here are my examples translated for you:

  • Adrian Peterson = Irving Fryar
  • Jason White = Eric Crouch
  • Drew Allen = Bronson Marsh
  • Sam Bradford (could someday) = Grant Wistrom
  • Mark Clayton = Prince Amukamara (someday)
  • Brian Bosworth = Lawrence Phillips

For each layer, there is a changing balance of wealth for the player and his university. The Adrian Peterson Level equals out nicely for both parties. Oklahoma made a killing — and still does — off Peterson, including national exposure, jersey sales and packed stadiums (not to mention big donations to revamp the meeting rooms). Peterson gets to be rich with NFL dollars and chase 19-year-old league records. Everybody wins, 50-50.

The Jason White Level gets a little trickier. The university benefits from having a top-tier program competing for (but not winning) national championships and widespread recognition, in large part because of White’s leadership and performances on the field. OU gets to erect a statue outside its stadium of one of its biggest earners and still sells a No. 18 or two on occasion. While White also benefitted from the fame at the time, none of it was financial. The most he gains from it anymore is getting recognized at the grocery store or making small appearances (that the university still also benefits from). OU takes a 70-30 share of the winnings.

Once you drop to the Drew Allen Level, though, things are markedly less viable or even. The university still gets a cut of his likeness that will be used only by a small portion of folks who know him in a video game, and it might sell a few jerseys since he’s a fan favorite. He gets to enjoy the perks of being an OU football player earning a free education and chats up Sooner Nation on Twitter, but that’s about as far as he or OU gets. OU takes the full share of the winnings, though now just a mere fraction of what its 50-percent stake in Adrian Peterson is worth.

On National Signing Day, the universities stand to make a lot of money if they get the right players. On draft day, the players stand to make a lot of money if they get chosen by the right franchise. The difference is that at the pro level, everybody gets paid; at the collegiate level, only one side does.

I want to make clear I am not villainizing OU (or Nebraska) in any way. In the truest sense of the phrase, everybody does this; I merely chose OU because it is the filter through which the majority of my audience can see the world. The university has every legal right to conduct its business as it does and should continue to do so until the rules change. 

So let’s change the rules. How would you fix this disconnect?


Chris Lusk has a blog; why shouldn’t I?

I’ve read a lot lately — culminating in this short piece on Grantland today — about why Kevin Durant is not nice.

#KDISNOTNICEIt started with this season’s Nike campaign that began advertising the Oklahoma City star as such, but nobody who’d ever seen him kiss his mom before and after games in which he silently, stoically demolished his competition would believe it could be true.

Enter the 2012-13 season. Durant’s on-court persona is changing, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Nike money has a little to do with it. We hear him curse and talk trash, see him dish out death stares and get technical fouls.

If this is the way he really is on the inside and is finally letting that out, fine; I wouldn’t change KD so long as he is being true to himself.

But if it’s not, the act needs to end.

Entertainment has given us a lengthy history of good guys trying to go bad. Actors who have exclusively portrayed good characters and grow tired of it sometimes try to make a splash as evil characters.

It usually just confuses the audience, who only see Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones and Han Solo instead of an unfaithful murderer, but occasionally it works. One little break in character, though, could bring the whole thing crumbling down.

In particularly drastic and sudden changes — such as WWE’s CM Punk, who practically Jekyll-and-Hyde-ed overnight with little warning — the audience is surprised but willing to stick it out for a while. They figure the good guy is still in there somewhere and this “bad guy” thing is just a phase. If the bad guy thing intensifies too quickly or is drawn out too long, the actor risks losing everything and all the fan support that took years to build, which is what will happen if Punk remains an irrationally shallow villain too much longer.

And what will happen to Kevin Durant if he doesn’t slow-play the transition or drags it out too long. The fact is that regardless of however Nike paints him or he portrays himself, KD IS nice. He should stop running from that guy the world gushes over when he does this because that guy is part of the reason why the world gushes even harder when he does this. But if this little phase leads to more stuff like this, I won’t mind it for another few months.

Another thing I’ve noticed is this whole Manti Te’o mess (the fake girlfriend, the catfish scheme and the entirety of sports news superpowers getting scooped by a college kid at Deadspin) seems to be about much more than a football player who thinks Clint Eastwood talking to a chair seems normal.

Manti Te'oIt appears to me the whole thing is about exposing the failures and laziness of established media. Surely modern sports reporting allows writers the time to thoroughly vet stories before they’re pushed out into the world, right? Surely publications like Sports Illustrated and ESPN would try to contact family, friends, roommates, professors, bosses or coworkers for independent verification and color details in a feature about a dead girl, right?

Surely no one would go forward with a story after supposedly ending up empty-handed after multiple layers of searches for any verified proof of a person’s existence, right?

Do me a favor: Open a new browser tab and Google yourself. You haven’t recently been in a major car accident, diagnosed with leukemia or died, and yet a simple Google search probably turned up some indications that you do, in fact, exist. 

But this goes well beyond the hundreds of fail-safes journalists and organizations bypassed despite what should have been hundreds of red flags: The media and Te’o have been mirrored images since the Deadspin story. Like Te’o, established media that was caught with their pants down tried like crazy to hurriedly prepare statements (read: excuses) to save face. Since then, Te’o and established media have been painting themselves as innocent victims.

It comes down to what they’re trying to protect. Te’o has the NFL draft coming up in a few months and is scrambling to repair his image, but the cracks in his story keep coming to light and making it seem all the more clear he is less innocent than he wants you to believe. Established media are working to repair their reputations (which is all that separates them from Deadspin anymore), but the longer this story is in the national limelight, the cracks in the degrading journalism process keep coming to light.

I read a story today by the New York Daily News that could be among the sloppiest journalism I’ve seen from this whole mess. Not only does the story erratically misspell Te’o’s last name throughout the piece, it features three different spellings in the SAME PARAGRAPH just after the opening sentence.

New York Daily News

(As of 2 p.m. Jan. 23)

Granted, “Te’o” is very hard to spell. The three letters are easy enough, but that DARN APOSTROPHE gives me so much grief because I can’t ever remember where it goes! The best course of action is to just plop every plausible spelling in the same paragraph and hope no one notices.


This isn’t a “Gaddafi” situation where different news outlets can’t agree about which spelling to use — the dude is a college football star who’s been written about almost daily for the last few years, and the consensus about his last name’s spelling hasn’t changed a lick. If you don’t know how to spell it, there’s this handy invention called “Google” that is capable of helping you learn by pulling up any of the hundreds of stories that have been written about Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o.

Two things would have solved this issue.

(A) The Daily News shouldn’t have rushed this story to the Web so quickly the focus character’s name is misspelled two different ways. The sanctity of spelling names correctly shouldn’t ever be pushed to the side in an effort to “win” the race of getting it first.

The problem with the Deadspin scoop is it reinforced the incorrect idea that people always remember who broke a story first; that’s simply not the case. The only reason people remember that Deadspin broke it first is because SI and ESPN both wiffed before a small aggregator hit the home run. No one’s going to remember it was the Daily News that first reported Te’o still has his 1-800-FLOWERS receipt, so why the rush?

Which leads me to…

(B) Established media around the country should stop de-emphasizing the importance of fact-checking and clean editing. Just then, I almost misspelled “importants.” Maybe you would have noticed it or maybe not. But if you had, I’d have lost a bit of credibility with you.

I guarantee that any competent copy editor, given the chance to look at the Daily News story, would have caught the name-spelling discrepancy, fact-checked the correct spelling and fixed the error throughout the story using simple Find and Replace methods that have existed since the dawn of Web browsers. Instead, the Daily News — like many other organizations around the country — probably slashed its editing department during its last round of “consolidation” (read: layoffs) and, by its own doing, doesn’t have enough manpower to thoroughly vet everything it publishes.

Either that or the affordable Walmart version of real copy editors it employs were pushed through journalism school without being taught a shred of useful knowledge, as most J-school products are these days, and actually didn’t find the error after an “actual” edit. The latter is far more depressing than the former, so I’ll pretend the latter is impossible even though it isn’t.

Finally, I’ve been eating organic meals lately. I really enjoy it, and I’ll probably blog more about it later.



DMC-12 by Anville (Artist on tumblr)

This is really cool.


DMC-12 by Anville (Artist on tumblr)

This is really cool.

Source: fer1972


Here are some things I’ve observed lately, most of which is essentially me just complaining about stuff.

1. More than 75 percent of my female friends/acquaintances from high school who are not already married have started their own photography “business.” It’s amazing what a couple of Photoshop tricks and a $5,000 camera can do these days. But hey, if people pay you to supersaturate and run automatic adjustments on senior pictures so they don’t have to, more power to you.

2. Older folks (our parents’ generation) who excessively talk about politics on Facebook with other older folks basically say the same sorts of things my generation said on AIM a decade ago. And it’s about as meaningful. It’s kind of funny sometimes when it isn’t just sad. Message to older folks: We’re very aware you hate Obama/Romney (alphabetical order, just in case you were going to complain at me) and love the other guy because you’re constantly reminding us. Your repurposed-politco-spam-email posts are changing exactly zero people’s minds. You’re social networking wrong (at least until someone decides to use Facebook analytics to predict the winners).

3. Kids these days (14-22) have no work ethic. They want to just skirt on by with the least amount of effort. I’ve been guilty of this, yes, but not when it can impact my future career. If you’re in journalism, don’t complain about having to write — that’s asinine. If you’re in high school, don’t wish to be in college yet — enjoy the ride and take full advantage of all the things your parents get you for free because Ramen noodles get old quickly. If you’re 18, grow up — you just bother me. (P.S. When do I get a generation after me? How wide is the age range for generations? Can everyone 23-28 be our own generation? I don’t like many people who are 22 or younger, and it’s hard to identify with people who are 29 or older.)

4. Older folks are starting to use Twitter. This displeases me. I will not make the same concessions I did with Facebook because look what happens when we do. Twitter is my sacred space.

5. I actually miss my parents. Didn’t see that one coming.

6. Being single blows.

7. I’ve got awesome friends these days. If these are the ones I get to keep, I’ll be pretty happy. Real life is starting to resemble fictional life like on TV… sort of. (P.S. I can’t wait until Clark is a dentist so I can call him Dr. Tugboat.)

8. Getting old sucks. I wish I could pause it.

9. Music is dying.

10. I’m bad at coming up with 10 things.

What have you learned lately?













(via recklesswriter)

Source: karenamadof

NPR Music: Google Beatbox


Copy and paste the following text into Google Translate:

pv zk bschk pv zk pv bschk zk pv zk bschk pv zk pv bschk zk bschk pv bschk bschk pv kkkkkkkkkk bschk bschk bschk pv zk bschk pv zk pv bschk zk pv zk bschk pv zk pv bschk zk bschk pv bschk bschk pv kkkkkkkkkk bschk bschk bschk pv zk…

Source: nprmusic





Source: dudd86


The Fighting Chris Lusks

Alright folks, four days of tournament action are in the books. There were upsets, there were surprising stories and now there are only 16 teams left.

Before getting to know’s still in it, let’s break down who isn’t.

Eliminated in the first round:
Curtis (knocked out by the Iowa State Daily kids)
Buck (knocked out by Jessica and Maggie)
Chase (knocked out by Miller and Nick)
Carney (knocked out by Lori and Kedric)
Bob (knocked out by Lindsey and Andrew)
Jared Rader (knocked out by Reneé and Hillary)
Matt (knocked out by Miller and Nick)
Caleb (knocked out by Natalie and Kerbo)

Eliminated in the second round:
ISD kids (knocked out by Max)
Bruce (knocked out by Kyle and Natalie)
Jessica (knocked out by Laney)
Lori (knocked out by Lauren and Lusk)
Andrew (knocked out by Kerbo)
Kedric (knocked out by Austin)
Ty (knocked out by maggie)
Lindsey (knocked out by Kerbo)
Tim (knocked out by Kathleen)
Hillary (knocked out by Miller)

And the Sweet 16 matchups will be:
(1) Max vs. (4) Kyle
(3) Laney vs. (10) Greg
(1) Lauren vs. (4) Kerbo
(3) Clark vs. (7) Reneé
(1) Austin vs. (4) Natalie
(2) Nick vs. (6) Maggie
(1) Lusk vs. (13) Kerbo
(2) Miller vs. (11) Kathleen

Kerbo was the only one to advance both teams to the Sweet 16, showing what a former No. 1 seed can do even during an off season.

By Friday, only eight will remain. Who’s it going to be?


What a wild couple of days. This tournament is turning out to be far better than expected already. There’s still a lot of basketball to be played, but let’s get to some quick updates.

Buck was the first to be completely knocked out with losses to Maggie and Jessica. One other player was completely knocked out, but we’ll get to that.

Those scrappy kids from the Iowa State Daily stayed alive by beating defending champ Curtis, but a matchup against No. 1 overall seed Max looms for those Cyclones tomorrow.

Jared Bruce completed the first-round sweep, advancing both of his teams with an upset of Lindsey and a blowout against Andrew.

Jessica upset Buck, considered a strong competitor in this tournament, but lost in upset fashion to Kathleen, who also advanced both teams to the next round.

Several teams expected by all to advance did, but there have been three high points already.

Read More


It’s March, and you all know what that means: Time for Friendship Madness.

This time-honored, longstanding tradition (that I started last year) pairs 32 of my closest friends with the 64 final NCAA tournament teams (68 is lame, and I don’t do play-in games for my friendships).

Using a closely guarded scientific(ish) formula, the 32 friends are seeded one through eight and assigned to a pair of teams. A No. 1 seed gets a 1 and a 16 in different regions, a No. 2 seed gets a 2 and a 15 in different regions, etc.

I take into account the level of friendship only in the year since the last tournament (a de facto regular season, if you will). The seeding in no way reflects how I’d seed people based on the whole time I’ve known them. The all-time Friendship Madness tourney is expected to take place in about 70 years or before I die (whichever comes first).

Last year’s tournament was wild to the end, and I don’t expect things to be any different this year. Many of the players are the same, but there are a few fresh faces in the mix this time.

So let’s get to it.

The Daily Conference is most represented, sending 14 to the Big Dance. Conference Norman is second with seven, followed by the Delta Conference (5), the Northwest Conference (3), the Covenant League (2), the Oklahoma City Conference (1), the Ridgewood Conference (1) and one surprise.

Last year’s winner, Ridgewood’s Curtis Gambill (UConn), received the champion’s automatic re-bid, one of the many perks to winning Friendship Madness.

With the conference breakdown in mind, let’s get to the seeding.

This year has a very competitive field, so four bubble teams didn’t quite make it. (I know, I know — the extra four could have been in the play-in games. As I stated before, I don’t hold play-in games for friendships.)

Last Four Out:
» Jason Kersey (OPUBCO)
» Kevin Kersey (OPUBCO)
» Tim Girgis (Norman)
» Lizzy Dang (Norman) 

The OPUBCO League hasn’t been the same since that fateful Cinco de Mayo, but it remains a dark-horse powerhouse.

Tim easily would have made the bracket if I’d known him just a little bit longer, but he’s a favorite for an automatic bid in next year’s Friendship Madness. Same with Lizzy.

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I’m going to use this thing again soon, I promise.

I wrote a story about a football player's mustache.


The Sooners want junior quarterback Landry Jones to regrow “The Stache.”

Jones’ facial hair became an icon on campus when he was thrust into the starting position as a freshman when Sam Bradford went down with an injury.

We podcasted again. I almost exploded with anger.