Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Yeah, the bracket sucks...

But have you ever tried adjusting a template someone else set up? Not that I did a google search to design that or anything...

Anyways, the point is you can fill out this bracket in Microsoft Word, so I expect to see some filled out brackets tomorrow!

Just copy and paste into your word processor.

I have provided you a bracket to fill out


George Washington


Thomas Jefferson

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Alexander Hamilton


Andrew Jackson

Ulysses S Grant

Abraham Lincoln

Benjamin Franklin

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Money Madness Preliminary Round

Thomas Jefferson vs JFK

Thomas Jefferson managed to not only write the Declaration of Independence (the document most commonly mistaken for legitimate law) but he also doubled the size of America and got the taste of John Adams out of our mouth.

John F Kennedy managed to vaguely mention some ideas about space and racial equality before being assassinated.

Easy win for TJ, right?


First of all, let's look at TJ's main body of work. The Declaration of Independence is a nice way to stick it to the King of England and a brilliant place to hide a treasure map, but really, you'd think enough marauding militias of anger would get the point across to old George III. As for the Louisiana Purchase, I am of the opinion that it was the biggest rip off in American history. Sure we got acres for pennies, but we forget one minor detail.

Napoleon never told the people who lived there (i.e. Indians) that they were being evicted. Thus began a vicious cycle of Indian wars, reservations and poorly conceived treaties.

Also, Thomas Jefferson founded the University of Virginia, one of the largest producers of smug in the Eastern Time Zone. Having grown up in Charlottesville, I have seen far too many conveniences destroyed because of trying to adhere to Jefferson's "vision" for Charlottesville. Why was Target so great an offense to you, o great TJ? WHY?!

But JFK isn't getting off the hook. I blame him for the single worst secret murder of a brutal dictator ever. I'm talking about the Bay of Pigs. The reason it is the worst secret murder is everyone knew about it! And we didn't even get to kill the brutal communist dictator! Here we are, nearly 50 years later, still waiting for him to die.

But I need to be fair. JFK needs to be held to a different standard. Specifically, he said "Ich Bein Ein Berliner" or literally "I am a jelly donut". We can expect no more from JFK than we could any other breakfast pastry. Would I complain that my pop-tarts did not properly think out the destruction of South American warlords? No! I'd be impressed they got the helicopters south of the equator.

Also, as those who have listened to any of my history lectures know, I believe the best thing you can do for your cause is be assassinated at a young age. People will always remember you better and will sometimes do what you wanted them to do in life. JFK was a master at that. No one cared about landing on the moon until JFK died. Then got our act together and launched a ton of ships into space, as if to appease his ghost.

Both men had sordid affairs but I'm going to give the edge to Jefferson. Sure, Marilyn Monroe is considerably finer a catch than some slave you own, but consider this. TJ waited until after he was president to have his sordid affair. Furthermore, it took us nearly 200 years to catch onto it. Talk about under the radar! Meanwhile, everyone and their dog knew JFK was getting it on with Marilyn (at least that would make the entire cake thing come into context).

However, the coffin nail for JFK is one unforgivable sin. That misbegotten pastry created the Presidential Fitness Test. No doubt he was bitter at people mocking him for his sugary innards, but why punish future generations? I'll tell you why. Because he wanted to earn the spite of the English Muffin Power Hour. I am haunted to this day by memories of the "Sit N' Reach".

WINNER: Thomas Jefferson

P.S. I know there was no fighting in this round. I'm saving the combat for the real tournament. This was just an extra qualifier.

Monday, April 14, 2008

My Answer to the NCAA Tournament

Holy freakin' crap! You turn your back for one second and it's mid-April. I would like to apologize to my loyal readers. I have let you down. It got so bad Sam called me out on it. If you don't know Sam, then let me tell you: he is the only guy I think I work harder than. When he calls me lazy and unfocused, there's serious trouble. However, I plan to win back your favor by posting daily this week. That's right. Daily

I have prepared, in secret, my answer to the NCAA tournament. I was inspired when I saw a commercial on television which showed a $20 bill fighting a $50 bill to the death. (they were actually guys in costumes).

I wish I could remember what they were trying to sell. I think they were trying to get me to take a loan or refinance my house or pay taxes or something. I can't even remember the company. If I could, then I would so post a YouTube video of it so you wouldn't think I'm crazy (but you probably do, why else would you read my blog?).

Anyways, that commercial got me thinking. Who would win in a fight between Andrew Jackson ($20) and Ulysses S. Grant ($50)? But that is hardly sufficient. Of all the dead men who grace our currency, I decided that I need to find out who would win pitted against the others. So here it is, MONEY MADNESS!

The tournament will feature the top 9 figures on our currency in a bracket style. They will be seeded based off of how prestigious there respective careers were and seeds #8 and #9 shall partake in a play-in game, to lose to the #1 seed ingloriously (when was the last time a play-in team did anything but lose shortly thereafter?). While there are more than nine faces on coins, I decided to make cuts based on excluding anyone who is on a dollar coin. Those never ever work.

Prominent Dead Men Who Are In: George Washington ($1, quarter), Thomas Jefferson (Nickel, $2) Abraham Lincoln (Penny, $5), Franklin D. Roosevelt (Dime), Benjamin Franklin ($100), Alexander Hamilton ($10), Andrew Jackson ($20), Ulysses S. Grant ($50), John F. Kennedy (Half Dollar).

#9 John F. Kennedy
Let's face it, you seldom see half dollars anymore. In fact, the best way to make sure I never spend money is to pay me entirely in half dollars. Rather than invest it in goods and services, I will marvel at the size of the coin.

#8 Thomas Jefferson
This is a hard one and will most certainly give me flak from my readers in Charlottesville, but hear me out. I have seen one $2 bill in my life. It currently is living in my closet alongside my collection of half dollar coins, awaiting the day I realize it is money. However, Jefferson trumps JFK because of the nickel. The nickel has the advantage of wanting to be spent, but never being worth enough to spend on anything. About the only time I see fit to use them is to make exact change when I'm out of dimes and quarters.

#7 Ulysses S. Grant
Sure, I could come up with uses for the $50 bill. However, every time I try to, I always think it'd be easier to pay with a $20 or a check card. Even if I wanted to show off, I'd just drop Benjamins. It's all bout the Benjamins, not the Ulysseses.

#6 Benjamin Franklin
He gets a bonus for the prestige. Nothing says "Rob me blind, I can afford it" like a wallet full of Benjamins. However, everyone gets suspicious when you try to pay for something with one of these, like its counterfeit or you got it from robbing a bank or you've just sold secrets to the Chinese and received the first of seven payments through their connections in the Mafia.

Not that I'd know anything about how the Chinese pay for our nuclear secrets (they usually pay in four installments, is the brutal, oppressive police state getting cheap on me?).

#5 Alexander Hamilton
The ten dollar bill is the most useful currency that is just short of being useful. I never request tens, but they really show up when twenties are around. If I withdraw $50, I know I'll see at least one Alexander Hamilton. Not to mention he gets bonus points for being the only non-President, non-greatest-diplomat-of-his-time on this list. But his bill lacks the pop to be in the top half.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Okay, we are now in the useful currency section. The dime is a very versatile coin and is, in many ways, the perfect complement to the quarter. If anything costs me 35 cents, I'm using the classic 1-2 punch of a quarter and a dime. The dime also is the smallest of coins, proving its not compensating for anything.

#3 Abraham Lincoln
I know what you're thinking "The penny is the most useless coin of all. It's not even worth the copper we use to mint it!". That albatross alone should knock Lincoln out of the top 4? WRONG! The penny is the foot soldier in the war against unusable change. Individually the penny is weak and worthless, but a few well placed pennies mean you get a $5 bill for change instead of $4.97. And that brings me to Lincoln's strong point. The $5 bill is critical for making minor purchases manageable and for setting the standard price on a Little Caesar's pizza.

#2 Andrew Jackson
This is a true powerhouse in the field of currency. The $20 bill is the standard unit of consumption for me. The $20 bills are the shock troops in my wallet. They are common. They are influential. I hate to see them broken but when they are I get a lot for them. Plus, it's the largest bill everyone will take. Nothing is wrong with the $20 bill. So why isn't it #1?

#1 George Washington
Because Washington's currency does everything. I am hard pressed to think of the last transaction I made with cash that did not involve quarters or $1 bills in some way, shape or form. The dollar and quarter have a zen-like quality to them. They balance each other out perfectly. The dollar sets the standard for cheap menu items and the quarter sets the standard for gumball machines. It's beautiful synergy that cannot be replicated in American currency again.

Tune in tomorrow for the play-in game, JFK vs Thomas Jefferson