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Seeing as how the awesomest 3 weeks in sports officially got under way yesterday, I thought it would be appropriate to not only update you on my 30 Before 30 list today, but also on my brackets.  If you are unfamiliar with the bracket about which I speak, here’s a little introduction to an old friend of mine.  If you are a March Madness-aholic like myself, you probably find yourself in one of three boats this morning:

Boat 1) After spending the day doing everything but watching basketball, you awoke this morning to find your bracket unscathed.  Perhaps you missed one pick, or maybe none at all.  You successfully predicted the unpredictable…congratulations.  Realizing you currently sit atop your respective office, home, or online pool, you decided to take another glance at the “winning” bracket and bask in your impending glory.  That’s when reality hit you.  Your method for picking winners this year consisted of assigning team names to Charlie Sheen quotes and letting his Twitter feed dictate your choices.  Will it work out for you in the end?  Possibly; but if we see Morehead State vs. Oakland in the Championship game, I’ll be shocked!

...and March Madness!

Boat 2) You muddled through a so-so day yesterday picking an upset or two while others you were sure of, didn’t quite pan out.  You sit in the middle of the pack in every single pool you entered because no two of your brackets look the same and luck just wasn’t on your side.  Don’t give up just yet though, it’s only Day 2.  Your Champion is still alive so go out and buy all the Kansas or Ohio St. or North Carolina gear you can find and hunker down for the long haul.

Boat 3) If you’re in this boat, you’re probably not reading this because you are huddled in the corner of your living room in the fetal position, surrounded by crumpled up brackets with big red “X” through them.  Sorry buddy…there’s not much else to say.  Hey, there’s always next year.

As for me, I sit firmly in the captain’s chair of boat #2.  It’s too early to panic, there’s a lot of basketball left to be played.  After a solid start to yesterday’s games (I correctly picked 10 of the first 11), I stumbled down the stretch as Michigan St., Missouri, Utah St., and Belmont all booked their plane tickets home.  I felt good about my Richmond and Gonzaga upset picks but sadly, finished the day just 11 for 16.

I’m sure you’re wondering who, among my group of rabid college hoops fans, is currently standing atop the leaderboard.  Well, that would be my Grandmother!  Shout out to G-Mom who picked 14 out of 16 games correctly yesterday.  If you know her, this should come as no surprise since she is a raging Terps fan and sports junkie in general.  My Dad is nipping closely at her heels having gone 13 of 16.  They are followed by a large contingent tied for 3rd place, among them my wife who, when filling out her bracket, told me, “I like Purdue because it makes me think of chicken and I like chicken.”  Seems like sound reasoning to me.  I can’t judge seeing as how she is currently ahead of me on the board.

So that’s a little bracket update for you since I assume you were desperately anticipating one.  As far as the true purpose of Follow-Up Friday goes, not much to report on this week.  That’s partly why I chose to use the first 500 words to divert your attention.  Anyway, here’s a couple noteworthy tidbits for you.

#12) Despite my insistence that I was obviously not born to play the guitar, Scott feels I am improving.  In fact, he has enough confidence in me that we’ve actually moved on to a second song.  It’s possibly he’s just pandering to my fragile ego…but that’s ok with me.  While I won’t be performing any Guitar Hero-type solos anytime soon, I am really enjoying the learning process.  Thanks again to Scott for being awesome!

#16) I haven’t teed it up at Bethpage just yet, but this weekend marks the official start of Spring so it’s on the radar.  Before I can step foot on the course however, I need to learn a bit more about the procedures for securing a tee time.  The process is specific and detailed so I plan to do a little research on this one asap.

#24) The destination of one of the more exciting items on the list has officially been determined.  Last night, we gave the go ahead to our travel agent friend to book us on a 4 day, 3 night cruise to The Bahamas.  I’ve never been on a cruise before and am really looking forward to it.  I did have one specific requirement however; no room with a balcony.  It’s not that I don’t want the beautiful views of the ocean, it’s just that I have this irrational fear of falling off!  I know, it sounds ridiculous.  But I’m just saying, if you fall over board, that’s it man.  I’m not going out that way! 

Before I sign off, I wanted to make a minute to toot my own horn.  A sports website that I recently started following, had been looking for readers to possibly contribute some content.  One of the webmasters that runs the site, took a liking to my article from Monday about the letter from my bracket buddy.  He graciously chose it as a cover piece on their front page and you can find it here!  Big shout out to www.laterounddraftpick.com and the guys running the site.  Thanks for the props fellas!

That’s all for now, loyal readers.  Thanks as always for your support and readership.  Keep the blog love train going and spread the word.  Now back to over-analyzing my brackets and finding a nice corner to huddle in when they all come crashing down.