Stinque Braquet Returns for an Exciting Month of Humiliation!

It’s March Mental Illness time again, which can only mean one thing: Cackling joy at your inability to pick the winners of amateur sporting events.

That’s right: It’s the trash-talking extravanganza of the Stinque Braquet!

Braquet Queen Mellbell has deviously plotted your destruction by creating a Yahoo Mutual Torture Society. Click the Join Group button and seal your fate:

Group ID: 114465
Password: neworleans

It’s all in good fun, right? Well, up until the moment we start shaming the losers in public.


Screw Kansas/Kansas St (the bracket killers) which turned my bracket into dust in the wind and turned me into one of the mocked (I knew I shouldn’t have gone with Kansas and still did which is I felt I deserved to be shamed.)

I was so looking forward to using Mistress Cynica’s Jesuit paradigm till I discovered there aren’t many of them that made it to the big dance.

New Mexico Lobos will advance to the second round by defeating Long Beach State on Thursday, then the ‘Bos go on to meet either Louisville or Davidson. The Lobos were en fuego on Saturday and could go on to the regional semi-finals if they keep it up.

Pac-12 stinks, there’s no escaping it. The team that won the conference didn’t get invited to the Dance.

Thanks to MellBell for bracket-wrangling. I’m in.

Ah, March Madness, separating the Sport from the non-Sport Stinquers since the beginning on time. I assume you people are talking about balls, but damned if I know why.

@IanJ: A Stinquey version of class warfare?

Pass. Expressing political opinions can be humiliating enough. Trying to pick winners is just asking for grief. This way I don’t get distraught when an underdog upsets a favorite. I had that particular lesson pounded into me back in 1975.

@redmanlaw: Los Lobos have a 0.2% edge over the Cards, per Nate Silver.

@Dave H: Yes, UCLA beat Kentucky in the finals for Coach Wooden’s 10th national championship.

@Dodgerblue: Actually it was Kentucky upsetting undefeated but short handed Indiana in the regional final and then Louisville choking in the final seconds of the national semifinal game versus UCLA all in the space of a week. It still rankles.

My wild ass guesses are in. I eagerly await my shaming.

@mellbell: When do the gates close on choosing our bracket, Commish? I remember one year the international date line got the best of me.

I’ll take Texas Western to win it all, Alex.

@Dave H: I remember the Louisville game. I lugged a TV to my student job at UCLA so I could watch the game.

@mellbell: Excellent, thanks. Plenty of time to borrow a cat to walk across my keyboard.

Obama’s bracket to be released tomorrow, for anyone in need of direction inspiration.

Temple FTW! (Hey, if Nova could do it…)

@Dave H: I won last year, therefore, I lost. So, yeah. Just Do It.

Ok. I’m in.

We are the bracket we have been waiting for.

The team I picked to win it all just lost its shot-blocking center because he was too dumb to find other kids to write his papers and take his tests for him and lost his academic eligibility. Moron.

@mellbell: rmoney would not pick a bracket. i guess he didn’t know any team owners. even with all the dough the division one athletic depts have, they cant play in rmoney’s league


I pledge that this administration bracket will be the most open and transparent in history.

[This memorandum is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by a party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.]

@Dodgerblue: @ManchuCandidate: Nate has I have Syracuse losing to Ohio State, so no adjustments needed.

@Dodgerblue: You actually follow this stuff? Go with your gut, man. Go with your gut.

@JNOV is like, Peace?:
When it comes to b-ball, my gut is as good as W’s… so not very well.

I did too, but I’ve readjusted so that they don’t even see Buckeyes. Syracuse might be the Orange Crush, but they’re more like the Orange Crushed Hopes and Dreams. A long history of chokes in the NCAA tourney (they were the closest NCAA skule when I was going to Canada City University so there were a lot of Orange fans.)

@ManchuCandidate: Well, I just started watching TV again last week, and honestly, I don’t watch college ball unless drinking games are involved. Here’s my strategy, so to speak:

1. first pairs, I tend to go with the higher rank, but I pick two or three lower-ranked teams that seem to have heart based on whether I recognize the name, like the name, if I think they are so stoked to just be there, they might kick ass.

2. these goofy picks tend to choke in their second or third game, so I usually let one win, and the others are out

3. Then it’s just guessing, usually based on what I remember or know about the team because I’m alive. The slower the osmosis, the less likely I’ll choose the team, but I’ll pick two or three underdogs and take one to the end. (Temple!)

I’ll be the first one out.

I think readjusting your bracket should be against the rules. So should adjusting your nuts in public.

@JNOV is like, Peace?:
I do both because I can… although I’m more discrete with the latter than the former.

The brackets don’t lock till Thurs around noon.

@JNOV is like, Peace?: Brackets aren’t locked until tomorrow, so it’s not readjusting. It’s fine-tuning.

Please. It’s cheating. Stick with your picks, people. Stop trying to game the game. Twill bite you in the ass. Trust.

@ManchuCandidate: Wear a kilt.

USF 65 Cal 54. It wasn’t that close . I think we learned something about the Pac 10. Time for some “fine tuning”

Click the Join Group button and seal your fate



You are aware I could have you declared a “domestic terrorist”.

Of course I would never abuse that authority.

But Al-Awlaki didn’t want me playing with his computer games either.

Just sayin….


How do you feel about the fairness of unmanned drones?

Our Parade of Shame begins: Congratulations to Dodger, Walking Still, and Cynica! You’re our Biggest Losers!

@Barrington Chadsworth IV: Speaking as a bureaucratic drone, life in a cubicle is tough enough. I don’t think it would be fair to unman me.

@nojo: So, now I know who my competition is.

Loser Update: In tight three-way race, Cynica takes a Commanding Fail.

@nojo: Syracuse is down four at the half. Could get interesting.

Loser Update: Homofascist joins Dodger, Walking Still and Cynica in a Fabulous Four-Way Fail.

@nojo: Looks like Syracuse has this one. Dodger is safe for now.

Loser Update: Although two points separate the entire field, Homofascist and Cynica are showing their rusted mettle.

The Orange barely scraped by. My bracket doesn’t suck.

Go Lobos and Vandy… beat those upstart Hahvahd boys.

@Walking Still: Does he still own Lionel? I always thought that was pretty cool.

Fucking Mormons. And whatever they have in Montana.

@nojo: I don’t think so. The last I heard was that they had an amicable parting of ways as a result of the bankruptcy reorganization. A nice image from back in the day.

Whew. Dodged a bullet on that Asheville / Syracuse game. Of course, you guys wouldn’t know that seeing how my bracket was banned.

Nooj –
Question for you. I’m still getting over this morning’s unpleasantness, but Axe tells me we can use this as a “Sister Souljah moment” in the fall campaign to pull in some indy votes. He’s roughing up a draft to feed to a few friendly sites:

President’s Bracket Banned on Liberal Blog!
“Not fair enough.” claims blog tournament commissioner

The President’s bracket was rejected early this morning from participation in the “The Stinque or Swim Braquet” – the official NCAA Tournament of, a well known hotbed of progressive blogging activity. Some have suggested this brings into question the very mission statement displayed prominently on the Blog’s masthead “If it smells, we’re on it.”

A member of the blog commentariat was reached for reaction to this unprecedented action and agreed to speak under condition of anonymity: “It was a troubling action. Look – the President’s bracket clearly stinks to high heaven. I mean… taking a Melo-less Syracuse into the Elite 8? C’mon. There is no reason for us to not be ‘on it’. I’m disappointed in our leadership. The whole thing is very disturbing. What are we? The New York Times?”

The office of Commissioner MelBel released this statement: “We do not make public the specific criteria for inclusion in the Stinque Bracket. Suffice it to say the President’s bracket did not meet our progressive standards for fairness, equality, social justice and income redistribution….”

It goes on from there, but I think you get the gist.

Anyway – the question –
We don’t want get to tripped up with any Politfact bullshit, so can we make the claim that this was the first official act of content banning under the auspices of the extended Stinque Blogging empire? Just want to be clear on this…

@Barrington Chadsworth IV: Cry me a river. I told you last year that I wasn’t a fan of your twofer.

@mellbell: Anyone/thing who picks Syracuse to make the Elite Eight deserves whatever fate is doled out.

@ManchuCandidate: Caught the game on the pocket AM radio between runs while riding the ski lift and on the way down the mountain this afternoon. The coach needed to advance to the second round for the season to be declared a success.

I have them making it to the sweet 16 so they gotta win… for me (yeah, not being self centered here…)

As the rest. Come on West Virginia… go Coal Miners although right now Gonzanga is roasting them at the half.

New Mexico State v. Indiana coming up. Gonna be tough for your boys, RML.

UConn is getting stomped. That’s what I get for showing a particle of loyalty to the state where I was raised.

@Dodgerblue: @Dodgerblue: NMSU are our instate rivals and the subject of Aggie jokes. Remember that Bobby Knight landed at Texas Tech (Mrs RML’s alma mater just over the border in Lubbock) after being booted from Indiana?


Yeah, I would have been right there with Lefty at 14 of 15, if not for – well – you know.

But I’m not bitter.

Loser Update: Homofascist in the hole!

@ManchuCandidate: We’re twinsies so far. That’ll change once the dust settles on Alabama-Creighton.

Yup. It won’t be costly though as I picked neither of those teams to go very far.

So far two of my last minute changes paid off.

@mellbell: It won’t last, believe me. I let sanity prevail over sympathy and so I have Los Lobos and Los Longhorns not going any farther.

@ManchuCandidate: As soon as the teams were announced I filled out a bracket super quickly based on gut feelings, including West Virginia over Gonzaga. When I went to tweak the bracket a couple of days later based on what I’d read, that pick seemed strange, as though I’d been thinking one thing but written another, but all the conventional wisdom backed it, so it stayed. Oh well.

@redmanlaw: It’s about a 55-45 matchup, per Nate Silver. I’m pushing Louisville through just to get a rematch of that crushing 2009 game against Michigan State. Mind you, I have Louisville losing again.

@homofascist: That was such a fat pitch, you damn well better have knocked it out of the park.

Burn me once shame on you. Pick’em twice last place shame for me.

SD State, done. Finally picked’em to choke and they did me proud.

@ManchuCandidate: Saw part of that one while having lunch with Mrs RML. New Mexico kicked their ass in the Mountain West tournament last week. Another Lobo victim, UNLV, went down yesterday after getting stomped by Buffalos.

Loser Update: Nabisco, Cynca and JNOV have chased Homofascist out of the basement.

@nojo: Good to have company! I’ll mix up some cocktails…

Norfolk State making this interesting against Mizzou. 1 point game with six minutes to go.

Already blown out? Please enjoy a brief musical interlude with Slayer, “Seasons in the Abyss”:

Loser Update: Nabisco’s in the shitter!

Mizzou down by six with 2 minutes to play. This is a huge upset in the making.

Panetta is so fired. CIA said Missouri was a lock for the final four. I’m down to a final 3.

@Barrington Chadsworth IV: Was that your confederate driving the truck at Bagram the other day?

Boo. Show Me State my ass. Show Me Losers State.

OK, who picked Norfolk state in his/her bracket? Where is Norfolk State, anyway?

@Dodgerblue: I didn’t pick Norfolk (I think it’s in one of those Virginias), but at least I didn’t pick Mizzou to go far.

@Dodgerblue: I’m thinking Norfolk, VA? Like where the Navy has a base and civilians build ships and shit. Tidewater region of the Chesapeake Watershed. I have family in Suffolk, Peanut Capital of the World (don’t tell Jimmy).

@nojo: I knew I shouldn’t’ve let that Chadsworth fucker make my bracket.

What fucking planet am I on? Another 15 seed over 2 seed upset? Lehigh up by 7 over Duke with 2 minutes to play. FUCKING DUKE!

Down in flames – Michigan. Booyah!

@libertarian tool: Like lawyer like? Nope. I just play one on the net.

@homofascist: Holy crap! Not that Dook deserved to win that game.

When does the loser bracket open?

Puke lost! Bwaaa-haaa-haaa-haaa!!!

Even though I picked them to go to the Elite 8, that was based on cold statistics, not my heart. Bwaaa-haa-haaa!

@mellbell: If Nate’s so goddam prescient, why am I 19 for 28?

@nojo: He did a very clever thing — he provided odds, not picks.

At the end of the day, mellbell and I are back where we started. You can’t shake me that quickly…

However, it should be noted that the 2nd round is where my bracket died many times before.

@ManchuCandidate: More to the point, everybody is drinking Nabisco’s milkshake.

@nojo: @ManchuCandidate:

yeah… but…

Nabisco is the only one to pick Ohio State to win it at all, so if by chance that were to happen (and with 15’s knocking off 2’s every few minutes – anything is possible), Nabisco is the unqualified winner no matter what else happens between now and then.

Unlike the seven of us including Manchu, Mellbell, Nojo and me who have all picked Kentucky to win. For us, all these other rounds will matter to sort out the winner if Rand Paul’s state emerges triumphant.

I submit that the only unqualified loser at this stage is JN, who picked Temple to win it all. Tonight South Florida made sure that is not going to happen. So far, she is the only one without a Champion pick still in the hunt.

Baylor’s got some fugly unis.

The Lobos have some very cute cheerleaders.

Go Lobos!

@ManchuCandidate: Switching back and forth between hoops and the women’s world cup slalom finals from Austria. I have a friend in the Rose Center tonight.

LOBO DOWN! LOBO DOWN! We’re doomed! Head for the parking lot!

I’ve got NM amd Baylor in the two live games. The Jamiesons is flowing.

That kid for Baylor (Hesslip?) is a b-ball sniper.

ETA: he’s also from Canada City.

@Dodgerblue: The Lobos have my full attention now that the skiing is over. Sticking with the Made in el Manchupais Guinness.

Whiskey in the Jar!

New mexico’s coach has a certificate from the Chris Issaks School of AwShucksery.

We’ll just endure the bombing campaign until the end of the war. I’m saving the rest of my Guinness for The Walking Dead tomorrow night.

Three things:

1. I have no interest in Sport.

2. I have no interest in Sport Movies.

3. I like Moneyball.

Damn. I fear the mockery of Ms. Bell.

@redmanlaw: Journalism’s an interesting business. The A’s ultimately lost; I knew that much going in. But Tracy Kidder also devoted a chunk of his life to a team that ultimately failed — in his case, a team of geeks — and his work has long outlasted his subjects.

Loser Update: Homofascist is once again shoveling the shit after the parade.

Oh Lobos… I could have run the table. Pooh.

@ManchuCandidate: Realistically, I don’t think that anyone expected the Lobos to win this one, myself included although the stats looked OK.

Nate Silver did, too, so I can “blame” him.

I actually did much better than I hoped. 7 out of 8 is much better than the 1 out of 8 I picked last year.

@nojo: I started watching Awake now that I gots thee teevees. First episode — awesome. Second one: sucktacular.

w/r/t this BB shit: How’m I doin’? (I can’t bear to look.)

Also: Am I the only one who has seen maybe um almost the whole run of Jersey Shore? I ask for research needs, such as.

ADD: Hahahahaha! I’m down to double digits. Whoa.

@nojo: On the bottom again! It is good that I like that sort of thing. My Final Four is still intact, so there is hope for me…

Plus I can console myself with the fact I will be having a ladies lunch with Cynica on Friday!!!

There is a dog in my office pool who is doing better than I am. His picks were chosen using this simple test: which mascot would be more scared to face off with the dog.

@Benedick: You be pleased to know that I’m trying to get Pauly D to sit for an interview.

I win again!

This year I won by not filling out a bracket.

@nojo: I’m not sure what this means exactly, but now I think I know what goes on at the bottom of those rugby scrums.

I can’t wait for the second round re-boot. I let sympathy votes (for the RML Lobos, against the rival Lehighs) seriously mess with my bracket.

@Dodgerblue: You watching this Cincy/FSU game? It’s crazy physical.

Loser Update: Cynica is Queen of the Mole People!


I am doomed. I had Fuck State in the final, losing only to Randpaulistan for the championship. Given there are six others picking Ky to win, there is now no way for me to overcome this deficit even if KY wins. I am now completely, irrevocably, and permanently consigned to the HFA Basement of Shame and demand to be humiliated in direct proportion to my complete incompetence and functional insanity for that pick.

@mellbell: Missed it. I was at a play where, selfishly, they make you turn off your electronic gear.

Breaking: Manning to Broncos pending contract negotiations, Tebow on the block per ESPN.

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