Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Sober Brewer's Indubitable Bracket

It's that time of year again, spring is in the air, potholes are abundant and brine trucks are parked all snug in their spots for another season. Oh, and we have the hoops, the roundball, the hardwood, irrational hope and the indigestion of defeat, yes it's March madness and we here at the Sober Brewer Institute of Oddsmaking are here, ready to put the "biscuit in the basket" so to speak, for you. So get your cold, hard cash dollars, rubles, rupees, loonies or krugerrand ready to lay down on our "locks of the eternity." Are you ready? Are you excited/pumped/aroused? Well, lets do it anyway!

Our first upset pick in the first round is the 2 seed Tennessee to be upset by the 15 seed American. You might be asking, How? Why? Are you a lunatic? Do these pants go with this shirt? Well let me ask you a question. Who do you think YOU are? Jeremiah Wright? Barak O'bama? What have you got against America huh? Love it or leave it man! USA! USA! USA! nuff said.

Our second first round pick is the 4 seed Pittsburgh to knock off the 13 seed Oral Roberts. I had a vision last night that if Oral Roberts did not win, God would "call him home." Unfortunately for Mr. Roberts, I'm still going with Pitt on this one. Come on, the dude is like 90 years old, win or lose he could be "called home" at anytime.

Now let's focus our attention on the Wildcats, but which Wildcats are we picking/jinxing? I pick the Wildcats from a Southern conference, who have had an undefeated conference record in their past, whose coach's first name starts with a B and whose arena is named in honor of a famous faculty member... that's right, I'm picking the Davidson Wildcats. Psych, Kentucky fans, Ha Ha. Seriously now, I am picking the Wildcats who squeaked into the tournament with an 11 seed, whose first year coach had some rough patches early on but finished third in their conference during the regular season, then was upset in their first conference tournament game. The name of this team starts with the letter K (OMG the anticipation must be unbearable). The Sober Brewer is fully invested in the Kansas State Wildcats!!

We also pick the Arizona Wildcats to destroy the evil Boob Hugginses, who I'm sure will be sweating out all his moonshine and ramp jelly (ewww stinky).

Oh and by the way, sorry Kentucky, you lose.

Now here's our picks for who will be in the Sweet Sixteen:

In the East: UNC, Louisville, American (USA! USA!) and Washington St.

In the Midwest: Kansas, Vanderbilt, Kansas St. and Davidson

In the South: Memphis, Pitt, Stanford and Texas

In the West: UCLA, Western KY, Xavier, and Arizona

There it is folks, The Sober Brewer's "Locks of the Eternity" lay down your life savings with complete confidence. Cameron will reimburse any losses you might incur (he is making out like a bandit as a mystery shopper).

And as always, never trust The Sober Brewer
Jerry Gnagy

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Pinching Off a Leprechaun

St. Patrick's day is approaching and I was thinking about all the customs attached to the holiday. What immediately comes to mind in this business is green beer. Love or hate the idea, putting coloring in beer can be fun and interesting, not only for the pretty green color while drinking but also the after effects.

First though, I thought about the history of the holiday's relics and how green became the defacto St. Patrick's day color. It started with the leprechaun, which is actually one of the fairies of ancient Irish mythology. He was feared because he hid from human view, but he was also revered because of his riches (pot 'o' gold). The leprechaun was later adopted by St. Patrick as a symbol of God. Like God, the leprechaun is hidden from view and has great riches for those who find Him (pot 'o' eternal life). Because the Irish believed that the leprechaun used the rich green countryside to conceal himself, the color green became associated with him as well as all things that have to do with St. Patrick and his day.

Drinking a bunch of beer also has its roots in the rituals of St. Patrick's day. There is more beer consumed in Ireland on St. Patrick's Day than there is on any other day of the year. This may be a practice carrying on St. Patrick's honoring of Brigid, the Celtic goddess of fire with "poteen" an Irish beer made from potatoes. St. Patrick is also credited with bringing the art of distilling to Ireland.

As far a green beer goes, it wasn't until the Irish settled in Boston, and faced ethnic discrimination that they chose to show their Irish pride by using the color green for all things Irish. Thus began the American tradition of green beer and wearing green. On a side note, pinching people who did not wear green was a reminder that leprechauns would sneak up on those who could be seen on this day and in order to remain hidden, and avoid the leprechauns, you must hide yourself by wearing green. Or maybe it was just a good excuse to cop a feel and talk about your green underwear.

Speaking of green underwear, some people have found that drinking a lot of green beer can turn your uh, ah, fecal matter, ahem, ah, green. There is a good reason for that. One of the dyes used in green food coloring, (FDA Blue #5) when metabolized in sufficient quantities (you might have to drink a butt-load, Ha Ha) combines with bile and forms a brilliant green color. This phenomenon is harmless, and does not happen to everybody who ingest blue #5. So if you indulge in green beer this St.Patty's day and you're still crappin' brown, relax, there's nothing physically wrong with you. But maybe a better choice would be to drink a nice Irish Stout instead.

never trust The Sober Brewer
Jerry Gnagy