March Madness

March Madness Widow Survival Guide 8.0

Every year basketball enthusiasts sit in their favourite chairs or in their most comfortable spot on the couch to enjoy hours and hours and hours of college basketball. It’s amazing, it’s enjoyable, it’s all of the best moments that you could hope for in 3 weeks of action.

But, if you aren’t that person, you might be a March Madness Widow. You might feel like you are alone, bored, and left without the hangout partner that you normally have.

If you are struggling with March Madness Widow Syndrome, we have 5 things that you can do from March 14 to April 3, 2017 – give ‘em a shot!

1. Create An Awesome Playlist!

Just like the mixtapes we made from our favourite cassettes and the radio, a good playlist still holds all kinds of value!

If you’re looking for simple starting points – we recommend using Spotify or YouTube to start curating your list of songs and mixing and matching until you get the perfect selection to suit your mood. Give yourself something to dance to, something to relax to, or something that just plays as loud as possible while you sing along!

2. Share Music With Your Friends!

Music is best enjoyed as a shared experience. Yes, sometimes it’s great to be lost in a song, but sharing music with your friends is the best.

Here’s a challenge: Every day of March Madness post a link to a song on a friend’s Facebook or Twitter and invite them to send you one back. There are 12 games days over 21 days – that means you have a chance to really share the music you love, and hopefully get some back, with and from your music loving friends!

3. Make Your Summer Music Plans!

Whether you’re into the festival scene or single concert events, there are all kinds of options available for you in the summer. And the worst thing you can do is wait until the last minute to make your plans.

Most festivals have tiered pricing, so the earlier you buy – the better. And unless you love sitting in the back row or on the lawn, you should be buying tickets and setting reminders for the concerts that have you most excited when the weather warms up!

4. Watch Some Music Documentaries

Trust me, I know that not everyone is into documentaries, but there are some awesome films on Netflix that you should really check out if you love music.

If you’re looking for recommendations… here you go

☞ Neil Young Journeys
☞ History Of The Eagles
☞ Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers Runnin’ Down A Dream

I watched and really dug all three of those – and if you take a look I’m sure you’ll find a few more that you can get into!

5. Play Along!

If your partner or best friend or family members are in love with the tournament, give it a shot with them. It really can be a whole lot of fun.

Fill out a bracket, pick a favourite team, let yourself get drawn into the drama and excitement that the tournament provides. From buzzer beaters to Cinderellas, you might just find that you like the NCAA action more than you thought you would.

Please remember though, your partner may truly be invested in their team’s performance, so if they do lose on the way to the national championship, try not to rub their face in it too much.

Have fun!

And if you need more ideas, have a look back at the first 7 years of the March Madness Widow Survival Guide

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide – March 18, 2010

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide 2.0 – March 10, 2011

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide 3.0 – March 8, 2012

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide 4.0 – March 17, 2013

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide 5.0 – March 16, 2014

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide 6.0 – March 16, 2015

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide 7.0 – March 12, 2016

7 months ago Views

March Madness Widow Survival Guide 7.0

It’s Time!

March Madness is back baby, and I couldn’t be more excited. UNC has put themselves in good position for the tournament, we’re sure to see some awesome ball with some amazing finishes… and before this tournament is over we’re sure to learn the names of some new players who have primetime performances and make HUGE shots.

NCAA Buzzer BeaterBut if you’re not an NCAA basketball lover this post is for you. If you know that your partner is going to be glued to the TV or tablet or laptop for major parts of the next few weeks (March 15 to April 4) you should probably start looking for some things to do to entertain yourself… trust me.

In the 7th year of putting this post together we want nothing more than to help people who don’t care about the Final Four. So here are 5 things you can do while your significant other is praying for a buzzer beater.

1. Listen To Your Favourite Albums Of All-Time!

Think back to when you were 13, or 22, or 31… what albums were perfect to you? What records did you play from front to back without skipping a song?

Put those on and take a trip down memory lane. Embrace the feelings that they bring to you, think back to the friends and family and times in your life that they represent to you now. We all those artists and songs and records that mean the world to us, even if nobody else understands. Embrace yours!

2. Find New Music To Love!

Spotify LogoPlatforms like Spotify and Apple Music are awesome for finding new music. Pick a playlist in the genre you love, or choose an artist you don’t know from a related music selection and see where it takes you.

I suggest taking notes as you go, because if you listen long enough (while you work or workout or just relax) you’re likely to lose track of some of those new songs and names.

3. Have A Solo Dance Party!

Dancing is good for the soul… and the body, so turn up some uptempo tunes and get your sweat on!

Honestly, whether you want to play a game like Just Dance or you want to dance in your socks all over the kitchen floor, we don’t care… but dancing is good, and you should do it like nobody is watching.

And if solo dance parties aren’t your thing, round up some friends who are feeling widowed during March Madness and invite them to dance too!

4. Go See A Live Show!

Live music is one of my favourite things in the world, and I fully believe that everyone deserves to treat themselves to live shows whenever the chance presents itself.

Now, that doesn’t always mean you have to spend a ton of money on a big arena or stadium show. Check out the local listings and hit a club or a bar or a coffeehouse near you to see an acoustic show or an open mic night or an artist that everyone is going to be talking about a year from now!

5. Play Along!

2016_Final_Four_LogoEvery year this makes the list, and every year it will. I love March Madness because I love basketball, but I also love the drama and the theatre and the unpredictability that comes with this crazy tournament.

So, pick a team (I wouldn’t recommend any 15 or 16 seeds) and start cheering. Hell, fill out a bracket and see if you can beat your MM loving partner.

With just a little googling you can find out the best players, the celebrity alumni, the mascot name and even the fight song to your new favourite college basketball team.

But if you do choose to play along, please please please remember to be nice when your S/O’s team loses, and they probably will. It can be a heartbreaking and disillusioning moment, and you don’t really want to see them cry, do you?

And have a look back at the first 6 years of the March Madness Widow Survival Guide

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide – March 18, 2010

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide 2.0 – March 10, 2011

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide 3.0 – March 8, 2012

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide 4.0 – March 17, 2013

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide 5.0 – March 16, 2014

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide 6.0 – March 16, 2015

2 years ago Views

The March Madness Widow(er) Survival Guide 6.0

It’s here! It’s here! It’s here!

The NCAA March Madness bracket has been set, and 68 teams are ready to hit the floor and fight for a chance to play in the Final Four and be called National Champion.

And if you don’t care about any of that, this post is meant for you.

This is the 6th annual March Madness Widow Survival Guide, it’s sole purpose is to help you find things to do to stay busy and happy and awesome while your significant other sits on the couch and watches hours and hours and hours of college basketball. Being left alone like this is what we refer to as March Madness Widow Syndrome. We know it isn’t always an awesome feeling, but we’re here to help.

Here are 5 things that you can do between March 17th and April 6, 2015 if you aren’t a basketball fan.

1. Enjoy the Early Spring Weather

We’ve turned the clock forward an hour, the sun is still up after 5pm, and it’s not freezing cold 24 hours a day. So get your Spring jacket ready, sit out on the porch or balcony, go for a walk around the block or in the park, grab a coffee and sit on a newly opened patio – or grab a beer, that’s great for sunny weekend afternoons.

2. Find Great Places to Eat

Just Eat logo 2015Ask your friends and neighbours and co-workers for their highest recommendations – find brand new places to go out for dinner or lunch or brunch, order the dishes that people tell you are fabulous. And remember, take out counts!

So pull up just-eat.ca and find a restaurant that you haven’t tried, pick some stuff you think you’re going to want to eat, and order it.

3. Take a Trip

This is an idea that comes all the way back from the very first March Madness Widow Survival Guide.

If you’ve got a couple vacation days, take ‘em. Build yourself a long weekend and hit a B&B. Hit up a nice little town like Port Hope, ON and see the sights, visit landmarks and enjoy yourself. Or, go home and visit your family and old friends. Or, buy a last minute deal and fly south to sit on a beach for a few days and really, really, really take advantage of the time on your hands.

The Batman Comic Book Cover4. Read Comic Books

There are some really great comic books out there. Whether you like zombies (The Walking Dead) or updated fairy tales (Fables) or all of your favourites from when you were a kid (Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Spider-Man, Thor, Iron Man) there’s something on a shelf for each and every one of you.

Trust me. Give it a try.

Plus, you don’t have to go to the comic book store to get them any more. Digital comics are readily available. And they won’t break the bank.

5. Play Along

I say this every year, and I mean it every year. Even if you’re not into the tournament, fill out a bracket. Pick some winners. Find a team to cheer for (please not Duke) and even root against your significant other’s favourite team. Just remember not to rub it in too hard if your team wins or their team eventually loses.

March Madness can be a lot of fun. But if you’re not into it, that’s cool. Make the most of those 3 weeks, they’ll be over before you know it.

And have a look back at the first 5 years of the March Madness Widow Survival Guide

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide – March 18, 2010

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide 2.0 – March 10, 2011

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide 3.0 – March 8, 2012

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide 4.0 – March 17, 2013

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide 5.0 – March 16, 2014

Be awesome!

3 years ago Views

My 2014 NCAA March Madness Bracket Is Busted!

Busted Bracket Banner

This is Madness!

How many times have we heard that in the last 2 days?

I love March Madness. And the round of 64 this year is a perfect example why. Yes it’s true that my espn.com bracket is pretty broken up with 23 correct picks and 9 incorrect picks. But it could be worse.

I fully acknowledge that I didn’t have any of the big upsets picked. But man has it been fun to watch some of them happen.

Especially Duke losing to Mercer. Duke was my first loss by a team that I had predicted to win more than 1 game (later joined by VCU) – but I hate the Blue Devils so much that I’m not even mad about getting that pick wrong.

I’ve also been spoiled to watch the round of 64 with some good friends, drinks, food, and great sports debate and conversation. It has very much reminded me why taking of the 1st Thursday and Friday of the tournament is a great idea that I dropped the ball on again.

Side note: In my 2nd pool… the one worth money – I’m 27 out of 32 so far, tied for 1st place and with the most total points still available.

Here’s hoping that you are ready for Saturday and Sunday’s action as we get from 32 teams down to the Sweet 16.

If Thursday and Friday were any indication… we could be in for something really special.

My 2014 NCAA March Madness Busted Bracket

4 years ago Views

My 2014 March Madness Bracket – TSN Tournament Challenge

TSN Tournament Challenge 2014
There are few things more stressful in my sports fandom than trying to fill out a fresh, clean, NCAA tournament bracket.

I know that a 12 seed is probably going to win their first game… but which one?

And I know that a 10 seed will likely knock off a 7… but again, which one will it be?

For the record I didn’t take a 12 seed, but I did take Arizona State as a #10 to win their first game.

This year I played a lot of hunches, a lot of who’s hot, a lot of gut check picks… and then in the Final Four I started looking at points per game, rebounding, field goal percentage – important shit that makes me feel like I might have made good choices in picking games that are 20 days away.

I will freely admit that I have filled out 2 brackets which some people think is cheating… but, in both brackets I have Florida vs. Michigan in the National Championship Game. And I have the Florida Gators winning the tournament in both places.

2014 TSN Challenge NCAA March Madness Bracket
If you’re filling out a bracket… good luck.

And if you’re looking for somewhere to fill out a bracket – get over to the TSN Tournament Challenge.

4 years ago Views

NCAA March Madness 2014 – Meet The Canadians!

Canada Basketball NCAA 2014

March Madness tips off tomorrow and as a Canadian basketball fan there is reason to celebrate. We know that Canadian players have been making a name for themselves in the NCAA and the NBA over the last few years – heck, we’re producing lottery type talent in the NBA.

But this year I am more than impressed with the sheer number of Canadian players who will be uniform and/or on the court during the NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball Tournament. After looking through all 68 rosters on their official websites, I have found 31 Canadian players to watch during March Madness this year.

31!

That’s awesome.

Basketball fans already know the names Brady Heslip, Nik Stauskas and Tyler Ennis. And everyone knows the name Andrew Wiggins thanks to his incredible talent and the hype machine. But that still leaves 27 other names to learn and look our for as March Madness gets underway.

Here are all 31 players, listed by their school, in alphabetical order…

Jordan Bachynski Calgary, AB Arizona State
Brady Heslip Burlington, ON Baylor
Kenny Chery Montreal, QC Baylor
Jahenns Manigat Ottawa, ON Creighton
Dyshawn Pierre Whitby, ON Dayton
Jaylen Babb-Harrison Ajax, ON Eastern Kentucky
Dustin Triano Tsawwassen, BC Gonzaga
Kevin Pangos Landing, ON Gonzaga
Kyle Wiltjer Portland, OR (Canadian citizenship) Gonzaga
Agunwa Okolie Ajax, ON Harvard
Laurent Rivard Saint Bruno, QC Harvard
Melvin Ejim Toronto, ON Iowa State
Naz Long Mississauga, ON Iowa State
Andrew Wiggins Vaughan, ON Kansas
Justin Edwards Whitby, ON Kansas State
Nik Stauskas Mississauga, ON Michigan
Daniel Mullings Toronto, ON New Mexico State
Renaldo Dixon Toronto, ON New Mexico State
Sim Bhullar Toronto, ON New Mexico State
Tanveer Bhullar Toronto, ON New Mexico State
Jason Calliste Toronto, ON Oregon
Richard Amardi Toronto, ON Oregon
Junior Lomomba Montreal, QC Providence
Grandy Glaze Toronto, ON Saint Louis
Dwight Powell Toronto, ON Stanford
Stefan Nastic Thornhill, ON Stanford
Tyler Ennis Brampton, ON Syracuse
Dylan Ennis Brampton, ON Villanova
Chadwick Lufile Burlington, ON Wichita State
Nick Wiggins Toronto, ON Wichita State

Here’s hoping that all of the Canadian kids are able to contribute and take away some sort of positive experience from the 2014 NCAA tournament.

I know I’ll be cheering for them.

Unless they’re playing against a team I’m cheering for and have picked on my bracket.

4 years ago Views

2014 March Madness Bracket and Rankings

March Madness 2014 BannerWe are only 2 days away from the start of the 2014 NCAA Men’s Division 1 Basketball Tournament – and that means it’s time to fill out your bracket and hope for the best!

I will be honest, I haven’t finished my bracket yet because I’m still not ready to commit to the picks that I’ve made. Last year I had awful luck in the early rounds, and I would like to avoid that in 2014.

If you haven’t taken a look at the 68 teams in the tournament, here they are.

1. Florida, Arizona, Virginia, Wichita State.
2. Kansas, Wisconsin, Villanova, Michigan.
3. Syracuse, Creighton, Iowa State, Duke.
4. UCLA, San Diego State, Michigan State, Louisville.
5. VCU, Oklahoma, Cincinnati, Saint Louis.
6. Ohio State, Baylor, North Caroline, UMass.
7. New Mexico, Oregon, Connecticut, Texas.
8. Colorado, Gonzaga, Memphis, Kentucky.
9. Pittsburgh, Oklahoma State, George Washington, Kansas State.
10. Stanford, BYU, Saint Joseph’s, Arizona State.
11. Dayton, Nebraska, Providence, Iowa, Tennessee.
12. Stephen F. Austin, North  Dakota State, Harvard, North Carolina State, Xavier.
13. Tulsa, New Mexico State, Delaware, Manhattan.
14. Western Michigan, University of Louisiana Lafayette, North Carolina Central, Mercer.
15. Eastern Kentucky, American, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, Wofford.
16. Albany, Mount Saint Mary’s, Weber State, Coastal Carolina, Texas Southern, Cal Poly.

And if you want to see how the bracket looks without all my picks on it… here you go. Clean. Fresh. Full of possibility. Ready for all of us to screw it up.

March Madness 2014 Round 1 BracketMarch Madness 2014 South and West BracketMarch Madness 2014 East and Midwest Bracket

My picks will be coming soon if that’s something that you’re interested in seeing. Stay tuned and I’ll have them all here for you to judge before the first round tips off.

Good luck.

Be awesome.

4 years ago Views

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide 5.0

march-madness-2014-banner

It’s that time of year again! Selection Sunday is here, and just a few minutes ago 68 teams confirmed that they are headed to the biggest, best basketball tournament in North America.

This is also your 2 day warning before the action gets under way and your significant other settles themselves into the couch and devours hours and hours and hours of upsets and buzzer beaters and big plays and then the Final Four.

For the fifth year in a row I’m here to help. If you are forgotten and neglected and left lonely from March 18th to April 7th, I have a list of tips that just might keep you busy and smiling and able to deal with the tournament.

Remember, there’s no stopping this thing, every year there are millions of people affected by March Madness Widow Syndrome – I just hope that I can help some of you get through these 3 weeks just a little bit easier.

Netflix Logo1. Dig Into Netflix!
You’re going to have a lot of time on your hands for the next 3 weeks, and while I know that sometimes people complain that there isn’t anything good to watch on Netflix, I disagree. Since mid-February I’ve watched all of House of Cards and all 5 seasons of Chuck. I’ve also checked out some awesome WWE content, Archer and even Justice League Unlimited.

I dare you to grab your laptop or tablet and look through the entire catalogue and tell me that there’s nothing that you want to watch or rewatch.

And if you need recommendations, let me know. I’m happy to help.

2. Spring Cleaning and Purging!  
Spring cleaning is one of those terms that gets thrown around every year at this time. But I’m not using it to talk about dusting and washing windows and all those crappy chores. I’m talking about cleaning out your closet. Donating the things you don’t wear any more. Finding new homes for your gently used clothes. Hell, organize a clothing swap with your friends. I know some people who have walked away very, very happy from those events.

And if you fancy something brand new, you’ll have room in your closet to go out shopping for something shiny and appropriate for the warmer weather that is coming.

3. Find Some New Music!
No matter what genre of music you love to listen to, I can guarantee that there is awesome music out there that you haven’t heard yet. Less than a month ago I hadn’t heard of The Lovelocks and now I’m in love with their EP, have an interview with them on the blog here and can’t wait to see what they do next.

It’s not hard to find new music. Ask your friends what they are listening to. Look up indie charts online. Check out recommended videos on YouTube from bands you’ve never heard of before.  Hell, just listen to the radio, there are a lot of us who don’t do that any more.

And if you find some new country music that you love, please let me know!

Knitting Needles and Yarn4. Create Something!
Whether you write, or sing, or draw, or design, or play guitar, or knit, or make movies, or tell stories around a fire – find a way to create something and give it to the world. The world is a happier place because talented people share their creations with us. And in my opinion, too many talented people don’t believe in themselves enough to share what they have created.

In fact, I’d like to issue a friendly challenge to all of you. Create something, anything, and take a photo or send a link so we can share it with the world.

5. Play Along With The Games!
I say it every year, and I mean it. The coolest thing you can do is play along with your partner. You don’t have to sit down and watch every game, but filling out your own bracket, picking a favourite team, cheering with and against your March Madness addicted significant other can be a lot of fun.

Please remember though, many fans are very attached to their favourite teams, so please don’t make too much fun of them if they lose. It will be a sensitive time.

If these 5 ideas aren’t what you need to get you through, you can see some other suggestions for your March Madness loneliness. Check out the first 4 guides.

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide – March 18, 2010

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide 2.0 – March 10, 2011

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide 3.0 – March 8, 2012

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide 4.0 – March 17, 2013

4 years ago Views

My 2013 NCAA March Madness Bracket Is Busted!

2013 NCAA March Madness Busted BracketYup, so is yours. Admit it.

Technically I guess I’m still in the game because I’ve got Kansas to win the National Championship – and they made it through their 1st game. But man, there’s no way I can even lie to you and say that I had any of the upsets that have come through so far.

I had a not awesome record of 21 wins and 11 losses in the first 32 games for a whopping 68% success rate. Lame.

In the round of 64 we watched way too many low seeds win.

#15 Florida Gulf Coast over #2 Georgetown
#14 Harvard over #3 New Mexico
#13 LaSalle over #4 Kansas State
#12 California over #5 UNLV
#12 Ole Miss over#5  Wisconsin
#12 Oregon over #5 Oklahoma State
#11 Minnesota over #6 UCLA
#10 Iowa State over #7 Notre Dame

Yes, every year you should pencil in a 12 to beat a 5 and a 10 should and will beat a 7 more often than just once in a while – but I did not see this coming at all! At all!

If you picked Florida Gulf Coast over Georgetown I would like to congratulate you. But I will not believe you until I see proof.

Same with Harvard.

And also Lasalle.

Note: If you went to Florida Gulf Coast, Harvard or LaSalle I will believe that you picked them to win – but not for basketball reasons.

2013 NCAA March Madness PredictionThe good news is that (for now) my Elite Eight of Louisville, Kansas, Gonzaga, Indiana, Miami, Michigan State, Florida and Arizona is still intact.

That means that my Final Four of Kansas, Gonzaga, Michigan State and Miami is also intact.

AND my NCAA National Championship final of #3 Michigan State vs. #1 Kansas is still on the board and could happen. And, when things to perfectly according to my plan, Kansas will beat Michigan State 71-64 on April 8 in Atlanta.

Here’s the thought I’d like to leave you all with… we’ve seen low seeds win a lot of games. And we always say that those are upsets but in a year that had no schools at the top of the heap and pulling away from the pack – I think we’re looking at PARITY. There isn’t the same separation that we’re used to. This many upsets is a trend.

Do not be surprised if we see more before this tournament is over.

Maybe even #8 UNC over #1 Kansas on Sunday?

5 years ago Views

My 2013 March Madness Bracket – TSN Tournament Challenge

TSN NCAA TOURNY CHALLENGEIt’s a wonderful and stressful thing.

I’m talking of course about filling out your NCAA March Madness Bracket.

This morning I sat down and stared at the grid. Thinking about sure things and upsets and “what ifs” and “is that what I really want to do” and I agonized over decisions. I tried 3 times to put UNC into the Sweet Sixteen. I really did. But I just couldn’t get them past Kansas. And then I thought about Gonzaga, finally a #1 seed but still probably not a National Champion. There are just so many factors. I mean, wouldn’t it be great to see Albany or Florida Gulf or make it to the Elite 8? They won’t, but it would be a hell of a story!

The madness starts Tuesday with play-in games and then Thursday, March 21 we’ll start to see the big action tip-off.

I hope you’re ready.

If you want to compare stats during the tourny you can find me at either ESPN.com or TSN.ca in the Tournament Challenge under Baby Blue Bracket Busters!

Sign-up now! http://games.espn.go.com/tournament-challenge-bracket/en/entry

2013 NCAA Midwest & South BracketNATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP: (3) MICHIGAN STATE vs. (1) KANSAS – 
NATIONAL CHAMPION: (1) KANSAS
2013 NCAA West & East Bracket

5 years ago Views

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide 4.0

March Madness 2013 BannerLadies and gentlemen, the time has come once again!

Today is Selection Sunday. The glorious day when 68 teams of young men will learn that they are going to be playing in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament – and who they’ll be playing in the first round.

It’s also the start of a 2 day countdown to the start of the greatest sports tournament in North America.

However, as we have learned over the years, the NCAAs don’t make everyone smile and they can make things tense and uncomfortable and even unfair in many homes and relationships. Because we don’t want anyone to be negatively impacted by this awesome event we’re back with the 4th annual March Madness Widow Survival Guide.

In the last 3 years we’ve looked at some ideas that partners of NCAA Tourny fans can look into so they don’t feel so neglected during the journey from 68 teams to 1.

And that’s exactly what I’m here to do again right now! Here are 5 suggestions of things to do this year while your S/O is on the couch cheering on their fav team, hoping for upsets and crying over their busted bracket.

1. Catch up on Girls/Homeland/Game of Thrones/Mad Men/ The Walking Dead/ Etc.
There are a lot of great shows out there and it’s almost impossible for everyone to keep track and watch them all every week. However, with Netflix, On Demand, DVDs and downloads there are ways that you can watch these shows in shortened, intense periods. And what better opportunity than the 21 days of March Madness?

Get your episodes in order, make some popcorn (a great antioxidant) and enjoy!

2. Prepare for the Zombie Apocalypse.
It’s coming, this much we know. But when and how we don’t know. So the best thing to do is get yourself prepared. I would suggest reading The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks, think about packing your Zombie Apocalypse First Aid Kit, building your Zombie Apocalypse Team and thinking about where you can go, where you can get weapons, food, ammo, tools and everything else you need to survive.

I’m pulling for you and hope to see you in the safe zone.

3. Start your Spring Cleaning.
I’m not saying that you have to do all of the heavy cleaning by yourself, that’s not fair at all. What I’m suggesting is that you can use this time to go through your closet and pick out the clothes that you want to donate to charity. You can organize the tupperware cupboard. You can even make your shopping list for the things that you need after going through the house and realizing what you’re missing!

4. Eat All The Things.
This is your chance friends. Your basketball fan is going to be so engrossed with the games that they will be able to survive on cereal, chips, celery and coffee. But you, you get to try all the new recipes that you’ve wanted to get at and enjoy some old favourites as well.

And here’s the best part – if you don’t want to share, you don’t have to! That’s right, this is your time and your food and your treat. I would recommend maybe sharing a couple times to be nice, but not every night. You can even invite other non-NCAA fan friends over and have a little dinner party with some wine and stories and laughs. It will be great!

5. Get in the Game!
I say it every year, the best thing you can do is play along with your partner. You don’t have to sit down and watch every game of course. But filling out your bracket, picking a favourite team, cheering with and against your S/O can be a lot of fun.

Remember this though please: NCAA fans are really into things and when their team loses (and the odds are they will) don’t rag on them too hard. It’s an emotional and disappointing time.

Good luck with your picks and your sanity during this wonderful time of year.

I’m excited. I hope you are too!

If you want to see some other suggestions for your March Madness loneliness, check out the first 3 guides.

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide – March 18, 2010

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide 2.0 – March 10, 2011

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide 3.0 – March 8, 2012

5 years ago Views

It Ain’t Pretty – My March Madness Round Two Bracket


It is so gross!

There is a lot of red on this bracket. A lot. And it sucks.

It sucks so much that I’m sitting somewhere around the 30th percentile on the ESPN bracket challenge… that’s friggin’ awful!

In fact, there are only 3 highlights that I can take from round 2…

1) UNC is still in the game and looked pretty good against Vermont.

2) UNC, Kentucky, Murray State and Ohio State are all still alive for my Final Four.

3) DUKE IS OUT!

Here’s hoping that I can get some good luck as we work our way towards the Sweet Sixteen this weekend.

Enjoy the games and Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you wherever you are celebrating!

6 years ago Views

My March Madness Bracket Is Busted On Day 1!


I Blame Jeremy Lin.

There, I said it.

It’s day 1 of March Madness (the real tournament) and my bracket is already busted. Not in a major way. And not in a tragic way. But in a “I’m not going to be perfect this year” kinda way.

I had Harvard picked as my 12 seed that could knock off a 5 seed. However, they didn’t. In the end it doesn’t kill me because I had them losing in the next round. But still, it’s my first loss.

I was betting on some Jeremy Lin alumni luck. Some leftover Linsanity if you will.

But it wasn’t meant to be.

Right now it’s about 8:15pm in Toronto and there are 8 games finished. Right now I have picked 7 games correctly.

That’s not bad… not great, but not bad. If you want to follow my picks and bracket check out 68 to 1 in 2012.

There are a 8 more games to be completed tonight. I’ve got the TV, netbook and iphone monitoring the action.

Here’s hoping you do too.

Good luck.

Enjoy the Madness!

6 years ago Views

My 2012 March Madness Bracket – TSN Tournament Challenge

I know that it’s not easy to read (I had to resize it)… and I know that not all of you will be playing along (I don’t really understand why)… but for some of you (you’re awesome) this is the most exciting sporting time of the year and we are going to live by the brackets that we have filled out.

I filled in my bracket today at lunch. It wasn’t easy. I used part gut feelings. Part loyalty. Part odds. And part guessing to fill out my bracket, and I encourage you to do the same thing.

Here’s what my completed 2012 March Madness Bracket looks like… Notice UNC and Murray State in the final four with the Tar Heels winning it all. I’m either a genius or way off… time will tell!

If you want to find me on ESPN.com search phjoshua or “68 to 1 in 2012

And if you want to follow my agony and joy (more agony probably) through the next 3 weeks be sure to check my Twitter and Facebook streams. They will be littered.

I really do love this time of year. I’m sorry to my internet and IRL friends that have to put up with me during the tournament.

If you feel like you’re losing a friend or loved one you’re not alone and you’re not without options… Click here to learn more.

Good luck to all of you.

Enjoy the Madness!

6 years ago Views

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide 3.0

Hello friends, it’s that time of year again. The magical time when televisions will be tuned to CBS and grown men will agonize day and night over the hardwood exploits of young men from 68 schools from across the United States.

However, as some of you have found over the years, March Madness is not always fun if your partner spends all day and night in front of the TV and ignores you for days at a time.

This year, for the 3rd time, I am proud to bring you the March Madness Widow Survival Guide.

Each year I have given widows and widowers suggestions of things to do during the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament that will occupy their time and make sure that they don’t feel so lonely. This year I have 5 suggestions that you can dive right in to!

1. Pinterest: Yes, Pinterest. It’s awesome, the ladies love it and it just keeps getting more and more popular. You can have boards for red dresses, Ryan Gossling pics, accessories, shoes, food, beaches or all of the above. You can use Pinterest at home on your computer or on your phone. So, get to the website, follow me and PIN ALL THE THINGS!

2. Read The Hunger Games: I’m serious. I just bought and read all three books and would recommend them to all of you over and over and over again. Katniss is well written as a lonely, conflicted, confused young woman who grows and fights and ends up in a love triangle that reminds me of 90210 (the original) and Dawson’s Creek.

3. Start a Super Secret Club: Yup, I’m talking handshakes, passwords, uniforms, recipe swaps, fight club type shit! You can rotate the meetings between houses. You can do whatever you want. The possibilities are endless and you may even make your basketball obsessed boy a little jealous.

4. Cupakes: Bake them, Eat them, Review them, Blog them, Photograph them, Enjoy the hell out of them. There are a lot of great cupcakes out there. I suggest that you taste as many of them as you can. Pair them with milk, tea, coffee or whatever else you like to drink and let your taste buds savor the flavor.

5. Participate: Every year I make the same suggestion… and that will never change. Go out and fill in your bracket. Pick a team to cheer for. Get excited. Bet on games against your partner. Just have fun! It’s a fantastic time of year and a real opportunity to enjoy each other when you otherwise may not have.

There you go. 5 things to help you deal with March Madness Widow Syndrome. If you’d like to go back and get more suggestions check out the 1st and 2nd versions of the March Madness Widow Survival Guide. They are here to help you!

Enjoy the tournament!

6 years ago Views
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