Feathers, Fur, and Nuts: The REAL Final Four

My bracket’s hopes are long gone, I resigned to torching mine by way of kitchen matches long ago when all of my genius picks were promptly thwarted by the finicky mistress of NCAA hoops.

In that light I have decided to one up March Madness and take a look at this year’s two final four games through a very different lens.  My results below:

Cardinal vs Wildcat



  • The Cardinal, a robust, seed-eating bird with a strong bill is a worthy adversary; prone to capturing the hearts and camera lenses of many a mid-west bird tourist.  They are quick, flashy and have an aptitude to clog the bird feeder lanes with their strong plumage presence.  However their obsession with nuts, seeds and grass as well as an almost negative killer instinct misses the aggressive mark and leaves many a hole in their defense.
  • The Wildcat, refusing to go by its proper name of lynx or catamount immediately gives off the vibe of cocky and self-assured.  However this is largely just a defensive ploy as the bobcat is a very shy animal and does not handle noise or large crowds especially well.  With few known predators and a powerful athletic and agile fortitude the Wildcat has taken a comfortable seat atop the forest throne, but is often seen napping and swatting at flies.  They can be caught off guard by a clever opponent who can dart in and around their claws, teasing them out beyond their own reach. Especially if a well placed bit of string is involved.

The winner here is the wildcat.  The cardinal would put up a good fight; flying around and tiring out the lazy wildcat but ultimately would be caught posing for a tourist camera and become wildcat feed.  The cardinal would be played with, batted across the floor a few times before either being consumed or taken as a dead gift to someone’s doorstep.

Buckeye vs. Jayhawk




  • The Buckeye is a shifty nut, it’s leaves often being mistaken for marijuana and this has caused it to develop a spike laden exterior to fend off any would be addicts or junkies.  While the spikes prove to be a great defense, they leave the buckeye with very little speed or mobility, opening them up with a nimble and cleverly designed offense reveals a very soft and docile nut that is ripe for the picking.
  • The Jayhawk is a combination of two birds, the blue jay, a robber of other’s nests and the sparrow hawk a smallish devious hunter.  This combination leaves the Jayhawk with great power and speed but often a lack of morals and integrity.  While stealing the Jayhawk is prone to making costly mental mistakes due to the pressure of a high stakes life of thievery.  However, when cornered look for the jayhawks to lash out with beak and claw in a valient effort to make off with their bounty.

This match-up promises to be a real thriller with copious amounts of rolling around aimlessly and much pecking.  It will be a test of patience and stamina.  I give the victory to the buckeye, who will wait until, through no act on the nut’s part, the jayhawk will become frustrated and make that costly error.  The jayhawk will get antsy with the non-responsive and very sluggish nature of the opponent and accidentally stab it’s beak on a spine as it tries to make off with the sweet nut inside.  The jayhawk flies off in extreme anger and a beak full of pointy skin-parts to contemplate his lack of identity while the buckeye nut sits on the ground, brown and shiny, awaiting his future as neck jewelry.

– Rob Melick


March Madness and Dairy Sports

I know…. it’s here isn’t it?  Regular seasons are becoming fleeting memories, drifting out of consciousness, and conference tournaments are stacking up to what I dare say will amount to quite an epic queue’s worth of college basketball showdowns.  Then selection Sunday; where seeds are planted for the birth of coming heroes.  Who, given the perfect stage, are sure to dazzle and delight in a first round melee of upsets and buzzer beaters.  Hopes will flare up faster than the current gas prices only to be dashed against the cliffs of poor rebounding and missed free throws.  It will be a time of honor and grace, fear and destiny….

I know it’s taking hold of me when two things happen.  First I start writing like the above paragraph and secondly I find myself standing up in the middle of the living room while watching random basketball games I could care less about and realize that my heart is beating at a very abnormal rate and I’ve just yelled at the young man on the court whose college acronym has more letters than I have fingers on my right hand.

The madness is coming and it’s coming fast.  So what is one to do?  Well, dear readers, I say embrace that which consumes you.  Start breaking out the secret bean and spinach dip recipes saved only for this time of year.  Restock your face paint supply and overload on cough drops.  Start the initiation sequence of pretend coughs and faintness for that sickness you’re sure to develop middle of next week;  you’re going to need all of the above.  We only get to have this joy once every year and we must take full advantage.

And besides, our madness can’t be that mad can it?  Well, at least not nearly as mad as this:

– Rob Melick

Bracket Buster Already? Most Certainly

Hello sports fans, a quick intro before I get into the real post.  This is the sports section of The Weekly Snooze.  If you have the wrong classroom please exit quickly – try not to make eye contact with anyone to avoid awkward conversations with the cutie in the first row at the next frat party – consult your schedule, and head back to our home page and click the category you meant to land in.

I plan to take this sports section in loads of different directions and will be exploring and commenting on whatever is current and on my mind.  In hopes of keeping it fresh I’ll be going after all sorts of topics and questions in the wide world of sports and believe me, in my opinion it’s a wide one so brace yourself, and get involved.  This will be much more interesting if you readers give feed back and suggestions.  Pound out those comments or send an email to weeklysnooze@gmail.com and throw my name in the Subect line.  Now, let the games begin!

English: National Collegiate Athletic Associat...

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NCAA basketball is heating up and we’re inching closer and closer to that fabled and time honored week in March when sane men and women turn to animals, incapable of functioning and can only be found perched in front of the nearest television clutching worn-through print outs and muttering phrases like “Cinderella…,” “Upset…,”and  “14 over a 3…..14 over a 3“.

If you’re looking to get the edge in the office/dorm/random Facebook pool this year then now is the time to strike!  The games over the next few weeks will define the attitude and style teams take into the big dance.   Watching games now is going to give you a huge edge come pick time.  Don’t be the guy or gal that waits until the field is set and in a last second panic hastily fills in some numbers, an upset or two and calls it done.  There is a better way.  Here is my strategy until we find ourselves in that fabulous second week of March.

Skip the big names vs. big names, those will be easy to pick come bracket time.  My suggestion is to start watching conference play and focus on the two or three teams in each conference that seem to be falling in the middle of the pack.  Take a look at game summaries and see who, while they may not be winning, is putting up a fight .  End of season conference play is when a team truly defines itself.  Teams play hardest within their conference and team dynamics are much more visible.  These games are perfect mini peep shows of what a team can really do.

I look for consistent team play, shared point and rebound stats across the team, serious value from the bench, and most importantly leadership.  When it comes to the NCAA tourney, upsets and close games are the norm and it’s in these situations that teams that have the best chemistry with one or two very strong leaders can easily out perform much more talent-blessed squads.  Find great flow on offense (hint: this means very few isolation plays and hardly any standing around), a true leader, and that rebound as a team with everyone crashing the boards.  Combine this with quality defense from the bench players and you’ve got your Cinderellas down pat.  Keep track of who does this well as the weeks go on and that 8 vs. 9 pick might just be a breeze.

So who am I looking at?  If i told you that much I’d have to kill you, or at least un-friend on Facebook and any related march madness integrated social media platforms, not speaking with you until the pools are locked.  But I will leave you with this:  Take a peek at a little group of Royal Purple Wildcats over in the sunflower state and find teams that are doing what they’re doing.