And the winner is . . . Fred Heggi of Gaithersburg, MD! There is no need to wait for the final game next Monday because he is 3 points ahead of everyone else. Fred will be receiving a $100 Amazon gift card to spoil his grandson.

Second place, and the highly-sought-after tin of Mrs. Hanes Moravian Sugar Cookies, is up for grabs with SIX contestants looking for a win. If you are among the six, you better make sure your tiebreaker scores are in (you have until the start of the Monday night game at 8 PM EST) because it will probably come down to that. From ESPN’s rules:

In all cases, an entry that does not win a tiebreaker is eliminated from consideration:

  • Tiebreaker #1 – An Entrant’s predicted Tiebreaker Game score is compared to the actual Tiebreaker Game score. The differences between the predicted scores and actual scores for each team are added. The entry with the smallest total difference is considered the winning entry.
  • Tiebreaker #2 – The Entrant whose predicted score for the winning team of the Tiebreaker Game is closest to the actual score of the winning team is considered the winning entry.
  • Tiebreaker #3 – A random drawing of all remaining eligible Entrants will determine the winner.

As for my contributions, lessee (sticks tongue out of side of mouth, licks pencil) . . . that was 54 valid entries ($54) plus 53 entries that beat mine* (53 x $5 = $265) for a total of $319 going to The Nightscout Foundation. The Nightscout Foundation supports the creation of open source technology projects that enhance the lives of people with Type 1 Diabetes and those who love them. This includes fundraising, advocacy, and direct software and hardware development. If you want to contribute separately, the place to be is HERE.

Thank you one and all for playing and hope to see you for the NCAA basketball tournament, where 68 men’s and 64 women’s teams will battle it out for the sake of again, probably, The Nightscout Foundation.

*OK, pending the final game, only 46 are actually beating me, 4 are tied, and 3 are one point behind. But I have the underdog in the final game, and overall my performance has been so abysmal I have chosen not to pinch Abrahams and just make the total payoff as though EVERYONE beat me.


Sure, maybe your favorite college team won’t quite make it to a bowl game, though with 42 Bowl Games this year I can’t imagine how they can avoid it. In any case, you still can enter (and WIN) Kim’s

Big Johnson College Bowl Mania

This free contest involves trying to choose the highest number of winning teams for each of the 42 upcoming college football bowl/playoff games taking place between Saturday, December 17 and Monday, January 9.

As with last year, this game is for research into Type 1 Diabetes. As many of you know, two of my kids – Chris and Victoria – have Type 1 diabetes (T1D). Last year, Chris was working part-time on purpose to focus on the development of an Artificial Pancreas System (APS), including building and wearing one himself as a crash test dummy. Good news: this led to a job offer for him – and his partner Anna with her new ChemE doctorate – with DEXCOM, the premier manufacturer of continuous glucose monitoring systems (CGMS). This month his sister is joining him as a crash test dummy, one of now over 125 in the world. In any event, I am donating $1 for each entry in the Big Johnson, and $5 for each entry that beats my own, to a related foundation. Last year I lost big – our total donation was over $500, not including what others donated separately.

In addition, there are prizes! To win First Prize – a $100 Amazon Gift Card – you have to pick more winners than anyone in the Big Johnson group. (For the tiebreaker, if it’s needed, you have to guess the score of the College Football Playoff Championship game.) Second Prize is a tin of Mrs. Hanes Moravian Sugar Crisp Cookies. Mmmmmmm . . .

Did I mention that it’s FREE ?!

You enter the contest by going to this ESPN website

ESPN College Bowl Mania

and following the instructions. If you have no entries, you want to create one by clicking the blue button in the box that looks like this:

If you already have an entry, you can just join the Big Johnson group. Choose the “straight” mode, not the “confidence” mode (that’s too complicated). If you don’t make your picks when you sign up, I suggest you also allow ESPN to send you a reminder about your picks. Also, I will be sending updates to participants through ESPN, so be sure you actually look at whatever email address you use to sign up.

If the link doesn’t take you right to it, search for and join the group named Big Johnson. NO PASSWORD REQUIRED TO JOIN THE GROUP. You can join the group as soon as you create your entry – you don’t have to make any picks first. Let me know if you have any problems getting into the group. Only one entry allowed per person in the Big Johnson.
Register and submit your entry no later than the first kickoff of the first bowl game (Saturday, December 17, NOON EST). Each game locks before it takes place, so if you change your mind about a game, you can go back and change your pick until that game starts.

Here’s a link to the bowl schedule.

Because of the College Football Playoff system, we won’t know until after December 31 which teams will be in the championship game on January 9. You will have to wait to make that pick – or you can just flip a coin.

It’s not rocket science or neurosurgery. Pick your favorite schools, your favorite team mascots, or pick against schools you dislike for some reason. (Hmmm, is Trump University playing? No? Dang.)

Thanks for playing, and happy holidays!


March Madness

March 7, 2016

Stop doing whatever you are doing and feverishly consider your picks for the NCAA Basketball Tournaments so you can enter the FOURTEENTH Annual Big Johnson COED College Basketball Tournament Classic, sponsored by yours truly, on ESPN. Yes, it’s 100% FREE!

Here’s your chance to throw the Pirate Guy overboard!

Last year I suggested we would return to Cheese Ball-level prizes for this contest. But . . . as many of you know, two of my kids – Chris and Victoria – have Type 1 diabetes (T1D). Chris has gone part-time with his employer, Alphabet Energy, to focus the rest of his time on the development of an open-source Artificial Pancreas System (APS), including building and wearing one himself as a crash test dummy. More about it here: Chris and his Pancreas.* In any event, I am donating $1 for each entry in the Big Johnson, and $5 for each entry that beats my own, to his and his cohort’s efforts.

I haven’t watched a single game so far this season, so they should do pretty well out of this! Over 35 people beat me last year, and T1D projects received nearly $500 from me during my recent Football contest.

In addition, there are still prizes! To win the championship prize – a $100 Amazon Gift Card – you have to score more total points than anyone in the Big Johnson (mens and womens tournaments combined). $25 gift cards are awarded to the winners of the Mens and Womens tournaments. Win them all, you get it all! Get your friends to enter, and diabetes research wins a bundle!

How difficult can this contest really be? Well, there might be upsets. Or not. And gee, there are only – uh, lessee, 64 teams in each tournament – okay, 126 total games. (Not counting the play-in games, which we don’t.) You might as well pick your teams based on the pom-pom colors.

Remember, enter BOTH the Men’s and Women’s tournaments if you want a shot at the championship. For the men – it’s w-i-i-i-de-open this year. For the women – will seemingly unbeatable UCONN sweep the table YET AGAIN, or will the one of the many talented challengers finally put an end to their run?

The brackets are being set by the NCAA this weekend – Men’s Sunday March 13; Women’s Monday March 14. The men’s first round games that count start on Thursday March 17, and the women’s first games are on Friday March 18 – and the brackets lock shortly before the first game of each tournament. That doesn’t leave you much time, so GET GOING!

The Group Name on ESPN is “Big Johnson” for each tournament. This year, the setting for the group is PUBLIC, so you don’t need a password.

You can get there through the following URLs:

** Men’s Tournament Challenge:

** Women’s Tournament Challenge:

I know some of you like to fake out ESPN with an alias and throwaway email, but please be sure I can identify you from your ESPN name or the name of your entry. Or send me a note after the contest if you win.

After you create your entry, be sure to join the Big Johnson group in each tournament! ONLY ONE ENTRY PER PERSON MAY BE IN MY GROUP. And, if you create your entry before the brackets are set, be sure to return in time to choose your winners before they lock. Most people will wait until a day or two before the tournaments start, but don’t forget! You will be humiliated as your entries with zero points sink inexorably to the bottom of the group . . . or I will remove them to save you the embarrassment.

ESPN tracks your points as the tournaments progress. I will weigh in every now and then with a Big Johnson update note.

FRIENDS ARE WELCOME, so you can send them this if you wish. Don’t forget your Significant Other. Just be sure they identify themselves to me in their entry!

Best of luck to everyone!

Kim Hannemann – the Pirate Guy

*  More Chris – this time, blaming his tools.


Kim’s Big Johnson Bowl Mania UPDATE

January 12, 2016

And the winner is . . .  Ron Frazier of Fairfax, VA! Ron, bless his heart and soul, volunteered to donate his $100 winnings to The Nightscout Foundation, to accompany my own contributions. The Nightscout Foundation supports the creation of open source technology projects that enhance the lives of people with Type 1 Diabetes and those […]

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2015 Big Johnson College Bowl Mania

December 5, 2015

Sure, maybe your favorite college team won’t quite make it to a bowl game, though with 41 Bowl Games this year I can’t imagine how they can avoid it. In any case, you still can enter (and WIN) Kim’s Big Johnson College Bowl Mania This free contest involves trying to choose the highest number of […]

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2014 Big Johnson College Bowl Mania

December 10, 2014

Sure, maybe your favorite college team won’t quite make it to a bowl game this year, though with 39 of them I can’t imagine how they could avoid it. In either case, you still can enter (and WIN) Kim’s Big Johnson College Bowl Mania This free contest involves choosing the winning team for each of the 39 (OMG!) upcoming college football bowl  games, to be played between Saturday, December 20 […]

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Springfield Town Center UPDATE

June 3, 2014

Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust (PREIT) is paying Vornado $465 million for the former Springfield Mall, and the image here shows why: This drawing was created by Vornado for the site’s 2009 rezoning. PREIT is including it in investor documents to show shareholders and potential tenants what’s to come. PREIT notes it will “have access to 3.3 million square feet of development rights to […]

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