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.


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 who love them. This includes fundraising, advocacy, and direct software and hardware development.

Lindsay Claiborn, of Los Angeles, CA won second prize, a large tin of delicious vegetarian-friendly Mrs. Hanes sugar crisps! [Edit: Lindsay has decided to forego the cookies so an additional $30 has been donated.] And Daniel Parker, of Nashville, TN won third prize, consisting of a fabulous T1D Exposed 2016 Wall Calendar, in support of the Nude Diabetes Advocacy Project, personally autographed by Mr. June. [Daniel does not have the option to donate his prize. Hahahahahahaha . . . .]

As to my contributions, lessee (sticks tongue out of side of mouth, licks pencil) . . . that was 86 valid entries ($86) plus (OMG!) 54 entries that beat mine (54 x $5 = $270) for a total of $356 plus Ron’s $100 + Lindsay’s $30 = $486 going to The Nightscout Foundation.

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.


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 winning teams for each of the 41 upcoming college football bowl/playoff games taking place between Saturday, December 19 and Monday, January 11.

This year I am doing something special. 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 Artificial Pancreas System (APS), including building and wearing one himself as a crash test dummy. More about it here: Chris Life Update. In any event, I am donating $1 for each entry in the Big Johnson, and $5 for each entry that beats my own, to the Nightscout Foundation

The Nightscout Foundation exists to encourage and support 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.

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 . . .

** Third Prize is a 2016 T1D Exposed Calendar, autographed by at least one of the calendar subjects!

Did I mention that it’s FREE ?!

You enter the contest by going to the ESPN website

ESPN College Bowl Mania

and following the instructions. Choose the “straight” mode, not the “confidence” mode. You are welcome to invite your friends. 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 THIS YEAR. 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 19, 12:00 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, you won’t know until after December 31 which teams will be in the championship game on January 11. You will have to wait to make that pick – or you can just flip a coin.

Thanks for playing, and happy holidays!


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 […]

Read the full article →

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 […]

Read the full article →

Big Johnson Basketball Challenge Winners!

April 9, 2014

How did your brackets do? For most of us, the early Duke loss created havoc in our Men’s NCAA Basketball bracket. But there were a ton of upsets in other games too that brought everyone back to the middle. And then there was the Women’s NCAA Basketball tournament which wound up pitting the undefeated Notre […]

Read the full article →

Bad Photos Phriday

March 21, 2014

This is the second in a series of posts about stupid photos taken by real estate agents and actually posted to their local MLS. I know they were taken by agents because professional photographers certainly wouldn’t allow such trash to sully their equipment. I’m not the only one to post the photos – some call […]

Read the full article →