Tuesday, March 21, 2006


The NCAA Tournament has certainly, in this bloggers mind anyways, lived up to its billing as the greatest sports postseason around. We started with sixty-four teams and whiddled er down to 16. But how much do you really know about the schools left in the Big Dance? Well we here at "Bitterness" thought we'd dig down deep and look at what kind of people these schools produce. And not just the "student-athletes", but the alumns you may not know about. Let us begin with the Oakland Region:

Now Memphis and Bradley did not quite produce a lot big names. Memphis has of course had the hoops stars like Blue Chipper Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway and wide receiver Isaac Bruce, but did you know it also produced Designing Woman Dixie Carter? And of course we all know she played Maggie on Diff'rent Strokes, marrying Mr. Drummond and bringing in her son, Sam, played by Danny Cooksey who would later become Budnik on Salute Your Shorts. Just to think that great chain of events all started at Memphis State University, which of course is now just Memphis University.

As for the Bradley University, well they may have just lostb thier most famous alum. That's right, the boisterous and playful Kirby Puckett was a Bradley alum. Unfortunately Kirby will not be able to revel in the Braves success, which is weird becuse he once dominated the Atlanta Braves in the World Series, but I'm sure he's watching over them and this season is surely dedicated to his memory. Another Bradley alum is Neil Flynn. You may know him better as the janitor on Scrubs. Trust me this will only get better.

Now Gonzaga gave us one of the famous crooners of all time, Bing Crosby, not to be confused with Bill Cosby or Bubba Crosby. Crosby probably best known for beating his children and of course tap dancing with Danny "Effin" Kaye. GU also gave us 2004 National League Rookie of the Year Jason Bay and Tom Foley. Not the Tom Foley who was a utility infielder in the 80s primarily for the Montreal Expos, but the Speaker of the House. An interesting note here is that Foley actually attended Washington after he finished at Gonzaga, making him the only notable alum of two Sweet Sixteen schools.

Now UCLA, has produced many an actor/actress including the likes of Saved by the Bell's own Jessie Spano, Elizabeth Berkley and The Wonder Years Winnie "Super" Cooper, Danica McKellar and 'Nuke" Laloosh, Tim Robbins. It also gave us the great composer John Williams. Williams, is responsible for a plethora of film scores including the Star Wars movies, Superman and ET. It also gave us Tom Anderson, creator of MySpace.

Now let's get to the Atlanta Region:
We'll start with the Mountaineers of West Virginia. Much like Bradley, the Mountaineers just recently lost their most famous non-athletic alum, the incomparable Don Knotts. I mean talk about a man who could rock a leisure suit. Knotts who entertained us to know end as Deputy Barney Fife on the Andy Griffith Show, and the twitchy landlord Ralph Furley on Three's Company, to name a couple, gives the Mountaineers some added motivation in this tournamant. In fact I'm pretty sure Kevin Pittsnogle is part of the Three's Company fan club. Moving on..

The University of Texas has given us some great alums, among them Owen Wilson and Wes Anderson, as well as many a professional athlete. But did you know David Geffen was a Longhorn? Geffen, the gay, Jewish-American, record executive, once rumored to have married Keanu Reeves, did not stick around long enough to graduate, but was still under the burnt orange horns at one point.

That brings us to the Tigers of LSU. LSU produced the Ragin' Cajun himself, Mr. James Carville, political strategist, most notably in 1992 for Bill Clinton. Or perhaps you might remember him from the debate scene in Old School. Another prominent Tiger was Hubert H. Humphrey. Yes, that is correct, the man for whom the Metrodome is named. Triple H was also the 38th Vice President and once served as the majority whip, which means if someone didn't vote his way he'd whip 'em and say, "you'd better vote my way!"

Last and certainly least is of course the Dukies. Duke Universitie has given us the journalist Charlie Rose as well as Monty Sarhan, the publisher and CEO of Cracked magazine. Cracked is of course known as the poor man's MAD magazine. Of course a Dukie would be behind a second rate knockoff magazine. Another Devil, er Blue Devil is Sean McManus, the President of CBS Sports. So whenever you're wondering why the tournament coverage seems to favor Duke, weeeeeeeell. But more than likely the best Dukie ever was none other than Lawrence "Crash" Davis. The namesake for Kevin Costner's character in Bull Durham. Although the real "Crash" did not have the dubious distinction of setting the all-time minor league home run record, but did once lead the minors in doubles. So that is half of the Elite Eight.

Hope you were both entertained and educated. Look for the D.C. and Minneapolis regions coming soon. Let me just say, you may get Shocked at what turns up.

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