The MAE-AB (may ab)Guide to the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament

Coaching in Sweaters is a No-No

Coaching in Sweaters is a No-No

Now here's a stylish Coach

Now here’s a stylish Coach


This guide or method if you will to viewing the Madness that comes in March by way of NCAA Basketball you’ll find nowhere else. It’s a nonsensical approach that has nothing to do with brackets, basketball acumen or gut feelings. Instead, the MAE-AB method gives the viewer specific points of observation, much like a scavenger hunt, that makes B-ball watching enjoyable for everyone from the College Hoops Fanatic (guilty) to the poor soul who’s forced to watch with a loved one. What makes the MAE-AB method even more remarkable is that it provides all the tools you’ll need to determine without a doubt which team should win each and every game! As a testimonial, I’ve used this method for years and have NEVER been unable to conclude who should win ….it works I tell you!

I don’t usually keep score, but since you’re new to this method you may want to try out the unusual scorekeeping associated the MAE-AB Method. Each team starts out with 50 X’s and 50 O’s. A team cannot earn any additional X’s or O’s, but they can surely lose them. X’s are worth double the amount of an 0. Let’s get to the X’s and O’s shall we?-

Most Important Observation Point: The Coach

You’ve got to get on this one right away, preferably before the game begins.

Attire: Any Head Coach worth his paycheck wears a coat and tie to games. The most-snazziest of dressers incorporate their school colors in subtle ways, perhaps in the tie or suspenders. Entire suits in the school colors can be distracting especially if those colors aren’t black, navy or gray. For instance, Roy Williams of UNC should be docked an X or two….Carolina Blue Plaid just goes too far. Jim Larranaga at Miami knows how to dress for his coaching duties and if fact easily made the transition from George Mason to Miami in terms of incorporating school color in his ensemble. Observation of the Coat and Tie Coach doesn’t stop at the beginning of the game. You have to pay close attention to when the coat actually comes off. Is at the beginning of the game? When the game gets close? Does he make it to half time? Is it back on in the 2nd half? So many things to consider and luckily you can dock Xs/Os however you see fit. I personally like it when the Coach makes a statement like calling a timeout and then dramatically taking the coat off and maybe even loosens the tie. If the game isn’t close, I say just keep your clothing on. Sweaters in school color should never be worn as game attire and if done so, Xs/Os should be docked at the fullest extent possible in accordance with the non-existent rules. The worst ever is an entire coaching staff in the same sweater…Ugh. Bright Red is appallin  and Orange is just plain disgusting. Sweat Suits should be reserved for practice only (WV) and any coach caught wearing one to his game should forfeit all his teams’s Xs/Os. Way to go Coach!

Name: I realize D-1 Coaches aren’t the same as Hollywood celebrities who change their names for professional reasons. Some Coaches were given names that lend themselves perfectly to their chosen profession. Listen carefully to the Coaches name and how it looks in print. Listen, too, how the announcers treat the name. One of the best active Coach’s name out there is VCU’s Shaka Smart. Oh my, what a great name (good coach too IMHO). Interesting fact, Shaka was named after a Zulu Warrior according to Wikipedia. The great Dean Smith had a perfect first name as a Coach at an Academic Institution. He surely was the “Dean” of College Basketball and what better way to honor his name than the construction of the “Dean Dome”. Fortunately for the MAE-AB Method, some weren’t lucky enough to be given good Coaching names. Names you might consider as poor Coach’s names participating in the Tournament this year are Thad Matta (yes, I do like to pick on OSU), Tony Bennett (I think we all know who comes to mind first) and Bryce Drew (it sounds like the beginning of a sentence). Feel free to decide for yourself what makes a good Coaching name and what doesn’t…just make sure to dock X’s and O’s accordingly.

Second Most Important Observation Point: The Mascot

The Mascot is truly telling of which team should win a basketball game. So many things need to be considered for this observation point. The name obviously, but just important is presentation and representation. My rule of order for Mascot domination is based in preference applied science (trademark pending). Typically a ferocious cat is going to kill a domesticated dog, yet something tells me a silly looking lion won’t have a chance against the Butler Bulldog. Likewise, an animal mascot should eat a plant mascot alive. For instance, any self- respecting Ram should eat a Buckeye for dinner (oops, what happened last night VCU?). Heroic Human-form Mascots should always trump a Satanic Mascot. That’s why a Cavalier should always beat a Devil, unless of course that Devil is Blue…you get the picture? Decide for yourself where bugs, fish, weather phenomenon, and non-descript objects fall when docking X’s/O’s. Throughout the game, observe the mascot whenever possible (I swear some stations spend so much time on the players you hardly see the mascot at all!). Things to consider for X/O dockage is pleasing appearance, dancing ability, the ability to annoy opponent fans and most important the tendency to irritate the mascot’s own fans.

Third and Final Observation Point: The Players and their Uniforms

First and foremost, if a player acts like a smart-ass you dock X/O’s big-time. It doesn’t matter how the announcers might describe an incident, whether fouls are assessed or how the Coach reacts. YOU are in charge here, YOU make the call. While the ridicule of the player’s personal appearance is out of bounds (for the MAE-AB Method only), heavy ridicule of the uniform and warm-up is encouraged. You have to wonder how some of the uniform selections are made and when it was determined okay to dress like a highlighter. Reduce Xs/Os as you wish just try to keep tattoo placement and hairstyle out of it.

By now you probably have a good idea who should win. If by some chance the other team comes out victorious, don’t get upset. You didn’t get it wrong, YOU GOT ROBBED!

The only way to tie this into my blog is to point out that the MAE-AB Method of NCAA Basketball viewing is experienced best while sipping an adult beverage. This evening my beverage of choice is a Dirty Martini followed by Red Wine with my Filet Mignon with Brandy Shallot Sauce. Keep it up Spartans!

The 1st Annual Musing Awards

The first Foodie Buddy

The first Foodie Buddy

It’s coming up on a year of blogging. It’s been such a hoot for me and I intend to continue and I hope you’ll stick with me! I’m going to wrap up my first 12 months of blogging by bestowing the much coveted (not) Musing Awards to some of my favorite persons, places and things I experienced for the FIRST time this past year.

The results are in and the “Musee” (patent pending) goes to……..

Favorite Prepared Foods and Beverages:

Savory: Blue Hill Butternut Yogurt-this stuff is the bomb! Currently, the only place around me where it’s available is Wegman’s and it’s a bit pricey but worth every penny. Check out Blue Hill’s website for locations, other fun products and recipes. My own concoction is the yogurt, hot sauce, and almonds…a perfect at the office breakfast yum.

My fav is the Butternut Squash, but there's beet and Sweet Potato at Wegman's as well

My fav is the Butternut Squash, but there’s beet and Sweet Potato at Wegman’s as well

Sweet: Garden Lites Carrot Berry Muffins– found in the freezer in the Organic Foods Section (at Giant at least) these muffins are just a moist 4-bite piece of Carrot Cake only nutritious too. I swear spread some cream cheese on the top and you have dessert! 35 seconds in the microwave from the freezer and you’ll be in guilt free heaven.

Marvelously delicious with no effort

Beverage: American Harvest Vodka- When I’m not drinking tea, I’m drinking wine. When I’m not drinking wine, I’m drinking Vodka (I think in that order…sometimes I forget). A mid=priced Vodka this Organic-American made Vodka has a wonderfully crisp, clean flavor that in my opinion stands up to being “dirtied” or sipped straight (very chilled of course).

Favorite “New to Me” Chef: Chef David Schmidt of Enchantment Resort in Sedona Arizona- I mentioned Chef Schmidt in my post “Northern Neck Paradise”. I met him while vacationing this summer and became enchanted…..with the chef and the resort where he is the executive chef. Check out the website to learn about the Resort and David Schmidt (Chef also has a facebook and twitter page).

As a side note, I made the Granola Recipe on the resort website as Christmas gifts to my Office employees at my real job this year.

Granola Gifts for my Office. Double the recipe made 20 bags!

Granola Gifts for my Office. Double the recipe made 20 bags!

Favorite “New to Me” Winery:first ever tie. First Colony Winery, Charlottesville VA and Old House Vineyards, Culpeper VA. I go to lots of wineries, especially in Virginia. Out of a dozen or so that were new to me this year, these two stand out as favorites-great venues, good wines and personable staff! I truly find something to like at every winery I go to (sometimes it just the Corgi!), but at times I find a winery that has it all…go to these two when in VA. and


Marigolds used keep pests away from the grapes at Old House Vineyards

Marigolds used keep pests away from the grapes at Old House Vineyards







The Thatched Roof of First Colony

The Thatched Roof of First Colony




Favorite “New to Me” Restaurants:

Upscale to the Max- Te at the Inn at Leola Village-If you happen to be in the Lancaster PA area and you want to indulge in an award winning meal go to Te. Matter of fact, stay over night in the lovely accommodations available at the Inn at Leola Village. Our meal at Te was exquisite and I hope to go again sometime soon!

In the Windy City- The Purple Pig-this was tough. I realize we didn’t even scratch the surface of all the fabulous restaurants in Chicago and literally ALL of the places we went to had merit. The Pig though has a certain flair that I found interesting, comforting and just darn tasty. It’s not everywhere you can order bones filled with fat and consider it delicious….you can at The Purple Pig!

Roasted Bone Marrow was just one of the exciting choices at the Purple Pig

Roasted Bone Marrow was just one of the exciting choices at the Purple Pig

Just Plain Delicious-Restaurant Sidney (Willoughby Run in Gettysburg or the Original in East Berlin PA)- Love, Love, Love my Sidney. Great Food, relaxing atmosphere at both locations and a Chef and servers who try to please.!/main

Classic Sidney Pate

Classic Sidney Pate

Favorite “New to Me” recipe to me- Easy Cioppino- the recipe is found in a previous post titled “Easy Peasy”. I swear, I must try 100 different recipes each year (have I mentioned that I love to cook?). This particular recipe is very easy, very delicious and quite healthy.

This is my adaptation of the recipe found Better Homes and Garden Special Interest Publication "30-Minute Dinners"

This is my adaptation of the recipe found Better Homes and Garden Special Interest Publication “30-Minute Dinners”

Life Time Achievement Award: Gazebo Room Salad Dressing-This is a no-brainer for the first award of this kind. Please refer to the previous post titled “Location, Location, Location”. GRSD is a must-have for all household that are lucky enough to live in a State that stocks the dressing at local grocers.

Photo (3)

Unlike the Oscars, winners don’t go home with gift bags. Instead, I’ve tried to supply contact info when possible so do me a favor and click on a couple of sites that interest you. It’ll show the winners you care and I get a kick out of seeing the number of “clicks” I get on my stats page (anonymous of course)

It’s been a fun year. I look forward to testing out next year’s winners for the next 12 months…stay tuned.