YES!! I am finally here, I know you have been waiting. Sorry for the long hiatus. I have been on a plethora of different excursions around the world and my Fantasy Writeups have had to take somewhat of a backseat. Travels to Monaco, Charlestown, Delaware, Ireland, Turkey, Bucketville, Horace Grants Steakhouse, the Arfin Trail, Geef Island and Sarah’s Ricotta Geel Rip. Safe to say Ol Gary got a fewwww items of that Bucketlist!!! It’s called living, try it sometime. But seriously, it feels good to be back. After my landing in the beautiful city of Teterboro on my private plane, I headed right over to Steve Sizziling steakhouse for a long dinner with some old Jersey Pals. That is why I wasn’t able to join you guys earlier. But I am here now ready for action, ready to attack like a Zebra with wings against a Lion for Revenge. Ready to saturate the market. Ready to Absorb and spit out numbers and facts like a 23 year-old Korean Stockbroker. Yes Gary is back. Yes Gary. Gary is here, Gary. Gary man. Ok enough about me, although if you want to hear more about my travels, check out Amazon for my new book, Travels Amongst the Furlong. Buy the book and get a free GaryWagon at GarywagonGary/Garywagon/Gary/YesIt’sGary.com. Put in the Promo code Chip Lohmiller. Ok let’s get to it, March Madness is here, simply the best time of the year. Pull up your trousers, adjust your contacts or glasses, watch with passion, watch with Zeal, focus like an Owl and get ready for the greatest tournament ever created.
*One note, I have no record of the winner in 2013. Whoever I missed in my title announcements, I apologize. And I may be off on some things. Feel free to correct me by sending a letter in the Mail to P.O. Box 467 Jenkins Highway, South Dakota. I am using an old history book that I found in my old langston walker briefcase.
Eric Probst aka Hield the Children
Eric Probst a Cuse alum and I believe former roommate in college of our prestigious founder and commissioner Glen Garvin, finally rejoined the fun two years ago after a long break. In his first year back he took down the crown for his first every title. He wasn’t able to repeat in 2015, but does come back with #1 pick Buddy Hield this year. Probst, a longtime member of the Capital City Fantasy Football league, recently departed after being one of the best owners there. So no doubt, from EP, you are going to see a sound and solid performance each year. His return is welcomed as he improves the overall competitive nature of this magnificent league.
Appearances: 7, Titles 1 (2014)
Best Picks– Buddy Hield (1st Overall pick), Danuel House (2nd round), Anthony Gil (3rd Round), Isaiah Briscoe (9th Round), Makai Mason (17th Round), Tre’ Mclean (last overall pick)
Anti Gary Picks– Jonathan Motley (4th round) Diamond Stone (5th Round) Phil Booth (10th round) Khadeem Lattin (15th Round)
Draft Grade – C+
JJ&Kowalski Aka Deacons
JJ a Wake Forest Alum, longs for the days of Jeff Teague, Tim Duncan, Randolph Childress. (one of the most memorable crossovers of all time) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sRJMsoIptQo Wake has been awful of late. Maybe they should bring back Dino.
But historically and for the most part this combo has been pretty competitive and with Wake out of the tournament that should eliminate any bias picks. Kowalski hasn’t made a pick in 5 years says JJ, but perhaps he should utilize his partners knowledge. No I In team, but there is an I in winning? Kowalski looks like he was the original owner of this team back in 98 with JJ joining or finally being recognized in 2004.
Appearances: Kowalski 6 Solo, Kevin and JJ 12, Titles 1 (2006)
Best Picks- Denzel Valentine (2nd Overall Pick) DeAndre’ Bembry (8th Round)
Anti Gary Picks– Jalen Jones (2nd Round) A.J. Hammons (4th Round) Jalen Brunson (5th Round) Trevor Cooney (15th Round) DJ Hogg (17th Round)
Draft Grade– D
Ray & Dusty Aka RazorSchmatt
Ahh, my favorite combo Dusty and Ray , Ray and Dusty, they go together like Cheetos and Wet Naps. Dusty also makes some of the best Ribs you will ever taste. I tasted them one time, after I did have some stains on the left side of my shorts, but it was well worth it. Those Ribs were amazing and I await the day when I can try them again. But this combo has had a very successful franchise in the Capital City Football league. The Duck won yet another title this season and are now tied for the league record with 4 titles. But this league is an entirely different story. O’Dell Beckham is not here to save them. According to my records they have yet to claim a title as partners. And many solo runs by Ray before partnering with Dusty were unsuccessful. Dusty an original member of the 87 inaugural season had three solo appearances in 87, 98 & 2003 that were failures before he joined up with Ken Sullivan in 2004. That lasted until 2006 without success and then Dusty joined with Ray in 2007 after some slight squabbles with Sully. What happened between Ken and Dusty though? Did Dusty see the success his Duck partnership in Football was having and make an executive decision, being the man of vision Dusty is? Or did somebody take a turd in somebody else’s pillow after a long, long night of drinking. Nobody may ever know the truth, nevertheless I believe it was for the best for all parties. But I have not seen all three of these guys in quite some time and I hope to see them soon.
Appearances: Dusty & Ray 9, Dusty (3 Solo, 2 with Ken Sullivan) Ray (6 Solo) , 0 Titles
Best Picks- Perry Ellis (3rd overall Pick),
Anti Gary Picks- Trevon Bluiett (2nd Round) Brandon Ingram (3rd Round) Jordan Loveridge (6th Round) Jordan McLaughlin (11th Round) Jamel Artis (13th Round) and the two other USC guys and Austin Peay guy.
Draft Grade – F
Steve DeAngelo & Dennis Severino
Always a dangerous tandem, Steve and Dennis went on a great run from 2007-2009 winning 3 titles in a row, something that has not been done by any other franchise. Steve who first joined this league back in 1996, at just 14 years old , but then took a few years hiatus, claimed his own title in 2004 , until joining forces with Dennis 2006. It truly has been a great partnership. However, they have not won since 2009, which is somewhat surprising, but not surprising because this tournament is very hard to win. Truly a league of extraordinary gentlemen. Usually playing the strategy of stacking a team or two and riding them to the Final 4 and Finals, they went away from that this year and only doubled up on one team which was a 6 seed in Seton Hall. We will see if this new strategy pans out. The lack of an overall stronghold team may have played a part in that.
Appearances: Steve 6 Solo, Titles 1 (2004) Steve & Dennis 10, Titles 3 (2007, 2008, 2009)
Best Picks- Brice Johnson (4th Overall) Angel Rodriguez (4th Round) Ivan Rabb (6th Round) Khadeen Carringon (8th Round)
Anti Gary Picks- (Landen Lucas 7th Round)
Draft Grade- B
Joe Grippo & Phil DeAngelo
Welcome to the Players Pool tournament Joe Grippo. It’s been a long time coming. After many appearances in the infamous basement watching the tournament, you have finally joined perhaps the greatest Fantasy Tournament known to Man. Phil DeAngelo who has had many appearances in this league, without any success at all, has brought Grippo in to be his partner and General Manager. Big Phil has had some solo appearances and many partners without positive results. One of his partners one year proceeded to take everybody from the Big East, that didn’t work out well. Grippo recently traveled to Florida to meet Phil, no doubt after Phil called him and told him to get his ass down there to discuss this partnership. On the surface it looks to be a great partnership, but we will see how Grippo’s draft skills fare amongst this skilled group of men. One thing is for sure, Grippo better “Move his Ass” as Phil likes to say or “He’s Gone!”
Appearances: Phil DeAngelo 10, 0 Titles, Phil & Joe (1st year this season)
Best Picks- Malcolm Brogdon (5th Overall) Derrick Gordon (20th Round)
Anti Gary Picks- Josh Hart (2nd Round) Daniel Ochefu (5th Round) Nate Britt (7th Round) Marshall Plumlee (9th Round) Derryck Thornton (15th Round) Farad Cabb (16th Round) and few more.
Draft Grade- F
Glen Garvin Aka Cooney Sucks
The Founder, the Commish, the only participant who has been in this league every single season since 1987. 1987, that was a special year. The year I founded the Pertin Institute in Rockholm, Montana. Unfortunately due to running toilets and poor funding the Institute closed down after just 14 weeks. Still, it was the first Institute of its kind to preserve ancient Corn Rock, once brought here by Christopher Columbus himself and later founded by his successor Blakely the Lion Fef the 34th. It is now a Arby’s I believe or a Sonic, not sure.
But the Founder has done a great job keeping this league going all these years, with passion and excellence. It truly is a joy for the members
Appearances: 29, Titles 4 (1991, 1996, 2002, 2011)
Best Picks- Tyler Ulis *subconsciously wrote Tyler Cooney here, or it’s very late and that Steve’s Sizzler steak is fogging by brain. (2nd Round) Jaysean Paige (3rd Round) Tarik Phillip (8th Round) Wes Washpun (15th Round)
Anti Gary Picks- Peter Jok (6th Round) Abdel Nader (9th Round) Eric McCellan (17th Round) Tyler Lydon (20th Round)
Draft Grade– C+
I have to be honest, I do not know much about the man they call Donadio. I have never met him or seen him. He could be a myth? But one thing is for sure he has not been a legend. It appears he first joined in 2008 and has not a title. He is the secret man, he could be in the CIA? I don’t know, but he must love the game here and who could blame him. Could you blame the damn man? And he must have loved the game Oregon Trail and enjoys stacked Pancakes. But sometimes it’s better to shut your mouth then to be known a fool as they say. But no one will argue with the man who is behind the stage and yet still is profound, with fervor with glee, with strength, with a mighty sword to swing. Or it could be Jerry, the local Postman just delivering the mail again.
*Donadio is known for taking very low point scorers on high seeds. But the Oregon trail strategy could work, perhaps no team looked more impressive this season than Oregon in their Conference Championship blowout over Utah.
Appearances: 8, Titles O
Best Picks- Dylan Brooks (7th Overall) Chris Boucher (3rd round) Eron Harris (4th Round Jevon Carter (8th Round)
Anti Gary Picks- Jarrod Uthoff (5th overall) Melvin Johnson (6th overall) Carlton Bragg (14th Overall) Marvin Clark (15th Overall) Josh Perkins (17th overall)
Draft Grade B-
The defending champ and he’s not hesitant to remind you or shout it from the mountain tops, Kenneth severely needed it after a 13 year hiatus. Can he continue the momentum after last year’s victory? Or will he buried by the masses. Because turn your back for too long and your post is ambushed, taken, and gone. Kind of like when my Kid Sister took my Rambo collection and tossed it off the Briangton Cliff after I took a poopie in her shoe. Ken, an original member of the 1987 inaugural season, will be looking for back to back titles something only two franchises have accomplished in the 29 years of this league. Or maybe it’s 28 years, forgive Old Gary. Somebody please rectify!!! Either way it shows how hard of a feat it is here.
Appearances: 24-26, Titles 2 (2001) (2015)
Best Picks- Jaylen Brown (8th overall) Jabrari Bird (9th Round) Lester Medford (13th Round) Mo Alie-Cox (15th Round) Dyshawn Pierre (16th Round) Derek Walton (20th Round)
Worst Picks- Justin Jackson (2nd Round) Kelan Martin (1oth Round) Michael Young (12th Round) James Robinson (14th Round) Anthony Clemmons (17th Round)
Draft Grade– C
Mike Esposito Aka Neighbor Boy
What is this Neighbor Boy? I have not heard of this. I must have been in the caves for too long. Could it mean that he’s your neighbor? Or he wants to be your neighbor? Will he drop off Apple Pie? Espo used to be the one to bring the excellent Italian spread for each tournament that opening Thursday. It would usually last at least 3 days. Easily one of the most astute and knowledgeable members in this league, Espo is due for another title. He has not won since 1999. Could this finally be the year? Can he break the losing streak? It’s been a longggg time coming for Espo, and I will tell your right now, I may have others that I am rooting for more, but if Espo wins this I will not be a sad man. I will certainly send him some cherries and coins. Will a change come? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0k5rYcXLYg
Appearances: 18, Titles 1 (1999)
Best Picks- Jamal Murray (9th overall) Elgin Cook (2nd Round) Devin Williams (4th Round) Davon Reed (6th Round) Desi Rodriguez (12th Round) Justin Sears (16th Round)
Worst Picks– Robert Carter (8th Round) Jake Lyman (9th Round) Matt Thomas (11th Round)
Draft Grade– B
Evan, the last of the remaining 1987 original members left, has the longest drought of anyone. He has not won since 1988, the year he graduated High School!!! Mullets were still in style. Oh boyyyyy that is a long time. Espo is due, but if anybody is truly due, it’s Swalling. A former High School coach and most definitely a student of the game, needs to get it done! He understands the game as much as anyone in this league. But again, this is a very hard league to win. There are no keepers and players and teams change every single year. Is there a chance he wins this year? There always is, no matter how high the odds.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMRrNY0pxfM
Appearances: 25-27, Titles 1 (1988)
Best Picks: Frank Mason (2nd Overall) Sheldon McClellan (4th Overall) Jameel Mckay (11th Round) Isaiah Wilkins (15th Round) Kaleb Tarzu (16th Round)
Worst Picks- Luke Kennard (5th Round) James Farr (6th Round) Matt Jones (7th Round) Lorenzo Bonam (9th Round)
Draft Grade- C+
Ken Sullivan Aka CruCap
Where have all the Cowboys Gone? Rider on the Storm? Hot Blooded? Cherokee Rick and the 4 Horsemen? Sully started solo then partnered with Dusty then went back to solo. Kind of like a Rock n Roll band. He broke off the group to go solo in his own band. Baracudda!!!!!!!!!!!!! He claimed a title in 2012.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4nWy8pmIM4 .Wow play that song a few times when you hit the elliptical.
Appearances: 10 Solo, 1 title (2012) , 3 with Dusty.
Best Picks– Wayne Selden (2nd Round) Daxter Miles (6th Round) Zach Auguste (9th Round)
Worst Picks – Jakob Poeltl (1st Round) Ryan Ardicianao (3rd Round) Kyle Wiltjer (5th Round) Troy Williams (7th Round) Lamonte Bearden (20th Round)
Draft Grade- D
Marvin & Davies
Marvin changes teams like I like change my underpants, once every 3 years or so. Marvin is infamous for blowing up the bathroom in the basement, perhaps worse than any other member. It has stained the minds of all who had to suffer through that. It’s very hard to track his membership. It appears he also takes a year off every now and then, although it seems like he’s in it every year. He has since joined up with Brian Davies, who was first spotted in this league dating back to 1994 with Mark “Rolls’ Werner!!!! Wowww. Davies also has changed partners multiple times. Davies is known for making contrarian picks and having them work out. No doubt he has a unique perspective on this tournament and I respect that. I respect Men who go from the norm, blaze their own trails. This seemed like an unlikely partnership, but it has formed. Have they found a marriage here? How will it pan out and how long will it last? Judging from the past, not long, but we shall see.
Appearances: Marvin truly unknown 5-7?, Titles 0? Davies 14, 1 Title (2010)
Best Picks- Tyler Dorsey (1st Round) Bryan Forbes (2nd Round) Isaiah Whitehead (4th round) Marvelle Harris (12th round) Josh Hagins (16th round) Zak Irvin (20th Round)
Worst Picks– Rasheed Suliamon (8th round) Svilaslsaov MookyMook (10th Round)
Draft Grade– B
That is all everyone. Gary must depart now. I am off to breakfast at the famous Bendix Diner. Tell Suzy to send a letter and tell Rose to meet me in the back!!! Tell George to have the muffins ready and tell Lance to pick me up 9am Sharp!! Were headed to bet on some ponies!!! And then we will enjoy the games, just like the rest of you. I love it. We love it. Time to get sooped up. And so, may the best team win. All the best to all, to all the best. I hope to make another appearance somewhere around the Sweet 16 or Elite 8, we shall see. But after this weekend I am headed out once again. Out to venture. Actually, I am going to my Mother in Laws house for 3 weeks to help her build a oven. I hope you respect my draft grades. Ol Gary watches just as much as anyone and this is how I truly feel. Love to all. But I will leave you with this, to get you ready. From the great Gus Johnson, a dear friend, the best College Basketball announcer of All-Time.