No time to gloat

Good morning, all!

I would have been in touch earlier, but I was busy burning a couch on my porch in celebration of my unlikely tournament win. I considered posting a long gloating rant, with references to the gold-plated food bowls and specially quilted cat litter the Cat Commissioners are now enjoying. Instead, I’ll thank you all for indulging me in this silly tradition. I enjoy hearing from you and I love the opportunity to connect virtually each year.

And, since 9 years ago today I woke up single, and went to sleep married, I bring you this photo from 2005. If I could master PhotoShop, I’d insert all the missing family members and the newly added ones, for you are all there in some spirit.

Image

All the love to you!

Megan

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Ruff v. Meow

See you on the flip side…

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For Four

Greeting Down to Earthlings –

I was momentarily lulled into blissful ignorance (as opposed to my usual unblissful ignorance) by the official arrival of spring weather. The budding trees, the cheerful daffodils, the randy birds, they all conspired to make me forget the pain of losing my teams in the family basketball challenge.

What’s that you say? What, UConn is still in? In the Final Four? 1. 2. 3. 4.? Why, I had no ideeeea.

Dell, of course, knows that I am utterly insincere since I taunted him mercilessly, like a young Deion Sanders, when his Iowa State Cyclone were mere dog bones to the mighty Huskies. Rough-Rough!

UConn then got past The Donner Party’s (and Obama’s pick) Michigan State, who, in turn came out of the third round to beat Libby’s UVA, the ACC’s last best hope.

So, yeah, UCon is still in. So is Florida. Rivers faced sudden suicide when in the Round of 16, his Gators faced his Bruins of UCLA. In a close game, Florida then beat out the upstart Dayton Flyers, Elaine’s team who impressively surged past Elizabeth’s Stanford to get to the Elite 8.

EdGwynn’s hung tough when the #1 seed Arizona beat Pierce’s San Diego State, but then took it on the chin from Caroline’s Wisconsin Badgers (that is, if badgers can reach a wildcat’s chin). Wisconsin beat out Jim’s Baylor Bears to be the third Final Four team and the only one without blue in its colors.

The final Final Four team is Kentucky, who first overcame cross-state rival Louisville, which may have been the first time I actively rooted for the Cardinals, not because I wanted Libby to triumph over her son, but because me no likely Kentucky. Sorry Rhyne. To get to the Final Four, Rupp’s Raiders squeaked out a win over Gordon’s Michigan, who earlier took out Christine’s Tennessee.

Out after the Round of 16 were Christine, Dell, Elizabeth, Jim, Libby and Pierce. No one has both teams any longer, but the eight remaining with one team were Caroline, the Donner Party, EdGwynn, Elaine, Gordon, Megan, Rhyne and Rivers.

Caroline Wisconsin – 2W
Christine
Daniel & Honor Michigan St. – 4E
Dell
Ed & Gwynn Arizona – 1W
Elaine Dayton – 11S
Elizabeth
Gordon Michigan – 2M
Jim
Libby
Megan UConn – 7E
Pierce
Rhyne Kentucky – 8M
Rivers Florida – 1S

After the Elite 8, we said farewell to the Donner Party, EdGwynn, Elaine and Gordon. Left to duke it out (since Duke didn’t) are Caroline, Megan, Rhyne and Rivers. That’s one Blyth, one Rhyne (not you, Rhyne) and two Pattersons (that’s you, Rhyne).

Caroline Wisconsin – 2W
Daniel & Honor
Ed & Gwynn
Elaine
Gordon
Megan UConn – 7E
Rhyne Kentucky – 8M
Rivers Florida – 1S

Saturday is Megan v. Rivers and Caroline v. Rhyne.

I’m hoping my Patterson and Blyth cousins will root for UConn since I am the sole survivor of our generation. Who do these young whippersnappers think they are!?

Happy watching, and happy spring!

Megan

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The Round 1 – 2 punch

Well, well, well. What have we here? Rebecca starts the tournament with the second lowest seed total (4) and exits the tournament in the 2nd round (and, by the way, i’m boycotting the new terminology that the 2nd round is now the 3rd round because of the 4 play-in games). We were SHOCKED the #1 seed Wichita State lost, and perhaps that #3 Syracuse tanked so early.

Speaking of tanking…..yes, Duke was puke in the first round, again saddening Rebecca, and delivering a kick in the gut to Dub — his alma mater and one of his two picks. His other pick, Stephen F. Austin, lumberjacked their way to one win, but couldn’t hold on for another.

Who else did we lose in the first round? Beth’s two close-to-home picks of George Washington and VCU (did anyone notice that George Washington Colonials played the Tennessee Volunteers — are those the same thing?). We also lost Claire, Dan Rowan and SaKi, whose low-seeded twosomes were not expected to do much. Nor were Dottie’s two, and they did both lose, but one of them was American, and as some of you may have seen on the comments, she was assigned her team by the Cat Commissioners the same day she got her acceptance letter to same university. Congratulations, Dottie!

Martie was probably the most shocked of the first round when both of her #6 seeds withered. Mike P.’s losses weren’t of too great a surprise. What was a surprise was that I originally assigned him BYU’s seed number and region but with Weber State name. Weber State properly belonged to Dan Rowan, but Mike’s BYU lost anyway.

Since married couples often do things in unison (I need to learn how do they do that), Robert and Susan both suffered upsets of their #5 seeds, Cincinnati and Oklahoma, respectively.

Going into the second round, Caroline, The Donner Party, Dell, EdGwynn, Ellie, Libby, Mike B, Rebecca and Rivers all had both their teams intact.

And then there was carnage.

Many of them are still around, but now only Libby and her nephew Rivers have both of their teams.

In addition to Rebecca, out in this round was Carl (quack), A Lot, Dub, Joe, Karen, Katie, Martie, Mike B. and Susan. Ellie was also eliminated when Kansas lost to Stanford.

And at this point I have to make my Most Ridiculous Statement of the Tournament award. It goes to Stanford coach, and former Duke star Johnny Dawkins, who, in rightfully complimenting the Cardinal’s determined play, called them “a blue collar team.” You can call them hard working, gritty, tenacious, scrappy, whatever, but blue collar? Stanford? A team coached by a Duke alum with an NBA retirement plan? Um…no.

So, who besides Libby and Rivers are left? Caroline, Christine, The Donner Party, Dell, EdGwynn, Elaine, Elizabeth, Gordon, Jim, Megan, Pierce and Rhyne (Rhyne, just how BAD did our Buffs look!?!?! Yikes).

For those keeping count, that’s 6 Rhynes, 5 Pattersons and 3 Blyths.

Thanks for your comments and well wishes — keep ‘em coming! And we’ll be in touch after Round 3! (Or 4. You know how lazy I can be.)


Here are how things looked after Round 1:

Beth
Carl Oregon – 7W
Caroline Wisconsin – 2W Creighton – 3W
Christine Tennessee – 11M
Claire
Dan Rowan
The Donner Party Michigan St. – 4E Pittsburgh – 9S
Dell Harvard – 12E Iowa St. – 3E
A Lot Memphis – 8E
Dottie
Dub Stephen F. Austin – 12S
EdGwynn Arizona – 1W Villanova – 2E
Elaine Dayton – 11S
Elizabeth Stanford – 10S
Ellie North Dakota State – 12W Kansas – 2S
Gordon Michigan – 2M
Jim Baylor – 6W
Joe Gonzaga – 8W
Karen St. Louis – 5M
Katy Texas – 7M
Libby Virginia – 1E Louisville – 4M
Martie
Megan UConn – 7E
Mike B North Carolina – 6E Mercer – 14M
Mike P
Pierce San Diego State – 4W
Rebecca Wichita State – 1M Syracuse – 3S
Rhyne Kentucky – 8M
Rivers UCLA – 4S Florida – 1S
Robert
SaKi
Susan

And here are how things looked after Round 2:

Carl

Caroline Wisconsin – 2W
Christine Tennessee – 11M
The Donner Party Michigan St. – 4E
Dell Iowa St. – 3E
A Lot
Dub
EdGwynn Arizona – 1W
Elaine Dayton – 11S
Elizabeth Stanford – 10S
Ellie
Gordon Michigan – 2M
Jim Baylor – 6W
Joe
Karen
Katie
Libby Virginia – 1E Louisville – 4M
Megan UConn – 7E
Mike B
Pierce San Diego State – 4W
Rebecca
Rhyne  Kentucky – 8M
Rivers UCLA – 4S Florida – 1S
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Let the games begin!

Oh yeah! It’s that time of year again. It’s March Madness, bay-beeeee, and that means I’m happp-eeeeee! And all you have to do to feel like I do, is to devote four minutes of your life to this, which a local newspaper is making the case for turning it into the official state song of Virginia (Pharrell is from Virginia Beach).

But I digress.

It was so wonderful to see so many of you Sunday, even As I Stood Dying (pardon me, Mr. Faulkner) from the flu. Beth put out a spread of food — with assists from many and haranguing by her eldest son that her knives were not properly honed — worthy of any Huldah Rhyne notions of overabundance at the buffet table. Dell was quick to welcome Rowan to the house with an invitation to hear knock-knock jokes, and Rowan was quick to make sure Ellie (who has babysat the Rockett on a number of occasions) that she was NOT going to be in charge here and, thank you very much, today my gurrrl is Elizabeth. Who knew a 2.5 year old could taunt like that!

BethsOf course, as so many Rhyne reunions do, we ended up gathered around the TV, watching ACC basketball. Rebecca — the sole Duke representative, since Libby and Dub were Homer Alone — was gracious in the face of much raucous support for UVA, not from the two UVA grads in the room (Daniel and Honor), mind you, but from Elaine and Caroline.

Since so many of us did see each other so recently, and so many more saw each other in December at Dot’s Hot 90 party, and at Daniel’s wedding in May and Sarah’s party the November before that, I hope you all feel as blessedly connected to one another right now as I do. Thank you, my cousins (and I don’t care if you’re my cousin-once-or-twice-removed or by marriage or whatever, you’re my cousin).

As in the past, to get to 32 teams for our tournament of champions (I’m ignoring the NCAA’s crass attempts to expand the number of teams that get to dance with the play-in games), I had to do some doubling up. This year I put Ed and Gwynn together (where they belong, of course!) to form EdGwynn, which is how Daddy’s name might be pronounced in the Bronx (Hey, EdGwynn, go get me a sangwich from da corner deli). The sisters unite with Dot + Lee as A Lot. Two other twosomes are Sarah and Kiran as SaKi, and Daniel and Honor as The Donner Party. Finally, there’s dad and son together, Rowan and Dan as Dan Rowan (check your Laugh-In lineup for further details).

So, without further ado, may I present, the latest installment of the Mostly Annual Rhyne-Blyth-Patterson Specialty Treatment for Pattern Baldness and Muffin Top Beat Back NCCA March Madness Extravaganza!!

Beth George Washington – 9E VCU – 5S
Carl Delaware – 13E Oregon – 7W
Caroline Wisconsin – 2W Creighton – 3W
Christine Tennessee – 11M Albany  – 16S
Claire Western Michigan – 14S Milwaukee – 15E
Dan Rowan Cal Poly – 16M Weber St. – 16W
The Donner Party Michigan St. – 4E Pittsburgh – 9S
Dell Harvard – 12E Iowa St. – 3E
A Lot Memphis – 8E Nebraska – 11W
Dottie American – 15W Tulsa – 13S
Dub Stephen F. Austin – 12S Duke – 3M
EdGwynn Arizona – 1W Villanova – 2E
Elaine Wofford – 15M Dayton – 11S
Elizabeth Louisiana-Lafayette – 14W Stanford – 10S
Ellie North Dakota State – 12W Kansas – 2S
Gordon St. Joseph’s – 10E Michigan – 2M
Jim Baylor – 6W N.C. State – 12M
Joe Gonzaga – 8W New Mexico State – 13W
Karen Kansas St. – 9M St. Louis – 5M
Katy N.C. Central – 14E Texas – 7M
Libby Virginia – 1E Louisville – 4M
Martie Massachusetts – 6M Ohio State – 6S
Megan UConn – 7E Coastal Carolina – 16E
Mike B North Carolina – 6E Mercer – 14M
Mike P New Mexico – 7S Weber St. – 10W
Pierce Colorado – 8S San Diego State – 4W
Rebecca Wichita State – 1M Syracuse – 3S
Rhyne Kentucky – 8M Oklahoma St. – 9W
Rivers UCLA – 4S Florida – 1S
Robert Arizona St. – 10S Cincinnati – 5E
SaKi Providence – 11E Eastern Kentucky – 15S
Susan Manhattan – 13M Oklahoma – 5W

CatCommishsmallAs always, this years teams were picked by the Cat Commissioners, each of whom has been assigned a bracket this year: Brook in the South, Jinx in the Midwest, Julep in the East and River in the West. Take a moment to click on the snap at right to learn more about this august group of chuckle butts.

I must also give a shout-out to my young son, who just turned seven (sev. en.), and who diligently read out the teams and seed numbers to me when he should have been in bed. He already knows that Mama will put just about anything on hold when it comes to basketball. Or tennis. Or “Law & Order.” Or french fries. Or because it’s Tuesday. Or…….

ANYWAY, all I can say about these team selection is WOW. I can’t recall when so many were so well endowed, so to speak. Last year one person (Dottie) had a startling seed total of 4, and the next closest was at 7 (Ed). But this year, we have EdGwynn with 3!! Followed closely by Rebecca with 4, and then three (Rivers, Libby and Caroline) with 5. Oh, it’s going to be exciting!

On the other hand, it was nice knowing you Dan Rowan. Two 16 seeds pretty much guarantee that the D.C. Duo will not make it past Friday. Mama Christine’s not looking much better with a seed total of 27, but with Baby No. 2 due at any time-out, I suspect they all have a few other things on their minds (like taunting Ellie, Ro-ro).

The No. 1 seeds went to Rebecca (who had a No. 1 seed last year in 2013 winner Louisville) with Wichita State; Libby with Virginia; EdGwynn with Arizona; and Rivers with Florida. On the other end of the spectrum, Dan Rowan has two 16 seeds, I have one in Coastal Carolina (where flooding is job 1) and Christine has the last (Albany).

As mentioned, Rebecca had Louisville last year, and she can’t stand Rick Pitino. This year, she has Syracuse, and she can’t stand Jim Boeheim. So the lesson to all of you is to provide a roster of teams you can’t stand (it’ll have to be a long one to match Rebecca’s!) and maybe you’ll have a better chance of being assigned them next year — one caveat, they have to be good teams. I don’t think it will work if tops on your loathing list is West Central Vermont State and Technical BMX Institute.

Dub is no doubt thrilled to have been assigned his alma mater (Duke) and Katy, too (Texas). And Mike B. has North Carolina, where he may not have graduated from, but to where a large chunk of his income has traveled over the years.

Elizabeth has what might be the two most diametrically opposed academic traditions: Stanford and Louisiana-Lafayette, while Dell and Susan have cultural-location opposites with Harvard and Iowa St. and Manhattan and Oklahoma. Robert has an old fashioned cat fight with the Cincinnati Bearcats and the Arizona Wildcats. Carl’s a bird brain with the Delaware Blue Hens and the Oregon Ducks. And Ellie has the Battle of the Flatlands with North Dakota State and Kansas.

I’m getting this to you just an hour away from tip-off, so hopefully you all have your picks made for the office pool and can now concentrate on this more important form of bracketology and family feuding.

Play ball!!

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The Cat Commissioners

CatCommish

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No tickets. No entrance.

No tickets. No entrance.

And then there were 4

The talk of the 4th round was of Anthony Ware’s broken leg. Anyone who saw that in person must still be having nightmares. It was hard enough to see just Part I of it (the leg snapping) and not Part II (the accompanying wound) on TV were cringing for hours. Bless that boy’s heart (and I don’t mean that in a oh-you-misguided-little-idiot bless-your-heart way of the Southern Woman).

The obvious emotion and sympathy show by Ware’s teammates surely made it easier for Rebecca to swallow the defeat of her alma mater at the hands of the more important Family Pick. And who would have thought Michigan would pound the snot out of of those Gator snouts? I sure didn’t, but I’m happy to reap the rewards. The shocker is that the Shockers are in the Final 4 and so is the Syracuse Orange.

Two Rhynes (siblings, even), one Blyth, one Patterson.

Three middle generation, one younger generation.

Syracuse v. Michigan, aka Karen v. Megan

Louisville v. Wichita State, aka Rebecca v. Rivers

Game on!

Karen Syracuse (4-E)  
Megan   Michigan (4-S)
Rebecca   Louisville (1-MW)
Rivers Wichita St. (9-W)  

 

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