Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Pool Party

The only real job I ever had was at The Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago. Between 1987 and 1989 I was one of about a dozen people who helped get the museum off the ground and up and running. In March of 1988 my friend Mike Mertz decided we should have a NCAA basketball pool as a way to bring us together. Our pool was open to anyone we knew and for a few weeks each March we all banded together. It was one of the highlights of my time at the Museum.

Monday night after Florida beat Ohio State to repeat as the NCAA Men’s basketball champion our 20th Mertz Minion Mayhem Pool came to a close. Dan Lerner, who was the museum’s high school intern in 1988 won for the second time. (Full disclosure, two years ago I won the pool, last year I finished dead last and was mocked by the rest of the Minions. I was a close 3rd this year.) Dan has bragging rights until next March and if he is lucky he will get his $150 winnings by Christmas. It’s not about the money or winning it’s about the community.

Today, none of us work at the museum and we are more likely to gather together at a funeral or a wedding than to watch basketball. Since the pool began, two people have died, a dozen have been born, and Minions have married and divorced. In short we are like any other 20 year-old community,

This year I only watched two games of the tournament. Dan and I met in a bar on a Thursday evening. By 8:30 the first two games were over, and instead of staying for the late games we went our respective ways. Dan had to go wash his dog Moses and if I am not in bed by 9pm I am all cranky the next day.

This is the state of the Mertz Minion Mayhem Community Pool in 2007


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