Why is the pool "presented by the UCLA Bruins"?
Given the title of my blog ("Irish Trojan") and the fact that I'm a proud USC alum, many contestants in my men's NCAA pool must be wondering, "Why on earth is the pool 'presented by the UCLA Bruins'?!?"
The short answer: I lost a bet.
Back in January, I made a friendly bet with my law school classmate Mike Tran, a UCLA alum, on the season series between the Trojans and the Bruins in men's basketball. Mike and I have made many friendly bets over the years -- I've won some and lost some -- so we have to get pretty creative when trying to think of new and interesting humiliations to put the other through.
This time, after I flatly rejected the idea of involving my new baby daughter (Mike wanted me to put her in a UCLA onesie if the Bruins won), Mike decided to target my precious pool... and I foolishly agreed. As I explained before the Pac-10 Tournament rubber match, the terms were as follows:
If UCLA wins, I have to change the name of my men's basketball pool to "The 13th annual Living Room Times men's basketball pool, presented by the UCLA Bruins." I have to include the "presented by the UCLA Bruins" in every full-fledged pool update that I post on the blog, and UCLA also has to appear somewhere in the pool's official logo.
If USC wins, Mike has to go to Tommy Trojan and get his picture taken in front of Tommy, doing the victory sign and wearing a USC shirt of some kind (with "USC" in big letters, clearly visible). He has to get me this picture by next Wednesday, and I get to post it on my blog as often as I want during March (and early April, i.e. Final Four weekend).
Alas, the rest is history. UCLA won, and that's why the pool has this horrible, horrible name. I'm afraid we're stuck with it. Believe me, fellow Trojans: it hurts me more than it hurts you. Ugh.
Incidentally, if the Trojans and Bruins were to meet in the national championship game, as predicted by Stewart Mandel, it wouldn't affect this bet. The original terms specifically stated that "if by chance the teams play in the NCAA Tournament, that does NOT count toward this bet, no matter what the score of the season series is. We can make a separate bet on the NCAA Tournament if that happens."