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    Sunday, March 16, 2008

    March Madness TBE Pool

    My two loves are international affairs/politics and sports. Last night I was thinking, maybe I can combine the two? However, this thought requires active participation from more than myself.

    I've been posting recently about Tibet, and Sara asked, rightly, what could we peons do. Here's my idea:

    I will create a 2008 NCAA Mens Basketball Tournament Pool for any and all readers of The Bleeding Ear. However, this pool will require money. Perhaps $10 a person? Ok? Each participant will play for the charity/NGO/world cause of their choice (stated when signing up as the name of their bracket), and the winning cause will get all the money.

    Perhaps I will be the only one playing, and some cause will get $10. But if more people play, we could conceivably give $50, or $100 to a cause (I don't harbor great expectations about the readership of my blog). I think this is a great way to merge a fun time (March Madness) with doing something good for the world, and by joining together, we can give more than any of us could individually.

    I know the tourney starts in 2 or 3 days, so time is of the essence. This is also a rough draft, so I haven't decided where TBE should host the pool, if $10 is a good amount per entrant, or how to properly transfer money.

    Please let me know what you think about my idea, and any suggestions you have for the issues I just related.

    UPDATE 1 (16:27): I've looked into a few things, and I've found that:

    1. I think the easiest way to do brackets, will be to go to Seth Davis Bracket Challenge at Sports Illustrated's FanNation.

    This allows everyone one bracket -- very easy to fill out.

    You will be required to create a FanNation account, and make sure to make your nickname/screenname the cause of choice (because that's also the name of your bracket).

    Then you join the "TBE Play for a Cause" Pool (yet to be made).

    The bonus is that you could also win prizes from SI if you're really good.

    2. I have a Paypal account, and I can set up a Donate button on my blog where people can donate the $10. That would make the money changing secure.

    (This requires a requisite amount of trust in yours truly of course.)

    I do not think this requires you to have a Paypal account, since many sites have donation buttons.

    I would need to call Paypal and/or the causes of choice to make sure there's a way to get the money from Paypal to the cause. Paypal's website says if something has an email address -- even if it doesn't have a Paypal account -- it can get the money.

    3. Let me know your thoughts on these updates. And talk to friends. The more people the merrier (and the more money that would go to a worthy cause).

    Update 2 (19:40): I've done some more research, and the best place for the bracket is ESPN.

    After you donate to Paypal,

    1. Go to ESPN's Tournament Challenge and either sign in or sign up.

    2. Once you have a profile, create a bracket and name it after whatever cause you want to play for.

    3. Click the "My Groups" tab, and search private groups for "TBE Play For a Cause" (already made). Join the group (password: TBE)

    4. Finish filling out your bracket and have fun watching the tourney!

    Update 3 (19:54): Here's the Paypal donation link:

    Update 4 (13:05, 20080321): Paypal donation link rescinded. Tournament started.

    1 comment:

    Triet said...

    I had problems with the post earlier. These are the previous comments:

    Sara said...
    Awesome! I'm in; I'll check to see about Rob. We were going to make our brackets tonight, so I'll keep you posted.

    I think $10 is a reasonable amount.

    3/18/2008 02:32:00 PM
    Triet said...
    I've updated the post with some information I've found (logistics). This comment is to alert any who may be tracking comments on this post.

    3/18/2008 03:31:00 PM
    Sara said...
    Hey---can I mail you a check?? I trust you, just not the crazy internet :P

    Btw, tell Thi I say hi!

    3/19/2008 01:37:00 PM
    Triet said...
    Sure, I suppose. It'll just take longer. I've used paypal for a bunch of things, and I promise it works. But whatever you feel comfortable with.

    make sure you go to espn and sign in your bracket before Thursday at noon!

    3/19/2008 02:55:00 PM
    Sara said...
    Opps, we signed up at the first one. Oh well :P It's my fault--I didn't notice that you had a second update in there, I thought the paypal link was part of the first. We're still happy to contribute.