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Beware of March Madness Office Pools

One of the funniest experiences I’ve had is one of the company attorneys wanting to participate, but knowing it was illegal, so he didn’t want any evidence he was participating. And may your team be soundly trounced by my team.

So, should you participate? I never have. “However, it is important to remember that there are roughly 108.3 million people on private payrolls, each working an average of 34.2 hours per week, according to the latest Labor Department data. No records. People are paying $5 to place bets. Should I tell the boss or HR?

You could, but chances are, they already know and may well be participating. March Madness isn’t going anywhere any time soon; so, why not take advantage of the events as a spring celebration?

This isn’t to say it’s legal activity. Complain only about lost productivity. So, the total number of hours worked by the American workforce in one week comes to about 3.7 billion hours.”

Last Updated Mar 15, 2011 9:27 AM EDT

Snacks and televisions in break rooms are easy to pull together quickly, and you have a couple of days to consider making March Madness a company team building event. All Rights Reserved.

“At first glance, 8.4 million hours of lost productivity seems like it would deliver a crushing blow to the economy,” said CEO John Challenger. reports that 20% of office workers participate in an office pool during the March Madness. It’s not. I don’t gamble. Nothing changes an activity from fun to work faster than having HR take over.

My advice? Participate if you want to. (I really have no idea if it’s legal to run your own betting pool in a place like Nevada or Atlantic City where gambling is legal.) But, chances of the company collapsing over an illegal college basketball tournament? Slim.

Dear Evil HR Lady,

My coworker is running a March Madness pool. But, if people are giving him $5-$10 per bet and laughing while doing it, I’d leave it alone.

Since people will waste this much time chatting about yak food if that’s what is in the news, I’m not as concerned about this as, perhaps, I should be.

Susan Heathfield of About HR even suggests turning March Madness into a company activity. For further reading:

Have a workplace dilemma? Send your question to

Photo by Ryan_Fung, Flickr cc 2.0

© 2011 CBS Interactive Inc.. Very funny.. Gambling is illegal in our state and I’m afraid he’ll get busted. CBS’ (CBS) service attracted 8.3 million visitors last year, who watched 11.7 million hours of online audio and video.

I think that’s a bit of sneaky HR attitude coming out. Most of these are small scale operations but some do get out of hand.

If your coworker is meeting shady characters in the parking lot and filling his desk with stacks of $100 bills, then I’d start worrying. Don’t if you don’t. In fact, my job share partner always ran the office pool. The consulting firm of Challenger, Gray and Christmas estimate a cost of nearly $200 million to the workplace.

Challenger came to its estimate using the 2010 March Madness on Demand traffic statistics from My coworkers did. No emails. She writes:

What you should be more worried about is productivity during the month of March

I Love Giving Birth – ABC News

A random winner will be announced by October 18, 2011. Contest and prize details here.

My favorite part of pregnancy is giving birth.  Working with my baby and my body to bring them into the world.  The feeling of euphoria and relief when that sweet little person emerges from my body.  The tears, blood, pain, and going physically beyond anything I have ever experienced.

Hers was not the birth I had envisioned.  It was hard to accept and to recover from.  I never wanted another birth like it again.


When I found myself pregnant with my first child however, my tune was different.  My sister had two homebirths, and while I knew I would NEVER do that (never say never) she had really good experiences both times.  My sister-in-law had just had a baby two years earlier in a birth center, and I thought that was such a great alternative.

But, when the time came and my body told me to push, I realized I had a new favorite part of pregnancy.

Until the moment he was born, I would have told you my favorite part of pregnancy was feeling the baby move.

Sep 21, 2011 8:53pm

Up until that point, I was not really actively doing anything to grow this baby.  I was eating, I was staying active, I was prepping mentally for labor, but there was nothing I was doing.

What I didn’t plan on was her being footling breech and not turning.  At 37 weeks 3 days my water broke and my baby was born via C-Section.

I found myself pregnant 9 months later and knew this time would be different.  I did everything in my power to make sure my baby was not breech this time.

Million Moms Challenge Blogger

I remember feeling my baby descend through the birth canal and thinking, “I can’t believe I am doing this.

I had researched and knew exactly how I wanted birth to be.  I knew that I would have a natural, drug-free birth with a Certified Nurse Midwife in the hospital.  I knew my baby would be born gently, peacefully and would nurse right away.

When I was a teenager, I knew that I would want drugs when I had a baby.  My favorite thing to say was, “God gave man the smarts to invent drugs for a reason.  Stick that needle in my back and give me relief!”

And he wasn’t.  It was not a difficult pregnancy, he was in the perfect position for birth and everything was perfect.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Million Moms Challenge. Contest runs September 19 to October 16, 2011. This is the most amazing feeling in the world”.

. The opinions and text are all mine. Official Contest Rules

 I Love Giving Birth

by KIM, Prairie Mama

Please join the Million Moms Challenge and sign up!

It is where Heaven and Earth meet and I feel privileged to have experienced it 5 glorious times.

Becoming pregnant changed my life, and I’d love to hear more about your best or most difficult pregnancy moments. By replying, you will be entered to win an exclusive Million Moms Challenge Gift Pack, which includes an all expenses paid trip to a conference on mothers hosted by the UN Foundation in DC (Jan/Feb 2012), an iPad2, a custom-made Million Moms Challenge pendant and $50 donation in your name to Global Giving

Nancy Loo wears Oregon cheerleading outfit on Michigan Ave after losing college football bet

Last week, WGN reporter Nancy Loo and Meterologist Demetrius Ivory placed a bet on the College Football National Championship.

RELATED: WGN’s Nancy Loo talks about her Oregon cheerleading days

Nancy went to Oregon, and Demetrius went to Ohio State.

See how it played out in the video player above.

Demetrius won, so Nancy had to put on her Oregon cheerleading outfit again and hit up Michigan Ave.

California Chrome co-owner Steve Coburn still mad about losing Belmont

Don’t forget he’s a fairly new owner. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

“This is one of them races that we couldn’t win,” Sherman said, “but he didn’t disgrace us any.”

Steve Coburn, co-owner of California Chrome reacts while watching the 146th running of the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park on June 7, 2014 in Belmont, New York. He hasn’t been in the game long and hasn’t had any bad luck.”

California Chrome had smooth trips in winning the Kentucky Derby and Preakness to set up a shot at racing’s first Triple Crown in 36 years. Instead, the outspoken co-owner went even further Sunday.

“If they want to call me a sore loser, I don’t care,” he said.

Coburn and Perry Martin named their racing operation Dumb Ass Partners, with California Chrome the lone horse in their stable. REUTERS/Mike Segar (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT HORSE RACING)

His camp plans to point him toward the Breeders’ Cup this fall at Santa Anita.

Sherman said, “I can’t make excuses. Owners and trainers of horses not nominated can pay a late fee of $6,000 in March to get in. “He was at the heat of the moment. In 1978, when Affirmed won the Triple Crown, the Belmont had a five-horse field. The Belmont had eight horses, and five did not run in the first two legs. The colt will then rest for six to seven weeks after a tough Triple Crown campaign that involved running in three races at different tracks and distances over five weeks.

He was irked Belmont winner Tonalist didn’t run in either of the first two legs of the Triple Crown. The Preakness and Belmont have maximum fields of 14, but no points system is used.

Steve Coburn, who co-owns California Chome, was still smarting, too.

© 2014 The Associated Press. The chestnut colt has earned $3,317,800 this year and brought a six-race winning streak into the Belmont.

It’s common for horses to drop in and out of the Triple Crown series. Rob Carr/Getty Images

Under Coburn’s premise, there would have been just three horses in the $1.5 million Belmont, making it unlikely the third-largest crowd of 102,199 would have shown up or that a record $19,105,877 would have been wagered on-track.

Jockey Victor Espinoza sits atop California Chrome after coming in fourth at the 146th running of the 2014 Belmont Stakes in Elmont, New York June 7, 2014. California Chrome failed to win the coveted triple crown. One ran only in the Preakness, and one other besides Slew raced in all three legs.

NEW YORK – California Chrome went home to the West Coast on Sunday with a bandaged right front foot – and no Triple Crown – after bumping another horse leaving the Belmont Stakes starting gate.

Horse racing’s Triple Crown winners

From Sir Barton in 1919 to Affirmed in 1978, a look at the racehorses who have achieved the sport’s most elusive feat

A day later, Coburn was unrepentant.

“California Chrome was running with tough, fresh horses that were waiting in the wings, and that’s what happens,” Sherman said. Winner Tonalist wasn’t ready for the Derby, so trainer Clement prepared him for the Belmont.

Coburn had predicted California Chrome would win the Triple Crown.

Horses are made eligible for the Triple Crown races in January. He credited the colt for having a lot of talent and taking his handlers on an exciting ride.

California Chrome, General a Rod and Ride On Curlin were the only horses to run in the Derby, Preakness and Belmont. All Rights Reserved. That’s not really what you should do in these type of races.”


Sherman thought Coburn would apologize for his comments. The 20-horse field for the Kentucky Derby is decided by a points system, with horses earning points for running in prep races. General a Rod finished seventh and Ride On Curlin did not finish.

Sherman said California Chrome has a superficial wound that should heal in two to three weeks. California Chrome finished in a dead heat for fourth with Wicked Strong.

Frenchman Christophe Clement, who won his first Triple Crown race with Totalist, declined to comment on Coburn’s remarks.

In 1977, Seattle Slew won the Triple Crown. “If your horse is good enough to run in the Belmont, where was he in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness? It says Triple Crown, not one out of two, one out of three or two out of three.”

Belmont Stakes Day

Horse racing fans gather at New York’s Belmont Park to see if California Chrome can win the Triple Crown

2014-06-08t000642z2108485990gm1ea680mei01rtrmadp3horseracing-triplecrown.jpg. “We all know when you’re on this trail you got to have an iron horse.”

The veteran trainer hopes California Chrome’s owners will keep him running next year as a 4-year-old. Sometimes your emotions get in front of you. “It’s not fair to them to have somebody just show up at the last minute and run. Two of the colt’s rivals did not run in the first two legs and one only ran in the Derby.

“It wouldn’t be fair if I played basketball with a child in a wheelchair because I got an unfair advantage,” Coburn said. After the race, he complained others took “the coward’s way out” by skipping the Derby and/or the Preakness.

“It was kind of scary. We’ve been awful fortunate.”

On Saturday, second-place finisher Commissioner was new to the Triple Crown series. You come back and see a horse bleeding from the foot,” Sherman said. But he had a rough trip in the 1 1/2-mile Belmont on Saturday, getting a chunk of flesh torn from his foot after bumping with Matterhorn coming out of the starting gate. I may have gone off half-cocked yesterday, but that’s the way I feel.”

11 Photos

“Horses aren’t cowards and the people aren’t cowards,” he said. “He’s never had anything wrong with him.

Art Sherman, the 77-year-old trainer of California Chrome, distanced himself from Coburn’s comments.

31 Photos

“It’s not fair to these horses that are running to entertain these people in all three legs of the Triple Crown,” he said