by Ward Mullens, Published March 29, 2010
YPSILANTI - He had to come from behind to do it, but Eastern Michigan University student Fermon Tate advanced to the Final Four of the Coca Cola Zero Department of Fannovation Brain Bracket Championship.
Tate, an EMU sport management major, was trailing the opposition late March 26, but got more votes from fans over the weekend to advance to the next round of the contest.
“My mom and sister and classmates got behind me,” said Tate, 49. “I am very excited to go all the way to the Final Four.”
The Brain Bracket Championship (http://www.cocacolazero.com/ncaa.jsp) is a contest for basketball fans to invent a way to make their favorite pasttime more entertaining for everyone. The winner gets $10,000 and a trip to the men’s NCAA Final Four next year in Houston.
Tate’s idea is entitled “ZebraCam” and would outfit referees with glasses with a built-in camera so that fans could see action from the referee’s point of view.
“ZebraCam” is currently pitted against “Ref the Ref.” “Ref the Ref” would allow fans to use their cell phones to vote on whether they agree with calls from the ref during the game.
Voting for the current round ends Wednesday, March 31.
Tate said he would put the $10,000 to go use.
“I can finish school. My dream is to be a university track coach and for all of this to have something do with sports is just incredible,” Tate said.