(2) Max Calanni Duke, Jackson State

  • Conference: Big 8
  • History: 2011-2017
  • Best Friend: 2012

Max is a 2-seed from the Big 8 Conference and is leading Duke and Jackson State in the tournament. This friend won the FMAA title in 2012. Max is in the Friendship Madness field for the seventh time this year.

Message from the commissioner

Max is the longest-tenured Friend of anyone in the tournament. I met him not long after I transferred from Nebraska, which was a profound life shift for me, and he has been a mainstay in my life since then.

From the early days of the Ridgewood to the six-guys-living-in-a-duplex life of the Delta Iota Chi house to the brocations across the country, Max has always been there. Like any lengthy friendship, we had some ups and downs. We learned a sleep-deprived, constantly hungover James doesn’t respond well if a wet paper towel is thrown at his face. We were founding members of Norman’s premiere underground Local Natives/Fleet Foxes/Queen/The Beatles cover band, A Month of Sundays, in which we learned I somehow sometimes react poorly to encouragement. (“Don’t tell me I can do something I know I can’t!”)

In short, Max has had a ton of patience with me.

I lived with or within walking distance of Max for practically five years, and I was so privileged to be a part of his wedding to his wonderful wife, Maggie. Max is a Friend™ because he’s the best person to break down life’s struggles into managable pieces over a few beers, a man never hesitant to lend his help or talents to a friend and probably the only person who could have successfully mediated all the stupid fights among a stupid but lovable group of guys. Some friends are in it for the long haul, and Max is the prime example.

Also, we once put a bunch of toothpicks in his beard during one of its particularly massive phases. It was amazing. Never shave, Max.