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The Ultimate March Pop Culture, Food and Sports Madness Bracket...Bracket
March 15, 2012 8:10 PM   Subscribe

"If it were just the NCAA tournament bracket, March Madness would be far less mad than it is. Something about the reminder of how much joy we get in filling out a bracket has led writers and talkers deep into the great time-wasting ether, creating brackets on everything you could possible dream of bracketing."
One writer thought about this, took a step back, and created a bracket tournament to discuss the best possible subjects/entries for a pop-culture, food, and sports bracket tournament.

PDF of the initial bracket. Choosing all #1s would lead to a final between the winner of "Mob Movies" vs. "Drunk Facebook Updates" and the winner of "Beer" vs. "NCAA Tournament".
posted by ZeusHumms (28 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Closer...
posted by kmz at 8:24 PM on March 15, 2012


Some of my buddies did this ten years ago. The Tournament of Stufftm. Winner: Tater tots.
posted by infinitewindow at 8:24 PM on March 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


MetaBrackets. Why isn't it on THIS site?
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:42 PM on March 15, 2012


Yo dawg, I heard you like brackets, so I put brackets in your brackets.
posted by ShutterBun at 8:44 PM on March 15, 2012


Metabrackets? Like a bracket for possible thread subjects? Or a bracket to determine the best general discussion forum?
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:45 PM on March 15, 2012


1. Beer vs. 16. Vegan Meat & Dairy Substitutes – This is the biggest landslide in bracket history.

Even that is an understatement.
posted by ShutterBun at 8:47 PM on March 15, 2012


They mention a bracket on Wire characters recently that was poorly done, and note:
That's the problem with these brackets: Once someone does them, it's impossible to do them again even if you think there were flaws.
Exactly.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:58 PM on March 15, 2012


I like Consumerist's "Worst Company in America" tournament myself. I'm 'rooting' for my local cable company (Charter). It got bounced by Comcast in the first round, but now they're on opposite sides of the board so if they meet, it'll be in the finals. Still, I'm sorry they have Apple vs. Google in the first round. Way to defuse the inevitable MetaFilter fanboy fights.
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:02 PM on March 15, 2012


Apple & Google should be opposing top seeds in whatever bracket they're in, along with Microsoft and Facebook.
posted by ZeusHumms at 9:10 PM on March 15, 2012


Way to defuse the inevitable MetaFilter fanboy fights.

What? Nader vs. Chomsky?
posted by joe lisboa at 10:10 PM on March 15, 2012


Sorry, meant: Jobs vs. Wozniak.
posted by joe lisboa at 10:12 PM on March 15, 2012


Here's another fun set of bracket nonsense: woot.com's March Angryness, a tournament of things that make you mad, I mean angry. In four divisions separating Tech, Politics, Pop Culture and Etiquette. Should be a hoot.
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:18 PM on March 15, 2012


In four divisions separating Tech, Politics, Pop Culture and Etiquette. Should be a hoot.

Indeed, Craig! Here's hoping every division loses.
posted by joe lisboa at 10:22 PM on March 15, 2012


With tournaments like March Angryness and Worst Company in America, joe, everyone's a loser.
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:25 PM on March 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


Agreed, my man.
posted by joe lisboa at 10:27 PM on March 15, 2012


Milwauke Journal Sentinel blogger/critic Duane Dudek weighs in on The bracket madness racket
[The NCAA tournament bracket] has also become such a familiar part of the popular culture that the bracket concept itself has taken on a life of its own. People love lists and brackets fit into that category.

They're a shorthand way to create interest in an idea or topic by creating a "competition" among a varying number of entries in topic and whittling them down two by two until a winner emerges. And the simplicity of the bracket design makes it great for bloggers, websites, newspapers and others to visually anchor the subject at hand.

There are so many bracket competitions that have nothing to do with basketball that they have become something of a cliche. Usually, whenever a speciality concept reaches mainstream acceptance anyone with a real interest in it has moved on.
And I think we're just about there. He lists a dozen or so pop culture brackets that are mostly sameish. Some are there to educate - one was on data breach madness. Most are trivial, some are fairly creative (one has fictional villains, one had showrunners), most are grounds for pop cultural wars.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:56 PM on March 15, 2012


And at least it's a step up from the horrific one picture/story per page slideshows.
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:07 PM on March 15, 2012


Here's an example of a bracket tournament serving to lock in interest, and create a surprising result: MTV News' Harry Potter World Cup. The final four seems a little surprising to me.

In the end, it's a structure for the NCAA tournament that has been worked into a surprisingly good PR gimmick, and writers and bloggers everywhere have been copying it for a while to varying degrees of success, mostly without understanding how well the former has been tweaked in the first place.
posted by ZeusHumms at 12:11 AM on March 16, 2012


>>1. Beer vs. 16. Vegan Meat & Dairy Substitutes – This is the biggest landslide in bracket history.

>Even that is an understatement.


I know, right? Tofurkey fuckin' rules.
posted by codswallop at 2:43 AM on March 16, 2012


I rather like the Name Of The Year bracket myself.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:25 AM on March 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


I was kind of hoping the "Name of the Year" bracket would include entries like "2012," "MMXII," "1433," "5772," "Year of the Dragon," and "International Year of Sustainable Energy for All."
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:07 AM on March 16, 2012


It's hard to vote in a Cheese Bracket when one's local cheese shop doesn't have any of the 68 varieties in the bracket in stock, not even #1 seed Cheddar.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:10 AM on March 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Just looked over that March Angryness bracket listed above, and one dark horse competitor stands out and deserves to win based on sheer weight of irony alone: #9 seed "I SPEND ALL MY TIME LOOKING FOR THINGS THAT WILL OFFEND ME!" How apropos.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:19 AM on March 16, 2012


What? Nader vs. Chomsky?

I briefly read that as "Vader Vs. Chomsky", and I got very excited. I would pay to see that so hard.
posted by mhoye at 7:25 AM on March 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


STAND BACK
I'm going to try
SPORTS

posted by LogicalDash at 7:27 AM on March 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


The main problem with this practice?

Questionable seeding.
posted by demiurge at 8:04 AM on March 16, 2012


Totally unfair that Most Annoying Deal Site Emails was left out of the Pop Culture region. In fact that whole region seems skewed. Where's 'Biggest Disaster of the Dot Com Boom' or 'Most Nostalgic Video Game Device"? Totally biased against nerds.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:23 AM on March 16, 2012


Questionable seeding is always a pain, as are obscure or little known entries. For example, there's a 16 seed play-in match in pop culture, "Darren Rovell Twitter Rules" vs. "People Who Use Google+". I searched on the former, and discovered that Darren Rovell is a sports business reporter who created a list of 100 twitter rules to live by. And kind of a tool. If this guy were better known (thankfully not), he'd be a much higher seed. But he's not, so he's in a play in to face the top seed "Drunk Facebook Updates". Which would be an awesome bracket.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:55 AM on March 16, 2012


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