Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Method To The Madness

Decades ago, the NCAA coined the phrase "March Madness" to describe their entertaining basketball tournament. Now, each March everyone on the internet seems to have their own version of March Madness. In the past, I've seen NCAA tournament style brackets to determine the best Simpsons character (Mr. Burns), the best all-time sit-com character (Archie Bunker), the best American rock band (inexplicably, the Eagles), and the best beer (Troegs HopBack Amber).

This year there are a couple of interesting contests that are open:

The Weather Channel online has America's Toughest Weather City. I'm rooting for International Falls, Minnesota to win the title. They have already taken out Green Bay, Wisconsin in the tough Midwest region and face nearby Duluth in the second round and potentially the Twin Cities in a region final. Of course, East Coast bias probably means that snowy Buffalo, NY will win out.

First Things has the Tournament Of Novels. I'm a little less interested in this, since some real classics lost in the first round, including my favorite novel of all time, "The Brothers Karamazov" falling to "Brideshead Revisited." As more evidence of an anti-Russo bias at First Things, Sisyphus recommended "One Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovitch" lost to the mediocre, "The Hobbitt." It's probably more a case of bad taste than anti-Russo sentiment, as Vladamir Nabokov's perverted "Lolita" defeated the touching "A Prayer For Owen Meany."

There is literally an infinite number of March Madness tournaments that could go on. My hope is that next year we see Reefer Madness, the ultimate tournament to determine if Acupulco Gold provides a better high than Northern California Sensemilia.


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