Well kids, it’s time for the second weekend of the Broo Deathmatch Writers’ tournament, and along with the drama of the first round came a few wonderfully unexpected developments: First, V finally returned from what we thought was a simple sabbatical Down Under (pronounced "down-unda"), but what actually turned out to be a nuptual getaway – only to find the rest of us knee-deep in American sports-themed nonsense. All heartbreak aside, watching V try to understand just what we were up to and how her name got mixed up in it was easily the best thing to come of this little exercise thus far. Second, ‘Mean’ Mike finally weighed in, but a tad too late to save his tournament life – thankfully it looks as though he’s still agreed to read along and provide the witty, fight-themed color commentary that only he is capable of. Finally, I’ve inspired a wide variety of reactions, from outright obsequeousness to aggressive movie quoting, and from reactionary article ranking to comment firestorming. In the end, I’m quite glad I did it.
Now enough of my silly babbling, here are the results of the sweet sixteen matches as we get down to eight writers:
Ed Attansio vs. M.B. Dion
My toughest matchup was the first one up… great. Ed A., the grandaddy of Broo submitters, up against M.B.D. whose profile reads like the bastard child of a Hallmark card and a nobel prize acceptance speech. Where to go on this one… profile pictures? A dog in a Batman costume, and a seriously wicked bowtie. I really used to think that MBD was a part-time conductor for the SF Symphony, but up against the canine Dark Knight, how well does that really play? I thought about just going on straight numbers, but aside from that just being a walk for Ed every round, that’s just no damned fun. Their blogs… both rich and entertaining, but MBD seriously misuses the color orange – and Ed actually had a great picture of himself on his. Advantage EA. Finally, at a loss for anything else, I turned to numerology and Googled their respective page hit numbers: Ed’s (177933) revealed that mylastgirlfriend.com is the 177933rd ranked website for traffic (look it up, it's gross), and MBD’s (57549) got me two genome maps, a seriously lame flash game and stock photo of a crane lifting ladders… ugh. As always, my last girlfriend got the best of me… and this time, of MBD. Ed Attansio in double overtime, onto the great eight.
D.E. Carson vs. Steven Lane
Steve Lane is an epic force – on Broo and otherwise. I feel like I’m uniquely qualified to say this only because I’m one of the few people who have seen and can recall both Lawnmower Man movies and the short story on which they were loosely based. Then again, much like Fox News, there is something undeniably powerful about both groomed facial hair and the political views to match. D.E. Carson, while not always popular, is always well read. He is hope that there can be righteous indignation deep within the G.O.P. – and that there are articulate and well thought out answers to the inane questions posed by ill-kept college students who got their political ideals from an Abercrombie & Fitch commercial. Despite the fact that I may very well run into D.E. this weekend at George Strait (where he will likely beat my injured behind for this), it really comes to down to just one word: CyberJobe. Steven Lane off to to the third round.
Nhemerson vs. Ariel
Here we are with the Cinderella story once again. Nhemerson, the upstart from Broo Portland who has embraced the Broo Brackets and the associated smack talking at a level which I never could have expected. And then there’s Ariel, the but-for cause of Broo to begin with… the proverbial “Big Bang” of the Broo universe. Of course, he hasn’t really weighed in since the Broo Brackets bega, but I think it’s mostly because he’s defending himself against TravelingSeth’s calls for Broo “transparency”. For God’s sake, people, NH actually had someone do a pre-fight interview (http://www.broowaha.com/article.php?id=3338)... The De Facto Grand Champion (Nhemerson) moves on from The Throne to the Great Eight… and in the immortal words of Keith Jackson: “the legend continues…”
El G vs Glenn T
It’s seldom that anyone gets to fashion their own demise, so I suppose that I ought to be grateful for the opportunity. In my better moments I fancy myself a bit like El G, but at a much lower volume... I’m quite sure, however, that El G does not imagine himself to be a louder version of me. El G is cool enough to deliver his entire profile in the third person, Glenn T is (normally) not. El G is a man without fear… who can bathe in ethnic stereotypes, and go hard after the mindless Oprah Nation; all the while battling the forces of vociferous stupidity with a ferocity and bravado that few can match. I’m afraid of so much stuff it’s hard to keep track: heights, snakes, clowns, feces, the IRS, French girls, spiders and My Pretty Pony collections (just to name a few). As much as I’d like to say that I put up a good fight… I really didn’t. El G moves on to the third round in the biggest blowout of the sweet sixteen.
Crowbar vs. Joseph Mael
Listen, there’s something to be said for a guy who can walk through the Tenderloin by himself… and on a regular basis, and live to tell about… let alone write articulately about it. But Joe Mael is the just the right combination of really good writing, and a really unfortunate MySpace picture. Okay, I kid, I kid. For those of you that didn’t notice, Joe recently came off his self-imposed publishing hiatus – and decided not to let the small-minded and loud-mouthed minority who prowl the gutters of the Broo keep him from doing what he does best. The last time Crowbar published an article, the Clippers were looking forward to a decent season, I was 32, and gas was… well, still really, really expensive – but you get my point. Listen, I’m not going to say the Crowbar couldn’t swallow Joe whole… I’m just saying that it’s about “writers”… and Joe’s as good as they come. Joseph Mael onto the third round, when Crowbar didn’t even come out for the second half.
Jen & Tonic vs. Venditto
Jen & Tonic is to Broo what rainbow sprinkles are to an ice-cream sundae. Sure, it’s still ice cream without them – but it’s just not nearly as much fun. hile Venditto is the master of quirky and non-affected things to do in NYC, Jen & Tonic may be the coolest person to take out to do anything. J&T is the kind of girl who can drink more than you, beat you at pool at darts simultaneously, go hook you up with the girl across the bar you keep staring at and make fun of you (because she’s as dumb as she looks) for the rest of your life about it, talk about a really great place to get a steak and, finally, argue the relative merits of 80’s hair metal bands with you until you pass out and she finally tucks your sorry ass into bed. Listen, if I was in NYC and lookin’ for something to do, I’d call Ven-D, but I’d invite J&T. One of Broo’s original sweethearts, Jen & Tonic is onto the great eight.
Chris Jones v. Bill Friday
Now here’s a heavyweight matchup for sure (mostly because it’s two guys and it’s a real bad idea to use that particular description for any battle involving one of the Broo ladies). Okay, seriously, these are both actually very good writers – who both have excellent blogs, a ton of good stuff to read about, and a seriously big Broo footprint (and you know what they say about the size of a man's Broo footprint). Chris’ blog has got a link to the NRA and the only video footage I’ve seen in months that actually makes me like Hillary Clinton less (Chelsea at a college campus, refusing to answer a question). Bill’s blog has a shrine to Navy football, and a poll concerning USNA’s greatest graduate (the fact that I’m winning this poll may say a lot more about who’s reading… or not reading “It’s Always Friday” than it does about me, but it’s still funny). All this butt-kissing aside (thank you, Bill), I’ve got to give it up for anyone who didn’t go to Navy who knows exactly what I’m talking about when I say the words: Ram Vela, the Sack, or the end of the Streak. Chris is the only news out of Texas that I’ll actually read, but it’s Bill Friday who is riding his faux Navy fandom all the way to round three.
V vs. Morgana
I love Morgana, I do. She a solid candidate for Rookie of the Year (along with DigiDave), and actually make me look up both Truckee and Sparks on Google Maps. Honestly, who knew Reno was big enough to have a “sister” city? Also, is anyone else mildly disturbed that a search for “nightlife” near Truckee turned up “The Deep End” and “Moody’s”? But then there’s V; who came back in the middle of the tourney and broke every beating Broo heart with the news of her marriage. Even as Bill and I fought back the tears to say “Congratulations” she managed to keep charming us with her basketball innocence and unflappably good spirit. I don’t think I could get a single ex-gf of mine to sit and watch an NCAA tournament game with me (which may have something to do with restraining orders, but you get my point) – and yet there’s V… cheerily volunteering to show up at my upcoming Final Four Burbank Bonanza without a moment's hesistation. Morgana, you’ve got my vote as the top Rook, but this is V we’re talking about (cue the Peter Gabriel music)… V is onto the round of eight with a wink and a smile (which is really all it took).
And with that, people, we are down to eight writers in the Broo Brackets. And I think you’ll agree, they represent some of Broo’s finest (and most dangerous): Big Ed, Steve Lane, the Cinderfella that is nhemerson, the always controversial El G, Clipper Joe Mael, everybody loves Jen & Tonic, friend and commiserating partner Bill Friday and the indubitable V.
The updated brackets are available here:
Where you can still make predictions and print it out if you like...
Third Round winners (the storied "Final Four") will be available at the end of the weekend...
Have fun with the third round matchups... And REMEMBER, play nicely, people - In the end J&T can still drink more than us, and we're all just the guy that V didn't choose.