Sports Moment: Jets QB Geno Smith hits a new low with poorly styled outfit

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If you are a New York Jets fan, as I am, you know that the best part about supporting this team is finding out just how awful and bizarre things can get. I know other football teams are terrible and have weird things happen, but when you throw in the New York media fishbowl, you get a special kind of magic. That magic has been on full display for the last few years with the wonderful soap opera known as The Jets Quarterback Situation. The Situation seemed to be okay for a few years (2009-10) when young Mark Sanchez led the Jets to the AFC Championship game TWO YEARS in a row. But then….it went pear shaped.

Sanchez and the franchise faltered in 2011 and it was revealed that flamboyant coach Rex Ryan had a tattoo of Sanchez at the same time it was discovered that Ryan liked to make rather sweet foot fetish videos with his wife. In 2012, Sanchez was joined by back-up quarterback Tim Tebow, already a sensation for his God-fueled rampage with the Bronco despite not really being able to do things like throw the ball. This led to a three ring media circus of insane proportions as model-dating Sanchez and God-loving virgin Tebow were cast as antagonists, while all they wanted to do was stand around on the sidelines pretending nothing was happening. Sanchez was eventually sidelined for keeps after being injured in the last quarter of a meaningless pre-season game, leaving Geno Smith and Michael Vick to enact this year’s version of the sacrifice of the Corn King Quarterback for bloodthirsty fans.

In his first year in 2013, Geno Smith proved to be a…work in progress. That progress was stalled entirely this year, with Smith’s skills such as they are wilting under the New York media scrutiny, and yet another drama over whether washed-up Vick should led the team. At this point the Jets are 2-11, and well on their way to one of the most futile years any fan can remember.

On Sunday the Jets lost in overtime to the Vikings, 30-24 in a game that wasn’t as close as it sounds. Although Smith didn’t have the horrific game he had on Monday night, Gang Green could only muster a bunch of field goals in five red zone attempts.

NOW, if you are really a Jets fan you know that the best part of being horrible is how the SNY analysts rip the team to shreds after every game. It’s a guilty pleasure we’ve all enjoyed for years. The current crew is a bit more mellow than the Adam Schein/Joe Klecko years, but yesterday they managed to find a new way to be critical, tearing into Smith for how he was dressed for the traditional post game press conference. Smith came out in some kind of shapeless white smock that looked like something Uncle Owen would throw on to go check on some vaporators out on the moisture farm. It’s true that it was very cold in Minnesota, and Smith was probably only trying to bundle up for the brutal 10 yard journey from the players entrance to the team bus, but that was no excuse for the SNY team. Even after the worst shellacking, Sanchez would show up for post game appearances in a suit and tie, a look that the SNY team of Brian Custer, Erik Coleman, Ray Lucas and former special teams coordinator Mike Westhoff found far more suitable.

Just watch.

I hope you will forgive me for my one sports moment of the year. I added this video to the library of great jets moments such as Mark Sanchez eating a hotdog on the sidelines,

and a more recent event where he reviewed the food options available at Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field, where he’s playing pretty well now that he doesn’t have New York’s psychotic mind blitz coming at him on every waking moment.

Obviously, poor Geno Smith has crumbled under the pressure, and so has his closet.

NY Mets rookies in female superhero cosplay hazing ritual


Where is Milo Manara when you need him? The regulation baseball season has seven days to go, which can’t come soon enough for NY baseball fans, although the tearful Derek Jeter final sendoff still looms. In another fall ritual, baseball rookies were subjected to generally harmless “hazing.”A few years ago this consisted of just wearing a My Little Pony backpack around the bullpen, but since that’s practically normal now, the ritual has become much more complicated, as the NY Mets rookies were required to dress as female superheroes for the road trip from Atlanta to Washington.

While even I can’t ID all of them from left to right that’s Dario Alvarez, Wilmer Flores as Lady Thor, Dilson Hererra as a saucy Batgirl, unknown, Juan Centeno as Lady Green Lantern, unknown and slender rookie phenom pitcher Jacob DeGrom rocking a bold (some called it skimpy) “Pretty Patriot” outfit. Also unknown s Wonder Woman in the front row. Hey, they’re rookies who just got called up! I am saddened that we didn’t get to see Jeurys Famiglia as Power Girl.

While this is a hazing ritual everyone seems to be taking it with very good humor.

In case you were wondering, the LA Dodgers rookies had a similar stunt but got to dress as male superheroes.

The Hulk joins Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney and more in epic Nike ad


The World Cup is coming in June and most of the world, and even an increasing number of Americans, will be stopping everything to watch it. Nike has released a new 4 minute mini film about kids playing a pick up game imagining they are international superstars Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney and more, including Neymar, Zlatan Ibrahimović (the guy with the ponytail), Gerard Piqué, Gonzalo Higuaín, Mario Götze, Eden Hazard, Thiago Silva, Andrea Pirlo, David Luiz, Andrés Iniesta and Thibaut Courtois. I also spotted Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Jon Jones and Anderson Silva among other sports/Nike luminaries.

Even The Hulk appear at one point, subbing for goalie Tim Howard, who is is the goalie on the US team! Yes, an American footie player made this film and I think we should all be proud of that. (Some say the Hulk is there because one of the players is nicknamed The Hulk, but I think it’s because of Howard’s green kit.) The Hulk still doesn’t have is own movie franchise but he will appear in next year’s Avengers 2.

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The spot—which is pretty amazing all around—was produced by Wieden + Kennedy Portland for Nike.

The World Cup kicks off on June 12 in Brazil. The US team has drawn the group of death—Ghana (who knocked them out of the last two World Cups), Portigal, who boast one of the worlds greatest superstars in Ronaldo, and Germany, who are perennial finalists. BUt easing the sting of what might be a painful World Cup for ths US, at least the games take place in EST so you can watch the games at night and not get up at 8 am last the last few times.

On a personal note: I liked the morning hour World Cups! It was an excuse to get together for brunch with friends sand then go about your day. I’ve never been through a EDT World Cup though so we’ll see.

Lebron shows what it is really like to wear a superhero mask

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I don’t even watch basketball, but while passing TVs of late I noticed some guy playing basketball who seemed to be wearing a sinister mask that made him look like Doctor Doom’s henchman. Turns out it’s Lebron James, who broke his nose a few weeks ago and has been wearing a protective device since then. It does kind of look like a Green Lantern type thing, but it doesn’t look very comfortable.

Despite his discomfort, Lebron was able to score 61 points against the Charlotte Bobcats the other night. (For non sports fans, that is quite a few points.)

Lebron is not unaware of the comics connection with his mask, telling the AP that he was going to “wear a mask like Bane, or some other comic book character. I’ve been talking to Marvel Comics for the last couple of days, and DC Comics, to try to come up with one of the greatest masks of all time.”

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I don’t know how long he’ll have to wear the mask, but time may be running out, so Greg Land jumped right on it and tweeted his design:


If Lebron, one of the most popular athletes in the world, DOES show up i a superhero themed mask, I think it will be the ultimate “Milk Council” moment for comics. I’ve long said we don’t need a Milk Council any more, but there it is.

What comics artist would you like to see design the mask for Lebron? Personally, I’d go with Eichiiro Oda or Renee French…something like that.

Please Stand By…We Are Experiencing Technical Difficulties

indian head test patternThe Beat has been intermittent these past few days, and our crack team of technical experts are working feverishly to solve the problems, so that you may enjoy the informative, entertaining content that you expect from Heidi, Steve, and me, Torsten, the wrangler of the infinite monkeys.

Do to this service disruption, I will be live-blogging the Super Bowl commercials over at my site:  “Anyways”  http://torstenadair.blogspot.com/

Kids, don’t try this at home!  (‘Cause your parents might walk in on you and spoil the fun!)  I’ve done this before… during Super Bowl Exliv.

And here’s a sample of what to expect, from the halftime show:

Who dat playing? / The Who. / Who? / Yes. / Who’s the band? / Yes. / Yes is playing? / No, The Who is. / Who’s the band? / No, Who is the Who. The Band’s not playing tonight. / Then the Who’s playing? / Exactly.

So, please join me over on Blogspot!

 

EXCLUSIVE preview: Baltic comics anthology s!14 Sports

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Cover illustration by Amanda Baeza

 
Boy, does time come around fast- it seemed like just a few days ago I was writing up the preview for s!13 Life is Live. A comics fan must never complain about time speeding by though, as it means the release of good material is ever more imminent. And so it is with the upcoming volume of s!, the Baltic comics anthology from fantastic Latvian comics publishers, kus komikss. [Read more…]

Valiant wants you to pick a luge suit

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When Valiant Entertainment came back, they wanted to make a splash—with strong content, memorable characters and regular shipping. And luge. Because everyone loves luging and lugers. For those who are not winter sport aficionados, this is the dangerous sport where people pile into a tiny sled and go feet first down an icy hill at 90 miles per hour. Sometimes two people pile onto the tiny sled.

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Two man luge is a sport for good friends.

Anyway, Valiant and artist Khari Evans have designed the uniforms for the US Luge Team’s appearance at the 2014 Winter Olympics at Sochi, Russia. And they want YOU to help pick the look!

All the styles are on view and voting is taking place at www.USALuge.com

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Personally, we gotta go with Silver Wave because…it’s Silver Wave.

The 2014 US Olympic luge team also has brand new sleds designed by Dow that it is hoped will put the team back in contention at Sochi.

More deets in the PR:

Valiant is proud to announce that it has partnered with USA Luge, home of the fastest sport on ice, and USA Luge technical partner Dow for a new online contest to choose the final sled, helmet and suit designs to be used in competition at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games.
 
Now through August 23rd, fans worldwide can visit www.USALuge.com to vote on their favorite combination of Valiant-designed helmets and racing suits – as envisioned by Harvey Award-nominated artist Khari Evans (Harbinger, Archer & Armstrong) – and Dow-engineered sled! The winning, fan-selected design will join the USA Luge team in competition next February, as they represent the United States at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games.
 
“A modern, sharp-looking uniform is more than mere aesthetics, as it helps boost the confidence of athletes,” said Gordy Sheer, 1998 Olympic silver medalist and Director of Marketing and Sponsorship for USA Luge. “Valiant Entertainment has an incredible design sense, and we’re thrilled to have them contributing to the look of the USA Luge helmets and race suits for the Sochi 2014 Games.”
 
“Valiant is incredibly proud to be a sponsor of USA Luge, and the responsibility of overseeing the team’s next great suit and helmet designs – to be seen in action at the Sochi 2014 Games – is one that we do not take lightly. It’s been an honor to participate in the process, and we look forward to seeing which thrilling design the fans decide to send into action alongside USA Luge’s athletes in Sochi this winter,” said Russell A. Brown, Valiant’s President of Consumer Products, Promotions and Ad Sales.
 
The newly selected helmet and suit design will be the second Valiant-inspired uniform employed by USA Luge. A corporate sponsor of the team and its athletes since 2012, Valiant also designed the look of USA Luge’s race gear for the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 World Cup and World Championship seasons with a groundbreaking uniform design patterned after the iconic design of X-O Manowar, the armor-clad hero of Valiant’s flagship comic series.
 
Now, with four all-new new designs to choose from – Flagship, Racer, Silver Wave, and Stargate – fans are encouraged to select their favorite look and make their voice heard before the final ballots are cast on August 23rd. Visit www.USALuge.com today to cast your vote and bring the USA Luge team one step closer to glory this winter at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games!

Who turned the lights out at the Super Bowl: Beyoncé or Bane?

When the Super Bowl at the Super Dome was plunged into darkness by a blackout last night, Twitter immediately pointed the finger at two possible suspects—halftime entertainer Beyoncé ,who doubtless needed a million hair dryers to get her ‘do just so, and alight those neon Busby Berkeley tributes.

And the other suspect was the evil villain Bane, who pulled a similar stunt in The Dark Knight Rises. So often was this connection made that Bane was trending on Twitter soon after the lights went out.

But what did they were the same person? Once Again Twitter was right there!

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For those who do not believe Beyoncé was an evil villain—although those gloves were a little suspicious—here’s another view:
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Shocker! NFL SuperPro may be appearing in the NFL RUSH ZONE comics

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We did it with Woodgod.

And now we’re doing it with NFL SuperPro.

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After our mentioning how much the world needs the return of NFL SuperPro just the other day, a well-sourced rumor claims that NFL SuperPro may make an appearance in Action Lab’s new NFL RUSH ZONE comics.

If true, this would just about break the space time continuum and send Mercury orbiting around Venus while Mars plunges into the sun.

You’ll recall that NFL SUPERPRO was a Marvel comic that appeared in 1991 and featured the adventures of ex-pro footballer Phil Grayfield, who gained an indestructible football uniform after a bizarre accident. The all-too-brief 12-issue run of the comic featured SuperPro teaming up with Captain America and battling a man who shot pennies out of his fist. Despite the great setup and characterization, the book has often been called “the worst Marvel comic of all time.” Luckily this narrow minded view is gradually disappearing and people are becoming more open to the notion that far from sucking, NFL SUPERPRO was a meta-fictional treatise on our aspirations and American consumerism. Or something like that.

Anyway, enter Action Lab’s new NFL RUSH ZONE: GUARDIANS OF THE CORE comic, based on a TV show about a kid named Ish who must save the universe by shouting “Enter the Rush Zone!” and manifesting a super-powerful football uniform. And, incredibly, both NFL RUSH ZONE and NFL SUPERPRO are owned by…the NFL…making a crossover not only possible but necessary to the survival of the human species.

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Should this crossover come to pass, not only will the world tilt on its axis, but a new golden age of storytelling will open up—with the world safe for superhero sports comics once more, two great American traditions can be consolidated into an unstoppable force. And then this force can be applied to Mark Sanchez and the world will truly be right once again.

Whatever the truth of the rumor, the NFL RUSH ZONE comic debuted at the NFL Experience today in New Orleans, and kids were lined up for it, according to the Action Lab Twitter feed. It’s all for the kids.
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Beat Man of the Year, Non-Comics Division: R.A. Dickey

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Is there a more feel good story anywhere this year than the R.A. Dickey saga?

Once cast on the scrapheap of pitching due to lacking a crucial ligament in his elbow, Dickey went through purgatory and emerged with the determination to claw his way back, and gripping the baseball with his knuckles. The Mets pitcher won his 20th game yesterday, the first Met to do so since 1990, and along the way he’s having one of the greatest seasons ever by a pitcher who specializes in throwing knuckleballs.

For those who don’t follow baseball, the knuckleball is a mysterious art. Tossed with a lack of spin, it follows an unpredictable trajectory to home plate, sometimes blobbing up as a fat home run ball but more often for Dickey as a fluttering, unhittable butterfly.

All that would be cool enough as a come back story, but Dickey is more than that, one of those characters that only baseball, the Samuel Richardson novel of sports, with its long, daily grind and ample down time, could produce. Humble in outlook but a fierce competitor, erudite and reverent, in the off season he decided to climb Mount Kilimanjaro for charity, (The charity? An organization that helps women in Mumbai at risk of abuse) and then released an autobiography, Wherever I Wind Up: My Quest for Truth, Authenticity and the Perfect Knuckleball, that garnered rave reviews while revealing as a child he had been sexually abused, cheated on his wife and contemplated suicide. It’s a mark of both Dickey’s performance on the field and his integrity as a person that all of this just served to make the fans love him all the more.

It’s not even just his pitching. While on the field he’s hitting a mere .157 it’s still more than “slugger” Jason Bay, and he runs the basepaths fearlessly, even in games he’s pitching well. He’s a competitor in the best sense, not because it’s going to make him rich and famous, but because it’s the right thing to do.

But to the purpose of this blog, Dickey, a English lit major in college, is One Of Us.


A phony might have said Sting or Anduril. R.A. Dickey has proved he’s no phony.

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[Dickey is currently featured in Knuckleball!, a documentary about the pitch available on iTunes.]

The Olympics for Nerds: The Parade of Olympic Mascots

While you may not be interested in sporting events, the history of Olympic Mascots ties into such familiar Beat territory as licensing and furries. According to the Smithsonian, the Germans, who innovated the pictographs we spotlighted earlier, also invented the Olympic mascot with Wendi, a lovable dachshund who introduced the 1972 Summer games in Munich. It was only the beginning of a parade of characters hated and loved, but most often hated.

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The Soviet Union followed this up with cuddly Mischa the Bear who anchored the boycotted 1980 Olympics and was designed by children’s illustrator Victor Chizhikov.

When the 1984 Olympics came to the US in Los Angeles, organizers came up with something totally unexpected:
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That’s right, Sam the Eagle! A bit on the nose there, but it was the Cold War after all. (The Soviet bloc boycotted our games in retaliation.) If you’re thinking this mascot looks like it was designed by Disney you’re right! Animator C. Robert Moore did the design work, although some were critical of the Jose Carioca-like look at the time.
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in 1992, the Barcelona games turned to occasional cartoonist Javier Mariscal (RAW) for Cobi, the first modernist mascot. Initially criticized (as they all are), Cobi went on to become quite popular and had his own cartoon series.
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In 1996, the US went the other way with their mascot, Izzy, an example of soulless ’90s corporate branding/character design at its worst. Yeah, you millennials know what I’m talking about. Izzy was detested from his first appearance, despite acquiring a nose and tongue in an effort to gain popularity. Matt Groening called Izzy as “a bad marriage of the Pillsbury doughboy and the ugliest California Raisin.”

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In 2000 Sydney improved matters somewhat, at least from a cryptozoological standpoint, with Ollie, Syd and Millie, a Kookaburra, Platypus and Echidna who represented the local fauna. While the echidna is best known as a mysterious egg-laying creature that has a beak and a long, thin tongue. Despite this, it was nicknamed “Dickhead” for fairly obvious reasons. These official mascots, designed by Matt Hatton and Jozef Szekeres, were joined by an unofficial joke character, Fatso the Fat-Arsed Wombat, who was created by cartoonist Paul Newell.
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Fatso eventually became so popular he got his own statue outside the Olympic Stadium. Fair play to the Australians for being good sports.

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In 2010, The Vancouver Winter Olympics introduced the most adorable mascots yet seen, Miga, Quatchi, Sumi and their sidekick Mukmuk, from Meomi Design, also known as the creators of the Octonauts. They might be termed vinyl and T-shirt ready.

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Finally we come to this year’s entrants, Wenlock and Mandeville, a pair of one-eyed MONSTERS INC. rejects who seem to exemplify the horribly overthought design that has marked the London games. If Izzy was corporate-think gone wild, Wenlock and Mandeville are the result of community testing combined with groupthink:

In October 2008 we advertised the opportunity to design the mascots on CompeteFor , the London 2012 procurement website. After more than 100 designers, artists and agencies applied, we spent the next few months selecting the best ideas and developing them based on this feedback.

When the final three ideas were tested with people all round the UK, we learnt that the British public didn’t just want a character, they also want a story. We also tested the ideas with toy industry experts who agreed that Wenlock and Mandeville were the best choices.

Based on all the feedback we received, we selected Wenlock as the official Olympic mascot and Mandeville as the official Paralympic mascot for London 2012 in December 2009. The mascots were designed by London creative agency Iris. 


The objects of general derision from around the world. In addition, their single eye —a TV Camera which allows them to record everything—is seen as an Orwellian development.

Despite their unnerving undertones and unlovable appearance, Wenlock and Mandeville are getting the full media treatment, including cartoons:

Be forewarned—this is 16 minutes long. If you can get to the end, you are really dedicated.

They are also featured in their own comics in The Beano.

As odd and Wenlock and Mandeville may seem, they are not that out of place for a country that competes for the most disgusting pub names, and enjoys foods called bubble and squeak and spotted dick.

The Brooklyn Nets will be buying their comics at Bergen Street Comics

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On our periodic forays to Bergen Street Comics we’ve been watching the new Barclays Center go up a few blocks away, so it’s good to know that
comics-loving Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez knows where to get his books:

Lopez smiled and headed to Bergen Street Comics, where the NBA star and superhero junkie dropped $75 after an in-depth conversation about “The Rocketeer.” “He was pretty knowledgeable,” an impressed worker at the shop said. Comics in hand, Lopez headed to hipster hot-dog joint Bark with his brother Alex and Nets execs.


That’s exactly where we go after a trip to Bergen Street! This Lopez guy knows his stuff.

No-Han Mania!

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So thrilled I got to see the end of this game and the Mets no-hit dearth—a 50-year legacy of 9th inning heartbreak—ended.

March Mayhem at Stately Beat Manor!

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It’s that time of year again!  Sports geeks speculate who will make the Big Dance, who got snubbed, and who will be the Cinderella Team this year.  Billions of dollars are wagered (except in grade school) on the outcomes, as casual fans contemplate the 68 teams and fill out numerous brackets.

So, it’s not a surprise that non-sports geeks get involved.  Jeff Sagarin, who contributes his computer football rankings to the BCS calculation, has run simulations of the tournament, and calculated the odds of winning for each team.  (Even Mississippi Valley State, the lowest team, can win the tournament 2,428 times out of 68 million permutations.  Of course, they lost to Western Kentucky, which then lost to top-seed Kentucky.)

It’s not uncommon among comics fans to wonder, “Who would win in a fight, Forbush Man or ‘Mazing Man?”  (Neither.  Ma Hunkel would break it up and have them both over to the JSA mansion of cookies and milk.)  (Wondering about The Empire and Star Trek?) So it’s not inconceivable that fans would take that simple idea, and turn it into a tournament.  Who do you seed in each bracket?  How do you arrange the divisions?  Do you mix and match franchises and tribes?

Well, we here at Stately Beat Manor offer the following brackets as a community service, especially to fans of Missouri and Duke.  (Your lack of faith was disturbing.  >choke<)

Lord of the Rings

First, it’s well known that The Beatrix is a fervent Lord of the Rings fan.  So here, via OneRing.net, is this year’s bracket:

The four brackets:

  • The Rankin/Bass Division
  • The Ralph Bakshi Division
  • The Tolkien Family Division
  • The Peter Jackson Division

First round voting ends at March 21st at Noon ET.

Want more bloody action?  Game of Thrones brackets!

Webcomics

Our friends over at ComicMix, crazy fools that they are, decided to host another webcomic bracket!  First they listed 150 comics, then foolishly asked for suggestions. Readers suggested another 150 strips, and after 17,896 votes, the 128 finalists were tabulated.  (You can see the voting results at the link.)  Click here for the four divisions and the first round of voting, which ended last Friday.

The four divisions:

  • Giraud
  • Moldoff
  • Robinson
  • Simon

The final four webcomics each win $25, second place wins $50, and the winner gets $100 in their tip jars.  The first reader to pick the correct final four wins a $50 Amazon gift card!  The Second Round has not yet been announced, but you can update them manually, as the votes are listed for each match-up.

Also of note:

Brian Cronin, the George Gallup of comics polling, hosts the 2012 DC/Marvel Comic Character Tournament! at Comics Should Be Good.   The thread can be followed here. Last year’s contest pitted Batman vs. Thor, with Thor triumphant.  Batman bested Spider-Man in 2010 and 2009.

Science Fiction

Once again, Transformer Generation Dad is running their cross-franchise tourney, although this year, they have eliminated the final and will award four titles.  (Last year, Lego beat The Lord of Rings.)  Or, if you’re bored, you can view it as one winner, such as “Morpheus piloting the TARDIS with Marvin the Paranoid Android in the Alien universe”.  (If you’re really bored, you can use it as a fanfiction plot generator, as there are 65,536 permutations!)

The voting can be accessed here. The four divisions:

  • Universe
  • Ship
  • Captain
  • Crew

The sixteen franchises:

  • 2001: A Space Odyssey
  • Alien
  • Babylon 5
  • Battlestar Gallactica
  • Doctor Who
  • Farscape
  • Firefly
  • Futurama
  • Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
  • Mass Effect
  • The Matrix
  • Mystery Science theater 3000
  • Star Fox 64
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation
  • Star Trek: The Original Series
  • Star Wars

The brackets PDF can be viewed here.

Muppets

For the third year in a row, Tough Pigs hosts the “Muppet Madness Tournament”!  (YAAAAYYYYY!!!)  This year, the contestants are limited to The Muppets, and feature man and muppet characters!

The four divisions:

  • New Characters (featuring the characters who made their Muppetverse debuts in the film)
  • Celebrities (famous people, who may or may not actually be a people)
  • Classics (some familiar faces)
  • Old Favorites (characters who have made a triumphant return in the new movie)

Round One voting ends tonight!  There are some interesting matchups, including Gary vs. his muppet self!  Voters can vote once a day!

Cartoons

The subject of this year’s bracket tourney on The Victory Formation is cartoons.

[Caveat: TVF is primarily a sporting fans site.  Stick to the Cartoonology thread and you’ll be okay.]

There are four brackets (which are honorary, not copyright-specific):

  • Hannah Barbera [sic]
  • Disney
  • Nickelodeon
  • Warner Brothers [Yes, they own Hanna-Barbera]

Top seeds: Homer Simpson, Bugs Bunny, Fred Flintstone [rilly?], and Mickey Mouse.

The bracket image is too large to copy here, so click here for a larger view!

No idea how the voting goes…

Here’s hoping Cartoon Brew will run a tourney next year.  TVF gets the “good intentions” award, but it’s flawed.

Of note:

Inside Pulse runs their Best TV Show Madness tourney.

Are you a die-hard television viewer?  Know what a showrunner does?  Well, for those who do, TheTVAddict.com offers their second annual “TV Showrunner Madness” tourney!

The Hollywood Gossip concludes their The First Annual [sic] Tournament of THG: Couples Edition.  Will readers choose Robert & Kristen, or Miley & Liam?

Esquire, classy magazine that they are, runs their annual “Ladies’ Tournament”.   Top seeds:  Charlize Theron, Sofia Vergara, Kate Upton, and Katherine, Duchess of Cambridge.

Books

Looking for something more cerebral and literate?

The Morning News hosts the eighth annual Tournament of Books. How does it work?

Each weekday in March, a judge evaluates two books and chooses one to move ahead. On the final match day, all the judges weigh in on the remaining two books, selecting one to receive our award, The Rooster (named in honor of David Sedaris’s brother). Each day, there’s also commentary from our play-by-play officials, Kevin Guilfoile and John Warner, as well as you, the audience. One special note: Just before the Championship match, we have a special “Zombie Round” where the would-be finalists must battle our readers’ two favorite books that were already ejected earlier in the competition.

[Yes, I thought there would be actual zombie-genre books added to the mix!]


No graphic novels this year, but lots of experimental fiction.  Note that Wil Wheaton is one of the judges.  His decision can be found here.

Of note:

Jen’s Book Thoughts hosts a special “Heroes and Villains” of Crime Fiction bracket.

Food

So that covers  “food for thought”.  Here’s the “food for blogging”.  BurgerBusiness.com once again hosts a “Burger Brackets” tourney, pitting various burger chains against each other.

2012_BurgerBrackets_Rev3.12 (An Excel spreadsheet)

The four brackets:

  • Thomas
  • Kroc
  • McLamore
  • Karcher

Voting can be done here. If you are still hungry:

A Washington food bank has local eateries compete on which can donate the most packaged food!

PBS Food serves up “Sandwich Madness”! Yum!

So Good runs their fourth annual food tourney.  Following meat, fast food, and snacks, this year focuses on candy.  No gum.

L.A. Taco offers a regional Taco Madness tourney!

32 craft beers compete at the Washington Post!

Ducali Pizzeria & Bar in Boston does the same.

As does Brew Bracket.

And now, for the Mother of All brackets!

The Consumerist, the website run by Consumer Reports, offers the seventh annual Worst Company In America tournament!

Last year, BP barely triumphed under Bank of America!

Which corporation will take home the Golden Poo Award this year?  You decide!

Need to be reminded?  Company profiles are included on the introductory page.

Each day, three bouts will be activated, with commentary.  There is also a comments section.

Voting for last Friday’s contestants ends tonight.  Who is worse:

  • Netflix or GameStop?
  • USPS or UPS?
  • Comcast or Time Warner Cable?

Monday offers the last of the First Round:

MARCH 19:

  • 9:30 a.m. ET: Spirit vs. Delta
  • Noon ET: AT&T vs. Verizon
  • 1:30 p.m. ET: Facebook vs. Sprint
  • 3:00 p.m. ET: Google vs. Apple

Sharpen those Ginsu knives!  Let our corporate overlords know who will be first against the wall when the revolution comes!  Share and enjoy!

And while you wait for the results, view the tag archives for previous years results!  Yes, many are repeat offenders competitors!

Other “Madness”

MM-aRch Madness 2012, hosted by WMMR 93.3 FM in Philadelphia, doing an hourly playoff of the best rock bands.

Laptopmag.com hosts “Smartphone Madness”.

The American Jesus website runs their “American Jesus Tournament” featuring pop Christian culture!  Finalists are Tim Tebow vs. Rachel Held Evans.  [I had to Google Evans. Then I visited her website.  She is awesome.]

And the winner for most unusual sporting tournament?

And the one with the best terminology!

Nice art: Not much longer now

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Ben Towle’s baseball sketches remind us that pitchers and catchers have already reported.

Super Bowl champion NY Giants get their own graphic novel

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It’s a story of twists and turns as only a 9-7 season can be, but perhaps the most incredible thing about
this online graphic novel chronicling the New York Giants’ championship season is that it is being created by someone known as Chris in Philly. Preferring to remain anonymous—surely because his fellow Philadelphians would egg bomb his house if they knew about it—Chris is using Photoshopped archival materials to tell the exciting story of how Eli Manning led his team to a Super Bowl upset of the New England Patriots. It’s a classic story of the underdog coming out on top.

But he’s not just influenced by the Giants’ late season comeback and crisp execution under pressure. Chris told NFL.com that he heavily borrowed from Alan Moore’s techniques. “I do really like ‘Watchmen’ by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons,” he says, “and I most certainly borrowed a lot from it. The entire idea of Eli’s journal is from there. I took the line about being ‘locked in’ with him directly from ‘Watchmen.’ The very shape and color of the text boxes are from ‘Watchmen.’ So, once I essentially made Eli the Rorschach character, that set the tone, and all I had to do was make it about yet another glorious run through the playoffs.”

Right. Eli Manning would make a great Rorschach. “Packer carcass in alley this morning, Cruz tread on torn hamstring. This city is in love with me, and I know because they had a ticker tape parade and I star in those Toyota commercials.”

In any event, if DC is looking for creators For Before Before Watchmen, here’s their man.

[Thanks to Torsten for the link.]