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!


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.


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!


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.


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.


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:


  • 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!


  1. Really been enjoying “The Greatest TV Dramas Of The Past 25 Years” over at Vulture.com. While the public doesn’t vote, the critics who are provide essays about their thought processes that are really interesting to read. I’ve also voted in Hulu’s “Best of Show” and one over at Billboard that’s for best recent song.