Saturday, March 20, 2010

Mascot Massacre Round Two

SURE, LAUGH IF YOU MUST about my method, but I did accurately predict the Round One winners in the entire South Bracket. Also correctly foretold: Ohio over Georgetown, Murray State over Vanderbilt and Old Dominion over Notre Dame. Did I get some things wrong? Maybe I did. But that’s not the point, now is it?

The point is that we’re out of Round One now and into Round Two, and the carnage continues. Again, these are cage matches and only one side survives.

Let it BEGIN!!! Or...in this case, continue.

MIDWEST
Kansas Jayhawks vs. UNLV Runnin’ Rebels – The Rebels are rebellious and obviously fond of cross-country. But the Jayhawks are Civil War era guerilla fighters, who, I feel it’s worth repeating, are fighting on the right side of history. Who knows who the Rebels are rebelling against? Is it fair to assume they are rebelling against Abraham Lincoln? Of course it is. In which case, they are destined to be defeated.
WINNER: JAYHAWKS!

Michigan State Spartans vs. Houston Cougars – Until the Spartans face another armed foe, they kind of have a walk in the tournament.
WINNER: SPARTANS!

Tennessee Volunteers vs. Ohio Bobcats – The Bobcats had it easy in Round One, being pitted against a domesticated dog. This round they face an actual army. Okay, I’ll make it more fair this time. I’ll give the Bobcats handguns. Whoops! No opposable thumbs. Sorry li’l fellas.
WINNER: VOLUNTEERS!

Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. UC Santa Barbara Gauchos – Wow, cowboy versus cowboy! North America versus South America in a battle of silly hats! Since I’m American, I obviously believe our Cowboys are better than anyone else’s. Let's just hope they don't fall in love out there, because if that's the case, you know who wins? That's right, Paul Haggis.
WINNER: COWBOYS!

WEST
Vermont Catamounts vs. Florida State Seminoles – Another close call, but as with the Mountaineers above, what we’re talking about is a skilled hunter versus a wild animal. On the plus side, that cougar jacket will look nice at the Seminole Spring Formal.
WINNER: SEMINOLES!

UTEP Miners vs. Murray State Racers – The ponies got the nod last round when they were facing a bunch of Vic 20s. This round, however, their opponents are surly old men with pick-axes.
WINNER: MINERS!

Xavier Musketeers vs. Oakland Golden Grizzlies – The Musketeers’ swords and guns might have worked against the Mecha-Gophers from Minnesota. But these robotic opponents are about ten times that size.
WINNER: GOLDEN GRIZZLIES!

Florida Gators vs. Kansas State Wildcats – Wildcats are predators. They are quick and stealthy and capable of deadly speed. However, they are also what most Gators would call “snack-sized.”
WINNER: GATORS!

EAST
Kentucky Wildcats vs. Wake Forest Demon Deacons – Being non-magical, non-robotic, non-supernatural really hurts the Wildcats in this matchup. Obviously, hell-spawn creatures have a bit of an advantage in the tourney. Oh wait, don’t people often call the Wildcats the “Angelic Wildcats?” No? My bad.
WINNER: DEMON DEACONS!

Temple Owls vs. Wisconsin Badgers – Fur and feathers will fly in this close competition, and you have to ask yourself: Is it really an advantage to be able to fly? Also, that Tootsie Pop is more of a hindrance than a help.
WINNER: BADGERS!

Marquette Golden Eagles vs. Montana Grizzlies – Size is the advantage here. Even if I assume the Robo-Eagles have eyes that shoot lasers, which naturally I’m assuming, I still believe the gargantuan mass of the Grizzlies tips the scales in their favor.
WINNER: GRIZZLIES!

Missouri Tigers vs. West Virginia Mountaineers – After facing Bears in the previous round, the Mountaineers may be a little thrown by the non-native Tigers. But these are inbred hillbillies we’re talking about. One vicious animal is the same as another. They’re just another meal wrapped in fur.
WINNER: MOUNTAINEERS!

SOUTH
Duke Blue Devils vs. California Golden Bears – Hellbeast versus Mecha-Bear! This would be a pretty awesome match were it not for one thing: the melting temperature of gold.
WINNER: BLUE DEVILS!

Texas A&M Aggies vs. Purdue Boilermakers – Do you really want to start a fight with a bunch of iron-workers? You do? But you’re a bunch of agriculture students. You know, this might be why people don't think you're a very smart bunch of people. I'm just saying.
WINNER: BOILERMAKERS!

Old Dominion Monarchs vs. Baylor Bears – Old Dominion’s mascot is a lion with a crown on its head. While the crown offers Old Dominion zero advantage on the battlefield, you gotta give ‘em style points. I mean, not everyone can pull off wearing a crown, but that lion looks awesome in it! In an otherwise even match, the style points push it over the edge.
WINNER: MONARCHS!

St. Mary’s Gaels vs. Villanova Wildcats – Nothing about the Gaels implies that they are armed or schooled in the art of self-defense. As far as we know, these Gaels are a group of kindly senior citizens from Belfast. Or they are Oprah’s girlfriend. Either way, I think you might want to look away. It’s not gonna be pretty.
WINNER: WILDCATS!

Round One results.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Smell You Later

I LIKE TO IMAGINE that advertising copywriters are repressed individuals who aren't trying to come up with clever copy so much as they are trying to clear their consciences of dark, dark secrets. Maybe I'm only thinking this recently because of the following ad I saw on the New York Times website.



Firstly, if you "love the smell of chair in the morning," you are a pervert. Let's just agree on that. Ordinary people don't go around smelling chairs. In my experience anyway.

That said, and understanding that this is a play on the Robert Duvall line from Apocalypse Now, why the morning specifically?

Wait, let me back up. Why choose that movie quote, out of all possible movie quotes? Obviously, it wasn't chosen because it made the most sense. Did "The chair? You can't handle the chair?" not have the right ring to it? I'd like to offer some other, equally sensible choices that I feel the advertisers at Hive rejected before settling on smelling a chair.

"Take your stinking paws off me, you damn dirty CHAIR."
"She's my daughter! She's my CHAIR! My daughter! My CHAIR! She's my CHAIR and my daughter."
"Frankly, my CHAIR, I don't give a damn!"
"Louis, I think this is the CHAIR of a beautiful friendship."
"I am SpartaCHAIR!"


I would have included, "We're gonna need a bigger CHAIR," but that makes way too much sense.

Maybe I'm missing the appeal of this though. I don't know anything about Hive. Maybe it's like the American Apparel of furniture stores. In which case, playing to the pervert crowd is smart.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

March Mascot Madness 2010

WE'VE ALL BEEN HERE BEFORE. In the early stages of March Madness, incurable as far as I know, and trying our best to predict the winner, hopefully for monetary gain. There are a lot of methods to arrive at this, but the one I prefer is to fill out my bracket according to how the mascots would fare in a cage match (standard North American rules).

I don’t want to brag too much, but when I last did it this way, I accurately chose the winner.

Let’s break it down, bracket by bracket, shall we?

MIDWEST
Kansas Jayhawks vs. Lehigh Mountain Hawks – In predicting the winners here, I will do my best not to favor the mascot of my alma mater, the overall #1 seed, which is not a bird actually but a Civil War guerilla fighter fighting for the freedom of slaves. What I’m saying is: KU’s mascot is named after an armed force that was totally on the right side of history. Can the same be said about you, ordinary hawk? No it can’t.
WINNER: JAYHAWKS!

UNLV Runnin’ Rebels vs. Northern Iowa Panthers – There are a lot of armed forces in this year’s bracket, but the Rebels are the only Runnin’ version. However, it isn’t their speed or the size of their fantastic mustachios that will really benefit them in this match. No, it’s the guns that will make the biggest difference.
WINNER: RUNNIN’ REBELS!

Michigan State Spartans vs. New Mexico State Aggies – Spartans are historically gifted fighters, favored in a fight even if they are outnumbered. On the other hand, Aggies are students who are studying agriculture. Oh Aggies, don’t you know, you never bring a lawn aerator to a sword fight.
WINNER: SPARTANS!

Maryland Terrapins vs. Houston Cougars – You know how Skittles have that crunchy candy coating outside but are soft and tangy on the inside. Me too. Oh, by the way, that’s exactly how a cougar describes a turtle.
WINNER: COUGARS!

Tennessee Volunteers vs. San Diego State Aztecs – Hmm, I wonder how an indigenous people would fare against an armed force from America? If only there were some historical precedent.
WINNER: VOLUNTEERS!

Georgetown Hoyas vs. Ohio Bobcats – No one really knows what a “Hoya” is, not even people who are proud to call themselves Hoyas. What we do know is that they are depicted as a bulldog. There’s no confusion about what a Bobcat is. Or how much more well-adapted to hunting prey it is compared to a domesticated dog.
WINNER: BOBCATS!

Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets – Cowboys are rough and rugged men of the prairie who occasionally fall in love with each other, according to Hollywood anyway. Yellow jackets are a predatory wasp. Not being human-sized is a disadvantage in this confrontation, however.
WINNER: COWBOYS!

Ohio State Buckeyes vs. UC Santa Barbara Gauchos – If this were a confrontation written, directed and produced by M. Night Shyamalan, those Gauchos might have something to fear from a bunch of trees from Ohio. Of course, then the ending would still be some dumb twist you figured out from watching the trailer anyway and you’d have to swear to your wife you’d never take her to another one of his crappy movies ever again, even though you both really liked The Sixth Sense and Signs (kinda). What was I talking about? Oh right…
WINNER: GAUCHOS!

WEST
Syracuse Orange vs. Vermont Catamounts – One of the three colors in this year’s tournament, the Orange have a difficult task ahead of them. Not having a specific physical form, they don’t stand much chance against the sharp claws and gnashing teeth of the variant of the cougar from the Northeast. Unless, they aren’t the color but the fruit! Oh wait. That’s still not an advantage.
WINNER: CATAMOUNTS!

Gonzaga Bulldogs vs. Florida State Seminoles – Bulldogs, you are adorable. With your crazy faces and the slobbering and snoring. And you’re so friendly and trusting too! You might have noticed that I did not say “poison-tipped” or “razor-sharp.”
WINNER: SEMINOLES!

Butler Bulldogs vs. UTEP Miners – Oh boy. Those adorable Bulldogs have befriended someone else. Don’t follow them into the mine, puppies! Don’t do it!
WINNER: MINERS!

Vanderbilt Commodores vs. Murray State Racers – To be honest, I’ve always wanted to see a horse fight an obsolete computer. Nothing against the Commodore 64, it just smashes real good under the powerful forelocks of a thoroughbred. Also, I’m a big fan of stomping.
WINNER: RACERS!

Xavier Musketeers vs. Minnesota Golden Gophers – Let’s for a moment imagine that these are not ordinary Gophers some maniac has simply dipped in gold. What if these are gold-plated mecha-Gophers? What then, Musketeers? What would your answer be then, huh? Ah, I see. You’re putting away your sword in favor of your musket. Well played, sir.
WINNER: MUSKETEERS!

Pittsburgh Panthers vs. Oakland Golden Grizzlies – Now we’re talking! Now you’ve mechanized something fearsome. As if ordinary Grizzlies weren’t terrifying enough, now they’ve got shiny golden skin and red laser eyes! (I’m assuming.) I think even a Robo-Panther would have a tough time winning this one.
WINNER: GOLDEN GRIZZLIES!

BYU Cougars vs. Florida Gators – Now this is a fight where the home court advantage would really matter. It would be a no-brainer if the Cougars had to fight the Gators in the water. But on land, it’s a lot closer. Ultimately, I give the edge to the side with scaly armor, a thousand teeth and the coach who looks like the Marine in your unit who goes bananas and shoots up the place.
WINNER: GATORS!

Kansas State Wildcats vs. North Texas Mean Green – Seriously. Your mascot is a color? I feel like you’re just giving up, North Texas. Even if I imagine that your mascot is an Angry Salad, you still don’t stand a chance.
WINNER: WILDCATS!

EAST
Kentucky Wildcats vs. East Tennessee State Buccaneers – Normally, I would give the nod to the pirates. But a quick glance at a map shows me that these “pirates” aren’t really anywhere near an ocean. In fact, East Tennessee is mountainous. So, Buccaneers, I’m guessing you aren’t the brightest bulbs. Even with your cannons and swords, you’ll find a way to lose.
WINNER: WILDCATS!

Texas Longhorns vs. Wake Forest Demon Deacons – No matter how long your horns are, you’re still a steer. And your opponent hails from hell. That combination could mean only one thing. Barbecue for everyone!
WINNER: DEMON DEACONS!

Temple Owls vs. Cornell Big Red – After a little research, I discovered that Big Red was actually short for “The Big Red Team.” Which, coincidentally, is the answer to the question: What is a worse nickname than “Big Red?”
WINNER: OWLS!

Wisconsin Badgers vs. Wofford Terriers – It’s a battle of tenacity vs. tenacity. But I’m sorry, Wofford, I can’t help but think your name is based on a pun. I get it, WOOF-ord, I get it. Your wordplay will not save you against the curved claws and snapping jaws of the Badgers.
WINNER: BADGERS!

Marquette Golden Eagles vs. Washington Huskies – Mecha-Eagle vs. Sled Dog! It might as well be Wood Chipper vs. Six Week Old Puppy.
WINNER: GOLDEN EAGLES!

New Mexico Lobos vs. Montana Grizzlies – These two opponents are familiar with one another, frequently calling the same state park home. And it’s really sad to think of all of those Grizzlies every year who are attacked and killed by wolves. What’s that? That never happens? Oh right.
WINNER: GRIZZLIES!

Clemson Tigers vs. Missouri Tigers – Not since the Civil War have we seen a house divided in such a way. Brother against brother! But it’s so sad. When Tiger fights Tiger, does anyone really win? Yes, a Tiger wins.
WINNER: TIGERS!

West Virginia Mountaineers vs. Morgan State Bears – If you live in the mountains and don’t know how to handle yourself around a bear, well, you’re probably not really a “mountaineer.” You’re probably just a “weird guy who thinks he has a special connection with bears.” You know how that story ends, right? You don’t? Just ask Werner Herzog.
WINNER: MOUNTAINEERS!

SOUTH
Duke Blue Devils vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions – Turning an already accomplished predator like a lion into a futuristic robot would, in most cases, assure a win. That is, unless the foe is a supernatural creature made of fire and evil.
WINNER: BLUE DEVILS!

California Golden Bears vs. Louisville Cardinals – No matter how angry you make your songbird mascot look, it’s still just a songbird. It’s still as dangerous and vicious as a songbird.
WINNER: GOLDEN BEARS!

Texas A&M Aggies (5) vs. Utah State Aggies – see Tigers vs. Tigers above.
WINNER: AGGIES!

Purdue Boilermakers vs. Siena Saints – You know what Step One in becoming a Saint is? Dying. Step Two is traditionally being dead for many many years. This does not bode well for Siena, in my opinion.
WINNER: BOILERMAKERS!

Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. Old Dominion Monarchs – Let’s face it, the Irish will be too hungover on the day after St. Paddy’s Day to win this one.
WINNER: MONARCHS!

Baylor Bears vs. Sam Houston State Bearkats – Oh man, Bears vs. Bears! This one will be awesome! Oh wait a second. Bearkats? I’m assuming this is a combination of a bear and a meerkat. In which case, it is not an improvement on your standard issue Bear.
WINNER: BEARS!

Richmond Spiders vs. Saint Mary’s Gaels – Are they giant spiders? Made gargantuan by exposure to radioactivity or a strange meteorite from the deeps of space? No? Just spiders? Regular old spiders? And are the Gaels wearing shoes? Yes?
WINNER: GAELS!

Villanova Wildcats vs. Robert Morris Colonials – You know those people who churn butter and make tri-corner hats at those tourist traps across the country? Of course you do. You know what those people are called? That’s right: Nerds.
WINNER: WILDCATS!

Click here for Round Two!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Proof of Evolution

First there was this.



Which, of course, led to this.