Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Fifth Annual Murphspot Mascot Bracket, Midwest, Round One, Part One

#1 North Carolina Tar Heels vs. #16 Vermont Catamounts

Ca-tamounts. Catamounts. Catamounts. I’m still not sure I’m getting it. I’m never sure where to go with the Tar Heels. If I’m honest, it’s a local nickname, so this turns into “North Carolinians against mountain cats”. I suppose then it really comes down to which North Carolinians are sent in to fight off the catamounts. Presumably military figures would be the best, but honestly it’s more fun if it’s, let’s say, Zach Galifianakis, Edward R. Murrow and, let’s say, Vince McMahon. I think the belt counts as being lightly armored.

Alternately, it turns out Thelonious Monk was a North Carolinian, which is awesome. If this were the Murphspot Hat Bracket, that'd decide it.

If we stick with the mascot, on the other hand, the mascot is a Dorset sheep named Rameses; I’m pretty sure mountain cats can kill those. When it comes down to it, Thelonious Monk probably unduly biases me towards thinking of the Tar Heels as Denizens of North Carolina, who I presume would be able to fight off mountain cats, what with their guns and jazz piano and whatnot.

North Carolina advances.

 #8 Creighton Bluejays vs. #9 Alabama Crimson Tide

Bluejays are very, very rarely frightening.

Bautista notwithstanding.

It’s blue, which is sort of a jaunty color for a bird, I guess, and it eats nuts and acorns and sings little songs. Meanwhile, the Crimson Tide sounds like the end of The Shining. Even if we stick with a strict mascot-vs.-mascot definition of this bracket, Alabama’s got Big Al the Elephant, and I’m having a lot of trouble coming up with a way in which a songbird takes down any manner of elephant. Really, the best thing to note about this matchup is that Wikipedia’s got a List of Historical Elephants, which I shouldn’t be surprised by but amuses me nonetheless. And I now know the name of Charlemagne’s elephant. So that’s nice.

Alabama advances.

#5 Temple Owls vs. #12 California Golden Bears

Owls are somewhat frightening.


Anything that can turn its head around 270 degrees is going to be offputting to me, but even moreso if they’re prone to making loud, screeching noises that, if you know what they are, are merely infuriating. An d they’re associated with either wisdom or death, depending on which civilization you talk to.

Temple seems to have gone with a more flat-headed cherry-colored owl named Hooter.

Its brow-ridge-things do make it seem angry. I’ll give it that. I’m presuming that Hooter is a melodica aficionado, because that makes sense.

Still, this is a small bird of prey that usually pits itself against mice and rabbits. Bears are somewhat larger. And, if we’re taking some liberties with it, the Golden Bear could arguably be Jack Nicklaus. Sure, he’s 72 these days, but I’m guessing the guy can still swing a club well enough to knock an owl out of the sky. Or can propel a ball to do that for him. Or can license an arcade game that winds up in the back room of a bowling alley, which has a taxidermied owl somewhere on premises.

The point is, California advances.

 #4 Michigan Wolverines vs. # 13 Ohio Bobcats

In one corner, we’ve got (if we’re being boring)the largest of the weasels going up against a fairly large relative of the lynx. They’re both pretty fierce, and apparently both can take down and eat prey larger than they are if you let them. Bobcats have been reported to eat deer, but Wolverines will take down an elk without even bothering to feel bad.

The Elk has no idea what’s coming, because elk are notoriously bad at planning for the future. You should see their retirement accounts. Dreadful.

More interestingly, we’ve got a 150 year old Albertan mutant with a healing factor and an aftermarket adamantium skeleton going up against beloved(?) actor and comedian Bobcat Goldthwait, who was in some of the police academy movies, I guess.

I don’t see this going well for Bobcat.

Michigan advances

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