Monday, April 02, 2012

Fifth Annual Murphspot Mascot Bracket: Final Four and Championship

#10 Xavier Musketeers vs. #10 Virginia Cavaliers
Oh damn,  you guys. Not only do we finally have two human mascots going up against one another, and not only are they both at least presumed to have some sort of elite military training, but they both represent very specific factions serving close to their king at the same point in history. Roughly!
The Musketeers of the Guard (Mousquetaires de la garde!) were formed under Louis XIII in 1622 and spent most of their time protecting nobles, shooting things (nominally in the name of protecting nobles, but I’m sure that there was a 17th century French equivalent of canned goods on a fence at some point) and waiting around for Alexandre Dumas to be born so that their story could eventually be romanticized, and then summarized by Wishbone.

Caution: If you actually ask Wishbone “What’s the story?”, he will cut you.
The Cavaliers, on the other hand were the loyalist component of the English Civil War, starting in 1642 and hung around through Oliver Cromwell’s rule and the Restoration of the Monarchy. They both had their own military problems to be concerned with (the Musketeers with trying to make sure the Huguenots didn’t kill the king; the Cavaliers fighting a civil war), so it’s difficult to say how they’d have done actually fighting each other. The Musketeers lose on numbers, but win on fancy hats and keeping kings alive (Louis XIII died of tuberculosis, and Louis XIV was a king for longer than anyone’s ever been a king in Europe). The Cavaliers had that period where the kings they supported were executed, but did mount a come-from-behind victory in that the Monarchy did show back up again.
I’d say this comes down to overwhelming force against a smaller, though better trained opponent, but honestly I keep reading “Musketeer” as “Mouseketeer” and I’m not going to make it to the end of this post if that keeps happening. So overwhelming force takes it.
Virginia advances.
#13 Montana grizzlies vs. #15 Detroit Titans
The Grizzlies have gotten here mostly by virtue of being 700 pounds and having razor sharp claws and murder in their hearts, along with a little help from the fact that Monte the Grizzly in particular rides a motorcycle and wears a bandana and is probably eventually going to be the subject of a critically well-received drama on FX. There’s a problem that comes up when your main advantage is size, though, and that’s when your opponent is something that serves as the base of synonyms for “really, really big”. 
 Oh dear.
The grizzlies have the advantage over most mortal things that aren’t several hundred pounds, but the Titans don’t exactly go down easily. Hell, it apparently takes a whole new set of gods to come in, which only really serves to imprison the Titans, and even then, you’ve got myths wherein Zeus overthrows Cronus by getting him drunk and putting him in a cave.
There’s simply no way a grizzly bear is walking out of that alive.
Detroit advances.
Fifth Annual Murphspot Mascot Bracket Championship
#10 Virginia Cavaliers vs. #15 Detroit Titans
 So we've established that the Titans are somewhere between a ridiculous man with a ridiculous smile in ridiculous armor and powerful (though explicitly not omnipotent) deities. The Cavaliers had, well, horses. And swords. And their own creepy smile. And a reputation for drinking and carousing and having plumed hats, which I sympathize with. Basically all they've got on the Titans is that the Cavaliers existed, whereas the Titans didn't, except as a moon of Saturn (or moons, if we're counting things named after individual Titans as part of that set).

Even there, we're conflicted. Titan's got an atmosphere, but it's got sort of a yellow haze to it. There are oceans, but they're made of methane. There might be microbial life, but that's not terribly threatening unless we're going to give the Cavalier some sort of terrible infection. 
And while, as I mentioned, the Titans are powerful, they also have a history of failing pretty hard. I'm not sure whether the Cavaliers have Zeus' contact information, or if they've got the ability to summon an iceberg, but it's not as though the Titans are unstoppable. It's merely really hard.
What it really comes down to is the interaction between a guy with a horse, a sword, and a rifle and a Titan with a tendency to be overthrown. I'm not finding a lot about human-Titan interactions in myth, and the Titan that keeps popping up is Prometheus, who would probably have just handed the victory to the Cavalier and then gotten tortured for it. 
 Honestly, I think that's it. I'm going to say that Tommy Titan is merciful toward CavMan and allows him the victory, based solely on his humanity and his facial hair. Tommy Titan will be OK. Clint Eastwood will make a commercial for him.
This may have been unduly influenced by hat plumage.

Ladies and Gentlemen, your Fifth Annual Murphspot Mascot Champion

The Virginia Cavaliers.

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