Sunday, March 16, 2014

2014 Murphspot Mascot Bracket - Rules and Links

Over the past however many years I've been doing this, I come into each March Madness unsure of whether I'll continue. For the most part, it's my own fault, as I've allowed the Mascot Bracket to grow longer by the year. Much of that is that I've done this so many times that I feel the need to come up with new ways for the thing to play out; there's only so many ways to say "Bears are scary! And also a dude with a gun will probably kill a Quarrelling Rabbit or whatever passes as a mascot these days. Part of it is that I worry about being witty enough to have people read this unless I make everything some big, long, drawn-out battle, so every entry winds up being pretty padded.

So I think I'll try once more this year. I don't know if it will be finished by the time each round of the Tournament ends, or if it will finish at all. When I started this, it was something that I thought was funny and that kept me writing. In the past few years, it's become the only time I write and I've been increasingly making it into something that is stressful for me to write for no reason whatsoever.

So this year, I'm going to have fun with it.


1) Limited Word Count: I did this last year, but never kept to it. I also set the bar way too high, and wound up with no restriction whatsoever. So, this year, 100 word max per matchup, which I'll actually keep track of with a running word count tool. I might reduce that to 75 if it seems like that's still too much.

2) Higher seed selects field of battle: Mostly important if we have the Fightin' Barracudas going up against the Uncharacteristically Aggressive Squirrels; if the Squirrels are ranked higher, the match-up is in a forest and the Barracudas presumably lose and have to go back to trying to outsmart Olmec.

3) Precedent Counts: If the Elk beat the Scorpions early on, and then wind up facing different Scorpions, they'll likely win again.

4) I will make things up: This is for fun and obviously has no basis in reality and so will be ridiculous. If anyone reading this attends a school in the Tournament, you shouldn't get upset if your team gets knocked out early on because I think your mascot is silly. Amusingly, one of the links to an old bracket is someone on a messageboard who was upset that I think Big Jay of the Kansas Jayhawks should have lost because he's got buckles on his shoes. I have nothing against the great University of Kansas and wish their actual athletic teams well, but come on. They're buckled shoes and that's silly in general, but especially on a mythical bird.

I'll be linking to the new posts here, so if you somehow find your way to this Rules post, you can quickly navigate to each of the actual bracket posts.

That all said, here we go.

First Four

First Round:

Round of 32:
Part One
Part Two

Sweet Sixteen

Elite Eight, Final Four and Championship

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