Monday, March 31, 2014

Mascot Bracket 2014: Elite Eight, Final Four and Championship

Elite Eight

#11 Dayton Flyers vs. #12 Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks

Dayton has been more or less cruising, and it might make sense to have them do well here; they're up against another human opponent who is defined by their vocation, but arguably have the better tools.

Here's the thing. The Dayton Flyers are named as such because the Wright brothers were from Dayton and if there's one thing Ohio license plates indicate that they're proud of, it's being the birthplace of people who later flew things elsewhere.

But the eponymous Flyer was made out of giant spruce.

A marvel of engineering, but a little too choppable in this one instance.

It's like Dayton's convinced the Guardians to give them a Green Lantern ring and they wind up in a bracket with Sinestro/Parallax/A Schoolbus/whatever the hell is going on in that series these days and is yellow.

Stephen F. Austin advances.

#1 Virginia Cavaliers vs. #15 Milwaukee Panthers

You could very reasonably count out the Cavaliers; they're counting on relatively basic firearms and enormous collars. Poofy shirts and long curly hair paired with moustaches. I mean, have a look at Prince Rupert here.

On the other hand, I don't know. There's something Errol Flynn-y about CavMan.

Seems like the sort of guy to shout "Tally-ho!" at the slightest provocation.

Like he might look at the Panther, swing in on the sort of rope that's just always waiting there to be swung on, make with the elaborate swordwork and continue swinging. Then he'd go sailing, evidently.

Virginia advances.

#9 Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. #6 Baylor Bears

I'd give Baylor much more of a shot here if the Mascot Bear were actually the algae green color of the Logo Bear. Unfortunately, he's just sort of a bear.

Not that Pistol Pete is terribly unique (especially as he's moonlighting for New Mexico State). On the other hand, he's decked out in orange, which makes him look a bit like a traffic cone but also speaks to his dedication to hunting safety. That kind of planning goes a long way.

Oklahoma State advances.

#1 Wichita State Shockers vs. #12 Arizona State Sun Devils

I'd considered knocking out the Shockers during the last round, what with the Sorcery and all, but was convinced to keep WuShock around purely because I wanted an excuse to post this mashup of Wu Tang and Hall and Oates.

Yes, that first track *is* both C.R.E.A.M. and Maneater, and it has changed your life.

On the other hand, despite being terribly vague about what the capabilities of a Sun Devil are, I'm pretty sure he's probably got some sort of heat/drought powers. Wheat doesn't do too well in that scenario.

Arizona State advances.

Final Four

#12 Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks vs. #1 Virginia Cavaliers

Despite the swashbuckling exploits of CavMan, he's still going up against a foe from a few hundred years in his future. In this case, that means a dude in a sleeveless flannel shirt from Texas who's got an axe with a face on it.

I'm not sure if it plays in his favor that the axe is mad, or if that will make the axe more reckless.

Even if we assume the Lumberjack's only weapon is the axe (which seems silly, as Texas has some really permissive gun laws), I still don't think this turns out well for CavMan. If nothing else, the Lumberjack just moves a wood chipper into the trajectory of the rope CavMan's swinging into battle on.

Stephen F. Austin advances.

#9 Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. #10 Arizona State Sun Devils

Good on Pistol Pete for making it this far. He's got sort of deep-set, terrifying eyes and I'm not sure I trust a man that wears *that* much fringe on his chaps in 2014, but he's got a mustache that wavers between handlebar and "has just been in a fistfight" and a large enough belt buckle. He also appears to be wearing a tablecloth around his neck.

But what gets me here is the hat. I've only nailed the Sun Devils down to "vague heat-powers" and it's just that the hat looks sort of, well, melty.

It's the facial lines. I just realized. That's what sends Pistol Pete barreling straight into the Uncanny Valley.

I doubt the ability of that particular Stetson to adequately protect Pistol Pete from the rampant menace that is heat exhaustion.

Or maybe it's just that I've forgotten what warmth feels like and am biased towards whatever's above freezing.

Arizona State advances.

2014 Murphspot Mascot Bracket Championship

#12 Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks vs. 
#10 Arizona State Sun Devils

Despite the appearance we like to give off at Murphspot Industries that each ranking is accurately calculated from a number of factors, including a list of parameters that I won't bore you with here, a small component is a variable that I'll term "making this up as I go along and then immediately posting so that I can go to bed/shout at people on the internet who are clearly wrong".

Because of that small factor, there's not a huge amount of adherence to established literary tropes that could probably make this a lot more coherent. Storylines aren't maintained well, and I'll change my mind based mostly on whether I'm sleepy/tired/too cold/too hot.

Here, I could go with Arizona State on the basis that the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjack is exposing himself to a lot of harmful UV by discarding the his sleeves, and cite studies that I'd probably have to make up that exposure to the sun is one of the highest risk factors for lumberjacks.

But this is about more than that. This is about a force of nature against the industrial drive of man; this is about the virtues of hard work over being able to set things on fire with a point of your trident. This is about creepy, creepy eyes on your face against still pretty creepy eyes on your axe. This is about the right of all people to go sleeve-optional in an open and free society. This is good over evil.

This is about Freedom.

This is about Lumber.



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