Tuesday, April 05, 2016

2016 Murphspot Mascot Bracket, Round Two, Part Two

#1 UNC Tar Heels vs. #9 Providence Friars

I'm willing to grant Rameses a bit more of a shot in a straight up battle compared to someone like Rodney, primarly because Rameses seems like he's angrier. He's also mastered headwear, which if it's reinforced could be the decisive factor in a physical fight.

But he's not in a physical fight. He's facing Friar Dom the Confessor. Friar Dom the Eliminator.

Fun Fact: Friar Dom is voiced by Ian McDiarmid.

Friar Dom the Doombringer.

Providence advances.

#12 Chattanooga Mocs vs. #13 Stony Brook Seawolves

The fact that I allowed the Mocs through to this round is largely a function of the fact that Scrappy is frightening looking for a Mockingbird and Harper Lee wasn't from Indiana. Here, we've got at it essence a bird named after Scooby Doo's annoying nephew trying to fight a WOLF FROM THE SEA.


Stony Brook advances.

#11 Tulsa Golden Hurricanes vs. #3 West Virginia Mountaineers

Captain Cane's more or less had the run of the table so far in the bracket as it's pretty hard to say that the guy who can control the atmosphere is likely to face much challenge from a mere mortal. And normally, I'd say that probably applies to the Mountaineer himself.

However, the Mountaineer's got home court advantage, which in this case means forcing Captain Cane to try to maintain a hurricane over a series of mountains. Not the highest mountains, sure, but probably enough to get the job done. And the Mountaineer seems like he'd be cool with riding this out in a copse of trees or a cave or something.

Jack Stillman cares not for your silly windpowers.

West Virginia advances. 

#10 Pitt Panthers vs. #2 Xavier Musketeers

It's hard for me to argue that this goes anyway other than how it did in the last round; one mascot's a cat while the other is a dude with a gun.

Also, a cape for some damn reason or another.

You could say, I guess, that the panther is going to provide more of a challenge in that it might actually be able to get a swipe in while the Musketeer is reloading, but beyond that we're just relying on the possibility that the French military's knowledge of North American wildlife wasn't up to snuff in the mid 1800s. I don't think that's enough

Xavier advances.

#16 Hampton Pirates vs. #8 Texas Tech Red Raiders

So, in the Plunder Bowl here, I'm not sure how to define a winner; surely, in terms of monetary value lost, it'd probably have to go to the Pirates considering the amount of freight transported by sea.

The Masked Rider, on the other hand, looks like he'd mostly steal horses and rob a few banks and have a merry old time in a small town, but might be overwhelmed by the prospect of seizing, say, a train. Handily, he's got back up from Raider Red, who carries on the tradition of representing Texas by showing us what it would be like if Sam Elliott continued to sort of age until he was nothing but mustache.

Also happens to fit in the broad mascot category of "Similar to but legally distinct from a Warner Bros. Character"

For that alone, I'm going with Texas Tech.

Texas Tech advances.

#5 Purdue Boilermakers vs. #13 Iona Gaels

I can't find a part of the Ulster Cycle that corresponds to Killian the Gael having to fight a train. The closest I can find to this matchup would be someone with a vaguely Irish name having to assert his dominance over a train.

Well, ok then, I guess.

Iona advances.

#6 Seton Hall Pirates vs. #3 Utah Utes

I'm not really up on my naval lore, but it's got to be a good thing that the Utes mascot is a hawk rather than, say, an albatross. Well, good in this instance. I'd actually be a huge proponent of an Albatross mascot just to get some variety in here.

Also, that's a beak shape that's just underrepresented in the bracket.

As it stands, though, I think the blue-haired pirate should be capable of handling a bird.

Seton Hall advances.

#7 Dayton Flyers vs. #12 Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders

So here's the issue. I would defer to the fact that Dayton is higher ranked and therefore has home-field advantage and speculate that therefore a battle in the air or involving aerial warfare would favor him, but for one problem.

Lightning has wings.


I really don't know if World War One flight programs trained pilots to deal with winged horses. I think that probably, upon seeing a horse rise into his field of vision, the Rudy might panic and make a mistake, and since I'm still presuming that Lightning has some sort of weather power, that makes the difference.

Middle Tennessee advances.

Friday, April 01, 2016

2016 Murphspot Mascot Bracket - Round Two, Part One

#16 Austin Peay Governors vs. #8 Colorado Buffaloes

Once again, I'm led to worry about whatever sort of executive authority the Austin Peay Governor (who, I guess, is probably Austin Peay). I can't actually find much about the historical Peay's stance on Buffalo or Colorado, though it turns out he's the guy who signed the law that kicked off the Scopes trial, so I guess there's that.

All we can do is take a look at the mascot and see if The Governor seems like the sort who would get a kick out of slaughtering some buffalo. Buffaloes? Buffali.

It's what makes him feel alive, as it turns out.

Oh my. So, yes, then.

Austin Peay advances.

#12 South Dakota State Jackrabbits vs. #13 Hawaii Rainbow Warriors

Regardless of whether or not we eventually stick with the "Rainbow Warriors as Jedi" assessment, I'm having trouble thinking of a way for the Jackrabbits to stand up to really anything at all that has "Warrior" in either its name or description. The floppy ears suggest defense and evasion more than anything aggressive, and the backwards baseball cap just makes me kind of sad.

We're about due for a remake of The Fly, except instead of Jeff Goldblum and a fly, we could have a rabbit and Fred Durst.

Aside from invoking the Kennywood coaster, this seems pretty straightforward. Even if we *did* go the coaster route, it's hard to think of a less threatening challenge for Hawaii. Maybe if they were facing the South Dakota State Racers. 

Hawaii advances.

#6 Arizona Wildcats vs. #14 Buffalo Bulls

This bracket has, at times, been pretty strongly hat focused, and Wilbur definitely beats Victor E. Bull in that regard. He also beats him in the Mascot Name category, as Victor E. Bull is just really lazy.

Previous Victor E. Bull (above) would likely have taken the bracket as a result of aw-shucksness.

On the other hand, he's some sort of bobcat and I cannot conceive of a way that the weight advantage doesn't figure in here. I guess it's possible that whatever Blue Cattle variant Victor is an example of is the size of weasel, but that's probably not the case.

Buffalo advances.

#10 Temple Owls vs. #2 Villanova Wildcats

Will D. Cat at the very least appears to be some sort of panther, and his alarmingly blue eyes are a pretty good indication that he's hopped up on something.

Meanwhile, we have Hooter. I can't actually tell I'm supposed to infer that Hooter is simply keeping with Temple's school colors or if he's actually been outfitted with a prosthetic steel beak. I presume it's the latter, because I don't know what the hell goes on in Philadelphia.

Hooter is the Tycho Brahe of owls.

That decided, I've got to think the more weaponized Hooter is actually able to pull off an upset against Yet Another Wildcat.

Temple advances.

#16 Southern Jaguars vs. #8 St. Joseph's Hawks

Southern's definitely got the size advantage, and I'm concerned that they would be able to somehow use the network of Jaguar mascots to summon Jaxson de Ville, and with him a reign of terror that threatens to destroy the NCAA, or at least provoke some rule changes about where mascots are allowed to be.

Jaxson de Ville is still a threat.

And yet, all I can think about is the stamina of an otherwise non-descript hawk who never stops flapping. I don't know. I'm not sure that can be weaponized, but it seems to be overwhelming enough to provoke an upset.

St. Joseph's advances

#5 Baylor Bears vs. #4 Duke Blue Devils

To be honest, I'd sort of expected that the bears would be working in concert with the Devils if only because they're agents of chaos and malice.

Sure, they might occasionally deliver some packages, but they don't remember the series finale when Baloo ate literally everyone.

If this were the hat bracket, which might be preferable, he'd have a shot, I think.

On the whole, I'm going to say that the Blue Devils are able to more strongly control the emotional/psychic damage game, and that the bear's claws can't hold up against whatever the Duke Blue Devil is tempting him toward. I assume barbecue? Probably tempting him toward barbecue.

Duke advances.

#11 Northern Iowa Panthers vs. #3 Texas A&M Aggies

If any of the time I spent playing Red Dead Redemption means much of anything, direct contact between a big cat and a horse usually ends with the horse getting eaten and the rider being stranded in the middle of nowhere in Fake Texas with only his fast travel to save him.

Add in the fact that TK Panther definitely has a coat of Vibranium and this isn't much of a contest.

Northern Iowa advances.

#10 Virginia Commonwealth Rams vs. #2 Oklahoma Sooners

Presumably, part of what the Sooners were doing in moving into Oklahoma would be to deal with livestock, which makes this seems pretty one-sided. Boomer and Sooner might have a tough fight ahead of them, but Rodney's mechanism of attack puts his head in harm's way, while the Oklahoma Ponies get to just turn around and kick.

I'm afraid this goes to the Pete Wentz Ponies.

Oklahoma advances.