Thursday, April 17, 2014

Pop Culture Madness! Elite 8

Holy smokes, you guys.  Is it just me or are we down to 8 competitors left?  I guess we're down to 8 competitors left.  What a tournament so far.  I think everyone who reads this is probably wondering how in the blue hell Judge Judy has made it so far, and I'm with you.  It just goes to show how absurd the 1st Annual Breakfast at Jimothy's Pop Culture Madness bracket has been, and that it needs to come back next year.  The unpredictability is at an all time high, which means that the following 4 matchups should be a real doozy.  Our judges (panelists?  Guys, seriously, which sounds better?)  include dear friend Frank "Take It To The Bank" Gassert, Q, my roommate Matt "Alabama Slamma" Gaynor, Angela "Killer" Ju, Wade "Cannonball" Zawatsky, 'Hurricane' Annik Spencer and 'Dammit' Tyler Blatchley.  Also, before we start, may we all take a moment to pay tribute to the legendary Ultimate Warrior.  Without him, the world is a more boring place.

I would also like to start things off with an introduction from my good friend and drinking buddy, Q:

"Rock bottom.  There are many that think they have been there, but the only ones who truly know what it means are those who have gone past it; below the rock and below the crust, all the way down to the molten lava and have felt its agonizing and inescapable burn.  I discovered this when I was asked to write for Jim Kirwan's blog and I said, 'Yes.'".

Thank you, Q, for those touching words.  Now, without further ado, here are the match ups for the Elite 8.  May the odds forever be in your brackets favor.  Or whatever that quote is.  I haven't seen the Hunger Games.

1.  Bald Britney Spears vs. WWE Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan's YES!!! Chant:
(watch at 2:33 for the full effect)

  • Frank the Tank: "Britney is hot.  No matter what type of haircut she has.  However, do I think Daniel Bryan is hotter?  Yes!"
  • Tyler:"I'm gonna have to go with the obvious here and pick Daniel Bryan."
  • Hurricane Annik:"If I say WWE Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan's YES!!! Chant will you stop posting about it on social media and refrain from sending snap chats every Sunday morning where you're chanting YES!!! too hungover to function?  Get your life together, Jim."
  • EDITOR'S NOTE: "No."
  • Gaynor:"YES.  Because Jim loves it."
  • Wade:"Britney taught us all that it's ok to not have hair.  This is a lesson that I, and many other poor souls like me, will be leaning on sooner rather than later.  Hit me baby one more time (with some Rogaine)."
  • Angela:"I choose the YES chant because even though I was opposed to it initially, the movement has entered my life whether I like it or not.  I've learned that it's better to embrace it than to fight it.  And I think Britney looks better with hair."
  • Q:"It's hard to compare things that have nothing in common.  When Jim sent me all the matchups for his Elite Eight I knew it would be like squeezing water from a stone.  When I saw this one in particular, I abandoned the idea of trying to be funny and just wanted to write something that would make sense.  The winner in this round is Daniel Bryan's YES!!! chant.  It won because it is a call to action with a positive message.  It's happy mantra for thousands of fans.  What could be more positive than the affirmative?  Wrestling fans may remember a few years back when Daniel Bryan (still a heel at the time) dabbled with the short-lived 'No!!!' chant.  It did not have the same effect.  The reason Britney's bald head is the loser is because it's the exact opposite of the chant.  It is the physical embodiment of rock bottom, which was explained above.  It was sad to see the unraveling of this young superstar.  It was sadder still to see the way people reveled in her rapid decline.  I see shreds of the same thing in the public's gleeful anticipation of Justin Bieber's impending doom.  Britney seems to be doing okay these days, which is good.  Hopefully Daniel Bryan's 'Yes!!!' chant victory over her bald noggin will help us to forget this ugly period in her very public life and help us to remember her as the teenie-boppin' sex kitten that we all knew and loved.  But if we refuse to acknowledge her highs and continue to dwell on, and take pleasure in her lows, then maybe it really is time to leave Britney alone."

  • Winner: When you're hot, you're hot, and the Yes Movement is en fuego right now.  Did it just beat Bald Britney Spears 6-1?  YES.  YES it did. 

2.  Kel Mitchell vs. Blue Ivy Carter:

  • Hurricane Annik:"Blue Ivy Carter because she was produced by the King and Queen of the World and was the first and probably only newborn baby to be included as back up in a song before she was a week old.  Wait and she also has a multi-million dollar nursery in the Barclays.  Did I mention Beyonce?  Because I think that needs to be mentioned again."
  • Gaynor:"Blue Ivy Carter.  Cause her name screams 'swag'."
  • Wade:"I pity Blue Ivy.  I really do.  There is no way in hell she will ever live up to the expectations people will put on her.  I mean Hova plus Beyonce literally equals destiny's child.  The kid could grow up to be a secret agent astronaut that assassinates Vladimir Putin and she still wouldn't live up to what people will expect out of her.  And rightfully so.  Anything short of a Grammy by her 4th birthday is a failure.  Gotta go with the Repair-Man-Man-Man-Man on this one."
  • Angela:"100% Blue Ivy because she is a goddess' creation AKA Beyonce.  And I don't know who Kel Mitchell is..."
  • Tyler:"Kel Mitchell because I had to google to see who Blue Ivy Carter was.  Poor kid."
  • Frank the Tank:"Kel Mitchell- the dude who puts his secret sauce into cheeseburgers to make them taste good, aka Kenan's better half has likely fallen on some hard times as of late.  However, due to the fact that I had to google what a 'Blue Ivy Carter' was when Jim sent this over to me, the king of orange soda wins this tilt."
  • Q:"This is an even harder matchup to pick than the last and not because the participants are so different or so similar, but because they are so irrelevant to anything.  I figured that I had my finger pretty well on the pulse of popular culture but Jim stumped me on this one.  I had to look up who each of these people are.  It turns out that one is a grown man and the other is a baby.  If I were a firefighter and I had to choose one to save this would be an easy choice.  I would undoubtedly pick the baby.  That would be the heroic thing to do.  Luckily I am not a hero, which is why I'm hunched over a computer contributing to a pop culture blog instead of running into burning buildings.  The winner is Kel Mitchell.  He is the winner strictly for the nostalgic feeling that he gives people.  Adults look back on his show and realize how corny and unfunny it was but still seem to enjoy it.  What we are really laughing at when we think about the show is how we could ever have been entertained by something so grating and stupid.  There is also a sense of shared childhood experience that his and all the other shitty Nickelodeon TV shows give people, which is actually kind of depressing when you think about it.  Had he been competing with anyone other than a baby, he most certainly would have lost."

  • Winner: Kel Mitchell takes his orange soda and good burger into the Final 4 with a close victory over that Baby Blue 4-3.  Kel Mitchell is the current feel good story of this tournament.  AWWWWWW HERE IT GOES!

3. Judge Judy vs. Jason Bourne:

  • Frank the Tank:"How the hell did Judge Judy make it this far.  Does anybody like that lady?  Jason Bourne is one of the most boring, predictable, non-badass protagonists in modern movies, without any awesome catchphrases, yes he has no competition in this matchup so I'll give him the undeserving pity W here."
  • Angela:"Jason Bourne because he's badass and I used to have a secret crush on Matt Damon.  And Judge Judy is a meanie."
  • Hurricane Annik:"I care about both of these about as much as I care about WWE, so not at all.  I just flipped a coin and Jason Bourne won.  He seems cool so I guess I'm okay with that."
  • Gaynor:"Bourne.  Because Judge Judy makes $90 million a year."
  • Wade:"I was dreading this matchup.  That is, until I saw this quote from the right honorable judge herself: 'Do you know when a gift becomes a loan?  When the relationship is over.  Have you ever heard that, sir?  Well, neither have I.  I just made it up.  I'm going to put it on coffee mugs'.  I mean not only did the woman just absolutely decimate that poor white trash bastard while simultaneously coining a multimillion dollar phrase Forest Gump style, but I'd be willing to bet you my goat that you just read that quote in her voice. When I think of Matt Damon all I hear is the voice of a mentally deficient puppet in Team America.  Score one for Judy."
  • Tyler:"When I read this lineup the first thing that came to my mind was 'who would you rather do?', and honestly I'd do Judge Judy."
  • Q:"This is probably the easiest matchup to pick.  Two characters paired up with one another and I just have to determine who is the more iconic figure in popular culture.  The clear winner is Judge Judy.  The Bourne movies are cool and Matt Damon is pretty good when he doesn't have a Boston accent and when he isn't telling us how we are murdering Mother Nature.  That being said, if you took a poll of everyone in the world, I'd bet that you would find that Judge Judy is far more recognizable than the fictional character of Jason Bourne and more recognizable than Matt Damon, himself.  She's on TV every day all over the world.  She's also a real judge and has been one of the highest paid (if not the highest paid) women on television for decades.  My final reason for picking her is that 20 years from now people will still remember Judge Judy.  I don't know if you could say the same for Jason Bourne.  I mean he's no James Bond."

  • Winner: Jason Bourne 4-3.  Holy smokes.  Was Judge Judy really one vote and swing of a gavel away from getting into the Final 4?  Some things just don't make sense.  Congrats to' Mr. Personality' Jason Bourne! 

4. Buffalo Chicken vs. Bill Murray:

  • Frank the Tank:"Toughest call of the night right here.  What makes buffalo chicken so great is its versatility.  Sandwiches, wraps, pizza, taquitos... no matter how it's served, it's going to be delicious.  With that being said, there are only about 4 people (Jack Bauer, Chuck Norris, MacGruber and Timothy Olyphant) capable of putting themselves in the same class as Bill Murray.  On a side note, instead of having kids take ethics and morality classes in school, they should be forced to watch Groundhog Day and write reports on it....over and over again.  Awesome movie.  Also, Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure is a great movie too, I have to watch that again sometime soon (I know Bill Murray isn't in it but it's still a good movie).  Getting back to the point at hand here, Bill Murray wins, and he should take home the title easily..."
  • Gaynor:"Bill Murray.  Because he presented the award for 'Best Shooter' at the Oscars."
  • Hurricane Annik:"Buffalo chicken even though I don't actually like buffalo chicken.  I know I'm a failure to society and probably not even human for saying that, but I can't stand the taste.  However, I think people's obsession with buffalo chicken is so dramatic that it has to be the winner."
  • Wade:"This one boils down to a very simple question: Caddyshack OR deep fried spiced poultry.  It's a no brainer really.  Billy wins every time.  The man's a genius.  He didn't just play the role of Carl Spackler...he transcended it.  I know that all 1.4 million members of the Rizzini clan are simultaneously cursing my name right now and calling for a jihad against me, but it's okay.  I'll be the one to say it.  Bill Murray > Buffalo Chicken.  Say it out loud.  Should it from the roof tops.  Let Bill reign from sea to mother fucking shining sea and pass me the chicken bacon ranch calzone from Izone.  Oh and Space Jam doesn't happen without Bill Murray...Just sayin'."
  • Tyler:"This is a tough one.  I love food and comedy.  It's the perfect combination, but I'm gonna have to go with Bill Murray on this one.  Even though I'm having buffalo chicken pizza for dinner tonight."
  • Angela:"BUFFALO CHICKEN.  You can put it in a salad, in a sandwich, on a pizza, or by itself!  I will always choose food over anything else."
  • Q:"This is a tough one because I like both of these things and also because it makes no sense to compare these two things.  Unfortunately, much like the Bills, it seems that Buffalo just can never win the big one.  The winner is Bill Murray.  With me, I kind of have to be in the mood for Buffalo chicken to enjoy it, whereas I could watch 'What About Bob' or 'Groundhog's Day' anytime and still think they are funny.  Buffalo chicken is also a pretty dominating food and it is tough to have it as a side unless you're a real fatty.  This is another example of why Bill Murray wins this matchup is that he can excel in a supporting role.  If you've ever seen 'Rushmore' or 'Kingpin' then you know what I'm talking about.  Another reason he is the winner is because of a legendary story that I heard.  A friend of a friend (as is always the case in stories like this) was in Chicago and he saw Bill Murray walk past him on the street.  The young man turned around and made some smart-ass comment to Murray.  The star turned his head as he was walking to look at the heckler, but all in all he seemed to take it in stride.  A few hundred feet down the street the young man felt a jolt in his back and was tackled to the ground.  He had just been speared by Bill Murray.  As they were lying on the ground, Murray whispered into his ear, 'No one's ever going to believe this.'  He then stood up and ran off into the night.  I once heard him respond to criticism that he just acts like himself in every movie that he's in.  He told the interviewer that, to a certain extent, it was true.  He didn't really deny that he was being himself, but then added, 'Have you ever tried to just be yourself?  It's really hard.'  I'm probably misquoting here, but that was the gist of what he said and that's why he's moving on to the Final Four."

  • Winner: Bill Murray makes his way to the Final 4 with a 5-2 victory.  Tip of the hat for a fine run by Buffalo Chicken.  Maybe next year.  
Finally, Q was nice enough to provide a recap of his selections:
1. Daniel Bryan's 'YES!!!' Chant
2. Kel Mitchell
3. Judge Judy
4. Bill Murray

If Jim is unhappy with my picks, then maybe he should just try writing his own blog posts for a change. - Quentin Staudt

Thank you all for participating in this round, and special thanks to Q, for whatever it is that you just did.  

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