Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Pop Culture Madness! Sweet 16

Reality is sinking in.  Here we are, in the 3rd round of the 1st Annual Breakfast at Jimothy's Pop Culture Madness bracket, with quite the unique and interesting field remaining.  The two big stories here are the emergence of Tandem Bicycles as a true Cinderella story, and the dominance of Kel Mitchell, after winning his matchup with Paris Hilton's DJ Career 7-0.  Basically we have learned that no one is safe here, not even pretty boy badass Ryan Gosling.  I'd like to thank our judges (panelists?  I don't know what sounds better) for this round: Steve "Prime Time" Sheridan, Kyle "The Greek Rooster" Towne, The Artist Now Known as KP, 'Dastardly' Dan Allen who is making his 2nd appearance as a judge this tournament, and the human bracket founder himself, Anthony 'Townie Twan' Leonardo.  Thank you to all the judges for the time and effort.  Now let's get it on!

1. Fez vs. Bald Britney Spears
Dressed to Impress.

  • Steve-"Ironic that a fez is actually a dope ass hat made famous during the Ottoman Empire era but seeing as we're talking about Wilmer Valderrama I gotta go with Bald Brit.  Living proof that you can hit rock bottom and claw your way back to the top.  A true beacon of hope."
  • Kyle-"Alright.  Well both of these are pretty spicy options.  In my opinion, this isn't even close.  Fez has killer dance moves, has a spot-on Fatso the Clown impression, and not to mention that full head of beautiful hair.  Ha-Burn!"
God Bless Photoshop
  • Danny-"Fez was a product of the 1970s as evidenced by the name of the show he was on.  Interestingly enough, the 1970s were a touchy era for race relations in the United States.  Fez probably served as a catalyst for racial harmony in the US.  He was ambiguously foreign; no one really knows his origins.  By not having a background, Fez is able to surpass predisposed ethnic beliefs held by his peers.  I don’t imagine Wisconsin being a very accepting state, especially in the 1970s, but Fez seemed to bridge the racial schism between blacks and whites by being neither.  Bald Britney was but a phase for the pop star.  The phase was certainly her rock bottom and lest we forget that she was coming out of a breakup with her husband and baby daddy, Kevin Federline.  As someone who has been in a relationship once, I understand that both parties can be glass cases of emotion at the conclusion of the relationship.  One possible avenue that has yet to be explored from this era of Britney is the Freaky Friday angle – is it possible that her meltdown with an umbrella, paparazzi, and #1 buzz all around triggered a personality swap between her and K Fed? Since ‘the incident’ K Fed has gained Britney’s baby weight and released some garbage Rhythm and Blues track that he tried to justify by wearing tall tees from Foot Locker and braiding his hair.  Britney has only gone the complete opposite direction by releasing new music, looking great, and resurrecting her career.  I’m not saying a Freaky Friday switch definitely happened, but it’s awfully curious that the idea is immediately dismissed by ‘people.’"
  • KP-"Bald Britney really showed us her own vulnerability and made us all able to really identify with her.  She also looked like a cool pop alien.  I also feel like Fez spits when he talks but idk idk."
  • Twan-"Bald Brit.  'Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to be blonde and skinny again.'"
  • Winner: Bald Britney Spears wins 4-1 in what I would have to consider an upset.  Fez is so lovable, but he did not show up this round.  

2. (New WWE World Heavyweight Champion) Daniel Bryan's YES!!! Chant vs. Skeeter Valentine

  • Twan-"Daniel Bryan's YES! chant.  They say no means no but sometimes it's hard to tell."
  • Kyle-"I would like to say Skeeter Valentine was rocking the Electric brand long before Rickey Mansfield and Sixpack.  Probably the most unique and awesome cartoon character in cartoon history.  This makes it tough for me to vote against him, but the 'YES!!!' chant is something truly special.  There is no stopping this movement.  Hop on the train while you still can."
  • Steve-"A tough one, do you go with the current fad that's spreading faster than an Alabama trailer park fire or a tried and true icon of 90's culture?  Daniel Bryan gave us a new way to celebrate momentous occasions but Skeeter Valentine taught us all how to be a friend.  There will be new ways to celebrate in the future but your friends will be there for all of them.  Skeeter all the way."
  • KP-"Skeeter Valentine because when I heard that Mrs. Pacitti said he was her favorite cartoon I made him my favorite cartoon."
  • Danny-"I don’t remember Skeeter.  Does that make me a bad person?  No. In fact it has no impact whatsoever on the type of person I am.  But Skeeter’s lack of pop culture staying power is a major factor come Pop Culture Tournament time.  I think Skeeter may be of purple or magenta descent, so apologies to any purple or magenta readers, but your chosen son will not advance.  Put another way, Skeeter was a Cinderella story to make it this far and the clock has struck midnight, the carriage is a pumpkin, and the slipper no longer fits!  In the other corner (just a little wrestling humor, ha!) is a good, no, great Irish boy named Daniel Bryan.  What Daniel Bryan has been able to accomplish through his YES! Movement is truly amazing. As of this writing, he currently has a longer winning streak at Wrestlemania than The Undertaker.  Also, the YES! Movement has gained popularity in feminist circles who believe ‘Consent is Sexy!’ It has not all been peaches and cream for Bryan as he missed out on a huge advertising opportunity this Spring when Bud Light approached him to star in its “Down for Anything?” campaign.  Poor Daniel couldn’t hide his enthusiasm when posed the hypothetical question and couldn't stop shouting YES! in the poor producers’ faces.  At the end of the day, Daniel Bryan has two first names and shouldn’t be trusted, which is exactly why he advances."
High Fashion. Honk Honk.

  • Winner: Thankfully, WWE Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan's YES!!! Chant defeated its most formidable opponent yet, Skeeter Valentine, 3-2.  This was a difficult matchup for me to watch, as I respect both these warriors greatly.  

3. George Clooney in Space vs. Kel Mitchell
Looks Interested in Space

  • KP-"Kel Mitchell is one of my best friends and the cutest person on the planet so obviously her."
  • Kyle-"Blowout.  I could give two shits about stupid George Clooney floating around in stupid space with stupid Sandra Bullock.  Kel Mitchell was the king of wordplay in Good Burger.  Examples: 'Ed, I don't know how to say this.'-Kenan  'Oh, well, you just go, THHIIIIIIISSSSSSSS'-Kel.  'Would you like to have dinner tomorrow night?'-Hot Girl 'I like to have dinner every night.'-Kel.  Seroiusly, one of the most pure human beings of all time.  He also did some sweet freestyles for Sprite and the NBA dunk contest."
  • Twan-"Kel Mitchell.  Clooney soiled Stacy Keibler."
  • Danny-"Let’s not fool ourselves here – this matchup is between Tang and Orange Soda.  It is symbolic of the class struggles in America.  Tang, the astronaut drink, represents elitism and the 1%.  How many public school kids went on to be astronauts or could even afford space camp? Zero (estimated). Orange soda represents blue collar, hard-working, middle class, sugary refreshments.  Orange soda is the 99% and it occupies our hearts.  I’m not going to kid myself here; both George Clooney and Kel Mitchell have stunning good looks. That is an objective observation rooted in facts.  But George Clooney wins everything.  He’s perfect! George Clooney is Duke and Duke is George Clooney and I hate Duke.  Kel Mitchell is for the kids! Kel Mitchell is for America!"
  • Steve-"Neil deGrasse Tyson said all that needed to be said about Clooney in space.  If this was a question of whose life would I want to model mine after, Clooney is the no brainer but since its not I'll take Kel.  I'll have an orange soda and a good burger way before I get in a spaceship with Sandra Bullock."

  • Winner: Kel Mitchell annihilated George Clooney in Space 5-0.  Kel Mitchell is now 12-0 in voting the past 2 rounds.  Is he the favorite to win it all?  According to the Magic 8 Ball I just found in my desk drawer, the answer is, 'Ask Again Later'.

4. Blue Ivy Carter vs. Tandem Bicycles
  • Steve-"Tandem Bikes no question, but only the ones that have four seats or more.  Any object that turn heads like those bad boys do and let you hang out with your bros is a game changer.  They might as well come with sticks because you're gonna need one to fight off all the ladies that will be flocking to you and your boys."
  • Kyle-"Tandem Bicycles.  I'm sick of babies calling the shots."
  • Twan-"Blue Ivy.  Affirmative Action."
  • KP-"Blue Ivy Carter because like lol tandem bicycles and also Blue Ivy Carter is probably empress of the Illuminati and going to take over the world when she hits puberty."
  • Danny-"Blue is a generation’s royalty.  Her parents are elite musicians who have made tons of money and have been wildly successful.  Tandem bicycles were actually created by lonely unicyclists who wanted some company but wanted to maintain their 1:1 wheel to seat ratio.  Because I think unicycles are weird, I will advance BIC, but not before her dirty laundry has been aired.  There is a very real possibility that Kanye West is the godfather of Blue Ivy Carter, meaning that Kim Kardashian would be forced to play a maternal role in BIC’s life, if something were to happen to her parents.  Very scary proposition for the kid.  Also, BIC is really just a generation ahead of Frances Cobain.  Frances hasn’t made any headlines, for better or worse, so don’t expect a Pop Culture Tournament dynasty from BIC.  And lastly, BIC isn’t even Beyonce’s child; she is Destiny’s Child. "
Riding to the Elite 8?
  • Winner:  Blue Ivy Carter ends the Cinderella story of Tandem Bicycles, 3-2.  What a showing by Tandem Bicycles.  With the experience they've gained, another possible tourney run...or...ride, I guess...may happen again next year.  

5. Judge Judy vs. Space Jam
Perfectly captured Judy placing her lunch order.
  • KP-"Judge Judy for sure because whenever I am in trial class I have grandiose visions of wearing a silk collared shirt under a robe and one of Sarah Pacitti's wigs and yelling at fake defendants about child support."
  • Kyle-"Although it has been said that Judge Judy has a fudge booty, Space Jam is a timeless classic.  I actually hope they film a sequel starring LeBron James, because Lord knows he cna't carry a bunch of Looney Toons to win a big game, and once he chokes in the clutch he will be enslaved by alien Danny DeVito and all will be right with the world."
  • Twan-"Judy.  The cases are real.  Verdicts are final."
  • Danny-"In a topical matchup of 1990s cultural mainstays, daytime family court Judge Judy takes on an exiled gambling basketball player’s Looney Tunes movie.  Judge Judy is a divorced home wrecker with a sharp tongue, apparently (just a little guy humor).  She is famous for being a ruthless on her TV show that somehow still runs.  She hasn’t changed her shtick in 15 years but still advances because of what Space Jam has become.  Every basketball player wants to become the next Jordan.  Once a player begins to approach Jordan on the court, he must also follow in MJ’s off court footsteps.  Most players don’t make it past a signature shoe line.  Unfortunately, LeBron James isn’t most players.  LeBron has had his name floated for a Space Jam sequel and it is a shame.  It shouldn’t happen.  LeBron is too wishy-washy to take a stand against the Monstars.  Just last night, LBJ is on record as being BFFs with John Calipari but spent the whole weekend tweeting about how great Shabazz Napier is – a move that would allow him to hedge his rooting interests.  Last night was a “game” played by “student-athletes” as “amateurs” and LeBron couldn’t even explicitly say who he wanted to win.  When the Intergalactic War comes, I want guys in my foxhole who I can count on.  And LeBron, cannot be counted on.  It will start with something as simple as saying he really likes the way the Monstars pressed against Jupiter’s team in the prior round and then by halftime he’ll be taking his talents to a galaxy far, far away.  In this matchup, court is adjourned and Judy Sheindlin advances."
  • Steve-"Now Judge Judy makes about $43 million a year and has a net worth around $150 million, so while I respect the hustle, Space Jam is Space Jam and no grandma with bukubucks is gonna knock it off its pedestal.  Space Jam wins this one from the parking lot"
Hello, Newman.
  • Winner:  Judge Judy, somehow, defeats Space Jam 3-2.  I might need new friends after this one.  This was like The Undertaker losing at Wrestlemania all over again.  Jeez.  I'm taking this one pretty hard. 

6. Leo DiCaprio's Nonexistant Oscar vs. Jason Bourne

  • Danny-"Leo is one of those actors that is universally loved. Loved by everyone except the Academy.  I’m supposed to feel bad for a guy who literally everyone but a small faction doesn’t like? Sorry, but this is America.  Maybe the USSR will rise again and ration its Oscars and Leo can Crimea River and annex his European villas.  Instead, fictional real American Jason Bourne will advance because he is a war hero and someone who should receive sympathy (if he would even accept it).  Bourne got his identity stolen and memory wiped.  He spends 6 hours (over three movies) trying to recover it and get the girl.  Talk about a Manic Monday! He’s also a trained assassin who is probably the most intimidating Tournament force since young Patrick Ewing at Georgetown in the mid 80s.
  • Kyle-"What has Leo even done that's remotely relevant?  I think that the only 'Leo' movie I can think of is 'Don's Plum' and that movie was a train wreck from the time they came up with that stupid title.  I'm going Jason Bourne, he's a badass, and later retired and bought a zoo."
  • KP-"Poor Leo.  Ever since he did that little jig holding a mug of beer in the poor person under carriage of the Titanic I thought he deserved an Oscar; keep holdin' on neva let go."
  • Steve-"Jason Bourne is the Jack Bauer of the big screen, and while he doesn't have Jack's over the top persona or heroin addiction he does have his lethal arsenal of hand to hand combat and weapons training.  Leo can drown his Oscar sorrows in whatever supermodel he is currently waking up next to, and I have a feeling it's more than one.  Jason 'Jack Bauer' Bourne takes this one."
  • Twan-"Leo's Oscar.  Jason Bourne isn't real."
"Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor!?"

  • Winner:  Non-existant Jason Bourne defeats Leo's Non-existant Oscar, 3-2.  What a battle between two wonderful Americans.

7. Buffalo Chicken vs. Beyonce's Surfbort

  • KP-"LOL Buffalo chicken reminds me of that drunk pizza place by PC.  This one time my friend Marian paid for a buffalo chicken pizza with a hundred dollar bill which she called "glock" until we realized "glock" doesn't mean money.  So yeah, buffalo chicken."
  • Danny-"No idea what a Surfbort is. I think it’s an autocorrect errort (HA!). What I do know is buffalo chicken.  What a force whole white meat chicken breast paired with cayenne pepper sauce is.  Imagine the amount of glass trinkets Buffalo, NY would be worth to the Iroquois if they knew what culinary miracles would be birthed in upstate New York.  One thing is for sure, Manhattan was a steal compared to what Buffalo would go for knowing what we know now.  Buffalo Chicken is 2007 Florida Gators in food form.  UF could play all styles of basketball and I dare you to find a cuisine that wouldn’t benefit from buffalo sauce in the equation.  Free financial advice: throw a dart at a world map, add buffalo sauce to the country’s cuisine and call it a ‘fusion restaurant’ and make millions of dollars so that you can retire to a nice log cabin in the outskirts of Greater Buffalo.  Buff Chicks versatility is without a peer and it’s insulting that some misspelled aquatic accessory is even in the same breath as buffalo chicken."
  • Twan-:

  • Kyle-"Buffalo Chicken is one of my all time favorite foods regardless of where or how it is served.  Although I chuckle every time I hear the word Surfbort."
  • Steve-"Queen B takes this one for me.  I have a tender Irish stomach so I don't appreciate buffalo chicken as much as most (especially Matt 'The Rat Weams' Rizzini) but Beyonce's got something that everyone can appreciate, DAT ASS."
Grandma had no idea.

  • Winner:  Buffalo Chicken wins 3-2, knocking off my most despised entry into this whole bracket.  Surfbort is starting to drive me crazy.  

8. The Song From Titanic vs. Bill Murray

  • Kyle-"Bill Murray will go down as one of the greatest human beings to walk this earth.  His 'It Just Doesn't Matter' speech in Meatballs changed my life.  Just too many classics on the screen, and off the screen he is just as incredible.  Just Google 'Bill Murray Stories' and thank me later.  Plus, I've always preferred this version of the song:"
  • Steve-"This song today still has people going wild but it's hard for one song to stack up against decades of hilarity.  Bill takes this one in my book, and when God decides to reunite Bill with Harold Ramis it will be a sad day but we will have a collection of comedy gold to ease the pain because after all near, far, wherever you are, I believe that the heart does go on."
  • Twan-"Song from Titanic.  Osmosis Jones."
  • Danny-"Your friend and mine, Bill Murray advances but not for the reasons one would expect.  Sure, Bill Murray is a beloved actor whose resume is far too star-studded to be viewed without sunglasses, but in this instance he wins by forfeit, because the Titanic never sank.  The Royal Mail Ship built two huge ocean liners named the Titanic and the Olympic.  Like most prudent companies, RMS took out insurance policies on both ships and that was that.  However, on its first cruise, the Olympic collided with one of the Royal Navy’s ships and sustained damage because ships don’t collide with Naval ships and come out on top.  RMS went to its insurer and wanted its cash to fix the ship but they didn’t receive a cent because the Queen’s Navy claimed that it was the Olympic’s fault even though everyone who saw it disagreed.  To combat this, RMS swapped every item saying Olympic with pieces from the Titanic.  Like a wolf in sheep’s clothing, RMS suddenly had an Olympic in Titanic’s clothing.  Casting morals to the wayside, the RMS launched the “Titanic” into the North Atlantic, knowing it would sink and there would be enough ships in the surrounding area to negate casualties and allow the company to recoup its insurance money.  Unfortunately, RMS was only half right and lots of people died.  For that reason (and PBR pants) Bill Murray waltzes into the Elite Eight, uncontested."
  • KP-"I know a lot of people are really pulling for Bill Murray but as soon as the flute sounds of 'My Heart Will Go On' begins every person in earshot has no choice but to enter a moment of sentimentality and really reflect on their lives.  Also, lol Celine Dion songs."
Who Would Spend This?

  • Winner:  Bill Murray wins 3-2, deservedly so, although the song from Titanic does go on, in our hearts. 

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