Thursday, May 15, 2014

Pop Culture Madness! Final 4 and Championship

The end is here, you guys.  What a journey this has been.  We started at 64 and we are now at 4 competitors left for this meaningless competition which will earn the eventual winner a whole lot of nothing.  This tournament has had upsets, beatdowns, Cinderella stories and choke jobs.  I've learned a lot about my own friends from their responses (I need new ones) in this tournament, and I'll be glad when it is over so I can start posting other pop-culture related material on here.  Anyways, much like on the newly returned show 24, the clock is ticking on this tournament.  We have made it to the Final 4, with each competitor worthy of being here.  Without further ado, I'd like to get into it, but first I must take a moment to thank the judges/panelists on taking the time to vote on these two remaining match ups, so props and much respect to Dan "The Riverside Rambler" Allen, Kyle "Belt Buckle" Towne, Liz "Nails" Wroblewski, Sean "Zoinks" Mottola, Ryan "The Radiator" Urkiel, Jenna "The Crown Jewel of Chatham" Borkoski and last, but most importantly, my Mom, 'Big D'.

WWE Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan's YES!!! Chant vs. Kel Mitchell:

  • Sean-"Daniel Bryan was Connor the Crusher's #1 favorite wrestler.  Millions of people rally around this war cry.  It's just too powerful for anything Kel Mitchell does."
  • EDITOR'S NOTE- What Sean is referring to is this truly heartbreaking, but awesome video of Connor the Crusher, who was a terminally ill boy who got his chance to meet Daniel Bryan and make some wishes come true.  This video is a tearjerker, but totally worth watching:
  • Jenna-"Morally, I'm torn.  Out of devotion to this blog's namesake author, I want to select the YES!!! Chant automatically.  But, out of respect to my nine-year-old Nickelodeon-loving self, the less famous half of Kenan and Kel deserves some consideration.  Kel is a prime example of 90's kid nostalgia, even more mysterious is that he has lived virtually off the grid since Kenan beat him out for a spot on SNL.  Meanwhile, Daniel Bryan's YES! Chant is a relatively new phenomenon.  It's been taking the world by storm, recently, but in the years to come, will fans reflect with the same reverence given for a man who has been out of the limelight for over a decade?  Because of this, I'm faced with the ultimate dilemma: do I select a seed that is a pop culture icon in the metaphorical time-capsule sort of way, or do I base my decision solely on this year in pop culture?  I'm sorry Jimothys, but I need to go with my gut on this one and select Kel Mitchell based on his longevity and for perpetually saving a small business with his recipe for secret sauce."
  • Kyle-"The Yes! Chant has been quite the movement.  But I don't know if it will be able to withstand Daniel Bryan's neck surgery and subsequent absence.  That being said, Kel Mitchell wasn't really able to withstand Kenan Thompson's absence either.  There is a soft spot in my heart for both of these warriors of pop culture, but my vote will be with Kel.  Did you know that he tried out for SNL and was denied in favor of Kenan?  Man, talk about a wrench in a friendship.  I just feel like he needs the win after reading that."
  • Mom-"Well, I would have said Kel because I like him and think that wrestler is really homely looking, but after watching that YES chant video I must give my vote to the wrestler. "
  • Dan-"Kel Mitchell burst into America's hearts the way Mark Prior did in Wrigleyville.  With good breaking balls and good burgers, both men were phenoms at their crafts; seemingly unstoppable on their projected meteoric rise to the top.  Unfortunately, Kel and Mark Prior's UCL decided to burn out rather than fade away.  More than a decade has passed since the debuts and over time, people have grown nostalgic (how Kel hasn't appeared in a Fanta ad is insane).  As more and more time slips away, we will all look back at how entertaining Kel Mitchell was.  YES! on the other, is in a rough spot.  Your friend and mind, Daniel Bryan, suffered a neck injury recently.  Fun fact about the neck: it connects the head to everything else.  With Daniel Bryan's head not quite in line with his body, it becomes very challenging for him to start chanting.  It's a tough injury this late in the pop culture bracket, but these things happen when a March Madness-style bracket is still going on in mid May.  In a stunner, Kel Mitchell advances to the finals.  I feel weird just writing that.  Truthfully, I think Kel kind of sucks.  BUT a healthy actor from my childhood will always beat the crippled, decrepit mess of a wrassler with a neck injury."
  • Liz-"Kel Mitchell."
  • Urk-"Yes Chant beats Kel only because I want to set up a heartbreaking defeat for the Yes Chant in the Finals.  It will be like when the Rangers and the Bruins both win their game 7's, make the Eastern Conference Finals and the Rangers take home the victory."

  • WINNER: Kel Mitchell, 4-3.  God dammit you guys.  Hate to see the YES!!! Chant fall, but Kel is a worthy winner.  This victory proves that no matter what era, year, time it is, nothing stacks up to the 90's.  Nothing.  Since this is the most promising thing to happen to Kel Mitchell's career in a while, I would like to state "AWWWW HERE IT GOES!".

Jason Bourne vs. Bill Murray
Nice Haircut, Nerd.
  • Sean-"Bill Murray almost survived a zombie apocalypse by himself.  Bill Murray can also eradicate ghosts.  Basically he transcends time and space."
  • Mom-"Bill Murray because he is such a classic (although people of your age might disagree) but since it's Double Nickles Donna that was doing the voting, I must go with Mr. Bill."
  • Jenna-"This matchup was much easier for me.  Applying the same reasoning to the first match of the Final Four, Bill Murray is my choice to take on Kel Mitchell in the final.  Murray is a beloved American, entertaining individuals throughout his decades-long career.  In years to come, Americans will still revere Caddyshack (just to name one of his many outstanding films), but will the Jason Bourne novels and films have the same cultural impact?  I don't think so.  My apologies, JB--maybe next year."
  • Dan-"Fake bad-assery opposed to real life perfection.  I want to go on record right now and state that Bill Murray easily wins this tournament.  Newspaper headline: 'Bourne runs of out TP vs. BM.' Jason Bourne filled a void while Jack Bauer was on a 2-year tequila bender (Cuervo?).  Now that Bauer is back to make the most of his 24 hour day, Bourne is redundant.  Between PBR pants and urban legends that you'd never believe, Bill Murray (ghost)busts into the finals."
  • Kyle-"I'm going with Bill Murray and it's not even close.  It's like George Mason vs. Florida back in 2006.  Pretty cool Final Four run for Jason Bourne, but he's getting smacked up every day of the week by Bill Murray."
  • Liz-"Jason Bourne."
  • Urk-"Bill Murray wins because Jason Bourne isn't even on the same level as Jack Bauer and he still somehow made the finals."
As Ridiculous As This Is, It's A Great Invention.

  • WINNER: Bill Murray easily defeats Jason Bourne 6-1, surprising absolutely no one, but Liz.  Somehow.  Jason Bourne's impressive, yet boring, cinderella run comes to a screeching halt.  The US Government can't hold down Jason Bourne, but he can't survive a true Ghostbuster.  
Well, well, well.  I don't think anyone was surprised that Jason Bourne got bounced.  He might've had the easiest route to a Final Four ever, and his weakness showed in his shellacking by Bill Murray.  What a doozy we had between Kel Mitchell and the YES!!! Chant.  New school vs. Old school in the realms of pop culture, and the Old school won a tight one.  Get well soon, Daniel Bryan.  Now, here we are, the championship for the 1st Annual Breakfast at Jimothy's Pop Culture Madness Tournament.

Kel Mitchell vs. Bill Murray.

The point of this tournament is much like the heralded sitcom 'Seinfeld'.  Nothing.  Nothing about this tournament makes sense.  Why was Ryan Gosling facing off against Tandem Bicycles?  No idea.  This tournament is basically a big fun waste of time.  No one gets a trophy here.  Bill Murray and Kel Mitchell will never know that they are facing each other in a championship on a blog.  This whole things means nothing, and that is why I love it. It is now time for yours truly, to take the two competitors remaining, and decide which one will be the champion.

Kel Mitchell-  Kel, Kel, Kel.  Where to begin.  You were a staple of my childhood, along with millions of others who grew up in the golden age of television: 90's Nickelodeon.  I think I can speak on behalf of everyone and say that you were the real star, with Kenan as your somewhat less crazy counterpart.  You were the funnier one, and in all honesty, seemed like you'd have the brighter future of the two.  The fact that Amanda Bynes is more relevant than you is utterly disturbing.  Every time I see Orange Soda, I think of you.  Dan Allen made a great point earlier on when he said that it is insane how you haven't inked an endorsement deal with Fanta or Sunkist.  Is your agent on drugs or something?
I don't know what happened with you and Kenan on SNL, but I can only imagine that you were extremely sick during your tryout and it had a lasting impact on your tryout and things didn't work out well.  In a perfect world, you should be on SNL doing skits about topics like politics and the Kardashians and starring in Digital Shorts about dicks in boxes or lazy sundays and the like.  The possibilities of you portraying Kanye West, Barack Obama and Kevin Hart is amazing, and I'm hoping you one day get a second chance with SNL.  You are a hero of the 90's, but what have you done for me lately?  It's never good for your career when the most relevant thing about you were fake rumors of your untimely demise, and realizing you were in a commercial for Sprite after doing some looking on the Google machine.  You provided us with classic scenes and memories through the Kenan and Kel Show, All That, Good Burger and other Nickelodeon shows.  Remember 'Figure It Out'?  You were brilliant on that with the likes of Lori Beth Denberg and making Summer Sanders laugh mid-question.  Glory days, man.  You brought joy into the lives of 90's kids, and you will forever be adored by all of us.  You may be out of your prime, but you're not done yet in this tournament, and life, I guess.  You have certainly earned your spot in the world that is Pop Culture.

Bill Murray- The timeless warrior.  I don't know where to really start.  I think my first experience with getting to know Bill Murray is also my personal favorite: Caddyshack.  Bill Murray helped make that movie, and he's basically a character just thrown in the mix.  It amazed me when years later I learned that Murray, as Carl, had no lines written for him, and he just made it all up on the fly.  That sort of things stuns me.  His appearance in Space Jam (thinking back on it now, maybe Space Jam was actually my first time seeing Bill Murray) was legendary, and he was a contributor in the defeat of the Monstars, helping Muggsy Bogues, Larry Johnson, Shawn Bradley, Patrick Ewing and (most importantly) Charles Barkley regain their talent.
Even outside of movies, this man is a legend.  He is a beloved figure on the popular website The Chive, which sells some pretty sweet tshirts of his face, helping to keep him relevant, although he didn't really need the help.  What I like most about Bill Murray is his ability to be himself, anywhere.  Bill Murray does his own thing, and just doesn't care.  I respect that.  He beats to his own drum, wears his facial hair in weird ways every now and then, owns PBR pants, umbrella hats and other unique items, because he can.  All of us should try to be as confident and legendary as Bill Murray.

THE VERDICT:  This is tough, as both competitors are definitely worthy of the title.  As much as I was pulling for the YES!!! Chant, I knew who the eventual winner of this tournament would be, and that is Bill Murray.
 Kel put up a great fight, and I was pleasantly surprised that the panelists gave him as much love as he did, but in the end, this was Bill Freakin' Murray's tournament.  The thing is, Bill Murray is still doing his thing.  The Grand Budapest Hotel features our beloved Bill, and that seems like a real winner (classic Wes Anderson, man).  Sprite commercials and death hoaxes can only help out a man like Kel so much.  I don't know why Kel Mitchell hasn't had any opportunities lately in Hollywood, but the fact is that he should.  I honestly hope Kel isn't done with acting, because anyone who has seen him perform knows he is super talented and naturally funny.  As for Mr. Murray, his career is a hundred times more impressive than Kel, and he is more beloved than Kel.  If Bill Murray walks into a bar, EVERYONE there should offer that man a drink.  Finally, a lot of this comes down to the fact that Bill Murray is beloved for being true to himself wherever he goes, and that's impressive.  It takes balls to wear some of the stuff he does and do the things he does, but he doesn't care, and he gets laughs from people.  In a world where you flip on the news and instantly become depressed, you can always turn to Bill Murray for laughter.  The world would be a much better place if everyone lived their lives like Bill and didn't worry about what other people think.  Bill Murray is a true icon, both in life and in pop culture, and for that, he is the 1st ever Breakfast at Jimothy's Pop Culture Madness Tournament Champion.  Well done, Bill.  Drinks are one me.  

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