Fake 2007 NCAA Tourney: Mascots!

[ORIGINALLY POSTED MARCH 2007]

Hey Everyone….how’s it going. Good? Glad to hear it. Have you ever wondered what would happen if instead of basketball games being played in the NCAA Basketball tournaments, the mascots simply battled to the death? Well I have. Forget the brackets you’ve figured out; your whole bracket world is about to be thrown upside down

Without further ado,

THE BATTLE OF THE COLLEGE BASKETBALL MASCOTS….WHO WILL BE VICTORIOUS??

Before I do anything, I have to give a shout out to my Main Man Kevin Canavan, who has already seen this plan in motion (back in the fall, with NFL football teams. No one but his dad was there to witness it; until the time comes around again, I won’t reveal who won). While watching b-ball with him yesterday, he brought it up. And a lightbulb went on in my head. Ahoy! So Kev….thanks for the inspiration, dawg.

Let’s get to the rules of play:

1) The mascots are not playing each other in basketball….that would just be ludicrous. They are fighting…TO THE DEATH!!!

2) A basketball team sends five guys to the court…for the time being, we’ll say that five of each mascot will be sent to face another five, although it may get complicated, and I think the rules will need to be tweaked. (I think the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets will cause the most problems here).

3) Basketball is played on hardwood floors. For the sake of the mascots, who usually don’t do battle on hardwood, we’ll move them to a neutral, outdoor setting.

4) Since I am the Commish of this league…the final rules involving discrepencies comes down to me, and me only. I will be fair and just.

Now….the Matchups.

Play in game:

The Florida A&M Rattlers vs. The Niagra Purple Eagles

Round 1, The Midwest:

The Florida Gators vs. The Jackson State Tigers

The Arizona Wildcats vs. The Purdue Boilermakers

The Butler Bulldogs vs. The Old Dominion Monarchs

The Maryland Terrapins vs. The Davidson Wildcats

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. The Winthrop Eagles

The Oregon Ducks vs. The Miami of Ohio Redhawks

The UNLV Rebels vs. The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

The Wisconsin Badgers vs. The Texas A&M Corpus Christi Islanders

The West:

The Kansas Jayhawks vs. The Florida A&M Rattlers or The Niagra Purple Eagles

The Kentucky Wildcats vs. The Villanova Wildcats

The Virginia Tech Hokies vs. The Illinios Fighting Illini

The Southern Illinois Salukies vs. The Holy Cross Crusaders

The Duke Blue Devils vs. The Virginia Commonwealth Rams

The Pittsburgh Panthers vs. The Wright State Raiders

The Indiana Hoosiers vs. The Gonzaga Bulldogs

The UCLA Bruins vs. The Weber State Wildcats

The East:

The North Carolina Tarheels vs. The Eastern Kentucky Colonels

The Marquette Golden Eagles vs. The Michigan State Spartans

The USC Trojans vs. The Arkansas Razorbacks

The Texas Longhorns vs. The New Mexico State Aggies

The Vanderbilt Commodores vs. The George Washington Colonials

The Washington State Cougars vs. The Oral Roberts Golden Eagles

The Boston College Eagles vs. The Texas Tech Red Raiders

The Georgetown Hoyas vs. The Belmont Bruins

The South:

The Ohio State Buckeyes vs. The Central Conneticutt State Blue Devils

The BYU Cougars vs. The Xavier Musketeers

The Tennessee Vols vs. The Long Beach State 49ers

The Virginia Cavaliers vs. The Albany Great Danes

The Louisville Cardinals vs. The Stanford Cardinal

The Texas A&M Aggies vs. The Penn Quakers

The Nevada Wolf Pack vs. The Creighton Bluejays

The Memphis Tigers vs. The North Texas Mean Green

Phew….that took awhile.

Okay….

There is no possible way I’m going to be able to go over every match up in the First Round tonight, let alone the whole tournament. This might be a mulitple entry procedure. But I’ll see what I can get done tonight, starting with the West Bracket, which has the play-game. So before the tourney starts, lets go over the play-in game.

The Florida A&M Rattlers vs. The Niagra Purple Eagles:

Rattlers, for the most part, are a pretty formidable foe. They’re poisonous, aggressive, and sneaky. In a neutral outdoor setting, with five rattlers slithering around, I think any opponent would be intimidated.

Ofcourse, we’re not dealing with any opponent here: we’re dealing with Purple Eagles. Purple Eagles?!?! I mean, I’ve heard of some crazy shit, but I think Purple Eagles take the cake. Are these special eagles? Are they magical? As far as I know, there are no purple eagles in the wild. So what kind of eagles, are purple eagles, exactly?

Here’s what I say: they’re majestic and fierce….but not magical. Sorry, there’s no mention of magic here. But they are purple, don’t forget. All of this being said…I think the Purple Eagles take the Rattlers down. The Rattlers are at a distinct disadvantage, because the Purple Eagles can swoop from above and take out the Rattlers, one at a time. Don’t get me wrong…I think a Purple Eagle could get bitten in the melee. I just don’t see them losing.

Victor: The Niagra Purple Eagles

Round 1, The West:

The Purple Eagles get no rest…they immediately have to take on the Kansas Jayhawks. Which, honestly, doesn’t seem like as formidable a task. I mean…Jayhawks sound tough and everything, but against Purple Eagles…I don’t know. Let’s not forget….these are Purple Eagles that just defeated a bunch of nasty Rattlers. I think the Jayhawks would certainly be tough, especially off some rest…but I just think the Purple Eagles prevail here. I don’t know…just a gut feeling.

The Victor: The Purple Eagles

Okay folks…thats all I can do right now. Sorry…gotta get some shut eye. But I will be back to finish this epic tournament.

Until Next Time,

Greg

Alright, lets get down to business, no waiting around….

We’re moving on in the Mascot Basketball Challenge, whether you like it or not.

I’m starting with the Midwest, even though we already decided the play in game and first game in the West earlier. We’ll get back to that region. Anyone who is confused, check in with the last blog entry for rules and regulations, and to know what the hell I’m talking about.

Let the games….BEGIN:

The Midwest:

The Florida Gators vs. The Jackson St. Tigers:

Okay…this is one is pretty straight forward. We have two powerful, ferocious groups of predators facing off against one another in a neutral, outdoor setting. I think the neutral setting, however, actually hurts the Gators here. Gators need water to be very effective: without it, they lose their stealth. I think the Tigers pull out a win…but I think its bloody, and hard fought.

The Arizona Wildcats vs. The Purdue Boilermakers:

Okay…this is pretty interesting. First, we have the Wildcats, from Arizona. Since we don’t know what wildcats are being talked about here, we will presume they are natural to Arizona (I’m taking some liberties and making up rules as I go…let me know if you have a problem with this). Assuming this, we’ll say its a mix-bag of bobcats, cougars, and other assorted cats.

As for the Boilermakers, well….we’ll say five professionally made boilermakers, with Bud Light and Jack Daniels, will be laid out on the ground ( a boilermaker, for those who don’t know, is a beer with a shot of whiskey thrown into it). Like I said, interesting.

Wildcats are ferocious predators, known to attack people sometimes…but I wouldn’t call them “smart.” To expect a wildcat to understand what a boliermaker is, well, simply impossible. My estimation: the cats would drink the boilermakers and get drunk.

Now….I believe this would be detrimental to the cats well-being. But, that being said, the Boilermakers would cease to exist….therefore, although their plan to get the cats drunk succeeded, the boilermakers attempt suicide in the process.

The Butler Bulldogs vs. The Old Dominion Monarchs:

Well now…this is interesting. I’m not a big fan of bulldogs in battles…sure, they have strong jaws, and can intimidate foes with their drool…but are they really good fighters? I say no.

However, I’m not sure that a group of five Monarchs would really impress me.

Honestly, I think these two would make better friends than foes….I mean, can’t you see some old, crusty monarch from 300 years ago walking around with a spoiled bulldog as a pet? I can. But fighting each other…I think it’d be a little weird.

I see it happening in this way: five random monarchs, from various countries, of varying ages, enter the neutral area. They are given nice, plush chairs to sit on, and each a platter of grapes to eat from.

The bulldogs are led out, and let loose.

And for awhile, nothing happens. The bulldogs walk around slobbering; the monarchs sit around, talking of their palaces and their royal halls, and eating their grapes. Eventually, they get up to befriend the bulldogs, who seem somewhat royal themselves. And out of boredom and hunger, the bulldogs attack the monarchs, and eventually win the match.

I’m sorry…that may have seemed lame. But I am not, under any circumstances, allowing stalemates in this tourney…one way or another, there will be a winner. In the end….someone’s got to go. That’s the only way I saw it happening.

The Maryland Terrapins vs. The Davidson Wildcats

Hmm….more wildcats….only this time, they land a challenging foe.

For those who don’t know, terrapins are giant snapping turtles (I googled it just to make sure). Wildcats, as we already know, are wildcats. I think this would be a tremendous match-up, with non-stop excitement. The terrapins, slow but strong; the wildcats, quick and lean. I think it would last for hours, and I also think opinions would vary as to who would win….but I think, in the end, the terrapins outwit the cats, and eventually take them down. Remember….Turtles Have Wisdom (atleast I think they do…they live to be like 140 years old).

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. The Winthrop Eagles:

Ahh…here’s one of the matchups I’ve been waiting for. A bunch of fighting Irish dudes….against eagles. At Notre Dame games, a leprehchan guy (I’m not even gonna look up how to spell that…actually, it kinda looks right) runs around the field/court. We’re elimating him….and replacing him with some of the craziest, drunkest, Irish dudes I know. I know a lot of them. It kind of sucks….they get to go against….eagles. The most cliched sports animal ever. Whatever….here’s how I see it.

The Irish dudes are pissed at being made to do this, and they’re drunk. They’re allowed to bring their beers into the fighting area with them. The majestic eagles, flying high above, see their drunken targets below. Easy pickens, right?

Wrong. The first eagle swoops, hits a guy in the head, draws blood….and gets these crazy, drunk Irish dudes REALLY pissed. They start chucking a barrage of beer cans, beer bottles, and rocks at the birds. The birds can’t handle it. The Fighing Irish kick the crap out of them. And afterwards, they grill the eagles over an open pit…and drink more beers.

(If anyone was offended by my portrayal of Fighting Irish dudes….just make fun of Armenians, of which I am half. Or actually, just make fun of any ethnic group/religion/club that you feel like. Just don’t fight me.)

The Oregon Ducks vs. The Miami of Ohio Redhawks:

Ahhh, the Ducks….the absolute lamest mascot of all time, not including the Arlington Spy Ponders (inside joke for those from eastern Mass.). I don’t care if they’re an intrical part of Oregon’s history….I don’t care if ducks founded the state, wrote the constitution, and designed the state flag. Its still a shitty name for a sports team. They’re not even cool, like cardnals or bluejays…there, just, well, ducks!!

If you even have to think about what I think the Redhawks would do to the Ducks…well, you’re reading the wrong blog (on that note, you’re probably reading the wrong blog anyway).

The UNLV Rebels vs. The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets:

Okay….this is where my whole system hits a snag. Up until this point, according to my earlier post regarding this tourney, five of each mascot would enter the fighting area (per five basketball players per team to a court).

This is all fine and well for the Rebels….but for the Yellow Jackets, it just doesn’t work. Yellow Jackets, like all members of the bee/wasp family, produce their terror in numbers. Unless you’re allergic to bees, they’re only a nusance if there’s a few of them; a break a nest, and watch out.

If these Rebels, armed with….well, guns and stuff, I guess…were to face off against five yellow jackets…..well, they’d probably get a few stings, and then squish the little suckers. But if hundreds of yellow jackets were allowed to fight…well forget about the Rebels, the Yellow Jackets might be the tourney favorites.

I’m sort of torn here…..but I’m also in a hurry, and don’t have time to dwell, so I’m making an executive decision:

“It is with great regret that I, Greg Hovanesian, Commissioner of this fake Tournament, turn down the request of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, who have requested that five hundred bees be allowed to fight, instead of five.”

Tough loss for the Jackets….but it was just as tough a decision by me. Honestly…its one of the toughest decisions I’ve ever made, and it leaves me with a heavy heart…I like those little guys. (In real life…I HATE BEES).

The Wisconsin Badgers vs. The Texas A&M Corpus Christie Islanders:

With all due respect….this would be a bloodbath.

Badgers, like Terrapins, are a sleeper pick for myself (for those not familiar with the term: an opponent that critics “sleep” on….and end up being better than expected). Badgers are really, really, tough. They live in tough climates. They can take down a deer with a single blow….okay, maybe not. But they’re damn tough little critters….and they fight dirty.

As for the Islanders….well, being from the South, we’ll say their tropical island dwellers. I love Islanders….they’re easy going, make cool drinks, and party on the beach. I mean, they make great company. But Islanders, atleast in my mind, aren’t really great fighters (anyone upset with my perception of Islanders….see above about the Irish).

Anyway…I think the Islanders, much like the earlier Monarchs, would try to befriend the Badgers. And, much to their chagrin…the badgers would launch their nasty attack. Honestly….this makes me sad to think about. I like Islanders…they’re good people.

And this marks the end of the Midwest Bracket:

Sorry, I’ve gotta go to bed. But don’t fret….this baby ain’t done yet. Peace.

Greg

—-

Okay, we’re gonna keep the ball rolling, just a few things first:

Well, I’m bleeding in my real brackets. Situation: I picked Notre Dame to go not only to the Sweet Sixteen in the NCAAs, but the Elite Eight. And they lost to Winthrop. The sad part: I really wanted to pick Winthrop, but Notre Dame was one of my pre-tourney faves, so I had to stick with them. But because of this, I was actually rooting for Winthrop on TV (I forgot I had ND in the Elite Eight, I thought it was only the Sweet Sixteen). The point to all this: I suck. But hey, atleast I picked Virginia Commonwealth to beat Duke; now all they have to do is beat Pitt and I’m all set.

Quick Movie Review: Here’s a quick review of “300″, which I saw last weekend:

It sucked. It reminded my of a boring opera with no music. It made me tired. There was too much blood; not enough substance. I was bored 12 minutes in. I hated Spartans by the end of the movie. I found out that monsters existed in Ancient Greece, and mingled with humans, and had big teeth. I also found out that wolves were about 1,600 pounds, had yellow, glowing eyes, and looked really fake back then. I hated everyone in the movie except for a twelve foot monster who kicked ass about halfway through, and some deformed dude.

To sum it up: I reminded me of a nice, delicious plate of steaming dog poop. Hey, if this sounds like your type of movie….CHECK IT OUT!!!!

Moving on….

Yes, its true…advertising works!:

I’ve been watching a lot of college hoops for the last 3-4 weeks, and I’ve noticed an ad that occurs over and over: its for Buffalo Wild Wings, some restaurant chain I’ve never heard of. Well, I’ve fallen in love with this place, and not because of the food, or anything I’ve heard: only because of the ads. Which aren’t even that cool; they just kind of suck me in.

What does this mean? Well, it means that someday I’ll pull off a random highway in some random state, and there, in front of me, will be a Buffalo Wild Wings. I’ll stare in shock for a couple minutes, and then mutter, “My God, its what I’ve been waiting for.”

And I’ll probably get a buffalo chicken sandwich with a Ceasar Salad on the side, and it will probably be lame, and maybe I’ll sit at the bar and have a beer or too.

Why am I telling you this? Because it proves that adverstising does work; in perverse ways, maybe, but it works.

Okay..back to My Fake Tourney.

If you don’t know what’s going on…check back a couple of entries ago:

We’re going back to the West, where we already know that the Niagra Purple Eagles take down the Kansas Jayhawks in the first game. Let’s see how the rest of the bracket plays out:

The Villanova Wildcats vs. The Kentucky Wildcats:

Okaaaaay….I don’t even know what to say. Is this lame, or so lame that its cool? I say it its kinda cool. Like I said in an earlier post, there will no stalemates, no matter the situation. So one of these groups of wildcats is going to come out on top: end of story.

I’m making another executive decision here: the wildcats facing each other will be directly related to the geography of each school. That means that the wildcats of Villanova will be directly associated with Philadelphia; and the wildcats of of Kentucky will be associated with, well, Kentucky.

This leaves us with five Philly Wildcats, presumably alley cats and strays, to face up against bobcats and cougars from the backwoods of Kentucky.

Look, alley cats are tough and everything….I used to hear them fighting behind my house growing up (interestingly, there is no alley behind the house where I grew up). But in this situation, I’ll take the cats who weigh about 200 more pounds and eat deermeat for dinner.

The Victors: Kentucky

Next up: The Virginia Tech Hokies vs. The Illinios Fighting Illini

Okay…its Google Time!!

After googling “Hokies” I came back, well….confused. A little history about Virginia Tech: turns out, they were originally the Virginia Tech Gobblers; then at some point, Tech fans starting cheering “Hokie, Hokie, Hokie, Hi!” at games. Umm…whatever. But I guess everyone loved this cheer so much that it was decided to officially change the name of the team to “The Hokies,” and even rip down the Gobbler on the scoreboard (although it was later put back up).

So, to put it plainly: The Hokies, are, well…a type of cheer.

The Illini, on the other hand, are an American Indian tribe from Illinois. And being The Fighting Illini….well, we’ll assume they’re pissed off and armed.

Now this is somewhat interesting: its already been established that 5 of each mascot will enter the neutral outdoor setting: the 5 Fighting Illini are easy.

But how, exactly, do you count 5 hokies? Simple: you don’t. The Hokies, actually, are not actually anything: because of this, there will only be one Hokie, and this Hokie will not even exist.

As I see it: the Fighting Illini wait for someone to show up, but all they here is “Hokie, Hokie, Hokie, Hi!” being chanted over and over.

I think this would freak a lot of people out, Illini included: there wouldn’t even be an opponent to fight, just: “Hokie.” This all brings up an interesting question: how, exactly, do you defeat something that doesn’t exist. Simple answer: you don’t. But this brings up the whole stalemate issue. So a new rule is being created by me, on the spot: “If an opponent cannot be defeated in any way, then it is decided that they lose by default.”

So there, the Hokies lose. Even if the Hokies could pull off a win (which I don’t think they would; I don’t care how scared or freaked the Illini would get, I don’t see them actually losing to Hokies), they would lose by default because in actuality, they don’t exist.

So the victors, by default: Illinois

Next up…The Southern Illinois Salukis vs. The Holy Cross Crusaders:

Well, I learned something today: a Saluki is a type of dog that has been around for atleast 3,500 years. To see a picture of one, check this out: . (I hope this link works; I’m an idiot and may have screwed it up). It turns out they were bred to hunt in Egypt and Mesopotamia: what they’re doing in Southern Illinois….I have no freaking idea.

As for the Crusaders: there were nine crusades, and most of them consisted of Popes calling for the destruction of heathens in the East, leading to knights leading armies to the Middle East to wage war and pillage in the name of The Church.

As noble and graceful as the Salukies are (the thing looks pretty damn pompous on that website I found), I think the Crusaders would slaughter those heathen bastards in no time.

By the way, I know I’ve messed up the link somehow cause I looked at my draft….um, give me time.

Okay, I think I got it.

Nope…I didn’t….now I’m pissed. Goddamned Salukies!!! Screw ‘em…I’m glad they lost!!!!

Okay, if you’re annoyed that this entire thing has become a link….so am I.

Hold on.

Screw it…I’m done. Atleast you know what a Saluki looks like. I’m tired and I’ve been drinking anyway, so I’m running out of ideas and I think I kind of suck right now. So after I figure out this problem (which most 6th graders probably know how to fix), I’ll be back.

Until Then….I’m Pissed.

Whatever.

Until Next Time,

Greg

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