The surest signs of spring are upon us: flowers blooming, scantily clad NYU students smoking in the park, and most importantly, coworkers who have never showed any semblance of sports fandom live-streaming basketball for the next two weeks and yelling at their computers things like “Cinderella!” “Bracket buster!” and “Diaper dandies!” (Diaper dandies?). For those who laughed outloud when asked to fill out a bracket, or chose their winning teams based on cutest mascot qualifications (Minnesota Golden Gophers FTW), here are our top ten March Madness brackets that have absolutely nothing to do with basketball, or dandies of any kind.
1. Jezebel’s Cake v. Pie
The modern lady’s fashion, sex, and pop culture blog features what in concept seems like an overly simple tournament between desserts. But when you actually examine the giant bracket of pies and cakes some deep-rooted loyalties about that Pumpkin vs. Lemon Meringue first round showdown emerge. Top seeds are Birthday on the cake side, and Apple in the pie region. Here’s hoping for an upset of Funfetti over German Chocolate Cake.
2. Esquire‘s Sexiest Woman Alive Madness
Esquire‘s annual battle to choose their Sexiest Woman winner conveniently aligns with another manly obsession, the NCAA playoffs. The most promising battle is most definitely Megan Fox (first seed) verses Helen Mirren: 63-year-old Mirren–whose synopsis states that she has a “great rack, and eyes that can cut a bombshell in half”–is winning! She. Could. Go. All. The. Way.
3. Suvudu’s Genre Fiction Cage Match
Suvudu’s bracket is meant for only the most diehard sci-fi and fantasy fanboys, and they want nothing to do with your mainstream genre-fiction heroes, with the remarkable exception of Dumbledore who’s made it to the quarter finals. Impressive analysis including stats, advantages, disadvantages, battle synopses, and projected winners comes with the obsessive territory. Warning: Edward Cullen and Hermione Granger are out in the first round.
4. The Greatest Living American Abstract Painter Tourney-ish
Hosted by the blog Modern Art Notes, with a seed-picking board of other notable art bloggers from I Call it Orange, The Stranger, and Hyperallergic, the modern art enthusiast’s March Madness bracket is the “fewer corporate tie-ins, less sweat” version of the NCAA tournament. This one also comes with plenty of ironic sports jargon, and art-snob inside jokes. Professionals only.
5. Go Fug Yourself’s Fug Madness
Cringe-worthy fashion connoisseurs the Fug Girls highlight the best of embarrassingly bad celebrity-style. Instead of being split by geographical region, this painful spread is broken down into Charo, Bjork, Madonna, and Cher brackets. It’s worth a read, if only for the brilliant commentary. On Miley Cyrus’s face-off with British model Agyness Deyn: “Yet another case of Awesome Crazy versus CHILD WHERE ARE YOUR PARENTS?”
6. Muppet Madness
Another example of excellent region naming, the Muppet Madness bracket is broken down into “The Show” (Muppet), “The Street” (Sesame), “The Rock” (Fraggle), and “The Rest.” There are some concerns that the bracket is rigged given that the hosting site is MuppetCast.com–and due to the way the regions are split, one of the obscure puppets will definitely be in the Final Four, with the likes of Gonzo, Big Bird, and Grover out in the first round. Perhaps best of all, this reminded us that there was character on Fraggle Rock named Boober. And, err, “Upset!” “Cinderella!” “Bracket buster!”
A yearly competition since 1982, Name of the Year is hosted by a group of Ivy League graduates with an appreciation for those of us less fortunately named. Past winners were most often victims of cross-cultural mispronunciation and unfortunate sexual innuendo, including Godfrey Sithole, Tokyo Sexwale, Excellent Raymond, and Dick Surprise. This year Florida football player God’s Power Offer missed the top seed but may just be our Cinderella.
Because cake and pie madness isn’t nearly enough, let alone basketball, the food blog So Good created a 32-meat bracket featuring number one seeds Bacon, Steak, Chicken, and Lobster last year. (Bacon won, of course.) This year, they’ve followed up with an extra greasy fast food bracket. We’ve got our imaginary internet money on a Pizza Hut and Taco Bell final.
9. Round Table’s March Music Madness
There are a number of music brackets out there, but this is by far the most random. Round Table’s tournament pits the biggest acts across genres against one another, breeding ridiculous first-round match-ups like Lil Wayne vs. (who the hell is) Matt Mayfield, or Lady Gaga vs. Broken Social Scene. So far the randoms are upsetting with the exception of the insurmountable bracket force that is Jay-Z.
Somewhere in the depths of ultimate dorkdom exists Laptop Magazine and its contribution to the alterna-bracket landscape, Smart Phone Madness. The iPhone, BlackBerry, and Droid are matched up with a bunch of phones no one has heard of, but given the voting demographic, bet we’ll see more than a few upsets from the totally obscure side of things. Brace yourself for extended analysis of the competitors and a bumpy comparison between the Palm Pre and Northern Iowa…which we’re guessing is a basketball team?