Yesterday, Wes wrote about some of the ideas soccer might borrow from March Madness to build a more entertaining product. Personally, I think the real secret is the bracket. Filling out a bracket gives you a stake in more than just the individual games, but in the tournament as a whole. It gives you a reason to watch games you otherwise wouldn’t.
To celebrate the season of bracketology, we organized our own little tournament featuring sixteen of our pop culture-inspired Tuesday XI squads. We went ahead and worked our way through the first three rounds, but we’re letting you, our reader (that’s right, you. I see you back there. Don’t click back over to Twitter now. It’s too late, we caught you.) vote on the final matchup.
Let’s introduce you to the regions:
Kid Stuff Region
All the things we’re meant to live as kids, and still do. Ohh, and our youngest XI.
Legion of Doom XI
Most Sensational, Inspirational, Celebrational, Muppetational XI
Back to School, Back to School, To Prove to Daddy I’m Not a Fool XI
Game 1: Superheroes vs. Supervillains
The villains always win in Round One.
Game 2: Muppets vs. Schoolchildren
If they’re good kids, they’ll be too distracted by the awesomeness of the Muppets to perform properly
Game 3: American Heroes vs. Canadian Heroes
No contest. (Take that, Canada).
Game 4: Irish vs. Flying Circus
Irish center midfielder Beckett’s theater of the absurd proves no match for the Python’s all-around absurdity.
Game 5: Rock Stars vs. Ninjas
Fascinating tactical matchup, as Ajax-style 3-4-3 meets Napoli’s version of the same formation. In the end, the Ninjas prove too fast and too devastating.
Game 6: Video Game Characters vs. American Literature Authors
Let’s face it, literature doesn’t stand a chance.
Game 7: Holiday Family Members vs. Movie Monsters
Tryptophan-laden relatives prove no match for the deadly strikeforce of Bates and Frankenstein.
Game 8: Presidents vs. Fathers
Fathers of our country > Fathers of our culture, who generally still think soccer is for sissies.
Game 9: Supervillains vs. Muppets
Curses! Without their arch-nemeses around, the Supervillains fall victim to infighting and
Game 10: Real American Heroes vs. Flying Circus
The combined midfield might of GI Joe, Hulk Hogan and Indiana Jones bosses the Pythons right out of the bracket. Besides, everyone knows George Washington eats the British for breakfast.
Game 11: Ninjas vs. Video Game Heroes
A stunning upset in the second round after the Video Game Heroes didn’t seem to work at all in the first half. They performed better in the second half after someone gave them the hair dryer treatment, stuck them back in, jiggled them up and down a bit, then hit reset forty-seven times, but by them it was too little too late.
Game 12: Movie Monsters vs. Presidents
Two of the slowest sides in the tournament do battle in a game similar to what it would have been like if Inter had drawn Chelsea in the Round of 16. The Presidents advance out of the weakest region.
Game 13: Muppet XI vs. Real American Hero XI
What? Americans in the final of a major international tournament? Dream on.
Game 14: Ninja XI vs. Presidential XI
The one recorded instance of Presidential-Ninja interactions went something like this: