If you pay even the least attention to sports in the U.S., you’re surely aware that the NCAA basketball tournaments, popularly known as “March Madness,” start this Thursday. Whether you’re planning to fill out a bracket or not, you should give some time to another, geekier tournament whose outcome you can actually influence.
I refer to Muppet Madness, a tournament being run by the awesome MuppetCast and the equally awesome ToughPigs.com. Instead of college teams, each tournament entrant is a Muppet from one of four divisions, which in this case are The [Muppet] Show, The [Sesame] Street, The [Fraggle] Rock, and The Rest (everything else), and you get to vote on each contest. This method of organization forces you to make some tough decisions early on, and I can’t quite decide if I like that or not. I mean, in the NCAA bracket, you don’ t have to think about which team to pick in the 1-16 and 2-15 match-ups, right? Grover vs. Cookie Monster, though? Way tougher. It does seem likely that the Muppets’ Final Four will see crushing defeat for The Rock and The Rest winners, just because they’ll be going up against the heavyweights (not a Miss Piggy joke) from The Show and The Street, to which fans have more emotional attachments. And I do find myself somewhat wishing they’d put Kermit in The Street as well as The Show, because it would be fun to see an all-Kermit final showdown, but I understand why they didn’t.
In keeping with the general philosophy that Muppets make everything better — with the possible exception of The Wizard of Oz — I encourage all GeekDad readers to participate. The first round of Muppet Madness is already underway, and you’ve got some easy choices (Miss Piggy vs. Pepe) and some tough ones (Kermit vs. Gonzo, or the aforementioned Sesame Street one). There’s no prize to win here, but it’s a chance to show your love for your favorite Muppets — every geek has them, I’m sure. It’s also a much more accessible tournament for kids than March Madness … assuming your child won’t get too upset at having to pick between Oscar and Big Bird.