#TheBrackets: The Stuff of Legend

#TheBrackets: The Stuff of Legend

After the rise of The Committee and the birth of democracy, #TheBrackets spent the following months debating such topics as #WorstMovieEver, #GreatestActionStar, #ScariestMovie, #GreatestTvThemeSong and so on. The Committee had become very efficient in its system and the moderation process of the actual night of The Bracket was evolving with timed debates for matchups and secondary timed portions for Lobbyists. (which is was we began  to call Citizens or Committee members who came in with the intention of keeping a name on or off the bracket) Citizens came from far and wide; The Brackets was making a name for itself.

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Lobbying, Honorable Mentions,  Kill Counts, Filibustering, The Departed, all these things became parts of the known lexicon at The Brackets. The apartment was referred to as The Time Vortex, I became known as the Moderator. Citizens would spend the entire month searching for that perfect nerdcore shirt or that special drinking hat. Cosplay came up more than once. Rivalries between citizens and committee members became a thing. Love affairs over shared fandoms and shared hatreds grew. We became a community.

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Every month it seemed to get bigger. Citizens told friends who told friends and we actually had to start turning people away. I mean, this was a one bedroom apartment and we were definitely starting to run out of fold out chairs and space. I was getting private messages on facebook and twitter from people that had heard about The Brackets and were trying to find out exactly how you got to go because they had asked several regulars and they told him that we were at capacity. It really seemed insane that we had to tell people no.

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Eventually the demand of doing The Brackets became strenuous and to top it off, I was moving somewhere where I wasn’t gonna be able to host it anymore. When I informed The Committee and Citizens they were heartbroken. They asked why and though my explanation of a lack of location and more importantly a lack of time, as I was moving forward with preproduction of a project at the time, was not enough to ease them into acceptance.

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The last Bracket we did was bitter sweet. #GreatestTvThemeSong went to The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and at this point everyone knew that this was going to be the end. After the game ended many Citizens stayed behind to chat and spend some final moments in the Vortex. Before they left, every citizen made me promise that I would one day do The Brackets again and I told all of them, “It’ll come back and it’ll be bigger and better than ever.”. They would smile and laugh but we all knew that it was possible that The Brackets would never come back again.

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Over the years The Brackets would come up at gatherings or parties. People would talk about it the way old frontiersmen would talk about haunted coal mines and buried treasure. It was an old wives tale, a myth or campfire story. With time The Brackets had become nothing more than an urban legend.

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This concludes our Brackets Origin series. Our following Series starts next week and will focus on the present and future of The Brackets. Till next time Citizens.

#TheBrackets: Democracy Unchained

#TheBrackets: Democracy Unchained

So we had successfully figured out what the greatest comic book movie was at our first Bracket and matched up the best Hero and Villain to an ultimate showdown in the second one but suddenly we now had volunteers that wanted, nay, were demanding to be involved in the decision making process of what names got onto the actual bracket.

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I sent out an email blast to everyone that asked to be involved and six answered back. Alex, Jackie, Laz, Linda, Oscar, Robert & myself. It was perfect. An odd amount is good to help prevent ties and this group ranged from #NerdLite to #NerdCore. Sure we had no idea how this was going to work or exactly how long it would take but The Committee was formed and the first official piece of business that needed to be dealt with was picking the next topic.

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After an email blast and running thread, The Committee decided on #TheBigBadsBracket, which was to see what the greatest movie bad guy was but I still had to think of how I was gonna make The Committee work structurally. I figure the best way is to think of The Brackets as democracy at its truest form. If the night of The Brackets was election night then the Committee’s job was the primary. Yeah, The Committee are the elected officials that nominate those they deem worthy to run and amongst themselves they would whittle down the possibilities to the finalists. So I independently made my list of 56 nominees (to remain impartial) and sent out another email blast to The Committee to send in theirs. Once all the nominee lists came in I cross referenced the lists for duplicate nominees and those were moved on to the final list, which I would later find out was usually well over the 56 nominee limit. The final list was then sent BACK to The Committee for them to vote up or down the remaining nominees by assigning each a number value from 1 to 20 and send the voted list back to home base to be tallied. The numbers would then be crunched, the nominees would be ranked according to score and the top 56 would make it into the  bracket. The nominees are then matched up highest against lowest (1 again 56, 2 against 55 and so on) until you’re out of match up and placed in a secret pattern on the bracket for election night. Simple enough, right?

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The night of #TheBigBadsBracket went off without a hitch and featured fan favorites such as Darth Vadar (Star Wars Saga), Tommy Devito (Goodfellas) & Ivan Drago (Rocky IV). As always the attendees (or Citizens as later came to be called) we in full force with legitimate arguments and drinking hats. Again friendships were made and lines were crossed but all was forgiven in search for the greater goal at hand, who is the best bad guy.

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This particular bracket was a bloodbath though. Turns out the easiest way to get nerds into a blind fury that would lead into a drunken stupor is to get them defending their favorite villains in movies. I mean this crowd was taking this stuff SERIOUS and their votes were leading to levels of intoxicated that we hadn’t reached before. Three Citizens even passed out during the voting process. That’s not even a joke. They were legitimately asleep.

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In the end #TheBigBadsBracket when into the wee small hours of the morning and ended with The Joker (The Dark Knight) wining the final faceoff against Keyser Soze (The Usual Suspects). When the citizens left the same sentiment was shared by all, “You HAVE to do this again.” and as I sat in my empty apartment with the sun piercing through the window I realized that with The Committee now in place, The Brackets had successfully become a democracy.

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Be sure to come back next week for the fourth and final instalment in The Brackets origin story where we will discuss the several topics we undertook in the original run of the game, what happened to The Committee and why The Brackets eventually disappeared from existence. Till next time Citizens.

#TheBrackets: Rise of The Committee

#TheBrackets: Rise of The Committee

The second time we did The Brackets we decided the topic would be #HeroesAndVillains. The left side would be hero macthups and the left would villains so that the final two would be the best hero and the best villain. Once again Jackie and I went online searching top 100 lists and set up the game. On the night of, all the players from the last bracket showed up but THIS TIME they brought fiends along.

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The drinks flowed, passions ran high and the game went off without a hitch. Again, new friendships were made, arguments got more precise and detailed to the subject matter and I live tweeted the whole time. I started to notice that people came in ready to lobby for the comic book characters they loved that were on the bracket and as the rounds passed and the characters they were rooting for were voted out they began to mourn the passing of their fallen idols with the severity of losing a loved one.
 
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At the end of the night the final two were Magneto and The Hulk and The Hulk one it all. All the players had a good time but a small handful came up and asked how we arrived with the characters on the bracket. When I told them they I used a “greatest of” list from a reputable website they were not pleased. My friend Oscar said that we should really make the list ourselves.
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As everyone left I asked a select few if they would be interested in doing some homework in regards to the game and surprisinglyu enough all the people that I asked were more than happy to help decide not only what ended up on the bracket but what the topic of the bracket itself was gonna be…
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…and so The Committee was formed.
#TheBrackets: Origins

#TheBrackets: Origins

Alright, so two years ago I was living in this small one room apartment in the burbs while I writing this script. In my down time I started to have these get-togethers and in these get-togethers we started to play drinking games. After about the second or third party I decided I would make a new drinking game that would suit my group of strange, nerdy friends. While enjoying my morning cappuccino and flipping through my youtube feed I noticed that Mach Madness had begun. As the son of a former high school basketball player I clicked on one of the countless suggested videos discussing the matter and suddenly there it was… a bracket.

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With a belly full of espresso and a head full of inspiration I hightailed it down the street to my friend Jackie’s house to share my brilliant idea with her because lets face it, being brilliant without an audience is useless. ANYWAY, I ran over to Jackie’s and laid out my idea and the idea was this. A bracket system game where we would determine the #GreatestComicBookMovieEver by letting the people at the party vote by show of hands and every time the movie you vote for loses you take a drink. Needless to say, Jackie loved the idea and went into full throttle assistant mode. We spent the following week working out the logistics of the game, searching the internet for to 100 lists to figure out what movies should go on the bracket, cutting out little pieces of cardboard paper, drawing a giant bracket in my Livingroom wall, etc. and all that was left was to do was call up some friends and play the game.

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On the night of the first bracket we had no idea how it would play but we found out quickly that when you get passionate nerds and fill them with alcohol, the debates got serious and loud. Friendships were formed and almost broken. Horrible things were said about family members and loved ones and yet everyone had smiles on their faces. During a round break my friend Linda expressed that the game was like parliament for nerds and I couldn’t disagree.

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See, it turned out that the best part of the game was arguing about each matchup before we would even vote. Yelling out facts, figures and personal opinion to try and change each other’s minds. Little did I know that this meant that I would have to moderate the debates so we would actually be able to move on.

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Four hours, several bottles and a handful of lost voices later, the bracket had been complete, with Sin City winning it all. As the sun came up and my guests stumbled out of my apartment, they all agreed that this was game we would definitely have to play again…

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…and so The Brackets was born.