Thursday, March 26, 2009

Anger at the so called "Tournament Of Meat"

Earlier today, I added a link to the tournament of meat bracket someone filled out and posted and didn't think much of it after that. I casually glanced at it, saw the winner, turned my nose up slightly and soon forgot about it.

Time passed and I noticed a few comments questioning the rationale of some of the "games." So I jumped back in to take a closer look.

What I saw disgusted me...

As a clever way to get some page views, I guess the tournament of meat achieved it's objective. But with a little more analysis, what could have been something cool, seemed to be nothing more than a silly parlor trick and easily forgotten. But why? Why not give a little more thought into it? Sure, I know no matter what you come up with people are going to disagree and spew vitriol, but that doesn't mean you can't have pride in what you put up. And it's clear the person who did this has no pride. Pork chops a #8 seed? Chicken - the entire animal, a #8 seed?

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Instead of bemoaning the lack of thought that went into creating the Tournament of Meat, I chose to do something about it. Because it's a good idea at heart. It just needs some tweaking. And in the Popcorn Trick's spirit of overanalyzing the most mundane of things, I am turning my attention toward this. Below a bracket by bracket analysis complete with redos.

The Beef Bracket

Possibly the best thought out bracket, but that still doesn't mean everything is a-ok in this region. Steakumm has no business being a #16. With Steakumm, you can go from nothing to cheesesteak in about 30 seconds. That gets it to #10 at least.

Ground chuck (aka) hamburger is criminally under seeded. It's fucking hamburger! And don't get me started about filet mignon. Here's my new seeding for the beef bracket:

1. Filet mignon
2. ground chuck (aka hamburger!)
3. T-bone
4. Beef ribs
5. Porterhouse
6. Ribeye
7. NY Strip
8. Smoked brisket
9. Pot roast
10. Standing rib roast
11. Steakumms
12. Short ribs
13. London broil
14. Pastrami
15. Corned beef
16. Hanger steak

Sausage Region

Here's where things start to get wonky. First, it's ambitious to think you can come up with 16 sausages people have a familiarity with. Throwing in the idea of lunchmeat is a decent solution. Still, there are some listed I'm unfamiliar with, so I tried to remedy that.

Also, the hotdog question. While controversial, I have chosen not to include it here. Yes, I understand it's technically a sausage (tube of processed meat), but to me the hotdog transcends the sausage definition, and becomes its own meat. (I'll let you reread that sentence and then wonder what kind of idiot could spend so much time deliberating on such an idiotic subject.)

New seeding:

1. Italian sausage
2. Pepperoni
3. Salami
4. Balogna
5. Kielbasa
6. Chorizo
7. Bratwurst
8. Breakfast sausage
9. Andouille
10. Lebanon balogna
11. Boudin
12. Blood sausage
13. liverwurst
14. bangers
15. Chavrice
16. Meguez

Pork Region

Ok, I don't know what's going on here. Hog jowls? Out. Pork chop at 6? No. It gets bumped up. I also really didn't want to include smoked pork AND Boston butt, since they're usually the same thing, but after careful deliberation, the committee decided to keep it in. Yes, there's a committee.

New seedings...

1. Bacon
2. Ribs
3. Tenderloin
4. Pork chop
5. deli ham
6. Pulled pork
7. Glazed ham
8. Roast of pork
9. Baby back ribs
10. Prosciutto
11. Scrapple
12. Boston butt
13. Roasted whole pig
14. Cracklins
15. Leg of pork
16. Medallions

Miscellaneous Region

Perhaps the most egregious offenses lie here in this region. The idea of introducing "wild game" is ok, but then you must think about all the wild game meats that are popular. And to have one spot for the whole chicken, that just undemined everyone involved.

New seedings...

1. hotdog
2. chicken cutlet
3. lamb chops
4. chicken wings
5. turkey
6. fried chicken
7. venison
8. veal cutlet
9. duck
10. cornish hen
11.leg of lamb
12. lamb shanks
13. turducken
14. buffalo
16. liver

So there are the new brackets. Now I won't be so presumptuous to give you a definitive winner's bracket for this epic tournament. Instead, I will simply give a look at my bracket. And you have my word that no standing rib roast is going to win. I mean, that's simply absurd.

I won't get into any synopses about each bout (because I easily could) I'll just say that my final 4 is:

Ground chuck
Italian Sausage
Hot dog

Chuck and Italian sausage would be a good game; bacon and hot dog would be a triple overtime thriller. Bacon prevails and takes on Italian Sausage, but by then it's anti-climactic; bacon wins it going away.


Cline said...

As with sports teams, this comes down to reliability vs. transcendance. The best Filet Mignon is going to be better than the best Hamburger every time. But because of the affordability and relative ease of preparation, a burger is more reliable (and available).

Though I love a good burger, I rarely sit back in my chair after a good filet and just sigh in happiness. That counts for something in my book.

I agree with half of your Final Four, though mine would include Filet & Pepperoni instead of Filet & Chuck.

Bacon would beat Filet in an all-time buzzer-beater clash of styles (I'm thinking Hickory High vs. South Bend).

My 2 toughest calls would be Chorizo vs. Pepperoni & Hot Dogs vs. Wings.

Fried Chicken should make it to the Elite 8 and give Hot Dogs all they can handle.

Thankfully a "banger in your mouth" wasn't an option.

Goose said...

Pepperoni is almost a dressing at this point. Lost points because It rarely can hold its own. Sure pepperoni pizza is awesome, but pepperoni sandwich?

Ground chuck is more than hamburger, just remember that.

Cline said...

Pepperoni sandwich? Probably not.

But adding pepperoni to a sandwich takes it to the next level. And on pizza, it's 3 levels. And I can eat it entirely by itself. And with peanut butter (better than you'd think). Great, now I want pepperoni.

Ground chuck does get points for versatility. And I guess there are better replacements for filet than for hamburger, but I gotta have a high-brow option in the Final Four along with the rest of the mid/low-brow ones.

kwade15 said...

I guess geography did not play a part. If that Pulled Pork vs. Suckling Pig was played in Carolina, no way it loses on its home court (or is it home pit?).

mndleftbod said...

I can enjoy a nice deli pepperoni and cheese sandwich, that said, it is a dressing and won't beat much meat of substance.

Not to cheapen your tournament, but to make it realistic, How said meat will be shit if I had to eat multiple times over a tournament setting will be a factor in my voting...I could probably eat pulled pork a couple days in a row without much problem, pepperoni would probably take a toll.

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