Hello all. This is Matt, back for another recap of all the Desert-Adapted Round 1 Mammal March Madness intrigue . Sorry for being a few days late on this one. I was just a wee bit busy trying to PICK UP THE PIECES OF MY BRACKET. That’s right, true to its popular image, the desert round has left my bracket high and dry and me grasping for survival.
But enough about me. Let’s get to the battles.
First up: the #1 Honey Badger vs the #16 Southern Marsupial Mole
Have a sports fan in your life who is extremely confused and concerned that you are devoting so much time and energy to predicting fake animal matchups? If you’re feeling feisty, feel free to respond “IT’S PROBABLY BETTER THAN DEVOTING SO MUCH TIME AND ENERGY TO PREDICTING MATCHUPS BETWEEN EXPLOITED AND UNPAID COLLEGE STUDENTS WHO ARE PUTTING BILLIONS OF DOLLARS INTO THE POCKETS OF HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS AND CORPORATIONS WITH NO SAFETY NET OR COMPENSATION STRUCTURE TO PROTECT THE PLAYERS THEMSELVES.”
If you’re not looking to start World War 3, however, perhaps you could bridge the divide by comparing a mammal of your choice to a real world team playing in real world March Madness. Here’s a freebie: THE HONEY BADGER IS THE WISCONSIN BADGERS OF MAMMAL MARCH MADNESS. (Yes, this was just an elaborate ploy to find a way for me to talk about my alma mater and favorite sports team.) But hear me out. Both Badgers are fan favorites and goofily GIFable.
Both are scrappy and way more ferocious and intense than their size/general stature would suggest And both have all the talents and skills necessary to win it all at the end of the day. It’s the perfect combination of factors that make a win seem not only likely but deserving. I have bad news for you, though, Honey Badger fans. IT’S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. I’ve watched this ride enough over the past years to know just when everything looks like it’s going according to plan, just when they get to the Final Four and your heart has finally accepted this could really, really happen, reality will come along and STOMP ALL OVER YOUR STILL BEATING HEART. Sorry. Enjoy the ride. While it lasts. You’ll need to hold on to those happy feelings in the darkness to come.
That being said, the Wisconsin Badgers aren’t going to lose to Southern Coastal Carolina Technical College of the Arts or whatever nonsense 16 seeds get into the tournament and the Honey Badger sure as heck isn’t going to lose to some eyeless mole thing. HONEY BADGER WINS.
#2 Guanaco vs. # 15 Great Jerboa
I’m going to be honest, I had no idea what either of these things were before the tournament and still don’t totally. The Guanaco is a llama/alpaca wannabe and the Jerboa looks like a rat and rabbit had an illicit love affair. In the end, this battle was not so much of a battle as it was a “two things run into each other accidentally and the smaller one ain’t about it and runs away”. GUANACO WINS.
#4 Aardwolf vs #13 Polecat
Here’s where things started going sideways for me. Any reasonable person (i.e. someone who thinks exactly the way I do) would have looked at this bracket and said, “Oh, a scraggly dog that has wolf in the name just to throw people off but actually it only eats termites like some basic aardvark versus a ferocious mustelid (see famous cousins: honey badger, stoat, fisher, wolverine) who can shoot a foul smelling liquid out of their anal glands. THIS SHOULD BE AN EASY PICK.” NOPE. Guess not. The lame Aardwolf took a bite out of logic and the Polecat. AARDWOLF WINS
#6 TIBETAN SAND FOX VS #11 BILBY
I have a confession. I made Jen let me have this specific round just so I could use some of my favorite GIFS in the world. How did I know the bilby had no shot in this tournament? Let me show you:
Yes, that is future world leader and savior of the human race Prince George disposing of a stuffed bilby like the worthless marsupial it is. What in the world could make little George so dismissive of this big eared poser?
YOU SAW THAT CORRECTLY. George graciously tried to make diplomatic contact with a real life bilby and it disgracefully slighted him in front of the cameras. FOR THAT, BILBY, YOU CAN NEVER BE FORGIVEN.
There’s no coming back from a Prince George curse, so it should be absolutely no surprise that the Tibetan Sand Fox literally devoured this ungrateful atrocity to the mammalian class. SAND FOX WINS. GOD SAVE THE FUTURE KING.
#7 South American Gray Fox vs #10 Sand Cat
Another disgrace. A viper eating feisty cat is TAILOR MADE to go far in this competition.
Specically, the Elite Eight. Not that that’s where I had it. I’m totally impartial. This is just totally unbiased commentary, folks. Alas, the bigger Gray Fox was apparently just too strong for this ferocious feline. SOUTH AMERICAN GRAY FOX WINS.
#5 Patas Monkey vs #12 Ringtail
This one hurt a lot of people. Patas Monkeys have a face that screams “GET OF MY LAWN, YOU TWITTERIN’ HOOLIGANS”, so it’s easy to imagine it going far on pure spite for the world alone.
The Patas is the fastest terrestrial primate and is packing some SERIOUS canines, so there’s reason to believe it would go far beyond just looking like a grumpypuss. Unfortunately, they also seem to be super jealous- a rival male appears to be stepping on our Patas’ girl, and he was off to deal with that mess, leaving the Ringtail to sneak in an upset victory. RINGTAIL WINS.
#3 Saiga vs #14 Long Eared Hedgehog
I have a hard and fast rule when picking my brackets that antlers/horns > no antlers/horns. It almost always works. I was a little worried that formula would break down in the face of spiney backs, but no worries. HORNS/SAIGA WINS.
#8 Gila Monster vs #9 Meerkat
Here it is, the match we’ve all been waiting for. Mammal vs… REPTILE?!?!
It’s shocking enough the Gila Monster got itself into this tournament, but THAT’S NOT THE LEAST OF IT. Thanks to intrepid Twitter user @raditionmouth, evidence has been uncovered that shakes the integrity of this tournament to the core.
Yes, that is the Gila Monster MEETING WITH A SQUIRREL. #SquirrelGate2017 has just taken a drastic new turn. There is now evidence of conspiracy at the highest levels of this tournament. What did the squirrels offer Gila Monster? How did they convince the organizers to let in a non-mammal contestant? CAN ANYTHING BE TRUSTED?
After this dramatic revelation, you won’t be shocked by the results. Gila Monster straight up ATE A BABY MEERKAT it front its mom. Ruthless. Wrong. The Gila Monster is a true monster and needs to be stopped. GILA MONSTER WINS. (P.S. IF YOU’RE PLAYING AT HOME, THE GILA MONSTER IS THE DUKE OF MAMMAL MARCH MADNESS.)
What do the squirrels have up their bushy tails next? Only time can tell. Miracle wild card winner flying squirrel takes on a sabertooth cat tomorrow night, so we’ll see just how deep the fix goes.
Until then, I’m off to see where the real Badgers will be playing in the real March Madness and to start predicting how long it will be until they break my heart for the umpteenth time.