Coulda, Shoulda… Didn’t. Wouldn’t. #2017MMM Round One Recap

OK, this just got real, people.

Rapt #2017MMM viewer witnessing last night’s dumpster fire

Jen K here with the latest #2017MMM recap… Last night we experienced the most badass corner of the bracket, the Coulda Shoulda division. Many, many people in our pool picked final winners from this region, including yours truly, foolishly boarding the #teamdirewolf train. As I try to pick up the shards of my shattered bracket, let me try and process what just happened.

First up: #16 Wild Card Red Giant Flying Squirrel vs. #1 Sabertooth Cat

OK, first of all…. looking at the time, I am realizing that my illustrious co-narrator Matt has once again conveniently assigned me to recap the battles on a night with less than 24 hours turnaround time. IT SEEMS TO ME THAT THERE MAY BE MORE THAN ONE CONSPIRADAE AROUND HERE, MATT.

Speaking of #SquirrelGate2017, we had another chance to watch one of our rodent friends go up for battle last night. Now excuse me to any squirrel fans in the audience, but did you REALLY think a SQUIRREL was going to TRIUMPH over a gigantic Sabertooth Cat?

Sabertooth Cat wins!

Up next: #4 Giraffe vs #13 Fossil Baboon

Baboons are famously dominant and brash, all teeth and butts. Giraffes are famously…. well, edible.

OK, OK, OK…. I  know! They’re also super fast and agile, and pack a mean trample. Meanwhile, our brash baboon got chased away from his group by some jealous males (typical, typical) and ended up drinking at a watering hole that was also… a time portal?

OK, give these scientists a break; they’re trying to write plausible battles between animals that may not have existed in the same epoch. So the baboon is teleported into a giant group of angry giraffes (said no one ever), and it is scared away.

Giraffe wins!

Next up: #2 Short Faced Bear vs. #15 Quokka

So the Coulda Shoulda division is filled with mammals from past years of March Mammal Madness who got taken out before their time. Let me tell you something that I learned about our friend the Quokka when I researched him back in the day… dude is adorable. Slightly vain, but adorable. But is he a cold-blooded killer?


No. No he is not.

Short Faced Bear wins!

Next up: #3 Leopard Seal vs. #14 Giant Armadillo

OK, serious interlude for a moment here– one of the reasons that I love March Mammal Madness so much is how extremely educational it is, all while being a ton of fun. Those who were watching live on Twitter last night may have seen the extremely cool National Geographic video about a Leopard Seal who essentially befriends a researcher, trying to teach him how to kill and eat penguins. Seriously, who knew? Mammals are so fascinating!

What I also love about March Mammal Madness is its hilarity. Sensing perhaps that there will come a time when brutal and/or unlikely battle narratives will jump the shark (sorry to use a non-mammal pun), organizer Josh Drew saw an opportunity, like any insightful creative artist might, to choose a more subtle storytelling device rather than depicting the gruesome events that would lead to the battle outcome. I’ll just go ahead and place that right here for your viewing pleasure, so that you can learn the fate of “Lil Scrappy” the Giant Armadillo for yourself:

Leopard Seal wins!

Next up: #9 Lion vs. #8 Greek Sphinx

Some of you may have caught rumblings of the alleged #CatScandal in March Mammal Madness. This is a theory that argues (as many of our pool players do) that cats in this tournament are criminally under-seeded and unfairly disadvantaged in battle narratives.

Well, bad news for the kitty fans… this trend is continuing.


Greek Sphinx wins!

Next up: #5 Neanderthal Hunting Party vs. #12 Leopard

Yes, yes, sharp-eyed little readers. That is a number 12 seed next to an extremely ferocious cat predator. But, let us not forget the tools and large brains of humans and human ancestors. In fact, perhaps as a way to jog your memory, let me take you back…. way back in time…. back to a time very different from our own, almost unrecognizable in every way. That time, ladies and gentlemen, is 1981. And we are watching the movie Caveman.

Seriously, take the six minutes to watch this fine piece of slapstick film history. Because where else will you see Ringo Starr as a caveman? That’s right, NOWHERE.

Clearly Neanderthals were geniuses. So blah, blah, blah, battle stuff happened, the Leopard coulda been a contender, etc, etc, but then OBVIOUSLY…

Neanderthal Hunting Party wins!

Next up: #7 Irish Elk vs. #10 Pegasus

People, now that we’re in the year 1981, WHY WOULD WE EVER LEAVE??

“Easy boy, easy– you got this!!”
-Perseus, from the 1981 classic Clash of the Titans, probably

So yes. We have a large elk that’s not actually an elk, with ginormous antlers that serve no purpose other than to look sexayyy for the ladies. Which, by the way, WENT EXTINCT.

Then, we have an immortal horse god who is both fierce and terrible and gentle and beautiful, all at the same time.

-Pegasus during battle (off the record)

Pegasus wins! (Obvs)

Final Battle: #6 Tiger vs. #11 Dire Wolf

What’s that #CatScandal people?? Where are your unfounded complaints now?? WOULD YOU LOOK AT THAT SEEDING??

OK, we’re going to have to depart from the impartial battle recap here for a moment, while I tell you the story of my bracket dumpster fire in pictures.

Me, after filling out my bracket and choosing Dire Wolf to win it all
Actual depiction of “wolf” harassment by “mammals”
Part of the Dire Wolf played by a bear. Part of the Tiger played by a lion.
Me, watching the Tiger literally wipe the floor with the Dire Wolf.

Tiger wins.

WELL, that about wraps it up, friendly friends! Including my bracket, which is officially now busted. Maybe I should have done some actual reading and found out that the Dire Wolf is not really that much bigger than a regular ol’ timber wolf of today. But no. Instead, I listened to George R.R. Martin like an idiot. Just like I listened to him when he said that he “almost made” the deadline to submit the final manuscript for The Winds of Winter. Yeah, when was that? Oh right, like TWO YEARS AGO.

Excuse me while I go bury my bracket out back.

Until next time…





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