If you've been keeping up with round four of the hot blogger bracket hosted by the Ladies . . ., you know that there's been some freaky-deaky stuff going on, including accusations of skullduggery leveled at the wrong people, denials of skullduggery by innocent bystanders, confessions of skullduggery from the ingenious cheaters, cheap shots, hair care tips, asides on Kentucky Wildcats basketball practice, the complete shutdown of the poll, and, of course, quiche recipes.
There was even talk of bacon.
Ultimately, the plug was pulled and the Ladies' latest explanation of what all this means will be forthcoming forthwith, but, in the meantime, here is how the facts and figures break down:
- The voters said what they meant and meant what they said in the first three rounds. Such ousted contestants as No. 1 seeds Will Leitch and Orson Swindle and No. 2 seeds Peter Bean and Techmo Bowl Bo Jackson, all of whom were restored to the tournament in order to make the math work out evenly, all were trailing when the system went down and none garnered more than 45.7 per cent of the vote.
- The fourth round was particularly unkind to the favorites, as five of the seven "real" races saw the blogger with the better seed trailing at the contest's abrupt conclusion. The two exceptions were Jay Busbee and Dan Shanoff, each of whom justified his No. 1 seeding. No bracket was without at least one upset and at least the Campbell Conference (and perhaps the National League West) would have seen only underdogs advancing to the next round.
- Once again excluding the artificially augmented showdown (more about which anon), the George Mason of the hot blogger bracket was Digital Headbutt's Mike White, the No. 12 seed who defeated a one seed in the second round, outpolled a six seed in the third round, and was beating a two seed in the fourth round.
- It was a bad round to be a Gator. Not only did the next president of the United States of America get trounced by Holy Dog Water (whose writing sample animadverted upon the Orange and Blue), but University of Florida valedictorian Darren Heitner of I Want to be a Sports Agent was skunked by the aforementioned Jay Busbee (who soon will be writing a book about Georgia football . . . and, reportedly, getting in touch with me about it). Both Orson and Darren polled in the low 30s in their popular vote percentages, which is a pretty good indication that folks are so tired of hearing about Florida they could vomit.
- Finally, in the all-important race between Kentucky Sports Radio's Matt Jones and Up for Sports's Joe Speaker, final tallies are not available because the voting in their race basically crashed the system. At last report, Matt and Joe were locked in a neck-and-neck battle in which each of them had approximately 3,000,000 votes. That's right . . . three million votes apiece! Their respective supporters set up the sort of automatic voting machines employed by Jeremy Goodwin on "Sports Night."
Evidently, "Sports Night" references have now become so completely out of date that the only pictures I can find of Joshua Malina are from "The West Wing."
In order to put this into something approaching context, let's look at it this way: Kentucky basketball fans generated somewhere in the neighborhood of 3,000,000 votes for their preferred radio host. Registered voters in Kentucky produced only 550,577 votes in the most recent primary election for governor and lieutenant governor.
Now, I am all about linking government and sports, but, when a fan base produces five times more votes for a radio talk show host than for the two highest-ranking officials in the commonwealth, well, it's time for the rest of us to apologize to the Alabama faithful for finding the high turnout at the Crimson Tide's spring football game even a little bit odd. Jay, buddy, you were right.
That, my friends, is how the brackets broke down for the Studly 16. Stay tuned to the Ladies . . . for further updates on where we go from here. (For what it's worth, I think the best way to crown a champion at this point would be by a majority vote of the women behind the tournament, who would be permitted to pick from a pool of candidates consisting of webloggers who entered the bracket, submitted an application in the proper format, refrained from making rash accusations at the architects of the competition, made a humorous telephone call to EDSBS Radio about the entire enterprise, and have the first initial "T." Still, I'm sure they'll come up with a fair way to handle matters.)
By the way . . . not to get all anti-playoff on you or anything, but this wouldn't have happened under a hot blogger bowl system. I'm just saying. . . .