13 March 2007


march is here, which means it's bracket time. if you live in an office or if you're a guy, chances are you've filled out your ncaa championship bracket and have a little money riding on it. i like the bracket idea; elimination tournaments, while possibly not the fairest, are always the most exciting.

this year i have noticed a trend: bracket mentality is seeping into non-sports related competitions. competitions are even being invented to capitalize on the effectiveness and pervasiveness of bracketology in march. see the morning news' tournament of books (bracket here for easy printing) and accompanying blogger's office pool for all the literati who feel kind of left out while the rest of the world watches sports.

well, all my pondering on this subject was answered, or usurped, by slate's cover article today the enlightened bracketologist. their essay explains how the "ingenious" bracket structure can help solve some of "life's most nagging questions." the article is mostly fluff, but there are some fun interactive brackets aiming to sift out best ad slogans, best film deaths, best marital fights and best 'where were you' moments. they take about two minutes each and then you can see how your bracket stacks up against the "expert"'s.

it kind of makes you think: wow, what else could i decipher this way? maybe best sexual encounters? all i have to do is come up with a power-of-two numbered seeded set of things, arrange them judiciously so there are no easy outs in the first round, then make a series of either-or type judgments. what could be easier? turns out, skipping the exercise entirely and writing a blog post about it, then watching the latest episode of 24.

today's question: i did the best ad slogans bracket and 'just do it' won. any other results?

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