March is one of my least favorite months. Professional football ends in early February leaving my sports landscape barren. Sure, there is the free agency, but it is simply not enough to keep me focused ahead of the draft in April. With the summer movie season still months away, the anorexic offerings at my local theater do not hold my attention. Daylight savings time guarantees that until mid April I will be forced to drive to and from work under the cover of darkness.
I hate weather in transition. I detest wearing a coat as I leave for the office in the morning only to be forced to carry it around all afternoon. The feeling of sinus pressure in my head as I receive my yearly sinus infection is dulled only by the knowledge that March will soon meet its end as we move toward better days.
A great deal of my time in this terrible month is spent seeking some sort of distraction. A great many find a balm for their spring souls in the willing arms of the NCAA basketball tournament (or March Madness as it is often referred to). Basketball has always been just beyond my grasp as a sports fan. I simply cannot find the time to keep up with that many games. Despite my lack of interest in basketball, I have on many occasions filled out an NCAA bracket. Making my best guess at the progression of the tournament and attempting to select the winner of each contest can be a challenge when you have not paid attention during the regular season. While sifting through the Internet for some scrap of entertainment to pass the time, I came across a story combining two of my interests.
Vulture.com has taken the bracket and filled it with something I can get excited about–situation comedies! With their Ultimate Sitcom Smackdown ,Vulture.com is pitting all of your favorites against one another for the title of Ultimate Sitcom of the Past 30 Years.
According to the official rules:
Each day, a different top writer (judges include authors A.J. Jacobs, Heather Havrilesky, and Steve Almond, The Shield and Terriers creator Shawn Ryan, and critic Ken Tucker) will determine the winner of one bracket battle, deliberating between two powerfully hilarious modern TV comedies that have reinvented the form in some way. The field will narrow until only two finalists remain on March 18, and New York Magazine TV critic Matt Zoller Seitz will determine the ultimate winner.
Any great ranking system is flawed by its belief that it is flawless. There must, in my opinion, always be just enough wrong to touch off a great discussion. Since so many of my personal favorites were eliminated in the bracketing stage I found my sticking point pretty quickly. Though explanations were given for the elimination of most of them (Frasier, NewsRadio, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) their elimination before the first bout is a tad hard to swallow.
Since Frasier was a spinoff of Cheers (arguably the most successful spinoff ever) Vulture feels that the fate of Cheers will speak for Frasier. It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia is in many ways the basic cable version of Seinfeld, if a bit more nihilistic. The Office>Parks and Recreation (though I have never seen the Micheal Scott Pyramid of greatness)
You get the idea. We are currently at the quarter final stage, and it is in many ways still anyone’s game.
Given the amount of match-ups still to come the contest should carry us through until April and out of this God forsaken month–a month in which Caesar met his doom at the hands of his own subjects and St. Patrick invented puking in the street…or something like that. You can view the Bracket and get caught up on previous match-ups here
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