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Home » Culture and Criticism

One door closes, another door opens

Submitted by on May 8, 2008 – 9:12 AM55 Comments

I'll be closing the cheese poll shortly, so if you haven't voted yet — or want to clear your caches and take one more run at it — now's the time.

Thank you all for participating; we really had fun with it. And — dun! — the fun is probably not over!

Over the course of the NCheeseAA, Keck and I had various inspirations for other brackets we could build: candy; chips; ballpark snacks; you name it. And Joe R and I still haven't gotten our all-time ugliest/hottest baseball players tourney off the ground after like three years of discussing it, so we could do that too.

What do you think we should bracket next? Food, people, overrated literary figures — if you've got a bracket idea, I want to hear it. Email me at bunting at tomatonation dot com with the subject line "next bracket."

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  • aj says:

    I would love to see a candy tournament!
    I will fight to the death for Cherry Blasters.

  • robyn says:

    hot baseball players. yesssss.

  • Katie says:

    Candy, food, people…I love this!

  • jill says:

    anything but baseball!!! the literary figures sounds fun, and of course, CANDY!

  • Sara says:

    I sent you an email that was semi-snarking on grammar issues, and of course, there was a typo in it. I am deeply shamed. Perhaps I need to make a bracket for my site — something like, "Stupidest Things I Have Ever Done." Feh.

    For the record, I do know how to spell "logistical," Sars. Really.

  • brickton says:

    Perhaps this is a little too meta, but the first bracket should be: A bracket of brackets. … Right?

  • cayenne says:

    Hm. Would overrated literary figures include poets? Because that could be a category all on its own.

  • Sarah says:

    Another food-related one, definitely. Or overrated literary figures.

    But this one was awesome. Even though my cheese brie didn't do so well. (Goat-cheese brie guys. Everyone here owes it to themselves to try this). Thanks for the great work timewaster, Sars and Kekler!

  • Heqit says:

    TOTALLY overrated literary figures. Or any kind of literary figures, really; hot, best hair, most f'd-up personal lives (Mary Shelley FTW!), you name it. AWESOME.

  • abby says:

    Overrated movies?

  • Seth L says:

    Candy! Charleston Chew is going all the way this year!

  • autiger23 says:

    'Charleston Chew is going all the way this year!'

    Oh, Seth. You poor deluded guy. Do they still sell those things in stores where you are or do you have to like special order them? :D

    Man, shit talking about candy- I think I've reached a new low. Or is it a new high? I gotta say, Twix or Whachamcallit FTW!

  • Jess says:

    I'm not sure how'd you get a bracket going but clearly the biggest food question is cake vs. pie. Maybe you could work waffles vs. pancakes in there somewhere.

    Cake in '08!!

  • DensityDuck says:

    Sex positions.

  • ferretrick says:

    Best Picture winners. So I can knock down that tripe Crash that beat out Brokeback Mountain. And so we can get snarky Sars and Keckler commentary on each one. If there are more than can be done bracket style, ignore the early ones no living person has actually seen.

    Hottest WB/UPN/CW actors-the boys of Supernatural, Buffy, Veronica Mars, Gossip Girl, etc., etc.

  • cotterpinx says:

    The literary figures bracket idea is reminding me of the "BookWorld Awards" a la Jasper Fforde's "Thursday Next" series, with categories such as:
    Most Troubled Romantic Lead (Will Hamlet finally edge out Heathcliff??)

  • Madeline says:

    I vote for candy. Cadbury Eggs deserve proper honors.

  • Keckler says:

    Ice cream flavors, best summer foods (corn on the cob, peaches, tomatoes, cherries), bagged snacks (Fritos, Cheetos, Funyons)!

  • Pamela says:


    And Seth, I'm with you — Charleston Chew is awesome. One of those and a roll of Sweetarts and you've got a complete meal.

  • Jen M. says:

    Cadbury Eggs are awesome, I agree, but the candy title belongs to Goldberg's Peanut Chews. Mmmmm…

  • Mousie says:

    The longest thread in a totally unrelated forum where I hang out was the one about which candy bar was best.

  • Hellcat13 says:

    Mmm…candy. But we have to do a candy swap for we loser Canadians who have, like, half the selection you lucky Americans do. How can we vote without full knowledge? I mean, I've never even heard of a Charleston Chew!

  • JJS says:

    How about an all-tomato bracket? Tomato-based foodstuffs from Spaghetti-Os to bruschetta could battle it out.

    Well, maybe finding 64 unique foods that are truly tomato-centric is a bit ambitious.

  • Laura G says:

    Worst. Movie. Ever.

    Manos: Hands of Fate? Gigli? Waterworld in a surprise Cinderella story upset?

  • Carolyn says:

    @Jess: You must not know the phenomenon of cakepie. All your burning indecisions will be laid to rest.

  • Pamela says:

    Hellcat13, I'm Canadian and I get my Charleston Chews at the local 7-11.

    Aaaand now I want a Slurpee.

  • Alexis says:

    Breakfast cereals/foods?

  • Jaybird says:

    I was just gonna ask what a Charleston Chew is. It sounds sort of hot-sidewalky. EWW.

    I was also going to suggest a bracket (per my e-mail to Sars) on fugliest celebrities, which is a pretty wide field.

  • I vote for ugly baseball players. Everyone can appreciate the mocking of intense ugliness, regardless of categorization. Baseball, however, is where I specialize.

    I would totally be up for candy as well, though. Or ice cream. Or most anything involving food, really.

  • Cindi in CO says:

    Can-dy! Can-dy! Can-dy!

    Or snack foods. Or anything involving food, really.

  • Hoolia says:

    Ooooh, candy. I have been a total candy addict ever since I worked in a resort candy store two summers when I was in school. The best candies ever were the macademia Fra Angelico truffles made right there in that little shop, but since those aren't available everywhere…

    Gummy bears. Gummy bears are what make my office life bearable (horrid pun intended).

    Re: Canada…every time I'm in Vancouver I have to stop in a drugstore to stock up on those cranberry nougat bars. As far as I can tell, they are not available in the States.

  • Trip says:

    Candy, definitely. TV theme songs. And, for pure randomness, "people named John".

  • meltina says:

    Candy bar bracket, all the way.

    Another good one would be cuisines of the world (although Italian food might have an unfair advantage there).

  • Snarkmeister says:

    I vote for snack foods. I'm not much of a sweet tooth, but salty crispy stuff really floats my boat. And if you do snack foods (chips, pretzels, popcorn, etc) you absolutely must include the (unfortunately discontinued) Wasabi Funyuns. In fact, maybe it could be a bracket of discontinued foods – things that achieved small cult followings but aren't available anymore, and the winner of the bracket could get a Tomato Nation-sponsored petition to resurrect the food. If your readers can raise $100K in less than a month for Donors Choose, y'all can most certainly convince a company to bring back some funky snackage.

  • soundtrekkie says:

    I've been doing brackets with my favorite songs and just recently started a tournament with some friends. We all just picked a bunch of our most played songs to see which tune will reign supreme.

    Still, candy is a good idea. And so is vegetables. Radishes vs. turnips!

  • daisy says:

    Let's not do food next. How about books? Like, a bracket of those books that are on the top 100 lists.

  • wiscck says:

    Literary figures sounds like fun, as does candy.

  • Bev N says:

    Let's bracket MOVIE REVIEWERS !

  • Shotrock says:

    Crunchie bars rule. To the point where my friends from Britain and Ireland bring bags n bags of mini-Crunchies when they come to visit. (I return the favor with Tostitos, which apparently are hard to find in County Cork. Heh.).

  • jbp says:

    Candy is a WAAAAY broad category… Candy needs to have 2 separate categories: candy bars and other (sucking, chewing, licking, etc.)…yeah, I know it sounds dirty.

  • jbp says:

    for your suggestion of folks named John… There was a show in the early-ish 90s called _Kids in the Hall_, and they ahd a song called "These are the Daves I know." (the tune of which will now be my earworm for the day)

  • Erin says:

    Another vote for breakfast cereals. I also think "childhood games" and "breeds of cat" would meet with some enthusiasm.

  • Lori says:

    jbp: good times! I am crushing your head … crush, crush….

    How about bracketing:

    Favorite cartoon characters
    '80s songs (best? worst?)
    Best first/last lines in literature
    Overrated/most hated literature (novels, poems, & short stories together)
    Best movies (comedy)
    Best movies (drama)
    Most inane sitcoms

  • Erin Kiley says:

    "Jaybird I was just gonna ask what a Charleston Chew is. It sounds sort of hot-sidewalky. EWW."

    Heh. Actually, they're scrumptious. A Charleston Chew is a long bar of a nougat(?) enrobed in chocolate. (I would say nougat, but Wikipedia says taffy. I think it's too airy for taffy.) The flavor of the center confection can be chocolate, vanilla or strawberry, but I think vanilla is most common. The bar is lovely at room temperature, but breathtaking when frozen, whacked on a counter and eaten in fractured chunks.

    I agree with JPB that candy deserves two brackets: one for candy bars and another for other candies. After candy has been tackled, I would love to see a snack cake bracket. Star Crunches vs. HoHos vs. Twinkies, etc. Oatmeal Cream Pie FTW!

  • Bo says:

    I love the ideas:

    Guys named John
    bagged snacks (although are there 64 of them?)
    top 64 books (using the 2000 list of top 100 in the 20th century, which included the horrible The Horse Whisperer, in which the author had no idea what to do with the characters he'd created and just had them act randomly out of character for the last 1/4 of the book)

    and add my own:
    movies you thought won best picture?

  • mtvcdm says:

    I'm going to go with deceased sports teams, in honor of the soon-to-be-former Seattle Supersonics. (If a team changed their name after a relocation, the old team is eligible. If they kept the name, they're not. So the Montreal Expos work, the Kansas City Athletics don't.) Some sample teams:

    *Tonawanda Kardex. Old NFL team from a Buffalo suburb. Got blown out once in a road game and never played again.
    *Providence Steam Roller, NFL. Played their home games in a velodrome.
    *New York Cosmos. That soccer team from the 70's that signed Pele as a PR stunt.
    *Spirits of St. Louis. ABA team not merged into the NBA. Managed to latch onto revenue-sharing agreement. NBA's still paying them.
    *Seattle Pilots. Expansion team in 1969. Played in Sick's Stadium, a general dump. Relocated to Milwaukee the very next season and became the Brewers.

  • cayenne says:

    @mtvcdm, hockey has lots, probably enough to fill half the bracket – Quebec Nordiques, Winnipeg Jets, Hartford Whalers (most of the WHA expansion, it seems), Kansas City Scouts, and more.

    My fave defunct hockey team is the California Golden Seals, they of the snazzy skates & sole on-ice fatality in NHL history. Based out of Oakland, moved to Cleveland, merged with Minnesota & then toast. They were semi-reincarnated as the San Jose Sharks.

  • mtvcdm says:

    Oh, I've got a really good one, though it's from way over in Germany- SV Dynamo. They folded when Germany reunited.

    You remember all those stories about East German doping? These were the guys that were doing it.

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    If I were going to do franchise names, we'd have to allow current ones as well, because: Nippon Ham Fighters. Really, it's the Nippon-Ham Fighters, but this is one of the rare times I'm fine with the missing hyphen.

    I also like the long-defunct Brooklyn Bridegrooms; you can get your own BB t-shirt by going to and going to The Screwball Department. Lots of other fun vintage franchise shirts, too (the Iola Gasbags…seriously).

  • June says:

    Ok, now I want half those shirts from throwbackmax… The Sheldon-Primghar Hyphens? Hee.

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