Monday, March 17, 2008

In Honor of March Madness...

I present to you, Animal Kingdom Madness. Many moons ago in the midst of an NCAA tournament of old, a man named Ryan A. and I were discussing what could be the elite eight of the animal world. This of course turned into a discussion of how awesome a 64-animal tournament would be. We brought in a few other great minds, most notably Chris I and Chris T, and proceeded to come up with 65 animals that would compete for the greatest prize of the animal kingdom. Before I present you with the final overall seedings and the bracket, here is an overview of the rules in no paticular order:

  1. No exclusively water animals.
  2. No flying animals.
  3. Humans allowed, and for our purposes, take the human at his/her peak performance level.
  4. Humans not given any tools/weapons. The point isn't to even the playing field, it's to find out who is the most badass of our world's natural creations.
  5. All fights take place in an octagon. But whatabout the elephant you ask? Its a freaking huge octagon.
  6. In fights where there is a venomnous animal, if the venomnous animal inflicts a wound but is then killed before the opponent is affected by the venom, we immediately step in with an anti-venom.
  7. Similarly, each animal can receive medical attention between rounds, but they are not "good as new" at the beginning of each fight. So if the Elephant beats out the Lion, but not until it has chunks taken out of it, we can stop the bleeding and prevent it from dying, but he'll be feeling the hurt in the following rounds of battle. While you may think it possible for both animals to sustain fatal wounds, keep in mind we have a medical staff made up of the most well respected vetrinary people out there, so we are confident no deaths will occur between rounds.
  8. Pack animals are not allowed to fight in packs. This is exclusively a one-on-one tournament.
Below you will find the overall rankings and the bracket (with my hypothetical picks). A few notes:
  • The 4 of us (RA, CI, CT, myself) ranked each of the 65 competitors and then took the average rankings as the overall rankings.
  • Molly is CI's 5' nothing, ~100 lb, significant other. She wanted her shot at kicking some animal ass on account of her hatred for the Cheetah vs. Ray Lewis in an octagon debate that CI started long ago. At one point this was the only thing that CI was capable of talking about at a family wedding reception and is the focal point of the first tattoo I would get if I had a job where it was acceptable to have neck tattoos (Ray on one side, octagon in the middle, cheetah on the other side). Unfortunately I think Molly has an early exit coming as she drew the Polar Bear in round one, a really physical opponent with a lot of size and a pretty good half-court attack as well as a great overall defense. Just a really well-rounded competitor.
  • The Super Lion is basically just a bigger/faster/stronger lion than you are used to thinking about.
  • The Kodiak Bear is simply a Grizzly Bear from Kodiak Island notorious for being the most badass Grizzly Bear.
  • The Black Mamba is the snake, not Kobe Bryant.

The Rankings:
1 Rhinoceros
2 Super Lion
3 Elephant
4 Bengal Tiger
5 Hippo
6 Polar Bear
7 Kodiak Bear
8 Jaguar
9 Leopard
10 Gorilla
11 Crocodile
12 Cougar
13 Black Bear
14 Cheetah
15 Bruce Lee
16 Black Mamba
17 Alligator
18 Anaconda
19 Bull
20 Moose
21 Mike Tyson
22 Andre the Giant
23 Panda Bear
24 King Cobra
25 Chuck Liddell
26 Pit Bull
27 Wolf
28 Bison
29 Hyena
30 Ray Lewis
31 Doberman
32 Baboon
33 Rattle Snake
34 Orangutan
35 Wolverine
36 Elk
37 German Shepherd
38 Coyote
39 English Mastiff
40 Lynx
41 Ox
42 Badger
43 Komodo Dragon
44 Clydesdale
45 Jackal
46 Warthog
47 Kangaroo
48 Yak
49 Wildebeest
50 Tasmanian Devil
51 Fox
52 Walrus
53 Ostrich
54 Scorpion
55 Gila Monster
56 Deer
57 Porcupine
58 Raccoon
59 Molly
60 Black Widow
61 Cock
62 Tortoise
63 Armadillo
64 Penguin
65 Iguana

The Bracket I tried putting this in here but it wasn't really readable. This flickr version isn't much better but its at least readable.

I feel obliged to defend my Wolverine over Elephant pick. First of all, I think the wolverine is a wildly underappreciated competitor with a will to win like no other. And while he lacks the size, his quickness and ability to create offense out of nothing is overlooked to the detriment of his competitors. He also just feels like he's everywhere on defense sometimes, literally running circles around opponents. Also, watch him in action below. NASTY! Plus, I'm not gonna win unless I pick the upsets so thats my big upset pick. If anyone wants a clean copy of the bracket to fill out email me at benDOTverleyATgmailDOTcom and I will send one over to you. I would love to see what others think would happen.

There are a lot of animal fighting videos on youtube (some obviously better than others); at one point I went through and copied down links to some of the cooler ones. These are not necessarily accurate depictions of what would happen in our tournament since in the wild, these animals can simply decide not to fight whereas in our tournament, they will be prodded into becoming as aggressive as possible. However, they should at least give you an idea of how some of these competitors would do in our octagon. At the very least you will probably want to see animals fighting in octagons more than you did before you clicked on the links. I recommend at least checking out the last two.

Coming soon: Tough Guy Madness (similar to Animal Kingdom Madness, developed by myself, Tim E, Wilson, Legower, and Jay)


Verley said...

thanks to the people at kissmesuzy for posting this guy to motivate me to finally post this stuff somewhere

Mike LeGower said...

Just as a funny aside, if you google "Ben vs. Bear" right now, you are bound to get some very, very irrelevant results...

Jeff R. said...

Verley, I'm glad this treatise is finally archived for future generations. Well done.

Jay Z said...

The wolverine has the largest Prey to Predator ratio of predatory mammals. It hunts and kills elk (500-1200+ lbs) while they only get around 65 lbs or so. That's fucking awesome. However, Elephants are ever-so-slightly larger than elk. So, I think your sleeper pick is more like a coma pick, but hey, go nuts. Wolverines are still awesome.

Ryan Smith said...

Hilarious, Verley. Jeff's been telling me about this for awhile. Great to see it get its proper exposure.

Otis Allan Glazebrook said...

Ruh Rah Rega mothafuckas