The internet is a fertile crescent for exorbitant nerdery to flourish, and has created the perfect environment for sub-cultures like sabremetricians, furries, sneaker collectors, and libertarian transsexuals to not only survive but thrive. Over-analysis of idiotic minutiae and an explosion of the misunderstood genius trait that is easily enabled by other alleged misunderstood geniuses from other shut-in social misfitting spots elsewhere creates the online world we know and love today. So I thought I’d dig deep into the imaginative tomfoolery behind the path to the Final Four for the last teams remaining in the March Madness (even though it’s April), and internet it up with a healthy splash of pseudo-science. Each team shall be assigned, through precise metaphysics, a starting number value for each of three categories - Lifeforce (or their power to survive), Power (or their ability to destroy others, as well as have some stamina), and Spirit (or their deeply embedded psychological passion, aka heart aka grit aka moxie aka everything that old ass dude yelled at Rocky Balboa about in the first Rocky movie when he was chasing chickens in an alley). And all of these values will be based on their team nickname, and then adjusted for each round of the tournament thus far according to the battle they won.
The Duke Blue Devils are the top-seeded team left. A “devil” is very obviously an evil spirit, often times on the competitive level of the popular gods of the time. Usually, in our Christian-heavy culture, devils are portrayed as red. For some reason, Duke is a team of blue devils. I am not sure if this is a genetic anomaly that makes them superior or inferior to regular red devils, or if the Crips/Bloods thing was brought to Hell by driveby victims. I am going to assume it’s genetic, and being blue bloods are considered the earth people elite, let’s go with a blue devil being a more highly refined, cultured, and upper crust devil. Duke’s opening values are Lifeforce = 80 (can you kill a devil?), Power = 80 (devils are both powerful and tricky, like vaginas), and Spirit = 40 (though passionate in their evil beliefs, devils can easily be sidetracked by seeing something else more exciting, showing a wavering spirit).
The West Virginia Mountaineers are the second-highest seeded team left, and pretty simply, a Mountaineer is a person who climbs mountains. That’s all. But being they are from West Virginia, there’s a lot of additional baggage we can lump onto that simple definition. West Virginia’s opening values are Lifeforce = 60 (it takes a tough man to want to climb steep hills on the regular, but it also isn’t hard to slip and be a dead pile of mountain goat meat), Power = 40 (nothing too powerful about climbing, although you do get some cock diesel leg muscles going on, but what can you do with leg muscles in a regular people fight?), and Spirit = 80 (not only does it take a personality on a quest to just naturally be walking up mountains all the time, most of our more primitive earthly religions have deemed mountains spiritual areas, that fill you with the peace of the gods).
The Michigan State Spartans, though seeded the same as Butler, were in the title game last year, so they’re better off. Spartan refers to the citizens of ancient Sparta in Greece, a city known for its military prowess. In fact, they didn’t do a damn thing except push the military angle, in their laws, in their schools, in their everything. Kids shot spears at each other during birthday parties. Michigan State’s initial values are Lifeforce = 60 (because duh, soldiers die), Power = 100 (militant from birth), and Spirit = 80 (there’s always a certain amount of religious fervor behind great soldiers, in fact religious fervor usually can trump patriotic fervor).
The Butler Bulldogs, although everybody is trying to tell me otherwise, are the team that you wouldn’t expect to be here in the Final Four. They are bulldogs, which are little, weird-looking, snub-faced canines that goofy ass people tend to own, a lot of times older people who are well off financially yet still eat breakfast at Burger King or McDonald’s every day for some reason. So Butler’s initial values are Lifeforce = 20 (it is so easy to kill a dog, with a car, with a gun, with a homemade isoflurane chamber using old air conditioner freon), Power = 40 (bulldogs are stocky and strong so far as dogs go, but see above), and Spirit = 40 (it’s a damned dog, and I’m even trying to be nice by bumping them up to 40).
Let us proceed with our dorkery.
FIRST ROUND GAMES
The Bulldogs (of Butler) beat the Miners (of Texas-El Paso). Miners are a hardscrabble form of workingman that you would think would live side by side in mutual affection with a bulldog. But when times are tough, and the food is scarce, and the miner is cooking a hunk of rabbit on his fireside spit in the first taste of meat he’s had in a coon’s age, and then the bulldog snatches it and runs off into the juniper bushes, a fight will commence. And although man has domesticated the canine, when his mind control is weakened by lack of nourishment, and that lessening of control allows the canine to realize his true animalistic potential, a dirt-crusted throat may be ripped open at the jugular by bulldog incisors. Plus 12 Lifeforce (the taste of blood is very stimulating, it is no coincidence that a penis becomes hard due to an infusion of blood), plus 12 Power (killing something bigger than yourself will do that), and minus 6 for Spirit (murdering what was once your master creates hellafied conflicting emotions).
The Spartans (of Michigan State) beat the Aggies (of New Mexico State). Aggies is a shortened moniker used for agricultural schools. So basically a bunch of soldiers stormed in and slaughtered a bunch of dumbass farmers, and then plowed salt into their fields. Plus 5 Lifeforce (for the confidence factor, this is like making a few lay-ups in a basketball game to slowly get your shot back), no change in Power (already maxed out at 100), and minus 2 for Spirit (but you killed the people that will grow your food, and maybe one day you’ll run out of people to take things from in conquest and that thought runs through the back of your head, but just barely).
The Mountaineers (of West Virginia) beat the Bears (of Morgan State). A hillbilly shot a bear, how shocking. I used to know a black redneck (that’s a strange sub-culture that has not used the internet to thrive, although a black redneck dating site would be a wonderful thing to look at) who actually would set up pots of honey that he lit fire to so as to attract bears to kill. As far as I know, nobody who kills bears eats bears. Such a waste of food, both honey and bear meat. No change in Lifeforce (all they did was shoot a bear), plus 8 in Power (but bears are big ass animals with gangsta Freddy Krueger paws), and plus 3 in Spirit (“Lord, we thank you for blessing us in our hunt...”).
The Blue Devils (of Duke) beat the Golden Lions (of Arkansas-Pine Bluff). A lion of itself is a tremendously powerful animal to do battle with. But to do battle with a magical pure golden lion, and not only beat it but to conquer it completely into submission, that is something. I would imagine a blue devil not even resorting to mind trickery on the simple beast brain of a magical golden lion, and just straight up pulling some wacky moves that had the lion accidentally claw his own heart out after diving through the window of the house and tearing up the front porch. And as the golden lion laid there dying, the blue devil leans down, strokes the golden mane splattered with blood, and pulls a pressure treated splinter from the lion’s paw, rubbing in just how in control the blue devil was the whole time, and how he could’ve helped and they could’ve worked together, had the golden lion just taken a moment to not be ruled by his beastly ignorance. And the golden lion learns the emotion of regret for the first time ever, as he expires. Plus 12 Lifeforce (watching another beast die in your arms impresses upon you the value of your own life), plus 8 Power (duh, he killed a magic lion), and plus 5 Spirit (a devil slowly gaining focus in this tournament of death).
SECOND ROUND GAMES
The Bulldogs (of Butler) beat the Racers (of Murray State). So basically a dog outran a car. Man, that’s weak. No change in Lifeforce, minus 3 Power (if you were a little stupid looking dog outrunning a car, it would tire you out immensely), and plus 4 Spirit (“What’s up now, car?” thinks the stupid dog from the driveway as the car goes on down the road).
The Spartans (of Michigan State) beat the Terrapins (of Maryland). So now the soldier has speared himself a giant, most likely endangered turtle of some sort. No change in Lifeforce, would’ve been a plus 3 in Power but they’re already maxed out (turtle soup with big chunks of turtle floating around in it is surprisingly invigorating), and plus 3 Spirit (basically, a giant turtle appeared, which would be paralyzingly shocking to most of us, but the spartan in this case persevered and killed it through the soft underbelly).
The Mountaineers (of West Virginia) beat the Tigers (of Missouri). The simple mountaineer, trying to build a life for himself in the American wilderness, probably expected deer and bears, but a tiger? After an overwhelming adrenaline rush, and a period of trying to figure out what the tiger really was, one blast of buckshot and the fight is over. Notice they don’t make “tigershot”. Plus 5 Lifeforce (adrenalin fear followed by the immediate killing of what scared you increases your life, this is well known in the scientific community), plus 16 Power (you don’t think you’d feel more powerful walking around in a goddamned tigerskin pelt?), and plus 8 Spirit (because the mountaineer is studying his Bible by lamplight at night and really starting to feel the whole “dominion over the earth” thing).
The Blue Devils (of Duke) beat the Golden Bears (of California). A strange first weekend for the blue devils, as after slaying the golden lions, they kill off a pack of golden bears. Lions aren’t too far from golden anyways, but the visual sight of a golden bear must have been pretty amazing. And such an immense creature! So powerful and dangerous, that it can claw down the giant redwoods of northern California in as few as four swipes of its mighty paws. And yet the blue devil has confounded it as well, and left it laying in rocky crevice, blood staining its previously perfect golden fur. And it looks up towards the clear spring blue skies, buxom white clouds like the beginning of The Simpsons, and the blue devil looks down, smiling. The head disappears stage right, and golden bear runs out of breath. Plus 4 Lifeforce (again, more appreciation for life watching something else die), plus 12 Power (to max out at 100, because they killed magic golden lions and bears in the same weekend), plus 13 Spirit (at this point, after tricking two magic creatures into their own demise, the blue devil has to be feeling he’s following his destiny, not just a path).
SWEET SIXTEEN GAMES
The Bulldogs (of Butler) beat the Orange (of Syracuse). A dog ate an orange. So thus far, the dog has killed an old dude, outrun a car, and then got in the compost pile. Minus 2 Lifeforce (this dog is wasting his life on some dumb shit), plus 1 Power (I like oranges, except the blood oranges, because that’s too much like grapefruits, and I know what Fred Sanford was insinuating when he said “grapefruit”), and no change in Spirit.
The Mountaineers (of West Virginia) beat the Huskies (of Washington). Pretty good hunting season for the mountaineer, although he probably could’ve trained the huskie and printed up some fake AKC papers on it and got a few hundred dollars off listing him on craigslist. No change in Lifeforce, nor Power (you can’t hulk up from killing a wild dog when you’ve already shot much more impressive bears and tigers), and plus 9 in Spirit (maxing out, as the whole Bible study thing, cherry picking the most applicable verses, is really starting to affirm the mountaineers high opinion of himself).
The Spartans (of Michigan State) beat the Panthers (of Northern Iowa). A panther is certainly a more boastworthy kill than a turtle. Plus 3 Lifeforce, already maxed out in power, and no change in Spirit.
The Blue Devils (of Duke) beat the Boilermakers (of Purdue). The boilermakers, being in Indiana, are most likely unionized and laid off. Really, these guys are more than susceptible to the ways of a blue devil, which is why in run-down towns with high unemployment, there’s so much drug abuse and robbery and pro wrestling t-shirts at the flea market. This really was an easy battle for the blue devil, as the modern American has lost his spirituality, as well as his work ethic, and really we’re lucky that even two-thirds of us still have jobs. Plus 4 Lifeforce (maxed out), already maxed out on Power, and plus 12 Spirit (because, even though they were magical creatures, tricking a man is more impressive to the inner psyche of your average devil, because devils are always depicted in human form for the most part, meaning it’s more of a competitive battle, even if the previous animals were all golden).
ELITE EIGHT GAMES
The Bulldogs (of Butler) beat the Wildcats (of Kansas State). Finally, something the bulldog can be proud of, killing a wildcat. Although does this mean like a big, ferocious wildcat, or just some feral, crooked eyed house cat that the bulldog’s old lady owner has been leaving food for outside for the past five months? In that case, it’s not so impressive. No change in Lifeforce, plus 8 Power (still, it’s pretty fun to kill stray cats), minus 6 Spirit (yet it can also bum you out once you see some stupid little nasty cat laying there dead afterwards).
The Mountaineers (of West Virginia) beat the Wildcats (of Kentucky). Man, the damn mountaineer is shooting everything that moves up there. No change in Lifeforce, plus 6 Power (feeling pretty good about himself), and already maxed out in Spirit (and he’s saving up lumber for a little church by this point).
The Spartans (of Michigan State) beat the Volunteers (of Tennessee). Haha, as if the farmer wasn’t bad enough, now the militant ass Spartan soldier is offing a pack of blood donors. And he doesn’t even care. Who knew Michigan State was the D.C. Sniper of this tournament? Plus 4 Lifeforce (he picked up the blood dropped by the volunteers, as well as four gold coins), maxed out on Power, and plus 4 Spirit (because of the militant upbringing from birth, which goes to show you young parents out there you should already be brainwashing your kids towards what you want them to be).
The Blue Devils (of Duke) beat the Bears (of Baylor). After the previous battles the blue devil has faced along this path, killing off a bear was his least glorious affair. Already maxed out in Lifeforce and Power, and no change to Spirit.
USING OUR DORK DATA TO PREDICT THE FINAL FOUR
Butler goes against Michigan State in the first game Saturday. Butler has a 50 Lifeforce, 58 Power, and 32 Spirit. Michigan State, on the other hand, has a 72 Lifeforce, 100 Power, and 91 Spirit. Michigan State will crush Butler. If it even stays close til halftime, it’ll be over before the first TV timeout of the second half. Plus, a spartan would easily kill a bulldog. Thanks for the memories Butler. At least you don’t have far to drive home.
The second game will be Duke versus West Virginia. Duke has a 100 Lifeforce, 100 Power, and 70 Spirit. West Virginia has a 65 Lifeforce, 70 Power, and 100 Spirit. This should make for a good game. West Virginia’s spirit will help them keep it worth watching, probably all the way down to the end. But Duke is just too strong, and will come out victorious. And anyways, a mountaineer hillbilly all hung up on his perverted notions of God is no match for an actual blue blood devil.
That sets up a national championship game between Michigan State and Duke. They both are evenly maxed out at 100 in their Power. Duke holds a 100 to 72 advantage in Lifeforce, while Michigan State has a 91 to 70 advantage in Spirit. It will come down to the heart of the Spartans vs. the unceasing play of the Blue Devils. I am a mystic at heart, and would like to think the Spartans will one for people like myself. But let’s be honest, if the internet has brainwashed us of anything, it’s that science is better than wacky mysticism. And Duke is scientifically superior, genetically more pure, and even through this entire fake science nonsense, has higher marks. Stupid Duke for the stupid win, and the blue devil of science drives an autoclaved stake into the heart of another generation of children.