Here we are knee deep into March Madness and I think I still have a chance to win my workplace bracket challenge (Go Buckeyes!). And it's also fun for nerds like me to indulge in fake March Madness brackets like '80s vs. '90s or Star Wars characters.
I thought it would be cool to make up a little bracket of my own. The quintessential New Orleans bracket. Just for fun. Here's what I came up with. My explanations of each pick are below.
"Culture/Current Events" Region
Saints vs. Hornets (or Pelicans … the least intimidating name ever)
Sure, this is a no brainer and kind of unfair (sort of like that Louisville/Colorado State game), but of the two major sports teams in New Orleans, who wins?
Brass Bands vs. Bounce
Which modern New Orleans-cultivated musical genre gets your toes tapping? Or your booty shakin'?
Running of the Bulls vs. Red Dress Run
Which summer running event gets your butt out of bed early on a Saturday morning, all while simutaneously drinking copious amounts of beer and wearing red?
Two-day Boil Alert vs. Super Bowl Superdome outage
In the category of "Because… New Orleans," which is your favorite 2013 gaffe that had you shaking your head? Was it the two-day boil alert after a fire broke out at the water/sewage plant, cutting off the city's water supply for 20 minutes? Or was it the power going out in the Superdome while the whole world watched?
Hubig's Pies vs. The Daily Times-Picayune
Which absent New Orleans icon has left a deeper void in the soul of this city?
Who Dat! vs. Stella!
Which is the better phrase to randomly shout while walking down the streets of the Big Easy?
Confederacy of Dunces vs. Interview With A Vampire
One book is arguably a work of literary genius and the other put our society's modern obsession with vampires on the map. Which iconic literary work set in New Orleans wins our hearts?
"Treme" vs. "Frank's Place"
Actually, since David Simon famously doesn't like his TV shows associated with fake March Madness brackets, I think the beloved, but rather short-lived, "Frank's Place" should automatically win. What do you think?
Gumbo vs. Jambalaya
Both are one-pot meals that use much of the same ingredients, albeit in different ways. Which do you prefer, roux or no roux?
Emeril Lagasse vs. John Besh
Both mega-chefs have multiple restaurants in town and countless TV appearances under their belts. Which one still has the authentic New Orleans energy and which one has tipped over the edge of overexposure?
Willie Mae's Scotch House vs. Dooky Chase's
Which Treme treasure are you more willing to stand in a long line for?
King Cake Season vs. Crawfish Season
We're always happy when these seasons come around, but which one are you the saddest to see go? Do you feel like puking up multicolored sprinkles after your 235th piece of King Cake during Carnival season? Or do you ever come down with crawfish boil exhaustion?
BBQ Shrimp vs. Roast Beef Poor Boy
If you had to pick one poor boy to have for the rest of your life, would it be roast beef? Or the famed BBQ shrimp?
Satsuma vs. Mirliton
New Orleans has taken a lovely citrus fruit and a pear-shaped squash as its own. Which one do you prefer? (I know I love me some mirliton bread from the Mirliton Festival.)
Hand Grenade vs. Hurricane
Probably the two most famous drinks of the French Quarter, and the quickest way to forget your troubles, as well as the whole evening for that matter. Pick your poison.
Sno Ball vs. Daiquiri
What's the better way to cool off during the sweltering summers of the Deep South? The wholesome concoction of shaved ice and flavored syrup? Or a more grown-up drive-thru daiquiri?
Lestat de Lioncourt vs. Eric Northman
Which Louisiana-based tall blond vampire would you fancy hanging around the French Quarter with? The 18th century French nobleman, or the 1,000-year-old viking? This is a seriously tough decision. Kind of like Duke vs. Michigan State; I mean, who do you choose??
Marie Laveau vs. Jean Lafitte
Both are mysterious historic figures that tour guides love to tell stories about to tourists. Which one was the most mythic? The most legendary? The rogue pirate who operated out of what's now the most picturesque bar on Bourbon Street, Lafitte's Blacksmith House, or the iconic Voodoo priestess who still receives offerings from her tomb at St. Louis Cemetery No.1?
Kermit Ruffins vs. Trombone Shorty
Who's your fave Big Easy horn player?
Drew Brees vs. Brad Pitt
Which benevolent spirit is more worthy of being crowned the Messiah of the Crescent City? Is it Brad Pitt, Mr. Louis de Pointe du Lac and Benjamin Button himself, who built eco-homes for displaced citizens of the Lower Ninth Ward? Or Drew Brees, who won us a Super Bowl? Your pick.
Louis Armstrong vs. Jelly Roll Morton
Which legendary jazz man is more quintessentially New Orleans?
Sean Payton vs. Les Miles
This is another one of those match-ups that might not be fair, but you never know. Who's the underdog of this competition: the recently reinstated coach of the New Orleans Saints? Or Les Miles, the coach who lost the Chicken Bowl? Heh.
Edwin Edwards vs. Huey P. Long
In the category of "beloved crooked Louisiana politician," who's run at Governor reigns supreme? The man who has a really scary bridge named after him? Or the guy who is about to star in his own reality TV show with his 50+ years younger wife?
Trent Reznor vs. Anne Rice
Which '90s New Orleans icon has still left their stamp on the city even after they've moved away? Anne Rice and her Vampire Chronicles and Mayfair Witches? Or Trent Reznor and his dark, sexy industrial music?
Mardi Gras vs. Halloween
Which event do you look forward to for months, thinking up concepts for costumes sometimes years in advance? Both seasons last for weeks down here, and it's hard to choose which exactly is more fun. Perhaps this one will end in a tie.
Royal Street vs. Julia Street
Both are great streets for viewing art and touring galleries, but which do you prefer? Julia Street and its White Linen Night? Or Royal Street and its self-proclaimed less pretentious Dirty Linen Night?
Swamp Tour vs. Haunted Tour
On what tour did your parents have more fun while they visited? Tales from the dark side, or a tour that included throwing marshmallows at gators?
Jazz Fest vs. Voodoo Fest
You might think this would be no contest but lately Jazz Fest has been losing a bit of steam, getting more and more crowded, expensive and strangely less jazzy, while the dark horse Voodoo Fest might be gaining points just for having more trees and therefore, much more prime real estate in the form of SHADE.
Bourbon Street vs. Frenchmen Street
Which famed street is still fun to go to, y'all?
City Park vs. Audubon Zoo
Where do you like to take the kids on a nice spring day? To City Park and its fairytale "Storyland?" Or to the zoo to see the heffalumps and woozles?
West Bank vs. North Shore
Here in New Orleans, you have the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain and on the other side of these bodies of water (and over some crazy bridges) are communities that are near and dear to the heart of New Orleans. Is the West Bank the best bank? Or is the North Shore where it's at?
Freret Street vs. Magazine Street
Where are you more likely to be on a lazy Sunday afternoon for a little shopping, eating and escaping tourists? The tried and true Magazine? Or the up and coming Freret?
So there we have it. Phew! Feel free to leave picks in the comments and as always, Go Buckeyes! You can also click here to download a PDF of my quintessential New Orleans bracket.