Monday, March 18, 2013

March Man Crushes: The Elite 8

By Jeremy Conlin and Joe Parello

The field of 68 for the NCAA men's basketball tournament was unveiled last night, but our field of studly individuals is now down to just eight after an action-packed Suite 16. Sit back and enjoy as we break down the Elite 8 of March Man Crushes.

The Rock Bracket Finals

1. The Rock vs 3. Kanye West

This is my closest call yet, as I'm a huge fan of Kanye's music, and general douche-baggery. But, I think The Rock has become enough of a bona-fide Hollywood star to compete with even the biggest music moguls. Plus, the wrestling nerd in me will always love him for being a leftover from the time when wrestling was "cool."

Oh, and the whole Kardashian thing was nice at first, but then Kanye got her pregnant. Stuff just got real. Kanye West as a cool dad? Not cooler than the Tooth Fairy!!

Winner: The Rock


The Timberlake Bracket Finals

1. Justin Timberlake vs 2. George Clooney

Trust me when I say this - I've never had a more difficult decision in my entire life. Not choosing which college to attend, not the decision to quit my job and focus on writing full-time, not cutting off contact with an old friend who was ruining their life with drugs - THIS is the hardest decision I've ever had to make.

On one hand, we have All-Universe Everything Justin Timberlake. The man is life-altering-ly talented. He's the type of guy that makes you want to give up and live in a cave for the rest of your life, because he is so much better than you at everything. Literally everything. I'm 99% convinced that he's a better basketball player than LeBron James and knows more about relativistic physics than Stephen Hawking.

On the other hand, we have George Clooney. Not only is he an amazing actor and a supremely underrated director (Good Night and Good Luck, The Ides of March), he's just straight-up famous. There are guys that dip in and out of the limelight based on recent successes, then there are guys that can not appear in a movie for five years and still be the most famous dude in Hollywood. That's George Clooney. He's been the most eligible bachelor in America for the better part of 20 years. Every woman wants to be with him, and every man wants to be him - but can't we say the same for JT?

Even if we go by recent, recent success, it's a wash. JT released The 20/20 Experience last week, George Clooney won an Oscar as a producer for Argo earlier this month. In order to decide a winner, I have to go super-duper nitpicky - while overall, The 20/20 Experience is the best pop album I've heard in a long time, the first single and most prominent song from the album, "Suit & Tie," is actually one of the worst songs I've heard in a long time that didn't involve Maroon 5. I can't quite get past it [ducking lightning bolt]. I just can't give it to JT with that being a reality.

Winner: George Clooney


The Brady Bracket Finals

5. Rob Gronkowski vs 7. Ryan Gosling

Gosling has gotten this far because who wouldn't want to look and dress like Ryan Gosling? I mean, he's an effortlessly good looking dude that look's like he's chillin, even when he's wearing a $2,000 tuxedo.

Still, Gronk is chillin all the time, and if Gronk has exerted effort into anything other than football in his entire life, he sure doesn't look too stressed from it. But, ultimately, this is about rules. Gosling is cool, but he still conforms to Hollywood rules of etiquette, dress and class.

Rules for Gronk? Not even Bill Belichick, football's equivalent of The Emperor from Star Wars, can get Gronk to follow rules. That makes Gronk a football equivalent of more bad ass than Darth Vader, and that you simply can't argue with.


Winner: Rob Gronkowski


The DiCaprio Bracket Finals

8. Joe Hamm vs 11. Christian Bale

Okay, I take it back.

THIS is the hardest decision I've ever had to make.

I mean - it's DON GODDAM DRAPER VS. GODDAM BATMAN. How is anybody supposed to make a decision like this? I hate this entire process for bringing me to the point where I'm forced to make this decision.

There's no way for me to discuss either of these people rationally. They are, without a doubt, the two most influential people in my life - and they aren't even real. If I had to pick between Don Draper and my own family, sorry, Conlin clan, but I'm taking the larger-than-life advertising executive.

But then there's my definitive life motto, which is "Always be yourself, unless you can be Batman, in which case, be Batman." Because Batman is awesome.

For the purposes of this exercise, I come to this conclusion: if I was solely making this decision based on "Don Draper vs. Batman," there's no possible way I would be able to make a decision. The tournament would end without a winner because I would refuse to pick between the two. It would be my Sophie's Choice.

HOWEVER, I need to look beyond "Don Draper vs. Batman." Who is cooler - Jon Hamm minus Don Draper or Christian Bale minus Batman? The more I think about it, Hamm seems to come out on top. He's funnier (evidenced by his Saturday Night Live appearances and cameos from 30 Rock and Bridesmaids), he's more personable (evidenced by his late night talk-show appearances), and, last but not least, he's American ('MURICA!). He drinks Bud Heavy and plays fantasy football. He's a dude's dude. Christian Bale is kind of a pretentious British actor [ducking another lightning bolt]. I think Batman loses [ducking more lightning bolts, escaping into a storm cellar].

Winner: Jon Hamm


So, with the Elite 8 in the books, here is a look at our bracket heading into the very prestigious Man Crush Final Four.