Wednesday, March 6, 2013

March Man Crushes: The Timberlake Bracket

By Jeremy Conlin

Joe got March Man Crushes started off yesterday with The Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson Bracket, headlined by the #1 seed from the "miscellaneous" category. Today, we're tackling The Justin Timberlake Bracket, headlined by the #1 seed from the "musician" category. This is rather strange, considering for the last three years, both Johnson and Timberlake are substantially more recognized for their work as actors than for anything else. But we make the rules around here, and JT is still a musician (although if it weren't for his newly released single and forthcoming album, putting him in the music category would have been much more difficult to justify). Here's the breakdown:

Round One

1. Justin Timberlake vs. 16. Nate Silver
A big factor in deciding who wins and who loses is how popular the person is with women. If that were switched to how popular the person is with MIT post-grads studying applied mathematics and advanced game theory, Nate Silver would win this competition going away. At the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference this past weekend in Boston, Nate Silver was by far biggest star, surpassing even Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and Houston Rockets general manager (and conference executive director) Daryl Morey. Nate Silver was the King of The Dorks. However, for the purposes of this exercise, it's better to be popular with the ladies than with a bunch of bespectacled statisticians with pocket protectors (no offense).

Winner: Justin Timberlake

8. Kobe Bryant vs. 9. Mark Wahlberg

Mark Wahlberg - Starred in The Departed and The Other Guys (the two greatest films ever conceived)
Kobe Bryant - Starred(?) in "Kobe Doin' Work"

Mark Wahlberg - Star of upcoming Michael Bay masterpiece Pain And Gain.
Kobe Bryant - Star of basketball team currently out of the playoff race

Mark Wahlberg - Executive Producer of Entourage.
Kobe Bryant - Guest appearance on Keeping Up With The Kardashians.

Mark Wahlberg - Cool
Kobe Bryant - Not

There's a clear answer here.

Winner: Mark Wahlberg

4. Derek Jeter vs. 13. Harrison Ford

If a time machine was involved that pitted, say, 1984 Harrison Ford (fresh off the Star Wars trilogy, the first two Indiana Jones films, Blade Runner, and Apocalypse Now) against 2000 Derek Jeter (fresh off four World Series titles and the 2000 World Series MVP award), this could conceivably be a Finals matchup between two No. 1 seeds. Instead, Jeter is the heavy favorite - he's 30 years younger, he's still one of the highest-paid athletes in the world, and he's not married to Ally McBeal.

Winner: Derek Jeter

5. Robert Downey, Jr. vs. 12. Bruce Springsteen

Again, this would be a hell of a matchup if a time machine was involved. 1992 Downey Jr. vs. 1984 Bruce Springsteen? Expect a slugfest. But today? Downey Jr. is one of the biggest moviestars on the planet, while Bruce is still thinking about the Glory Days (seewutididthere?)

Winner: Robert Downey, Jr.

6. Cristiano Ronaldo vs. 11. Chris Brown

One of them in an internationally famous soccer star. The other is most famous for domestic violence charges and brawling with Frank Ocean over a parking spot.

Winner: Cristiano Ronaldo

3. Ryan Seacrest vs. 14. Tom Cruise

You might be surprised to see Tom Cruise so low. By virtually any metric he's still one of the most bankable names in Hollywood. However, he has a few things going against him. First - he's 50. Yes. You read that correctly. Tom Cruise is 50 years old. In a contest deciding who dudes would most want to be, age is certainly a factor - you'd rather be a 25-year old in your prime than a 50-year old with back pain and ED (not that Tom Cruise has either of those things - as far as I know). Secondly - Tom Cruise is kinda crazy. That has to count for something, right? Meanwhile, Ryan Seacrest goes home and swan-dives into a pile of cash, and I have no idea what the man actually does on a day-to-day basis. This is no contest.

Winner: Ryan Seacrest

7. Seth MacFarlane vs. 10. Rory McElroy

Did we rig this so that the two guys with Mac/Mc in their name match up in the first round? Maybe.

Did we rig this so that two guys who CLEARLY have no chance of advancing past this round match up right now? Maybe.

Does anyone care who actually wins this matchup or why? Not really.

Winner: Rory McElroy

2. George Clooney vs. 15. Scott Brown


Winner: George Clooney

Round 2

1. Justin Timberlake vs. 8. Mark Wahlberg

This is a real tough one - neither has any real advantage in terms of versatility. JT has his music career, his movie career, and a dynamite run of hosting gigs on Saturday Night Live, but Wahlberg has his acting, his own music career (although the Funky Bunch hasn't really been heard from lately), as well as a wildly underrated career as a producer (he's credit as an Executive Producer on Entourage, Boardwalk Empire, In Treatment, and How To Make It In America).

The deciding factor comes down to what these guys have in the pipe - JT has "The 20/20 Experience" (the most anticipated pop album of the last few years) dropping next week, while Mark Wahlberg is starring in a Michael Bay movie.

Dammit, that doesn't decide anything either. I'll just flip a coin.

Winner: Justin Timberlake

4. Derek Jeter vs. 5. Robert Downey, Jr.

One of these guys plays a superhero in some of the highest-grossing movies of the last decade. The other guy plays baseball, and who cares about baseball anymore? Plus, he's injured. Let's just move on.

Winner: Robert Downey, Jr.

3. Ryan Seacrest vs. 6. Cristiano Ronaldo

As I mentioned before, Seacrest uses $100 bills as cocktail napkins, and the vast majority of people in the country couldn't even tell you what his job actually consists of. He hosts a talent show, a radio show, and, well, that's kind of it.  

I don't know about any of you guys, but this creates a great deal of animosity inside me towards Seacrest. Is there anything special about what he does that can't be replicated by 5000 other no-talent hacks with a nice smile? Cristiano Ronaldo is an absolute wizard with a soccer ball, he plays for one of the three most recognizable soccer teams on the planet, and they pay him by driving a dump-truck full of cash to his house and unloading it on his lawn (allegedly). Seacrest is replaceable, Ronaldo is not. Seacrest out.

Winner: Cristiano Ronaldo

2. George Clooney vs. 10. Rory McElroy


Winner: George Clooney

Here's our revised bracket heading into the Suite 16: