Wednesday, April 3, 2013

March Man Crushes: The Final Battle

By Jeremy Conlin and Joe Parello

We've finally made it to the finals of our March Man Crushes Tournament, and the Grand Man Crush will be crowned today. Our final showdown features Mad Men star Jon Hamm and wrestling/action movie sensation Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.

To see how we got to this point, head to our home page and click through each of the brackets to see which Man Crushes made deep tournament runs, and which were shot down in the early rounds.

Now, without further ado, editors Jeremy Conlin and Joe Parello debate the ultimate man crush battle.

1. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson vs 8. Jon Hamm

Jeremy: With Season 6 of Mad Men returning this Sunday, I've been going back and re-watching most of the series. In doing so, I've had daily reminders of just how much of a force of nature Don Draper is. Here he is selling cigarettes. Here he is selling Lipstick. Here he is selling a photo projector. Here he is not selling bathing suits because people are too stupid to listen to him. Here he is selling, well, nylons, I guess? In the words of the immortal Jay-Z, he could sell water to a well. For good measure, here he is destroying a hipster, and yelling at one of his copywriters.

The Rock wrestles and basically plays himself in a bunch of action movies. You know who else can do that? Dozens of guys. Jon Hamm plays the most bad-ass character on television that doesn’t regularly commit felonies. And even despite that, Don Draper still keeps pace with Walter White and Khal Drogo. He is both literally and metaphorically a throwback. He’s the man in the gray suit, and he’s the man that every man wants to be, and he’s the man that every man thinks he COULD be (even though they really can’t). He doesn’t need to build a drug empire or brutally murder people in battle. Because he’s cool. In the original sense of the word, Don Draper is cool. And Don Draper is cool because Jon Hamm is cool.

Joe: Ok, this farce has gone on long enough. I have sat here, idly by, as you have pushed Jon Hamm past Leonardo DiCaprio, the leader of the free world, Batman and Gronk. This ends now!

I will give you that Hamm's character in Mad Men, Don Draper, is really cool, but what else has the guy done? Looking at his IMDB profile, I see he was the cop in The Town and in a bunch of cartoon TV shows and movies (Bob's Burgers and Shrek Forever After).

Oh wait, I take it back, he was "Gorgeous Guy at Bar" in Ally McBeal back in '97 and "Young Pilot #2" in Space Cowboys in 2000. Clearly, I am selling his illustrious career short.

The Rock, on the other hand, is about to enjoy one of the most successful three-month periods any actor in recent memory has had, and will headline the greatest spectacle in sports entertainment this Sunday at Wrestlemania. If this were a contest between Don Draper and any one of Dwayne Johnson's characters, Draper would probably take the cake.

But, as a man crush battle between these two individuals, I see no way you can give it to Hamm.

Jeremy: You just gave it to Hamm without realizing - Does The Rock have "Gorgeous Guy at Bar" on his resume?

I didn't think so.

Jon Hamm is so handsome, his jawline so square, that his characters don't even need names. Mad Men would be just as successful if we didn't even know the name Don Draper and he was just "The Stunningly Handsome Man In The Suit." Would The Rock's movies be as successful if he was billed as "Big Muscular Guy Covered In Cocoa Butter"?

Joe: Oh my God, why is he not billed that way?!?! And, I would remind you, that he is billed simply as "Driver" in the movie Faster where he kills EVERYBODY!

Look, I get it, you have a boner for Don, and that's cool, but it doesn't change the fact that outside of one incredible role, Hamm doesn't have much to his name. He's clearly a handsome and cool dude, but it's not like The Rock is hideously ugly and boring. Plus, he has a far more complete resume and electrifying personality.

Maybe I'd rather sip a Scotch with Don Draper, but I would rather party and just hang with The People's Champ.

Jeremy: Maybe I'm getting too caught up in the Don Draper-ness of Jon Hamm.

After all, Don Draper isn't a real person. Jon Hamm is incredibly cool, and he brings that to the table for Don Draper, but at the end of the day, without Draper, Jon Hamm isn't nearly as cool. It's a depressing revelation, but it's reality. If we take "The Rock" away from Dwayne Johnson (which has basically already happened at this point - he's billed as Dwayne Johnson in all of his movies), he's still got a lot going for him. I think that's the margin of victory here.

Joe: Glad you've seen the light my friend. But hey, as a compromise, we can have some Scotch while we watch Wrestlemania this Sunday.

Jeremy: You mean while watching the season premier of Mad Men? Sounds great.

Winner, and Grand Man Crush: Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson

Think we screwed up? Send your Grand Man Crush and whatever else we got wrong to, or tweet us at @suitesports, @herewegojoe or @jeremy_conlin