ello friends, welcome to Prelude to a March MADMENess Championship. We've had a wild few weeks. Some last second shots fell, some didn't. We had some big first round upsets, and a couple Cinderella-type trips to the sweet sixteen. All in all, this was an ambitious venture and the decisions were tough. Sunday's Mad Men season premiere only confirmed things like 'Abe's run to the third round as a 14-seed was legit', and that 'there's probably more to Megan than we ever thought possible, so she should knock off top-seeded Betty'. Now it's down to known adversaries, Don Draper (the heavy favourite) and young upstart Pete Campbell. As we did in the final four, we'll continue to determine the winner by continuing to go category by category. Regarding the bracket contest, if you correctly picked the champion you're awarded 32 points. Naturally, as in the previous 62 matchups we cap it off with a fake basketball score... we still don't know why.
Don Draper vs. Pete Campbell
Likeability: It's really a testament to the importance of first impressions. Having talked to numerous people about this tournament, I have noticed that people really aren't over the early despicability of Pete. In the Final Four round, both of these guys lost this category. Their other significant contributions were able to make up for it though. It probably reached its tipping point when Pete banged the German au pere but even women like Don better than Pete. He's trying though. They both are. Edge: Draper
Story Arc: This one is interesting because Pete won this category against Joan, and Don lost it against Peggy. That was mainly because Peggy's development has been unmatched (even in the season five premiere she showed another facet to her personality both when she drunkenly quipped to Don about working on the weekend) and while Pete and Joan's duel in this category was close, it is sort of the junior varsity of story arc comparisons. It's like when a really good rebounding team beats a team that is even better on the boards, then goes up against the best rebounding team in the next round. Suddenly their strength isn't one anymore. It's too early to tell, but Pete seems to have a whole potentially Draperian story ahead of him as he's dissatisfied with suburban living. Unfortunately, that doesn't help him here. Don's elaborate history, his childhood, his experience in the military, all give him the nod. Edge: Draper
Development of Key Characters: Here are their respective lists adjusted for the matchup:
Don - Betty (and Henry), Sally, Megan, Sal, Lane, Joan, Anna (pre-death),.... and his trail of women that he's laid waste to.
Pete – Roger, Ken, Harry, Trudy
Draw – Peggy, Bert
They both get credit for Bert and “the rest of SCDP”, because if either left, the agency would fold. That's how many clients Pete has at this point. The biggest blows to Pete in this category is that he loses Peggy, as someone he has a tacit effect on, because Don has just as much of an influence on her, and a German babysitter can't keep up with the likes of Midge, Rachel Menkin, Susanne Farrell, and Joy, etc. What keeps Pete in the conversation is that Don's biggest hangers-on are Betty (and Henry) can lift right out, Anna's dead, Sal may never be back, and two of his three kids just aren't interesting enough to be considered key. Meanwhile Pete's got some legitimate names with Roger, Ken and Harry. Unfortunately for him, Megan > Trudy. He probably needs Trudy to enter a lesbian relationship with a local French woman, Boardwalk Empire-style. Until that happens... Edge: Draper
Brand Importance: Both are MADison avenue MEN, who are defined by their job and have immense egos and feed that ego by seemingly pointless sexual conquests. They're married to younger women, and their jobs. They both love the city. They both have/had questionable relationships with their in-laws. They are men of the 1960s. However, Don smokes (or at least used to?), is better at drinking, can wear a hat, and as everyone on the show constantly reminds us, is very handsome. Again, the man is on the posters. Edge: Draper
Memorability: Pete got the edge in the last round (over Joan), but that's not happening this time. Given that the result is moot at this point anyway, we might as well use the season five premiere as an example. Pete had three legitimately memorable moments: his jacket at the party (and one-lining Roger), smashing his face into the column, and (my personal favourite) taking the baby carriage from the girls in the art department office (after dropping one of his best lines ever “do I appear to be wearing some sort of a skirt?”). Despite those three winners, most people will remember: Don sitting in the living room during Megan's now-infamous performance, Don denying Megan in bed after the party, and Don and Megan's semi-bizarre mid-day role play. Pete's closing the gap, but there's too much gold in Don's memory bank. Edge: Draper
Champion: Don Draper 76-61
Of course he is. Any time there's a surprising result in a sports game, they say things like “that's why they play the games”, or “that's why they don't play the game on paper”. However, in this case, it's a fake tournament! It's ONLY played on paper. Don had to be the champion, and as a result he gets his One Shining Moment. For those looking for a different result, it's important to remember that it's about the journey, not the destination. This isn't to say that a year from now, the result couldn't be completely different. Maybe another year of seasoning gives Peggy the depth to knock off Don... Maybe in season five, Pete devolves into the second coming of Don, and we'd have a rematch next year where Pete will take Don's title... At any rate, we hope you had a good time filling out your brackets and following along. Out of thousands and thousands (all numbers approximate) of bracket entries, here are the top five entrants.
1. Thomas Blurrwinn (145 pts)
2. Nic Parker
3. Ashish Bharti
4. Brandon Lefebvre
5. Shauna Smith
Thomas Blurrwinn, your friends at dct congratulate you! For those of you who scored more than 145 points on your bracket at home, you should have submitted a bracket for the contest. You would have won! Oh well, next time.
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