Friday, March 02, 2012

The Wire: March Madness

I don't know about you, but my biggest takeaway from Bill Simmons' interview with Barack Obama was the throwaway mention of Omar as the #1 seed for a hypothetical tournament of Wire characters. What an idea! After about 10 minutes of thinking and minor research (i.e. finding characters' last names), here's what I've come up with.

Streets Bracket
1. Omar
2. Bubbles
3. Michael
4. Dukie
5. Randy
6. Butchie
7. Cutty
8. Namond
9. Kimmy
10. The Deacon
11. Sherrod
12. Brother Mouzone
13. Walon
14. Dante
15. Johnny
16. Kenard

Police Bracket
1. McNulty
2. Bunk
3. Lester
4. Daniels
5. Carver
6. Kima
7. Prez
8. Bunny Colvin
9. Herc
10. Rawls
11. Landsman
12. Beadie Russell
13. Burrell
14. Major Valchek
15. Sydnor
16. Santangelo

Crime Bracket
1. Stringer Bell
2. Marlo Stanfield
3. Avon Barksdale
4. Prop Joe
5. D'Angelo Barksdale
6. Bodie
7. Wee Bey
8. Snoop
9. Chris Partlow
10. Slim Charles
11. The Greek
12. Vondas
13. Poot
14. Maury Levy
15. Wallace
16. Cheese

Institutions Bracket
1. Tommy Carcetti
2. Frank Sobotka
3. Gus Haynes
4. Clay Davis
5. Ronnie Pearlman
6. Scott Templeton
7. Ziggy
8. Norman Wilson
9. Clarence Royce
10. Nick Sobotka
11. Nerese Campbell
12. Odell Watkins
13. Marla Daniels
14. Theresa D'Agostino
15. Judge Phelan
16. Alma Gutierrez

Some notes...

* There is some obvious crossover between categories, but given how half the people on this show could fit into a 'crime' bracket, I wanted to keep things somewhat separated. 'Crime' is really essentially just the Barksdale and Stanfield crime families, plus a few major wild cards.

* To that end, Kenard (though a trainee-entry dealer) goes into the 'streets' bracket. Yes, this may have been in part because I intentionally wanted an Omar vs. Kenard matchup of irony in the first round.

* You could have a good argument about who was the biggest character not included in the tournament. Maybe one of the minor cops, like Holley or Norris? Principal Donnelly? One of the straw man editors at the Baltimore Sun? Brianna Barksdale? Sergei, the Greek's goon? Horseface Pakusa just because his name is Horseface Pakusa? Maybe I should've included play-in games for the #16 seeds.

* The odds that I'm an idiot and have forgotten someone REALLY obvious are 5-1. For instance, in my first draft, I somehow forgot Snoop, Chris AND D'Angelo Barksdale.

* Odds that Obama reads this: 34-1. Odds that Obama comments on it: 1500-1. Odds that Obama comments on it under the pseudonym of BullsFan43: 60-1.

* The crime bracket is absurdly strong.

* The only obvious call is Omar coming out of the Streets bracket just because he's Omar and is the favourite to win the whole thing. Besides that, however, you can make arguments for at least 4-5 different characters out of every other bracket, which is a testament to The Wire's depth.

* For the real March Madness, "You come at the king, you best not miss" should be the theme of every #1 vs. #16 game, with that scene shown going into and coming out of every commercial break. Once I'm president of CBS, this will be my first order of business.

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