Let’s talk about presidential prowess.
What makes a good Commander in Chief? Many might say “military experience,” or “great facial hair,” or even “post-assassin’s bullet longevity,” but it’s hard to hammer it down into one quality. Perhaps it’s his ability to relocate thousands of Native Americans? What about saxophone skills? Those have to count for something.
To answer this query , we devised a system. On a March Madnessy Sunday afternoon, Whitney and I seeded the forty four Presidents into four divisions. This Presidential Bracket is based not on how successful a President was in office — aw hell no — this is to determine the ferocity of each man as a fighter taking into account his entire repertoire of skills, special talents, physical attributes, reputation and any disabilities – mental or physical – that may have plagued him. Taft’s girth! Lincoln’s reach! Roosevelt’s polio!
Using each man’s state of birth, four division were created and assigned to a host city:
- The North Atlantic / Providence, RI
- The Confederacy / Appomattox, VA
- Indian Territories / Independence, MO
- Northwest Territories / Akron, OH
You’ll notice 44 doesn’t fit perfectly into a 64 or 32 team NCAA style bracket. We had to make a few adjustments. Each division’s 8th seed is a “fight-in.” These wild card spots are determined when four people go into a match and only one emerges to move on in the competition. To keep things interesting, thought was given to these brawls to ensure exciting matches early on.
- Father/Son Fight-In: John Adams (MA), John Q. Adams (MA), G.H.W. Bush (MA) , G.W. Bush (CT)
- 1840’s Death Match: W.H. Harrison (VA), Tyler (VA), Polk (NC), Taylor (VA)
- Riverboat Rumble: Clinton (AR), Truman (MO), Hoover (IA), Reagan (IL)
- Manhattan Massacre: Teddy Roosevelt (NY), Van Buren (NY), Fillmore (NY), Franklin D. Roosevelt (NY)
Here’s a few more things to keep in mind before you print this pdf, Presidential Bracket, and start working your way towards an executive ultimate fighting champion:
- Think about these gentlemen fighting in their physical prime but feel free to take into account any skills or circumstance they ever had going for them. Example: Kennedy with his advantageous mafia connections but before his back went out.
- The era in which these fights will take place is still up for debate. Example: Can 1778 George Washington still kick ass in 2078? Will Obama’s athleticism be worth anything in a 19th Century match-up with someone like Grant?
- What kind of access to weapons will these guys have? Think about it as primarily hand-to-hand combat but knowing how to reload a musket in less than 60 seconds couldn’t hurt.
- Yes, Cleveland has to fight himself in the first round. That’s what you get with you serve as the 22nd and 24th President.
- This is all made up and there are no wrong answers. You want the battles to take place in space? Underwater? Go for it – just make sure you tell me about it.
Want to see what I ended up with?
ANDREW JACKSON, obviously. I’ve never hid my pro-Jackson feelings but this is clear, scientific evidence of what a bad-ass he is. Someone tries to shoot you – twice – and your response is the beat that guy up? Excellent. Oh, the Indians are bothering you? Get rid of them. He’s the laaaaaaaast guy I’d want to meet in a dark alley. Old Hickory all the way!
Others who have completed the bracket have gone with Teddy, Ike and Lincoln, who fares better than expected if you keep the wrestling and rail-splitting of youthful Abe in mind. And then there’s Washington, His Excellency.
Also in the news, I’m not a TR fan but I can’t support the smear campaign Washington is waging against him. The Nationals are working on some sort of conspiracy to tarnish the legacy of Teddy Roosevelt. I find it rather suspicious that Teddy hasn’t won a race in four seasons of foot races. Don’t believe the hype, that guy would take Jefferson out in a heartbeat.
Have fun, let me know how yours turns out!