The NCAA tournament started last night, with the First Four kicking off the play-in games. That means it’s time to get our classic characters out on the hardwood. In case you missed our introduction, we are tackling March Madness with our own brand of whackness. We’re taking classic characters across all forms of media and pitting them in 1v1 games of basketball. We have quite literal David vs. Goliath matchups, freaks with weird hands, and dueling aliens. Who should come out on top? Here are our takes on the legends of the silver screen.
(1) Godzilla vs. (8) Frodo
Pat: Size. Does. Matter. Pairing up a tiny little hobbit against a gigantic monster may seem unfair (never mind the pressing question of “Is the basketball enormous or tiny?”), but in reality, it’s the size of the two that afford them their strengths and weaknesses.
Godzilla is no slouch when it comes to playing basketball. Hell, the legendary monster has gone (claw?)-to-toe with Charles Barkley. In addition to his enormous size, strength, and height, all of which make him a formidable foe on the court, he can also fly higher and farther than an NBA Jam player, which would make for some pretty sweet dunks. While a giant radioactive reptile seems unbeatable, he comes with a few shortcomings. Namely, those big chunky thighs paired with his relatively slow speed means that he would have a hell of a time dribbling around. For all he has in great power and bulk, he sorely lacks in speed. And that’s ultimately why he would be bested.
Frodo Baggins. This guy has been through some hardships. Treks to Mordor, stabbed by a spider, finger bitten off, the guy really shows us he has the endurance to get the job done. Well, at least 99% of it. We know he’s small, quick, and agile. When facing Godzilla in a 1v1 game of hoops, he’s going to have to use this to his advantage as he has no chance of matching Big-G in any contest of strength. Sure Godzilla would stuff pretty much any shot Frodo takes, but it’s Frodo’s lineage and stature that will win him the game. See, Frodo Baggins is the nephew of one Bilbo Baggins. Bilbo Baggins was hired as a burglar to steal a special treasure from A GIANT FREAKIN’ REPTILE. If Frodo inherited even a tiny bit of the talent and proclivity his uncle had for annoying giant reptiles, he’ll be stealing the ball from Godzilla every time the kaiju is on offense. All he has to do is get past the big lizard without getting stepped on and he’ll have a free layup every time.
My winner: Frodo
Austin: Yao Ming. Manute Bol. Shawn Bradley. Tacko Fall. Monsters of the basketball court. All towering over their opponents. Insane height hasn’t always correlated to success on the floor. Most supersized big men struggle with stamina and have thin frames, making them easy to push around or quick to get to the bench. That can’t be said about Godzilla. A literal monster, built like 10,000 tanks and 10 skyscrapers, the lizard-like creature powers through everything. He’s destroyed cities, ruined Japan countless times, and fought other behemoths Yao Ming could only shriek at. If the hoop were 15 times its normal size, it still would pale in comparison to the newest iteration of Godzilla. But, just as the other legendary lankmasters struggled, so too will this one.
You know those trick shot videos where some bro named Jaxxxson is in some football stadium in Texas, looks at the camera, camera pans to show they’re in the upper deck, he says some stupid thing, and launches a ball down to a movable hoop that has been placed on the field? Millennial frat star makes it (then showers himself in Natty Light), but what you don’t see is the 457 attempts it took to actually get the ball in. That’s how tough it is to send a basketball through a small cylinder a hundred feet below. Now imagine that times 3.5. Godzilla is not making those consistently, and while he could block the hoop pretty easily with his significant frame, Frodo could simply dribble through and lay it in. No matter how big Godzilla is, the relative size of the court to him makes him and his mass a liability. Even if he blocks 90% of the shots Frodo takes, Frodo is more likely to get around his slow paws in such a half court setting than Godzilla is to somehow drop the ball down 300+ feet into such a small circumference. It might take a while, but it’s an easy pick and a monumental upset.
My winner: Frodo
(4) Happy Gilmore vs. (5) Kevin McCallister
Pat: We’ve seen that with the proper guidance, Happy can transition from one sport to another and become a totally capable and impressive powerhouse fueled by his own anger, potty mouth, and love for his grandmother. Unfortunately for Mr. Gilmore, Chubbs is dead. Even if he was able to find a old retired pro basketball player, who say, lost his foot perhaps, hockey and basketball just doesn’t translate as well as hockey and golf. When it comes to 1-on-1 basketball there is only 1 winner and 1 loser. I’ll let everyone’s favorite golf icon Shooter McGavin tell you exactly where Happy will place.
While I can’t say with confidence that Kevin would be able to dribble circles around Happy, I do know two things that would lead me to believe that he would ultimately end up winning. First, he has the talent to come up with all sorts of crafty plays as he’s proven to us each time his neglectful parents left him home alone. Even barring any other equipment that isn’t baseketball related, that sneaky, crafty brain of his has to be pretty damn capable of making some killer basketball plays. But the big coup that Kevin possess is his smart mouth. If he gets ahead of you at all, he’s going to gloat and heckle you relentlessly. It’s this talent that will exploit Happy’s achilles heel – Happy plays like crap when being heckled.
My winner: Kevin McCallister
Austin: Ah, the second matchup gets a little more normal. Two mere humans duking it out. Except, things will probably get even weirder here. Happy Gilmore, for all his funny shenanigans, is simply a man with temper issues and a filthy slapshot. You ever try to whap a ball larger than, I don’t know, a tennis ball with a hockey stick? Doesn’t work too well! So, what we’re left with is Happy’s attitude. I imagine he’ll embody the Bad Boy era of the Pistons and hard foul after hard foul little Kevin McCallister. Now, since this is your standard 1v1 game, that doesn’t help the Home Alone mastermind. He simply gets the ball back. No free throws, no free points. No disqualification or foul limits. Street rules son.
Luckily, Kevin grew up on the streets. Not really, but constantly being left alone at such a young age essentially is the street life. I’m sure after the first couple hard fouls and five minutes of Happy’s shit-talking young McCallister would be ready to break out his Rube Goldberg ass conventions. Now, we haven’t specifically stated if they can bring in things they use in their respective portrayals onscreen/off-court objects, but I’m gonna go with they can, because that makes this matchup much more entertaining. Kevin is bringing in random objects from off the court, WWE style, to trip up and befuddle the quite clearly low-IQ Happy. Now, he’s not trying to injure him or anything of the like, simply trying to slow him up. Kevin’s tactics easily prevail, and I’m not even sure Happy wouldn’t just quit after being embarrassed by a child.
My winner: Kevin McCallister
(3) Xenomorph vs. (6) Alien From A Quiet Place
Pat: These two aliens have similar ferocity, similar speed, and a similar lust for blood. But how does that translate to basketball skills?
The Xenomorph has a long degree of doing whatever it takes to complete the objective (which is almost always just to kill everything) and have been shown to be extremely resilient creatures that can always get the job done. However, they have little to no respect for anyone or anything and would probably struggle to keep their claws behind the free throw line. In addition, most incarnations we’ve seen have the creature walking/running on all fours, which would make it difficult for anyone outside of Airbud to play basketball at all. And when they do stand on only two legs, they lose the speed (and to be honest, the ferocity) that they gain on all fours. The biggest asset the Xenomorph has is the ability to play an absurdly good defense but would be lacking in the finesse to play any sort of coordinated offensive game.
The alien from A Quiet Place matches up pretty well against the Xenomorph here. Ferocious, murderous, and elated to kill anything and everything. This alien would also play some extremely good defense. However, it’s the alien’s “weakness” of being blind that might help edge out its competition. With blindness comes a greatly enhanced hearing ability and the insane homing-missile lock-on of destruction that comes to anything they hear. All it takes is one dribble, one shoe scuff, one sneeze from the Xenomorph and this alien will breathing in his face ready to take the ball back. However, being blind comes with the huge disadvantage of not knowing where exactly the basket is, where out of bounds is, or if you’re even running in the right direction.
My winner: Tie!
Austin: These last two matchups pale in comparison to the first two. While the Xenomorph has fooled all but Sigourney Weaver’s Ellen Ripley and Michael Fassbender’s weird android, David, it doesn’t bring much when facing against another otherworldly creature. It isn’t that fast, or overwhelmingly strong (though, Alien: Covenant would make you think otherwise). And I’m having a hard time imagining the Xenomorph raining threes.
The alien from A Quiet Place, on the other hand, is a force of nature. Fiercely quick and agile with the fastest hands (paws, claws, talons?) this side of the Mississippi/Galaxy, this bad boy would not only swipe the ball away on the first dribble, it would run circles around the Xenomorph. The only issue is it can’t see. It relies wholly on hearing. Thankfully, basketball courts are notoriously loud. The Xenomorph, clearly one to suit up with all the correct gear, would be squeaking left and right in their Air Jordans, so they wouldn’t be able to sneak around much. All the Quiet Place alien has to do is have the rim get hit once by the ball and they’ll know where to take it every time.
My winner: Alien From A Quiet Place
(2) Luke Skywalker vs. (7) Edward Scissorhands
Pat: The Jedi Master Luke Skywalker has already shown us that he has all the qualifications to be a star basketball player. Endurance? He ran around the swamps of Degobah with Yoda on his back. Accuracy? He not only used bullseye womp rats in his T-16 back home, but he was able to make the “impossible even for a computer” shot to destroy the first Death Star. Every shot he took would be guided directly into the basket using the force anyway. Strength? He took down his own father and the Emperor who had been ruling for decades. Concentration? He can concentrate and tune himself so strongly to the force, that he can create a projection of himself on a totally different planet (which has strong implications in basketball as he could make a team of Luke Skywalkers). He can use the force for super strength, super speed, and super jumps. He’s the definition of a basketball super star. But none of this matters because ultimately is opponent is Edward Scissorhands.
It’s literally in his name. HE HAS SCISSORS ON HIS HANDS. Game over.
My winner: Luke Skywalker
Austin: The last matchup of the Movie Region is the easiest. I mean, how in the hell would Edward Scissorhands even be able to do anything?! He can’t dribble! He has BLADES FOR FINGERS. He would puncture the ball every time he touches it. The game would be halted constantly. And even if they didn’t switch out the now flat ball, Luke could just use the force to lift the ball into the hoop. How Luke ended up with a 2 seed is crazy, but I forgive the bracketmakers (Me. I am the sole bracketmaker.) for thinking his regular season performance in which he lost his hand (a rocky season for the Skywalker for sure, with the highs in the start of A New Hope, the downfall and devastation in the second half of the season with Empire Strikes Back, and now Return of the Jedi as clearly his run in the playoffs) would negatively impact his performance in the tournament.
My winner: Luke Skywalker