On to the TV Region! Our Character Bracket continues, after a conflicting first round in the Movie Region. Our followers and readers didn’t quite seem to agree with our picks, but maybe that will change here. Read below for our picks on the matchups, from gun-wielding foes to manic sitcom staples.
(1) Chuck Bartowski vs. (8) Rick Grimes
Andy: In the game of basketball, it’s all about the fundamentals. If you can dribble, shoot, and rebound with accuracy, you’ll be a adequate baller. One of these characters is an absolute badass in every way, but the other can literally ‘download’ abilities to his brain.
Rick Grimes has seen some shit. From a normal cop in Atlanta, to the leader of a post-apocalyptic revolution, he’s gone through more than many characters on this list. He’s got brawn, brains, and looks, plus he’s good with a pistol. I can see Rick being a beast from the three point line, but also able to drive into the lane with sneaky speed. Keeping your distance from a zombie and attacking from afar is preferred, but sometimes you’ve got to get into the paint and stab away. That being said, guns aren’t allowed on the basketball court, so I’m not sure how well he’d fare handling the rock.
I might get some hate for this pick, because Rick Grimes is clearly more of a grizzled badass, but Chuck Bartowski can literally download skills to his brain (if we’re talking about post Season 2 Chuck). The overall abilities of Jordan? Downloaded. Curry’s 3 point nonsense? Downloaded. The passing skills of Karl ‘The Mailman’ Malone? Downloaded. Lebron James’s overall talent? Downloaded. Shaq’s dunking and lack of free throw shooting abilities? Downloaded. There might not be a better dark horse in this bracket than Season 2 onward Chuck Bartowski.
My Winner: Chuck Bartowski
Austin: Andy certainly has more respect for Rick than I do. While Rick is rightfully described as a badass, I think he is quite frankly a dumbass. He’s constantly flying by the seat of his pants. Has he ever had a plan work out? I don’t think so. He was consistently the man causing the downfall of others because he wanted to be a dictator when he should be lax or a benevolent democratic friend when he should’ve been controlling. The man sucked as a leader and is not good on his strategy making.
You know when you need a strategy? When the person you’re facing has a literal superbrain. Chuck could anticipate any BS shit Rick may pull. He’ll be quicker and smarter. Yeah, Rick is gruff and could play with capital-G Grit, but skill and smarts trump grit always. After a bit of getting his ass pounded, Rick would probably try to play nice guy and just get on Chuck’s good side. But Chuck is a nice guy through and through, so the sudden change wouldn’t do anything. He wouldn’t go easier, cause he probably already was operating at like 25% of his abilities. Rick gets absolutely manhandled in the kindest way possible. 11-0.
My winner: Chuck
(4) Cosmo Kramer vs. (5) Dennis Reynolds
Andy: Interesting matchup here between two absolute psychopaths who will use both their incredible minds and awkward bodies to keep things interesting. With Cosmo Kramer you’ve got a guy who’s twitchyness could absolutely work in his favor. Imagine all 6′ 3″ (6′ 5″ counting the hair) of this glitchy, lanky, beastly man boxing you out down low. While he might not be a wonder at long-range, any bricks you throw up will be easily rebounded.
I’ve played someone like this in 1v1, in fact, he’s the next writer up, Chandler! Someone who is twitchy, glitchy, and unpredictable is going to really mess with your mind and it’s very hard to get any offense going. With all of the unpredictability of Kramer, however, comes hot and cold streaks. This guy is only going to be be able to win down low, and if there’s a shooter at the top of the key, he’s toast.
Someone like Dennis Reynolds has only one goal in mind: manipulation. When it comes to basketball, even if he doesn’t have a particular strength, he can win any 1-1 match with only his mind. In fact, he already has a framework in place to make this happen, and it’s called the The D.E.N.N.I.S. System.
D – Demonstrate Value – Here is where Dennis will let you think you’ve got a shot to win, he’ll allow you to run up the score until you’re up about 10 points, then…
E – Engage Physically – Dennis will begin to get a bit chippy here, throwing an elbow, poking an eye, and the shirt will actually come off at this point, revealing a surprising six pack…
N – Nurture Dependence – Dependence? In 1v1 basketball? While Kramer wasn’t looking, Dennis stole his water bottle and towel. Kramer is a sweaty, wet man, and when he needs water, guess who’s there to help? Dennis has an extra water bottle…
N – Neglect Emotionally – With Basketball comes trash talk, at least for Kramer. Dennis won’t even acknowledge a word Kramer says at this point. Whether Kramer knows it or not, Dennis is in his head…
I – Inspire Hope – At this point, Dennis is up 14 points with 2 minutes left. He’ll allow two or three easy buckets to give Kramer some emotional courage, but in the end…
S – Separate Entirely – Dennis laced the water bottle with Hennigan’s Scotch, which we know you can’t even smell, it might as well be Kramer’s Kryptonite. Kramer misses every shot attempt in the final minute as he’s “loose as a goose”. Dennis runs up the score and completes the separation…
My Winner: Dennis Reynolds
Chandler: Cosmo Kramer is the definition of scrappy basketball player and whose game I find the most similar to my own. We all know that one guy who shows up to the court that can hustle, play defense, throw their body around for that extra play, but ultimately has zero amount of finesse or any really skill. They are ultimately a disrupter for better or worse. On a team, Kramer is the type of guy you want – especially in the post. His height, length and unpredictable spasms throw opponents off mentality to create opportunities because you never know what he’s capable of. Crucial rebound? Clutch steal? Game-winning put-back shot? But 1v1 when every play has isolated focus, I’m sorry but The Assman better grab some bench. This hipster doofus will implode when he’s forced to put a combination of court vision, dribbling, and high percentage shots together. He’s far more likely to trip over his shoe laces or hurt his opponent trying to shamelessly go in for a technical foul. When tempers flare, he even punched out New York Yankees legend, Mickey Mantle at a baseball camp once. That’s not how you win.
Enter Dennis Reynolds from Always Sunny. In a series about monsters, he is the most monstrous of the group. This is a man who started muttering darkly about how winners like him didn’t listen to words like “no” or “stop”. Basketball games are often decided by mental toughness and Dennis’s methods of exerting control are as simultaneously chilling as anything schemed up by a TV villain. Like a fly to a spider, Dennis will entrap you into falsely believing this game is yours, just waiting for his opportune moment to strike and then the game is over. I give this matchup to Dennis simply because as he so aptly has described himself, “I am untethered and my rage knows no bounds.”
My Winner: Dennis Reynolds
(3) Ross Gellar vs. (6) Michael Scott
Chandler: Determining the winner for this matchup should be easy, since I can simply go to the tape and rewatch some of Michael Scott’s basketball highlights or as they really are – lowlights. Admittedly you have to give some small credit to the middle-aged, mid-level manager. He shows up in gear, ready to play with all of the confidence of an elite player before he’s savagely exposed for his limited basketball abilities. Stunningly, losing the ball constantly and chucking airballs aren’t even the worst part of Michael’s game. He actually tries to take charging fouls and go to the line for shots in a pick-up game! If he were playing street ball in the city, I believe you would get your ass kicked for something like that.
I see this game going very poorly for Michael. With Ross’s height advantage and quick temper, he will get tired of Michael’s antics very quickly. There’s no excuse for the childish behavior on the court and Ross will put the game away very early. Otherwise, you risk further embarrassment when Michael pouts like a 5-year old child since he’s losing and tries to take the ball and go home.
My Winner: Ross Gellar
Austin: With two images, I will show you why I need no words to address Michael Scott.
Ross Gellar is like 8 feet tall and has the mind of a sociopath. That buffoon in the images above would get eaten alive.
My winner: Ross Gellar
(2) Buffy Summers vs. (7) Jon Snow
Chandler: Both respect fighters in their respective timelines, this matchup is probably the closest competitively in the TV round. On one side of the court you have Buffy, endowed with powers that dramatically increase her physical strength, endurance, and agility. On the other, Jon Snow, King of the North, Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, the White Wolf, and “potentially” the Prince that was Promised. Ok, the latter part was all titles for Jon but we know this bastard from the north packs a serious punch in hand-to-hand combat. Right now, there’s probably few who match his battle experience in all of Westeros and honestly he should be seeded higher.
That said, it’s going to come down to the final shot. Each will have their moments. Buffy will use her quickness to move the ball and find her open shots. Jon, meanwhile will physically push hard in the paint and create spacing to secure those second chance points. Ultimately, you have to ask yourself who wants it more? After Jon’s resurrection you get the sense he left a piece of himself behind and has lost some of that competitive fire. Instead the reluctant hero has been shrouded in pessimism. Unfortunately, that will be his downfall in this game. As someone who has fully embraced her destiny, Buffy will use her decisiveness to capitalize on the final possession in the game and put Jon away for good.
My winner: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Austin: This is my favorite matchup of the TV round. Two people who wield great combat skills, have experience fighting otherworldly kinds of creatures, have died AND been resurrected. That said, Buffy is a very skilled fighter, quick and agile. Jon is more just a good, technical, somewhat strong swordsman. If you’ve noticed with a lot of my picks, I put a lot of faith in those that are fast. It’s just easier in a game of 1 on 1. There’s a lot of space to cover and if your opponent is lightning quick and you’re just lumbering around, you’re not going to have good odds. Jon Snow, you know nothing but defeat.
My winner: Buffy the Jon Snow Slayer