Photo Courtesy of Deadline

April 29, 2016

AKABAS | Bracketology Part 2: Who/What is Winning 2016?

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A month ago, I worked through the first round of a bracket to determine which celebrity or thing is currently doing the best in the calendar year of 2016. You can read that here. After a competitive first round, we came away with the following Elite Eight matchups, with the seeds in parentheses:

Taylor Swift (1) vs. Bernie Sanders (9)
Stephen Curry (5) vs. Dank memes (13)
Donald Trump (3) vs. Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright (6)
Leonardo DiCaprio (2) vs. Peyton Manning (10)

If you’re wondering who would have made the “Who/What is Losing 2016?” bracket, your answer is probably Chipotle, the Houston Rockets, Jordan Spieth, Zack Snyder, Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, United States politics in general and whatever TV show would have aired after the Oscars had they not gone an hour overtime. But that’s another article for another time. Let’s get on with our Elite Eight.

Taylor Swift (1) vs. Bernie Sanders (9)

It’s the artist who writes lines with not nearly enough syllables and makes up for it by just repeating the last word of each line five times versus the politician who only has five lines to say and makes up for it by just repeating those five lines continuously over the course of a 12-month campaign. I think when Bernie says “the top one puh-cent of the top one puh-cent of the top one puh-cent,” he’s just channeling his inner T-Swift. If the two wrote a song together it would be epic:

Cause the rich are gonna pay pay pay pay pay
And Super PACs will go away way way way way
Baby, I’m just gonna break break break break break
Break up the banks, break up the banks

Winner: Sanders (9)


Stephen Curry (5) vs. Dank memes (13)

Steph will be awarded his second straight NBA MVP, and that’s a really big deal. Only 12 players in history have won two MVPs, and people like Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, Hakeem Olajuwon and Dirk Nowitzki are not among them. There’s nothing else I can really say about Steph that hasn’t been said already, so I dug up a few ridiculous Steph stats from this season, because that’s always fun:

  1. He averaged 7.1 three-pointers per 48 minutes, which was more than six NBA teams, including the San Antonio Spurs.
  2. His 31.7 points per 36 minutes was the highest since Michael Jordan in 1987 and the fifth highest total ever.
  3. He shot 19/40 (48 percent) on shots beyond 30 feet.
  4. He had more games in which he made eight threes (16) than games in which he made two threes or fewer (12).
  5. The rest of the NBA combined had 20 games with eight made threes.

But, right now, Steph is injured, and dank memes are still going as strong ever. Feel the fern!

Winner: Dank memes (13)


Donald Trump (3) vs. Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright (6)

If you’ve watched through the last episode of the most recent season of House of Cards, you’ll realize how ironic this matchup is. The spoiler-free irony is that both Donald Trump and Spacey’s character, Frank Underwood, somehow, in spite of their absurd policies and questionable morals, gain a popularity that would be totally unrealistic if they weren’t in a TV show. Except… Trump isn’t in a TV show. He’s a real person.

Winner: Trump (3)


Leonardo DiCaprio (2) vs. Peyton Manning (10)

DiCaprio crawled around in the snow, slept inside a horse carcass, and ate a fish; Peyton handed off the football to his running backs while occasionally taking it upon himself to throw the ball softly to the other team. I could probably do both of those things, but somehow they both got trophies for what they did. I’m going with Leo because he does some pretty awesome environmental charity work, and because Peyton Manning was essentially a walking skeleton last season.

Winner: DiCaprio (2)


Final Four:

Bernie Sanders (9) vs. Dank Memes (13)

Did I set up the bracket so that these two would face off? I can neither confirm nor deny these rumors. But now that we’re here, I don’t know what to do. Bernie Sanders and dank memes will be forever inseparable, much like peanut butter and jelly, high heels and suffering, James Harden and bad defense, Liam Neeson and leather jackets, and Cornell architecture students and sleep deprivation.

This is tough, but I don’t know how to get around the fact that this is supposedly a bracket for who is winning this year, and Bernie literally isn’t winning.

Winner: Dank memes (13)


Leonardo DiCaprio (2) vs. Donald Trump (3)


Winner: Trump (3)



Donald Trump (3) vs. Dank Memes (13)

This is another hard one, because Donald Trump is himself essentially a meme, the definition of which according to one website is the following: “a humorous concept or idea that spreads rapidly from one person to another via the Internet.” Indeed, Donald Trump as president of the United States of America is a humorous concept. It was, at least, until it actually became a realistic possibility.

Trump’s candidacy is one of the greatest instances of a person exceeding expectations ever. There was an article published online in September 2015 with the title “Three Reasons Donald Trump Will Drop Out Before Iowa,” as well as many others like it. Now he’s close to a nomination. He’s essentially trolling 300 million people. As sad as it may be, Donald Trump is the winner of 2016 so far.

Winner: Donald Trump