While I am excited about the Dance in general and genuinely looking forward to what the Roundball Rebels will do in the NIT, I can't find myself getting to into either bracket. I haven't the desire or gumption to research the teams, players, coaches and programs involved to make the most accurate, over-analyzed picks I can. So I need something that I, as a bloggeur with a desk job, can get legitimately excited talking about this March, and I need that to be something that the lot of you, either Ole Miss students or Ole Miss Rebel fans in situations similar to mine, can get legitimately excited about as well.
What could that be, exactly? Lunch. That's what.
Yes, you haven't been mislead by the title; this is 2012 Sandwich Madness, and your bracket is after the jump.
Click for biggification
The regions and seeds are as follows:
- BLT - The number one overall seed this year, the Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato sandwich had yet another strong season with the recent resurgence in the popularity of bacon. Its star player, bacon, is the cured and sometimes smoked belly of a pig without any of the fat removed. Cook it wiggly or crisp it up, because its salty, smoky flavor adds to the tang of the mayonnaise and the sweetness of the tomato to make a damn near unbeatable melange of delicious in your maw.
- Chicken Salad - So you roasted a chicken but didn't eat the whole thing? That's fine, because you take those chicken chunks, stir them up with some mayonnaise and whatever else you're in the mood for, spread that on some wheat bread with some lettuce, and you've got a Southern lunchtime staple. Chicken Salad cruised through its conference this season and bettered upstart Egg Salad in the Salad Sandwich Conference (SSC) tournament to earn the number two seed in the mayo regional.
- Ham Sandwich - A regular contender out of the mid-majors, Ham Sandwich is making yet another appearance in the sandwich tournament. Look for Ham Sandwich to utilize its versatility and maybe bust out some spinach or sliced cucumber to stun Chicken Salad Sandwich in round one.
- Tunafish Sandwich - A controversial pick off of the bubble, Tunafish Sandwich will look to prove its mettle against the stiff competition of the tournament, but doesn't get an easy draw against #1 overall seeded BLT.
Philly Cheesesteak - The juggernaut of the American sandwiches, the Philly has been keeping the denizens of the City of Brotherly love fat and happy for decades. Be sure to get it "wiz wit", meaning that it's topped with neon yellow Cheez Wiz and grilled onions. Any other type of cheesesteak ain't a proper Philly.
Cubano - Roasted Cuban pork, ham, swiss cheese, mustard and pickles pressed into a loaf of Cuban bread, this sandwich has gained increasing popularity as of late, as Generation Y-ers realize that, aside from the World Baseball Classic, Cuba is nothing to be afraid of as Americans.
Meatball Sub - Meatball Sub struggled this season, but did just enough to catch the selection committee's eye. Admit it, this was the first thing you ever ordered at a Subway, wasn't it?
Grilled Cheese - With its star guard "slice of ham" out due to NCAA violations (or some shit), the Grilled Cheese, and all of the wonderful childhood memories it envokes, will struggle against the Philly. This ain't one of those fancy cheese sandwiches, by the way. We're not talking about Cheddar and Gruyere on foccacia or some stupid shit; we're talking wonder bread, margarine, Kraft singles in a cast iron skillet.
- Shrimp Po Boy - Champion of the Po Boy Conference, the Shrimp Po Boy battled off Catfish and Oyster Po Boy to make it here. This one's fully dressed and jazzed up with remoulade because I said so. Deal with it.
- Italian - Capicola, Salami, Prosciutto, Provalone, and some mayonnaise and mustard or something. It's good. You want some roasted red peppers on that? Sure, that's fine.
- Roast Beef - I bet when Edward Montagu, First Earl of Sandwich, invented his namesake food he kept it really simple. I bet it was nothing more than roast beef between two slices of bread. Roast Beef is really the UCLA of this stupid bracket.
- PB&J - The first thing you learned to make as a kid did well this season, with millions of American children in 2011-12 first learning how to wield a table knife by shoving it into a jar of Jif.
Reuben - Tabbed by many sandwich experts to win the whole shebang, Reuben has had a stellar year. You never thought you'd like sauerkraut on a sandwich until, did you?
Club - I don't know what kind of a club spawns a triple-decker sandwich of turkey, ham, bacon, lettuce, tomato, mustard, and mayonnaise, but I'd like to inquire as to their membership duties and fees.
- Banh Mi - A darkhorse contender out of the Foreign Sandwiches of the World conference, the Banh Mi won its conference title by wiping the floor with some bullshit tartine from France. The Banh Mi, a sandwich hard to find in American locales lacking a significant Vietnamese population, is a sandwich made with pork belly, pork liver pâté, cucumber, cilantro, pickled carrots, shredded daikon spicy chili sauce and mayonnaise. It can also be made with chicken, fish, or tofu... or, really, whatever the dude making it wants to put in it. It's served on a baguette. It's delicious.
Turkey - Turkey Sandwich is boring and nobody knows how or why it's in the big dance, sorta like Iowa State.
The last four out, if you're curious, were the Veggie sandwich, French dip, Muffaletta, and the Gyro. The veggie had some nasty, drippy grilled mushroom on it, the French dip's gravy sucked, the Muffaletta had a down year, and the Gyro isn't technically a sandwich. I mean, c'mon, if the Gyro is a damn sandwich then so is a soft taco or a burrito, right? Of course I'm right. Idiots.
Okay, so here's how this is going to work. Today we're going to vote on the Mayonnaise and Mustard Regions. Just list your picks in the comments for BLT vs. Tuna; Chicken Salad vs. Ham; Reuben vs. Turkey; and Banh Mi vs. Club. I'll tally them up, update the bracket, and then tomorrow we'll work on the meat and bread regions. Got it? Good. Happy voting.