March Madness 2020 Ultimate Pop Culture – Best of Sports Bracket Selections

I love March Madness for reasons that differ from most. Most people love March Madness for being the pinnacle of College Basketball. For me, I couldn’t care less about the sport. I love March Madness because it gives me an excuse to do a tournament style bracket comprised of whatever topics appeal to me. For those who gave me suggestions, thank you! I am excited to see how this pans out.

If you follow me on Facebook and IG, the four brackets have been determined along with the four sub topics for each bracket. The four brackets will be the following…Disney World, Best TV Shows per Streaming Service, Best of Sports and Best of the 90s (my childhood).

It is Day 3 of the Bracket Selection Period, time to make the picks for the sports bracket.

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The entire blog that is Hotard Huddle started because of sports. Naturally, there has to be an entire bracket dedicated to the wide world of sports. One of my favorite parts of sports is the crossover between real life and fictional. Sports movies have such cult followings so it is fun to pit those worlds against each other. Here are the subtopics…

  • Best Sports Moments
  • Fictional Athletes
  • Sports Movies
  • Sports Scandals

One thing to note is I am leaving individual athletes / criminal cases out of the equation. I want to focus more on what happened within the industry or between the lines so to speak. Therefore, scandals like Aaron Hernandez, Tiger Woods, Michael Vick and OJ are not being factored.

Let’s dive in to the seeding…

  • 16 – Jackie Robinson Breaks Racial Barrier (Moment 4)

Jackie Robinson day is one of my favorite traditions in modern day sports. It is easy to yell back when faced with hostility. I will never fault someone for doing so. It is difficult to just sit back and take it. He let his play and the content of his character do the talking. He had both in spades. He left such a monumental footprint on the game and American culture. This is one case where baseball purism does well in remembering the past. There is nothing cooler than seeing number 42 on the jerseys of everyone come April 15th. 

  • 15 – The Sandlot (Movie 4)

This movie always takes me back. It is one of the movies I could watch for days as a child. It is one of the many reasons I loved baseball growing up. The movie also dished one of the greatest insults of all time with “YOU PLAY BALL LIKE A GIRL!”

  • 14 – Tonya Harding v Nancy Kerrigan (Scandal 4)

I know I talked about eliminating criminal cases, but this is one that needed to be included. The attack on Kerrigan was planned by Harding as a means to keep her out of competition. It is truly one of the most bizarre sports scandals. This bitch really put a hit out on her competition. What in the actual fuck!

  • 13 – Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez (Fictional Athlete 4)

The best athlete from the aforementioned Sandlot gets the nod here. You couldn’t help but love The Jet. He was an amazing athlete who didn’t carry that title around like a douchebag. He used that athletic prowess to be a great leader instead. It eventually led him to the big stage where he played for the Dodgers. His iconic steal of home and looking up to Smalls in the pressbox gives you all the feels. 

  • 12 – Shooter McGavin (Fictional Athlete) 3

Every great sports movie needs a great villain. Not only was Shooter a great villain, but he was a hell of a golfer. There is a reason people still talk about Shooter McGavin to this day. He is one of the best sports movie characters of all time. Despite him being a 12 seed in this tournament, look out because the cult following will pour in the votes for him. Mark my words on that. 

  • 11 – Montreal Screwjob (Scandal 3)

Whether you consider wrestling a sport or not is always going to be a debate in and of itself. It may be predetermined, but the wrestlers are some of the best athletes in the world. The reason I include this moment is because this is the biggest and most controversial moment in wrestling history. Much like baseball refuses to acknowledge people like Pete Rose, WWE was the same way with Bret Hart for a long time. Hart was supposed to win his final match in then WWF before bolting for WCW. However, Vince McMahon had referee Earl Hebner ring the bell while Shawn Michaels had Hart locked in the sharpshooter, Hart’s finishing move. Hart had never tapped or submitted though. Hart was pissed because he had worked for WWF for more than a decade. The screwjob led to him being a black sheep of the company for 12 years. It was a moment where WWE got real. 

  • 10 – Rudy (Movie 3)

Rudy will forever be one of my all-time favorites. I first watched Rudy when I was probably 8 or 9 and it became an instant favorite. It is one of the most quotable and emotionally grabbing sports movies in my opinion. There are so many amazing moments that you can’t help but tear up including when Pete tells Rudy he was born to wear the Notre Dame jack he got him for his birthday, reciting the locker room speech, players putting their jerseys on Dan Devine’s desk, running out of the tunnel and of course the sack.   

  • 9 – The Shot (Moment 3)

Michael Jordan’s career is nothing short of legendary obviously. With that comes many amazing moments over it’s course. It is hard to find something more iconic than “The Shot” during the 1989 playoffs against the Cavs. With three seconds to go, Jordan takes the inbound and dribbles toward the lane and pulls up near the free throw line, double clutching to avoid the block and then drains the go ahead basket. The shot seals the game and then came the iconic image of him pumping his fist in victory. 

  • 8 – The Babe Calls His Shot (Moment 2)

The testicular fortitude and arrogance to call your shot and then follow through with it is incredible. Tied 4-4 in the fifth, The Babe steps up pointing toward centerfield not once but twice during the at bat before blasting a two-strike pitch into deepest part of the park for a home run. 

  • 7 – Remember The Titans (Movie 2)

You drop a pass…you run a mile. You miss a blocking assignment…you run a mile. You deny this movie and I will break my foot off in your John Brown hind parts…and then you will run a mile. PERFECTION! It’s a hall of famer in my book. 

  • 6 – Tim Donaghy (Scandal 2)

The one official who gives way to the tin foil hat folks. After getting into debt, he began working with the mob to rig NBA games. He pleaded guilty, served jail time and was forced to pay hefty fines for his involvement. 

  • 5 – Bobby Boucher (Fictional Athlete 2)

Boucher is the athlete that gave teams a reason to begin looking at waterboys, equipment managers and maybe even trainers to fill out their rosters. You guys remember when he showed up at halftime and the Muddogs won the Bourbon Bowl? What a glorious day! 

  • 4 – Rocky Balboa (Fictional Athlete 1)

The Italian Stallion went from unknown to legendary quickly. He is the pinnacle of movie athletes. He’s likable, humble and exciting. His biggest victory came during the Cold War when he defeated Ivan Drago after Death From Above himself infamously killed Rocky’s best friend Apollo Creed. 

  • 3 – Pete Rose (Scandal 1)

He is one of the most controversial names in sports no matter which way you look at it. Baseball hates him for betting, despite him putting money on his own team. The fans hate baseball for refusing to acknowledge the best hitter of all time. Just another reason why the powers of baseball are idiots. Baseball sucks and it is because of shit like this. Put the man in the Hall of Fame. 

  • 2 – D2 The Mighty Ducks (Movie 1)

It is rare that sequels supersede the original, but D2 is the exception. Although it probably shouldn’t be the heavyweight two seed of the bracket, it is because I run this blog and popularity of the series says otherwise. Last but not least, Ducks Fly Together!

  • 1 – 1980 Miracle on Ice (Moment 1)

The number one seed goes to the undoubted best moment in the history of sports. For all intents and purposes, there was no way the US should have defeated the Soviets in the 1980 Olympics. But more so than the actual defeat is the famous call by Al Michaels encapsulating how monumental this moment was. “DO YOU BELIEVE IN MIRACLES?!? YES!” This gives any true sports fan goosebumps. 

RECAP

Best Sports Moments – 1980 Miracle on Ice, The Babe Calls His Shot, The Shot (Michael Jordan), Jackie Robinson Breaks the Color Barrier
Fictional Athletes – Rocky Balboa, Bobby Boucher, Shooter McGavin, Benny The Jet Rodriguez
Sports Movies – D2 The Mighty Ducks, Remember the Titans, Rudy, The Sandlot
Sports Scandals – Pete Rose, Tim Donaghy, Montreal Screwjob, Harding v Kerrigan

Stay tuned by subscribing to the website or following Hotard Huddle on Facebook and Instagram. Voting on each bracket will take place next week! Tune in tomorrow for the bracket selection, best of the 90s.

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