As in any tournament, there have been some unexpected results heretofore in the March (Meh)dness bracket. Indeed, in our quest to determine the all-time greatest Chicago Cubs player(s), we've seen movie characters (Henry Rowengartner) and real-life heroes (Rick Monday) overcome the odds en route to victory.
But as we approach the final days of the tourney, my guess is that the upsets will be fewer and farther between. And that's why I hope you'll allow me the indulgence of an aside. Of course, you can feel free to skip straight to the cutesiness of the bracket breakdown otherwise.
I recently took a small break from my duties here at Cubs Insider to participate in a convention in Las Vegas. Sadly, this was truly a business trip and it afforded me little chance to enjoy Sin City; but I'll be back again in a month, so we'll see about remedying that. In any case, I was able to venture over to The Public House, a steak and beer spot at The Venetian.
While the food proved to be excellent, it was the beer that had drawn me, namely the promise of a rotating selection of cask ales. According to the Public House menu:
Cask or “real ale” is the purest form of beer there is. It is aged and
re-fermented in the cask. It is never pasteurized or filtered, and served without
the use of co2. We believe it is the best way to drink beer.
During our visit, the cask selection was Epic Brewing Company's Utah Sage Saison, which is a Belgian-style ale brewed with sage, thyme, and rosemary. Wow, talk about a bridge over troubled water; this beer absolutely assaulted my palate with flavors I'd never have thought to put in a barley soda. Served near room temp, this beer was spicy as well as warm. If you have the occasion to sample this brew, I highly recommend it.
But enough about my dalliances with rare beers, let's get to the brackets!
PK Wrigley Region
1 Ryne Sandberg vs. 12
It would've been nearly impossible for the TIN Man to take down Ryno even with his patented high, stinky cheddar. But at this point in the game, he's going all eephus, all the time. Ryno moves on to face...
3 Andre Dawson vs. 2
The Hawk, one of the three former Cubs who helped raise Sandberg's jersey onto the rightfield foul pole, takes out the favored Three Finger Brown. I'm still scared by the display of anger I witnessed in the last round to allow Dawson to lose just yet.
Albert Spalding Region
1 Billy Williams vs. 5
Sweet Swingin' Billy Williams just keeps on rolling, this time past Roger and Roger and on to the Eh-lite 8, where he'll face another lefty.
3 Mark Grace vs. 10
When is a mayor more powerful than a baron? Well, when that mayor happens to be Mr. Funtime himself. Sut had a nice run, but he falls to the best storyteller to put on a Cubs uni in quite some time.
Charles Weeghman Region
1 Ernie Banks vs. 5
Sosa threw out his back in the post-game celebration from his victory over Maddux, thought I doubt his health really made a difference here. Banks had this one in the bag.
3 Gabby Hartnett vs. 2
Speaking of bags, while Fergie was never really punished for his little brush with the law back in the day, the stigma might have been enough to let Hartnett sneak by in the growing dark of the gloaming.
Tribune Company Region
1 Ron Santo vs. 5
Even on his magic legs, Santo was able to overcome Buckner and his arthritic knees. While he can't click his heels anymore, Santo is nevertheless reveling in this small victory.
2 Hack Wilson vs. 3
Looking like the man to beat, Wilson has continued to steamroll everyone in his path. His momentum could be tough to beat as the tournament draws to a close.
The Finally! Four will be announced on Monday, so join us again to see where your favorites ended up.
Follow me on Twitter: @DEvanAltman
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