07 April 2014

Tourist Trap Tournament: Final Fjord (Plus Three More)

After 63 game recaps and more than 300 puns (and perhaps five good puns), the Tourist Trap Tournament comes to a close with the Final Fjord Plus Three More. 

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Fjords v Las Vegas
Mascots: Haddock v Sinners

After a long run of flash and swagger, the Sinners made all kinds of questionable decisions, basically rolling right over and submitting to their Norwegian foes; there’s no doubt they were out partying a bit too hard these last few days, because they sure looked washed-out, as the Haddock darted around with ease. Some commentators have voiced suspicions that the Sinners were betting against themselves, but the reality is that the Haddock were simply the better team, with a positively oceanic gap between the teams in terms of endurance and general clean living.

Running of the Bulls v Easter Island
Mascots: Stampeding Hemingways v Furious Foreheads

The Stampeding Hemingways often have their ups and downs--they may get knocked down, but make no mistake, the Run also rises. The Furious Foreheads never found the upper hand, and seemed weighed down by a mental block. The Stampeding Hemingways move on, as war-proven veterans, making for an intriguing final match-up against the Fjords: The Old Men and the North Sea. 

* * * 

Thanks so much to all the fans on the blog, on Twitter, and on Facebook. These two teams wouldn’t have gotten this far without you--the Fjords had a particularly strong base of supporters who most certainly nudged them forward.

Let’s look at the match-up:

Running of the Bulls:
Strengths:  Brute force, killer instincts, famous fans, and man can they run.
Weaknesses: Easily distracted by the color red, frequently called for charging, not a ton of finesse.

Strengths: Long reach, incredible history, rock-solid foundation, stoic endurance beyond compare, utter charm, ability to get out of tight spots.
Weaknesses: Slow-moving, stuck in their ways.

Final result: Running of the Bulls!

(After--by my count--more than 300 puns, I’m fresh out right now, so no extended recap. Maybe later!) 

03 April 2014

Tourist Trap Tournament: The Most Excellent Eight

Once again, some fierce competition in the Tourist Trap Tournament, as the Most Excellent Eight battled it out: 

Art & Architecture final: Pyramids at Giza v Easter Island
Mascots: Pharaohs v Furious Foreheads

With their dueling long-standing traditions and chiseled physiques, these two teams were closely matched. The Furious Foreheads finally found their legs at the end, while the Pharaohs lived up to their reputation of slowing down, looking petrified out there and, at best, merely walking like Egyptians, and leaving the crowd tut-tutting .

Culture (or Something) final: Running of the Bulls v Forbidden City
Mascots: Stampeding Hemingways v Dynasties

The Forbidden City was strong, no question, ruling the court and showing off the philosophies of their famous playbook, Classic of Rites. But in an amazing race-to-the-end finish, the Stampeding Hemingways narrowly beat the horn, ending the Dynasties’ long run.

The Natural World final: Norway’s Fjords v Maasai Mara National Park
Mascots: Haddock v Big Cats

This was a wild one, with raw natural talent on full display, with breathtaking shots all over the place, shutters clicking everywhere. The Scandinavians’ chilly, stoic might won the day, getting out of many a tight spot.  

Cities & Squares & Markets final: Las Vegas v Dubai
Mascots: Sinners v Shiny New Stuff

These two teams entered the competition with outsized reputations for swagger and excess and more than a bit of trouble in their backgrounds—and a hope for redemption. The Sinners’ strong suits: sprawling reach, a willingness to take chances, and a reputation for conjuring big-time magic. The Shiny New Stuff’s key strengths: boldness and ambition like no other, style somewhat less profane than the Sinners’ ways, and an array of innovative ways of doing things. Ultimately, the numbers simply favored the Sinners and their decades of experience in the game.

* * * 

And then there were four:

Easter Island v Running of the Bulls

Norway's Fjords v Las Vegas

Make your picks in the comments! 
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