If you like The Wire, March Madness and democracy then you should read the next 250* words. Recently a new project has sought to mesh the popular March Madness bracket with pop culture hit The Wire. The result is Smacketology, a tournament that pits Wire characters against each other.

It all involves Grantland.com, a masterpiece of Bill Simmons, who continues to define himself as an innovative leader within the edutaining space where sports, pop culture and media collide.

The fine folks at Grantland created something amazing, hilarious and score-settling that we could never produce. It was called the Souperbowl – a March-Madness-like tournament that put one soup against another and we the people voted for the outright winner.

But that’s not what I’m writing about today. The Souperbowl isn’t the thing that’s rocketed Grantland into a new whole class of awesome.

Smacketology is what I think did it. It’s got all the cool components of the Souperbowl and is also important.

David T. Cole/Grantland Illustration

Because Smacketology is a March-Madness-like tournament that will determine the greatest character from the greatest television show. In terms of historical perspective, Smacketology was partially inspired by a conversation that Mr. Simmons had with an up-and-comer on the American political scene, President Barack Obama.

According to Alex Pappademas, here’s what the tournament is meant to achieve:

What if we actually did subject the key players of the Wire-verse to rigorous bracketological inquiry? If we played corner boys against dock workers, murder-polices against hoppers, and craven politicos against enigmatic not-actually-Greek human traffickers, in matchups as arbitrary and occasionally unjust as life and death on the mean streets of West Baltimore, would the king stay the king?

I encourage you to, first, check out the Facebook commentary, which is as hilarious as it is inspiring – people really, really, really care about The Wire and have some really, really, really strong opinions about how their most/least favourite characters will do in the tournament. And, once you’ve settled down, get voting so that your favourite characters make it through.

Masthead photo courtesy of eli.pousson

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