Here it is!!
The official 2018 American Jesus Madness bracket.
I would say it’s been yet another wild and crazy year in American Christianity, but that would make it sound like business as usual and as we all know all too well, life has been anything but usual since Donald Trump took office.
Which is why American Jesus Madness may be more important then ever.
We all need a chance to blow off some steam, release the pressure valve of stress that’s been building up over the past year, and at least for a moment take back some sort of control of a world that seems to be spinning out of control around us.
True, it may be control of an imaginary tournament, but let that control go to your head. You deserve it. You could have escaped the insanity that is America in 2018 by sneaking into the empty spacesuit in Elon Musk’s Telsa and rocketing yourself off into space for all eternity, but you chose to stay and for that you deserve to be rewarded.
And what better reward is there than a chance to be mildly entertain while procrastinating at work??
Ok, sure, cash would be a better reward. We’d all like cash. But like the Bible says, the love of money is the root of all evil and I wouldn’t want to cause you to stumble by giving you cash.
That would be sinful.
For both of us.
So, you’re welcome for helping you avoid sin.
Anyway, if you’re brand new to this, American Jesus Madness is my spin on March Madness (which begins this week), but instead of basketball teams, I use Christian pop culture to create the bracket you see above. It’s a mix of the good, the bad, and the downright crazy that defines American Christianity. From this battle royale of insanity, love, and blasphemy will emerge this year’s champion of American Christianity. If you are more interested in basketball though then you can check out this article about what is a bracket here to give you a little bit extra to think about.
Obviously these people and things can’t “play” each other in any traditional way. So, the battles are settled by voting. Starting on Thursday you’ll determine the winners of every match by voting in interactive polls. What are you voting on exactly? Well, that’s up to you.
You could simply vote for which person or thing you like better, which you like less, which one is more entertaining, which one would win in a bar fight, which one is more sane, which one is more insane, which one is a bigger jerk, or you could get really judgmental and vote on which one you think is the better or worse Christian.
Whoever or whatever gets the most votes advances on to the next round.
As I’ve done in years past, I am going to help you out. On Wednesday, I’ll post a 1st Round match-by-match breakdown that will help those of you not familiar with everyone or everything in the tournament. It will offer a brief description of every single match-up to hopefully help you out with both your voting and with filling out your bracket.
Here’s where real fun comes in…
Just like the NCAA tourney you can download the bracket, fill it out (i.e. predict the winners of every matchup all the way through the championship), and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org (make sure to include your full name).
Why would you bother doing that?
Because there’s eternal glory involved for whoever wins the bracket challenge, duh.
Now, like I said, I’ve got my breakdown of the tournament coming on Wednesday, but until then, I want to hear from YOU. Do you consider yourself an American Christianity aficionado? If you do, post your analysis or breakdown of the tournament match ups on your own blog, send me the link, and I’ll link to it on my own breakdown on Wednesday. There have been some awesome breakdowns in the past. So, I can’t wait to see what you all come up with this year! If you do share your breakdown or anything else American Jesus Madness related or Twitter, make sure to use tag it with #AJM2018. I think that’s about it, but if you’ve got any questions, don’t hesitate to ask in the comments section.
Oh yeah, and here are the all important rules and deadlines for submitting your bracket.
Only 1 entry per person. In order you enter you must do one (or preferably all) of the following and let me know which one(s) you did when you submit your bracket
- “Like” my page on Facebook
- Follow me on Twitter
- Subscribe to my blog
- Or if you already do all three, share this link to the tournament on Facebook, Twitter, and/or any other social media outlet the cool kids are using these days
I don’t have an awesome digital entry system like ESPN so you will need to download the bracket, fill it in, save it/scan it/take a picture of it with your phone/whatever, and email it to email@example.com (make sure to include your full name).
BRACKET POINT SYSTEM
Here’s the point system for those filling out a bracket.
As you’ll notice, points increase with each round. Which means, it’s no big deal if you get a few 1st round matchups wrong. As long as your champion is still in the tournament, you probably still have a good chance at winning the bracket challenge.
1st round – 1 point
2nd round – 5 points
3rd round – 10 points
4th round – 20 points
Championship – 40 points
DEADLINES & SCHEDULE
All brackets must be turned in by midnight on Sunday, March 18th in order to eligible for the bracket challenge.
IMPORTANT NOTE: I’ll be leaving voting for the championship open over the weekend, so while you’re binging on Netflix Saturday night, you can bing on voting too. And then again when you skip church on Sunday morning.
ALL TIMES ARE CENTRAL STANDARD TIME
1st Round – Monday, March 19th
- Voting begins at 8am
- Polls close at 10pm
Salacious 16 Round – Tuesday, March 20th
- Results from 1st round announced on at 8am
- Voting for Salacious 16 begins at 9am
- Polls close at 10pm
Exquisite 8 Round – Wednesday, March 21st
- Results from Salacious 16 round announced at 8am
- Voting for Exquisite 8 begins at 9am
- Polls close at 10pm
4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse – Thursday, March 22nd
- Results from Exquisite 8 round announced at 8am
- Voting for the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse begins at 9am
- Polls close at 10pm
Championship Match – Friday, March 23rd
- Results from 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse round announced at 8am
- Voting for the 2018 American Jesus Madness Championship begins at 9am
- Polls close at 10pm on SUNDAY, MARCH 24th
THE CHAMPION OF AMERICAN JESUS MADNESS 2018 WILL BE CROWNED ON MONDAY, MARCH 26th