Do you like Muppets? Do you watch college basketball? If you answered Yes to either of these questions (it would really be helpful if you at least answered Yes to the first question) then Steve Swanson of The MuppetCast podcast, along with Ryan Roe and Joe Hennes of Muppet fan site ToughPigs.com, hope you’ll enjoy the new 2010 Muppet Madness Tournament. The tournament is held online, hosted by The MuppetCast, at http://muppetcast.com/tournament, and they invite Muppet fans everywhere to visit the site and vote for their favorites daily.
“We don’t watch college basketball,” said Steve Swanson, host and producer of The MuppetCast, “So we put our heads together and, between our two websites, came up with what we think is a way to make this time of year really fun and engaging for Muppet fans.” The online tournament is scheduled to run from March 16 to April 4, the same dates as the NCAA’s March Madness Tournament, however website visitors can begin voting as of Monday.
Joe Hennes, co-owner and operator of the Muppet fan blog ToughPigs.com, said “We have always encouraged fan involvement and outreach on ToughPigs.com. With the Muppet Madness Tournament, we’re hoping to increase the participation to both the readers of our site and the listeners of The MuppetCast, bridging a gap between all types of Muppet fans, from the casual fan to the obsessed fanatic to the Jim Henson Company employee.”
ToughPigs co-owner Ryan Roe added, “If there's one thing Muppet fans love, it's taking the Muppets way too seriously, and the tournament will allow folks to do that with the added elements of competition and the suspense of wondering who will win. It will be thrilling to find out, once and for all, whether Sprocket is more popular than Baby Sinclair.”
Designed to emulate the NCAA tournament, the Muppet Madness Tournament is divided into four quadrants: characters from The Muppet Show, Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock, and a quadrant for Jim Henson’s other fantasy and children’s characters. Website visitors will be able to vote in matchups in each quadrant until the champion is crowned.
Voting results will be presented every Sunday on new episodes of The MuppetCast podcast (found in iTunes and at muppetcast.com) as well as featured articles on ToughPigs.com, said Swanson. “Joe, Ryan, and I will announce the winners of the previous week’s round of voting, give some commentary on each competition, and present the matches for the next round, starting that same day.”
Fans can also download a printable PDF of the tournament brackets and start tournament pools with other Muppet fans.
“We’re just doing this for fun”, said Swanson, “I have this crazy picture in my mind of the Sesame Street puppeteers going in on an office pool, or of the Muppeteers ribbing each other and talking smack when Gonzo goes up against Big Bird.”