It's that time of the year! Stormchasers are changing their windshield wipers, Regular Jim Traber's planning his boring MLB preview, and your entire neighborhood smells like asparagus urine thanks to all the blooming Bradford Pear trees. Yes, spring is in the air in Oklahoma, and along with it comes Ogle Madness IX – the 9th (!!!) installment of our annual tournament to determine the best things this fine state has to offer.
In case you're new to Oklahoma, Ogle Madness works a lot like the NCAA Tournament. We seed 64 Oklahoma people, places, and things into a tournament field and over a three-week period let our readers vote for who they want to advance and who they want to send packing back to Gotebo. Past champions include Kevin Durant, Emily Sutton and... Lauren Richardson. Last year's champ was Gary England. The perennial underperforming 1-seed finally took home the crown after beating Russell Westbrook by a 495 vote (51%) to 471 vote (49%) margin.
Just like in previous years, we're having a Ogle Madness IX pick-the-bracket contest. If you print, complete, scan, and then email us a perfect bracket, we will give you $50,000,000. That's right, $50,000,000. Once again, the bracket has to be perfect... and you also have to predict the winning scores. There are also other rules that we'll disclose if anyone comes close to winning.
Now let's check out this year's bracket!
Okay, unless you're Dr. Belardo that image probably doesn't help all that much. Click here to view, print and complete a PDF, or better yet, here's a breakdown of each region:
For like the 4th year in a row, two-time Ogle Madness Champion Emily Sutton is a #1 seed. This year's path to Ogle Madness glory will be tough. This "stacked" region also includes Olivia Munn (2) and Emily's bizarro nemesis – Ogle Madness VII champ Lacey Swope (3). There are also some strong dark horses. The NW 23rd and Penn Intersection is always a force to be reckoned with, as are Edna's Lunchboxes.
Last year, Lord England surprised the world by winning Ogle Madness VIII. Does he have what it takes to repeat? If so, it's going to be a bigger challenge than the time he defeated a maxi-wedge grinder in a cage fighting match. The always dangerous Joleen Chaney lurks as 2-seed and Baker Mayfield makes his Ogle Madness debut as a 3. And although Lord England is the severe weather savior, the South region is dominated by other weather icons, including weather dongs, Shelby Hays and a fascinating 8-9 matchup between Mike Morgan and Damon Lane.
Although he's no longer the Real MVP, or even the MVP on his own team, Kevin Durant remains an Ogle Madness 1-seed. Hopefully this will convince him to stay in Oklahoma City for the rest of this career. It's going to take a great effort for KD to make it out of this region. Carrie Underwood is a strong 4-seed, and Chicken Fried Steak – the signature dish of Oklahoma waistlines – makes it's Ogle Madness debut as a 2-seed. Also, watch out for Steve Shaw.
This is the first time Miss USA Olivia Jordan has made the Ogle Madness field. With her battle-axe body, charm and million dollar smile, she's poised to make a strong run through the tournament. Her biggest challengers include last year's runner-up, Russell Westbrook, and our newest honorary Oklahoman - Gwen Stefani.
Voting gets started on Monday morning. Once again, if you want to compete in our $50,000,000 bracket challenge, send us a completed bracket by Sunday night. Good luck!