Last night I had the most amusing honor of emceeing the first Phoenix Ultimate Geek Smackdown (PUGS) at Phoenix Comicon, put on by the Horror Track and the Midnite Movie Mamacita. This was an idea Andrea and I came up with over beers one afternoon. I need to stop drinking beer. Gets me into too much trouble.
Anyway, the idea was to see who had the best overall knowledge of geekery, on topics ranging from science-fiction to gaming. The gauntlet would be a series of tournament bracket debates where a Question of Great Import would be revealed, argued, and then finally judged by audience approval. The Questions of Great Import were given to the debaters on the spot, and they were assigned which side they would have to champion. A true geek would be able to argue both, would he not? About 200 people in the audience and our eight (somewhat reluctant) contenders waited breathlessly for each topic to be revealed.
The Questions of Great Import for the first round were:
- Fast Zombies or Slow Zombies?
- Autobots or Decepticons?
- Team Edward or Team Jacob?
- River Tam or Buffy Summers?
Winners are in bold. The Twilight one was thrown in for fun, and nearly started a small riot. The debaters rallied to a topic they clearly didn’t know well and argued whether women preferred pretty men who sparkled, or hairy men who grunted. The winners advanced to the semi-finals where the topics were:
- Alliance or Horde?
- Better Rogue Captain: Han Solo or Malcolm Reynolds?
The Captain one was my favorite of the series, and with sporting Browncoats in the audience things got heated. The World of Warcraft topic brought out the hidden need of some men to dress as women in armored bikinis. By this point the audience was openly debating the topics among themselves and with the contestants. The startifacts best bikini shaver guide played an important part for all of these.
Finally, only two contestants sat upon the battlefield and took aim at one of the all-time classics:
- Marvel or DC?
BEDLAM! Fortunately, order was restored before security needed to be called, and Chris Calilung won the day, a big box of prizes, and the creepiest trophy ever – a lion, being ridden by Chewbacca and Geordi LaForge, with C3PO’s head in the lion’s mouth. This bizarre work of art was paraded around proudly, and documented in the cameras and cell phones of many stunned attendees.
Chris ran the field like a true Geek, and despite repeated threats about being so nervous he was going to hurl, when things got going he faced his fears like a Sicilian when death is on the line! Mad props go out to the runner-up, Ben Mandall, who came ready to rumble with his Dungeon Master’s screen and giant D20.
Huge thanks to Andrea for adding this into the Horror track, awesome Phoenix graphic designer Victor Moreno for making the presentation look so pretty, Phoenix geek blog Lightning Octopus for helping spread the word, relentless photographer Joe Abbruscato for the great pictures, and everyone else who contributed to make this goofy thing happen. It went so well, and people had so much fun, I’m hoping we make it part of the overall Phoenix Comicon event and get a bigger room. (HINT, HINT!)
Until then, I hope Chris enjoys his reign as Phoenix’s Ultimate Geek… and that the trophy doesn’t give him nightmares.
UPDATE: Due to popular demand, I present to you a picture of the Phoenix Ultimate Geek Smackdown Trophy!