The middle of the baseball season can feel like a slog for some fans. Once the drama of the trade deadline has passed, it might feel as if there's little to hold your attention. This might especially be true of Reds fans this season. Don't get me wrong there's plenty I want to see in the coming months. How will Cody Reed adjust to his recent struggles? Can Billy Hamilton sustain his improvement at the plate? What will Joey Votto do to potentially offend opposing fans next? To be fair though, when your favorite team is in last place the back half of the season can drag.
Baseball fans find a number of ways to persevere through the dog days. Maybe you find an odd streak to pay attention to (Padres fans were really jazzed about their home run streak). Perhaps you turn your attention to players who might be called up in September. However, there's a sure fire way to raise the excitement level in a room. It has been scientifically proven that if you make a bracket of anything people will pay attention.
BEHOLD, THE CINCINNATI REDS TOURNAMENT OF THE 2000'S.
Over the next nine weeks a tournament will be held to determine the "Reds Team of the 2000's." The beauty of this tournament is that it can mean whatever you want it to mean. The teams have been seeded by regular season wins, but wins and losses aren't the only reason you might vote. You could vote for a team because you simply find them more lovable. You could vote for the 2001 Reds because Deion Sanders' retirement moved you emotionally. Maybe one team had a dramatic highlight that's always stuck with you. There's no bad reason to vote for a team.
At the end of the day we will be left with the team that, for one reason or another, has lived on in this new century like a beacon of hope for all Reds fans. In the comments section below you can break down the bracket and give a few reasons for why a particular team might be your favorite. If your comment is good enough, funny enough, or lets be honest..."mad online" enough it might just make it in to the breakdown of that particular team.
Here is the upcoming schedule. Every Monday the match-ups and team descriptions will be posted with polls that you can vote in to determine the winner. Voting will be open from Monday morning through Sunday at midnight.
August 8 - top half of the bracket
August 15 - bottom half of the bracket
August 22 - Regional Final #1
August 29 - Regional Final #2
September 5 - Regional Final #3
September 12 - Regional Final #4
September 19 - First Final Four matchup
September 26 - Second Final Four matchup
October 3 - Championship
The field is set. The bracket is released. At the end of this, only one team will be left standing. Who will it be?
Obligatory appearance of One Shining Moment because a bracket is involved...