March Gladness 2017: The Christian Culture Tournament (Round Four)

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UPDATED BRACKET (click to biggify)

Update: Round 4 voting has ended.  The next round will be posted soon.

Again, let me start by acknowledging the other Christianity brackets that readers have made me aware of:

Zack Hunt’s bracket
Best Christian Book bracket
Lent Madness
Episcopal budget bracket
Church Song Bracket

Now then.  A moment of reflection for the Round 3 losers:

Drift softly into that sweet abyss, my friends.  You made it to the final 16; your rest is deserved.


Question from several people: why do the vote totals go up and down?

Answer: because the polls flag people who vote multiple times, and duplicate votes eventually get removed.  Person who voted 435 times (!) for Tony Campolo, you are my spirit animal.  It wasn’t just T-Camp, though; it was happening with other entries, too.  I haven’t seen evangelicals this crazed to win at something since I played church league basketball for a Baptist church.  I also played for an Assemblies of God church, but those are strange stories for another time.

Let’s get on with it.  Here’s what’s already happened:

Round one
Round one podcast breakdown
Round two
Round three
Round three podcast breakdown

…and here’s Round 4:

Region 1

Flannelgraph 202 ( 57.55 % )
WWJD Bracelet 149 ( 42.45 % )

Youth group playbook, 1998: go to the Christian bookstore, buy a zillion WWJD bracelets, put them all on your forearms, then wander around your church’s Edgy Youth Annex while everyone is eating pizza and when you see a girl who doesn’t have a bracelet, offer her one of yours.  But don’t just hand it to her, you noob, offer to put it on her wrist. This might be the only chance you get to touch a girl; John Hagee said Jesus was coming back before Clinton’s term was over, or something.

Flannelgraph has been downright dominant so far.  Blowing everybody out.  Just standing at the pulpit and flexing on us, like some Baptist pastor dragging out an altar call and acting like there’s some rogue soul who needs to come forward, even though it’s a Sunday night and it’s the same 78 people who always come on Sunday nights.  He’s just up there playing with us, just because he can, and that’s what Flannelgraph has been doing in March Gladness.

Region 2

Psalty 214 ( 63.13 % )
Bibleman 125 ( 36.87 % )

OH YES.  This is a grudge match straight from the LifeWay children’s section.

I bet when Psalty was in youth group and they had the all-male breakout session, the youth pastor looked at all the boy songbooks and was like “fellas there aren’t any ladies in here so lemme give it to you straight: keep your bookmark inside your pages until you get married” and also the youth pastor had frosted tips because this would have been back in the day, when everybody went to Acquire the Fire and worried about Satanists and got saved every six months.

On Bibleman: were the crosses on his costume really necessary?  I mean this dude’s name is Bibleman, I don’t see where the confusion is.

Also: why does he wear a mask?  Is he ashamed to be a Christian?  Weak, bro.  And is the cape to cover his butt so church ladies won’t have lustgasms when they see his carnal man hams in those tight pants?

Region 3

Whit 180 ( 52.33 % )
Farewell Rob Bell 164 ( 47.67 % )

The Cinderella run of the Farewell Rob Bell tweet continues!  No one really saw it coming, but that’s why they play the games in March Gladness.

At one point, the actual Farewell Rob Bell tweet had been RT’d by so many porn bot fake accounts that this is what it looked like: (I censored it)

I don’t know what this has to do with anything, but it makes me laugh.

On the other side, Whit has been a darling of Christian Twitter thus far.  Many people are telling me he is their pick to win it all, and anyway what if Adventures in Odyssey and McGee and Me were connected and we never realized it, and McGee was actually Whit’s son and Nick was some super villain who opened a portal with his weird inventions and kidnapped McGee?  Whit was from Scotland and McGee is sort of a Scottish-sounding name, and anyway maybe that’s why Whit was always inventing things, too–he was looking for a way to re-open the portal so he could rescue his son from Nick.  Read about this and other exciting theories in my new book, I Am a Very Strange Person, Please Help Me.

Region 4

DC Talk 217 ( 64.78 % )
Lecrae 118 ( 35.22 % )

Lecrae rode a late wave of voting to prevail over Yoga Pants in a tight contest.

That was horrible, I am so very sorry, I used to be a respectable person, I don’t know what happened.  Meanwhile, DC Talk has figured out how to harness the nostalgia of the thirty-something voters en route to the Elect Eight™.  And here’s the thing about DC Talk: you gotta pick which guy you’re gonna sing along with.  You can try to sing all three parts, but it’s just too ambitious.  For me, it was Kevin.  I really felt like we had some similarities: he was a squinty-eyed rock star with cool hair, and I was a gangly 15-year-old with acne who played clarinet in the worship band at church.

So who will win?  Well, we’ve been here before…

Haven’t we.

When DC Talk

was matched up





Round 4 voting ends Friday night