Tears glistened on young cheeks as the KU flag was lowered in a somber ceremony outside Smackdown Central this morning. Otherwise innocent hearts questioned the essential goodness of a Supreme Being who would allow Kentucky to win the National Championship.
Bill Self, not entirely comfortable with being called a "Supreme Being" nevertheless advised that his team would be back in 2013.
In the meantime, the 2012 Smackdown has come to an end. And the winner is...
1. Mike "Flat Iron" Chastain. The Flat Iron rode Kentucky's win to the championship, but he doesn't feel altogether good about it. "Yeah, I chose Kentucky to win it all, but I am realizing that that kind of choice has consequences. I mean, I have two kids - do I want them to grow up in the kind of world John Calipari is making?"
2. Finishing one point behind the Flat Iron at number two was Mark "Striking Distance" Vetter. The Markle has flirted with success on and off throughout this Smackdown, but is also not sure of the cost. "I picked Kentucky to try to win this thing. So why do I feel like I have lost my soul?"
3. Rounding out the top three is our newbie this year, Bryn "I feel so dirty" Wittmayer. She is glad to finish in the top three - one position ahead of her husband - but the miasma caused by picking the Wildcats as champions is making her question whether it was worth it or not as well. "I have taken three showers a day since the Championship Game, but I just can't get clean."
4. Paul "Low Expectations" Smith finished tied for fourth with recently retired super-hero Art "Geezer" Gepner at 209 points, in spite of The Geezer losing his champion in the first round.
6. Though last year she took time out from her busy scheduled to kick the Smackdown field's butts up between our collective shoulder blades, Aron "Inevitable" Rider finished sixth.
7. Craig "Nothing to See Here" Kurtz enjoyed a surprisingly successful tournament run with some, ahem "unconventional" picks, but finished in a four-way tie for seventh with Amy "the view from up here is fantastic" Smith, Sean "Kissy Face" Heston and Lisa "Mucho Smoocho" Heston.
11. Tifani "Learning to love Kentucky" Jefferis tied for eleventh place with Scott "I used to be somebody" McLoughlin.
13. Rand "the highest-ranking" Simmons finished lucky number thirteen with 194 points on 39 correct choices.
14. John "It's alright. I'm a doctor." Augusto with 139 points on 39 correct choices.
15. Patrick "You're welcome" Smith finished with 190 points on 35 correct choices.
16. Wayne "I shall thwart you a new one" Simmons finished with 188 points on 37 correct choices.
17. Barry "Supertramp" Smith was three points behind the Thwartster on 36 correct choices.
18. Derek "Unprecedented Heights of Suckage" Simmons was eliminated from contention after three rounds of play. He finished with a mere 164 points - more than 60 behind the Flat Iron.
19. 'Inspired' by Shakespeare, Michael "The Bard" Thummel finished in nineteenth place, but his 'adaptation' of the Saint Crispin Day speech in his concession letter brings a literary feel to the Smackdown. Nice work, Mr. Thummel.
20. Katherine "El Schmeko" Simmons did not have her best Smackdown, but did pick the eventual champion. "Hey, I take my victories any way I can get them."
22. Clif "The Anchor Man" Jefferis, having had the most time to work on his concession letter, actually sent two. And like any good lawyer, he incorporated the first into the second by reference. Clif, we here at Smackdown Central appreciate the effort, but strongly suggest that youcalendar yourself a vacation. Right now.
Many of you have done your duty and fulfilled your moral obligation. Those of you who have not sent your concession letters - let's get'er done.