December Dementia is now upon us. While you vote for the most worthy contenders to move on from the Senseless Sixteen to the next round, you can also make your own predictions with the official Loon of the Year tournament bracket. Download it now, fill in your picks, and send in your selections. The winner will receive a prize of some sort and be congratulated on air during the special January 2nd NARN First Team LOTY broadcast. The voting has already begun, but we'll still accept your picks until the end of the week.
Here's my quick and dirty analysis of how the first round will play out. One of the key intangibles in predicting the tournament is how voters weight the looniness of each contender. Do they pay more attention to the particular statement that caused the person to be honored as Loon of the Week or do they go more by their overall track record and reputation for lunacy? Past LOTY winners seem to indicate that name recognition plays a large role in determining who will prevail.
The West Region is Nancy Pelosi's to lose. She's the number one seed in the region as well as in the overall tournament and should have no problem in her first round matchup with Drew Barrymore. The other contest is more interesting. DL Hughley isn't as nearly as well known as Sean Penn, but it terms of looniness his clip ranks high. I expect Penn to pull through, although Hughley might make it close.
The Midwest promises to see some drama with two tough contenders. #2 seed Al Franken has the home bin advantage, but #1 seed Bill Maher has a long and loony record to fall back on. I expect them both to breeze through their opening matchups and face off in a frenzied regional final.
At this time of year momentum is everything and no one has more mo' heading into this tourney that the East's #1 seed Al Gore. With the recent Climategate revelations and the Copenhagen talks opening this week, Gore is as hot as he's been in years. His reputation and his very unscientific remark about temperatures at the earth's core make him a serious contender for the LOTY crown. His opposition in the East will like melt away as he steams ahead to the next round. The Letterman-Savage contest is interesting to watch just to see how much voters are leaning toward names they know.
Finally, we have the South which features another strong #1 seed in native son Jimmy Carter. Carter's another contender with a long record of loony achievement which should be enough to propel him into the next round. The Sykes-Garofalo cat fight (sorry for the visual) could be vicious and it's unclear which of the two loony ladies will come out on top. Based on content alone, I'd give it to Sykes, but I think Garofalo's history will come into play with voters and they'll send her to a regional final against the 'nut farmer.
So get your brackets filled out, your votes in, and sit back and enjoy the insanity of December Dementia.