Starch Madness: Round One Part II: Pringles: On the Brink

Twenty days. We argued about Bugles for twenty days. Heated words were exchanged, friendships ended, and mixtapes were returned to their creators. Now that Bugles Original has been put down by its dull yet fundamentally sound Herr’s counterpart, it’s time to look back to twenty days ago to see how the Bugles argument started. It was an intrepid freshman on staff that sent us this, “I think Bugles should be counted as chips but Pringles should not. Not just because Pringles call themselves crisps (Google it!). But because people will bitch that pizza flavored Pringles should be added even though they fucking suck dick.” Well said, intrepid freshman. The root of all of our pain, all of our strife, is the Pringle. Pringles were tearing us apart and we didn’t even realize it. Now that the first round of Starch Madness is in the books, Pringles got what was coming to them. They are getting torn apart, with just one tubular tin from their ranks remaining – Pringles Original. Let’s get to the results:

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1) Lays Original vs. 16) Fritos Flamin’ Hot

Lays Original wins 25-1

A number 16 seed has never beaten a 1 seed and the same remains true this year. Lays Original, favored by many to win the entire tournament, smoked the surprisingly not-hot Fritos Flamin’ Hot squad. Frankly, at the rate they were going, it’s a surprise it was as close as 25 to 1. – AP

8. Kettle Fully Loaded Baked Potato vs. 9) Pringles BBQ

Kettle Fully Loaded Baked Potato wins 13-10

Justice. The good people at Kettle are rightfully rewarded for their bold flavor choices, and now the Fightin’ FLBP prepare for a daunting second round match-up. Sure, Lays Original is a juggernaut, but even The Juggernaut got pushed into a wall by Rogue, or something. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen X-Men: The Last Stand. – SP

5) Lays Honey BBQ vs. 12) Herr’s Cheddar and Sour Cream

Lays Honey BBQ wins 15-10

Cheddar and Sour Cream has always been a weird chip flavor.  It took a man of extreme ingenuity and unimaginably clogged arteries to decide that sour cream should be mixed with cheese and used as flavoring for fried potato crisps.  Ever since then, it’s sort of existed as the fatter, uncool, younger brother to Sour Cream and Onion, who’s sort of like the lead singer of a reggae band: everyone admires him from a distance but up close he kind of smells.  So it’s no surprise that Lays Honey BBQ, one of the lesser demigods in the BBQ pantheon, took this victory, and the BBQ conference continues cutting a marinated swath in its march to the Finals. – SK

4) Baked Ruffles Original vs. 13) Pringles Pizza

Baked Ruffles Original wins 23-1

What a blowout! Although I can’t say I’m surprised. Not even looking at the seeds, I could have told you that Baked Ruffles Original would beat Pringles Pizza. Actually, now that I think about it, I firmly believe that any chip could have beaten Pringles Pizza. Pringles Pizza chips look like someone vomited an Italian food dinner, let it dry, then crumbled the vomit powder on the top of the chips. They kind of taste like that too… – JS

6) Cape Cod Mesquite BBQ vs. 11) Pringles Salt & Vinegar

Cape Cod Mesquite BBQ wins by forfeit

In a surprising decision, Pringles Salt and Vinegar, an 11 seed, decided to forfeit to Cape Cod Mesquite BBQ, a 6 seed. I think what probably happened is that Pringles S&V tried themselves and were disgusted, just like everyone else who has ever eaten these terrible chips. The bottom line is that Pringles are not a versatile chip. Pringles Original chips are a gift from the heavens. Any attempt to alter them results in horrible creations, similar to the creation of turduckens and Frankenstein’s monster. – JS

3) Lays Salt & Vinegar vs. 14) Kettle Sweet Onion

Lays Salt & Vinegar wins 20-5

Thus far, the best chip endorsement of our dear tournament came last week, when Aziz Ansari told us he was supporting the boys of Kettle Sweet Onion as they sought the first ever ChampionChip. If Ashley Judd can make Kentucky a contender year after year, then Aziz Ansari can do the same for Kettle Sweet Onion. – SP

While Aziz Ansari predicted that Kettle Sweet Onion would win the ChampionChip, Lays Salt and Vinegar, the better chip, prevailed. While Cape Cod does a better Salt and Vinegar, Lays is still deliciously salty, and not too vinegary to leave your lips numb. – KS

7) Utz Original vs. 10) Baked Lays Sour Cream & Onion

Baked Lays Sour Cream & Onion wins 15-9

While I don’t want to say that this result was completely predictable and this match was completely unfair, this result was completely predictable and this match was completely unfair. Indeed, the votes represent a microcosm of society, with 37.5% of people preferring plainness and unsolicited saltiness in life and the remaining 72.5% knowing wuzgood. Baked Lays Sour Cream & Onion, while falling far short of other sour cream and onion flavored chips due to the simple fact that they are baked, still manage to provide that sour cream and onion twang that gets us all through the day. This reliability really shined through in this round, and led the Baked Lays to a crushing win over Utz “Bore”-iginal. – MK

2) Kettle Chips vs. 15) Sun Chips Jalapeno Jack

Kettle Chips wins 20-6

Besides the fact that you could break a tooth on a particularly stale Kettle Chip, it’s a battle-tested 2 seed with a lot of athleticism.  Sun Chips Jalapeno Jack is a fine chip, but there was no way it was pulling off the upset in this one. — RG

1) Doritos Nacho Cheese vs. 16) Baked Lays Parmesan & Tuscan Herb

Doritos Nacho Cheese wins 19-2

Parmesan and Tuscan Herb might be good in the small mid-Major conferences, but playing a power like Doritos Nacho Cheese requires an additional gear. P&T Herb just didn’t have it and the Nachos move into the second round. – AP

8. Ruffles Sour Cream & Onion vs.9) Pringles Sour Cream & Onion

Ruffles Sour Cream & Onion wins 22-1

In a not-so-surprising blowout between the 8th and 9th seeds in the sluggish Trans Fat 10, Ruffles Sour Cream and Onion routed its Pringles counterparts by a commanding 22-1 victory. The Pringles conference is not faring well this ChampionChips, probably because every other flavor besides original sucks. The Pringles man, with his oversized mustache, was apparently mistaken for a pedophile and failed to persuade the voters, mostly young college-age students, in favor of Pringles.  In the end, the better chip won. Best of luck to Ruffles in the next round where they face tournament favorite Doritos Nacho Cheese. – NM

5) Sun Chips Original vs. 12) Herr’s Salt & Pepper

Sun Chips Original wins 22-2

This was a no-brainer. While Herr’s Salt and Pepper is a great chip, Sun Chips Original is a classic and there is no other chip quite like it. Its subtle saltiness and lack of grease leave you feeling like you just had a healthy snack. And those commercials make you feel like you’re frolicking in a cornfield and helping the environment. – KS

4) Ruffles Original vs. 13) Utz Sour Cream & Onion

Ruffles Original wins 20-3

Sometimes the original, the classic, is better than the new and improved. Sometimes the simple answer is the best answer. Sometimes less is more. That, or Utz products just often taste nasty. But when it comes down to it, Ruffles Original could knock out any contender in the Championchip bracket, as these results show. Not only did Ruffles slaughter Utz Sour Cream & Onion 20-3, but they did so in a way that maintained the integrity and class of the original ruffled potato chip. No other brand or shape tastes quite like that ruffley salty goodness delivered in just one bite of a Ruffles Original chip. Utz Sour Cream & Onion, while a good pick in the sour cream and onion category, never even held a candle in the competition against their timeless and wiser ancestors. – MK

6) Wise Original vs. 11) Sun Chips Garden Salsa

Sun Chips Garden Salsa wins 12-10

This is a good year for 11-seeds, and an even better year for the Sun Chips league. In a masterful display of flavor, SC – Garden Salsa was able to topple Wise Original. In recent years, Wise O’s crunch just hasn’t been enough, and rumors are circulating that the team’s growing stale. Compare that to the unique and sultry flavor of SCGS and we have ourselves a ball game. Though SCGS’s shape can be offsetting to some, Wise O couldn’t capitalize on it and floundered down the stretch. Unwise. – MG

3) Lays BBQ vs. 14) Munchos

Lays BBQ wins 20-5

Lays BBQ are a staple, and really, you’d have to be an asshole to argue that Munchos are better.  That said…Munchos are really underrated.  They’re a lot lighter than your average chip, so they’re perfect for babies, anorexics, or people who don’t like feeling full.  And if that seems like a backhanded compliment, it wasn’t intentional.  I really love this chip.  One time I had a Denny’s Grand Slam and then ate 4 bags of Munchos for dessert.  With their texture, understated saltiness, and refreshing lightness, Munchos was a surprisingly strong 14 seed.  This post brought to you by the good people at Munchos. — RG

7) Stacy’s Cinnamon Sugar Pita Chips vs. 10) Herr’s BBQ

Stacy’s Cinnamon Sugar Pita Chips wins 13-5

There’s something special about the winner of this match-up. It is the finest dessert chip on the bracket. Don’t look at me that way, Caramel Bugles, you couldn’t even hold a candle to these fantastic chips, presumably because you don’t have hands. However Stacy’s Cinnamon Sugar Pita Chips have hands – hands that welcome you in with a powerful crunch and leave you lost in its unfathomable sweetness. Let’s be clear about their upcoming second round game: they want Pringles. These chips are hungry. – SP

2) Pringles vs. 15) 365 Veggie Chips

Pringles wins 16-7

I was pleased to see that Pringles came out with a strong victory over 365 Veggie Chips this week.  Not that I have many positive things to say about Pringles; personally I think the only thing they have going for them is advertising and somehow getting away with a blatant Mr. Monopoly ripoff.  But I digress.

I don’t like veggie chips.  In fact, I strongly dislike them.  I have a real problem with veggie chips.

Now, I have nothing wrong with the concept of veggie chips.  Here is how I imagine the people at 365 view the American consumer’s thought process:

“I love chips!  What a great snack!  I eat them all the time!  I just wish there was a healthier option for people with high cholesterol and a fucked up digestive tract.  Oh, what’s this, veggie chips?! That sounds healthy!  It’s made of real vegetables, awesome!”

That’s how the villainous folks at 365 get you to buy the product.  Fine.  I have no problem with this.  It’s called marketing.  I think.  Ask someone in Wharton.

But not only does the collective threat to human decency that is 365 expect you to buy Veggie Chips once, they expect you to buy them again. This is my biggest problem with the product.   Here again, I present their view of the American consumer:

“Hmm…these Veggie Chips taste like complete shit.  They’re awful.  But, I am committed to being healthy, so I will continue to buy this product.  I will put these pathetic mutated excuses for ‘chips’ back into my mouth and I will taste them with my tongue and chew them and swallow them.  Again.”

…I’m not done yet.

“Sure, I could just eat REAL VEGETABLES, many of which taste better than these chips and are much healthier for me.  Raw carrots, celery, peppers, yeah these things do taste better than veggie chips.  But I like chips.  I am sooo committed to eating chips over another form of snack that I will VOLUNTARILY EAT THIS PRODUCT THAT IS WORSE IN EVERY WAY TO REAL VEGETABLES BECAUSE I JUST WANT SOME FUCKING CHIPS.”

Here’s a novel idea, perhaps snacks are meant to be eaten in moderation?  Perhaps there is a small place in your diet for chips, and a larger one for vegetables?  Because when you try to combine the need to be healthy with a notoriously unhealthy treat, you get….well….365 veggie chips.  So let’s stop supporting the heartless soul-crushing harbingers of self-loathing at 365 and start enjoying some carrots.  They’re pretty damn tasty, America. – JL

Second Round polls are up from 3/20 to 3/21 at

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