On Saturday night, the polls closed for the first round of MARK MADNESS. We had a total of 234 votes in this round, and this is what the people voted for:

MARK RUFFALO (1) vs. Karl Marx (8): In what was a surprisingly contentious first round match-up, handsome and talented actor Mark Ruffalo barely defeated the proletariat spokesman.

MARK FROM WORK (4) vs. Mark Brandanawicz (5): While the differences between Mark from work and Mark Brandanawicz are small, the people have spoken and the people apparently do not care much for peripheral characters from Parks and Recreation Seasons 1 and 2. Mark from work heads to the next round of Mark Madness.

MARCUS AURELIUS (3) vs, Mark Harmon (6): Marcus Aurelius’s time has come again! Mark Harmon’s knowledge of fictionalized forensic science was no match for a Good Emperor.

MARKSMANSHIP (7) vs. Marc by Marc Jacobs (2): In a turn of events that seems somewhat contradictory to the defeat of Karl Marx, marksmanship triumphed over capitalistic entity Marc by Marc Jacobs to move on to the second round.

MARK TWAIN (1) vs. Mark-Paul Gosselaar (8): I’m not going to lie, I had no idea who Mark-Paul Gosselaar was before this bracket. Also, Microsoft Word keeps autocorrecting his name to Vosselaar. It’s no surprise that Mark Twain won by the largest margin of victory of the tournament, jumping over MPG as though he was a celebrated jumping frog from Calaveras County.

MARC ANTONY (4) vs. Marc Anthony (5): The narrative was rich here, but history always favors the original. Mark Antony was in the Second Triumvirate, and that relegated Mark Anthony to being the second-triumvigreatest of this matchup. I’ll see myself out.

MARK HAMILL (6) vs. Mark McGwire (3): The Punch Bowl has many things in common with the Baseball Hall of Fame. Most notably, neither of us are located in Spokane, Washington, and neither organization has taken a stance on the “is a hot dog a sandwich?” debate. Also, we do not tolerate steroid users.

MARKETING (7) vs. Mark Duplass (2): This was a trendy upset pick and it lived up to expectations. Mark Duplass just couldn’t cope with the barrage of negative advertising against him.

MARKERS (1) vs. Marco Rubio (8): A United States senator whose stance on immigration may shift the content of the 2016 Presidential debate on the Republican side or . . . the only permanent way to writes notes on a book? Voters clearly made the right choice here, ushering markers to the top, leaving Marco Rubio nothing but the possibility that maybe he inhaled too many Sharpie fumes before the game.

MARK WAHLBERG (4) vs. Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch (5): The Wahlberg of Scorsese and Shyamalan beats out his former, awkward rap alter ego. This was the evisceration of the past, a whole-hearted denial of our innocent and childish roots in pursuit of material comfort and general acceptance. Mark shed his roots much as we do everyday and, yes, we have rewarded him, and thus the system generates itself.

MARK CUBAN (6) vs. St. Mark (3): The arrogant and childish billionaire beats the saint whose very symbol, the lion, has been equated with courage for millennia. When we started Mark Madness, we had no idea the cogent cultural critique that these matchups would produce . . . now we can say nothing except that God is dead and Mark Cuban killed Him.

MARKDOWNS (2) vs. Mark Darcy (7): 50% off just for this week! Buy 1, get 1 free!  Discounts beat nice English lawyer every time, trust me, I found out the hard way when I trained as a barrister to woo the woman I thought would be my future wife. We were on the way to our wedding when she ran from the ceremony after hearing a Costco had just opened up a block away from the church. Love, kindness, none of it stands a chance against the allure of a good sale.

MARK ZUCKERBERG (1) vs. Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars (8): Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars got Uptown-Fucked-Up by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. Looks like Ronson and Mars will have the rest of March to style, while, and live it up in the city… if you don’t believe it, just watch.

MARCO POLO (GAME) (5) vs. Marco Polo (person) (4): Marco? Marco? Ciao, Marco Polo, as your game namesake took the big first round victory. Note: How would he fare against his Netflix namesake?

MARKET STREET (3) vs. Mark Rothko (6): The abstract expressionism of Rothko was no match for the seedy, graffiti covered Market Street. Can Market Street go all the way, and parade around City Hall? We’ll find out as Mark Madness continues.

MARK’S CAFE (2) vs. Marcus Garvey (7): Mark’s Cafe came up with a huge victory over Marcus Garvey…. maybe 2am free giveaways caused people to overlook general freshness of pastries. Or perhaps people mistook votes for Mark’s Cafe for numbers of food poisoning scandals from their sushi.

Make sure to vote in the SWEET SIXTEEN Round of MARK MADNESS, open for voting until 11:59pm on Wednesday.

Mark Madness

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