Passover Madness Torunament, Day 3

Passover Madness Bracket

It’s the final day of the first round of voting for TC Jewfolk’s Passover Madness tournament. If you missed the breakdowns from Day 1 or Day 2, click the respective links. Otherwise, we have one last region to decide: the Plagues region! Make sure you go to the TC Jewfolk Facebook page and cast your vote for the winners.
Round of 32 – Voting ends on Thursday, March 28th
Round of 16 – Voting ends on Friday, March 29th
Round of 8 – Voting ends on Saturday, March 30th
Final 4 – Voting ends on Sunday, March 31st
Championship – Voting ends on Monday, April 1
If we consider Moses growing up, leaving Egypt in exile, then making his way back as the first act of the Passover story; the plagues make up the central part of Act 2. There are ten of them, each more devastating than the last—but not necessarily as cool. Plagues were seeded based on a combination of impact and flash. If you notice that the plagues numbered ten, yet we have seeds for just eight, go back and read our Day 1 recap. We had to pit a couple plagues against each other right away. The fourth plague, the Swarm of Flies (or Wild Animals depending on your source), lost to Locusts; and Darkness beat out Hail. That brings us down to the eight plagues squaring off today:
(1) Death of Firstborn vs. (8) Frogs. A match-up between the most palatable and the least palatable. Nothing says vengeance like the indiscriminate deaths of all first-born children. It’s both the ballsiest plague and the one that finally has the needed impact. It’s a clear 1-seed. But it faces an upstart that could surprise in the second plague—frogs. “Frogs here, frogs there, frogs were jumping everywhere.” They’re cute, but will that be enough to give Frogs the upset?
(2) Blood vs. (7) Darkness. The plague of turning all the water into blood was the first plague, Plague Numero Uno. It was more of a “Look what I can do” thing than an honest “Let my people go” plague. It’s a neat trick, but was Pharaoh really going to release hundreds of thousands of free laborers based on something his alchemists could do as well? (To be clear, this isn’t my opinion. Check the scrolls.). Darkness seems underseeded. Day turns into night, and night turns into day, and all that; but it must have been pretty devastating to have the whole sky go dark in the middle of the day. I know how depressed I get when the sun goes down at 4pm in December; I can’t imagine how the Egyptians felt. This whole tournament features some strong 7-seeds. We’re not sure what the committee was thinking when making this bracket.
(3) Lice vs. (6) Boils. Lice in your hair, or boils on your skin. Neither is pleasant, neither was quite unpleasant enough for Pharaoh to relent. Lice is Plague Number Three, and the first that Pharaoh’s sorcerers couldn’t reproduce with their own magic. Boils is Plague Number Six; it neither helped nor hurt the cause. This match-up is like any basketball game that Wisconsin is playing in: boring.
(4) Locusts  vs. (5) Pestilence. The two plagues with the best names come with this match-up. Go ahead, say “Locusts” and “Pestilence.” We’ll wait. See how nicely they roll off the tongue? As for the substance, another solid, if not sexy performance from both plagues. Pestilence came in and made business quite tought for all of Egypt’s halal street food vendors, while the locusts finally got the average Egyptian to beg Pharaoh for the Jews’ freedom, because let’s face it, locusts—especially swarms of them—suck.
(1) Moses vs. (8) Puah & Shiphrah/Jochebed
(2) Aaron vs. (7) Burning Bush
(3) Miriam vs. (6) Elijah
(4) God vs. (5) Rameses
(1) Death of Firstborn vs. (8) Frogs
(2) Blood vs. (7) Darkness/Hail
(3) Lice vs. (6) Boils
(4) Swarm of Flies/Locusts  vs. (5) Pestilence
(1) Matzah ball soup vs. (8) Chametz/Popovers
(2) Matzah Brei vs. (7) Chopped liver
(3)  Brisket vs. (6) Four cups of wine
(4) Gefilte fish vs. (5) Charoset/Horseradish
(1) Macaroons vs. (8) Toasted coconut-covered marshmallows/Chocolate-raspberry jellies
(2) Fruit jellies vs. (7) Chocolate-covered matzah
(3) Seder mints vs. (6) Milk chocolate lolly cones
(4) Flourless chocolate tort vs. (5) Chocolate-covered marshmallows