The bracket for the March Animal Madness was a quick thing that we came up with in the office after a discussion about if a gorilla would beat a great white shark in a fight.  I’m glad we got to put that argument to rest during this tournament.

The rankings were made up by me late one night.  Certain combinations of stats gave an overall better possible score outcome.  Heart plus cunning gave a multiplier of 1.5 and was called “love of the game”.  Strength and cunning together gave the biggest multiplier, 1.6 and was called “pro”.  Heart plus strength was considered “passion” and got a multiplier of 1.2.  Adding all of that together we get a weighted score.  We take the unweighted score which is just the three stats (heart, strength, cunning) added together, multiply it by a random number between zero and 24, and then add the weighted number multiplied by two.  This way, if they get a random zero, they still play their “base game”.  Using this formula we get the max score and the minimum score.  The numbers were screwed with over the course of at least two whole minutes so that I could possibly have the platypus beat the great white shark based on minimum score and maximum score range.

I toyed with the idea of a critical hit or critical miss giving a special multiplier or something but it was late and I didn’t care that much.  For each of these I just ran the query, took the number and wrote the fight.  Scores were not stored and it was different with each execution.

Here’s how it worked.  The second query is the “battle”.:

     Division  VARCHAR(50)
     ,Name     VARCHAR(50)
     ,[Rank]   INT
     ,Heart    INT
     ,Strength INT
     ,Cunning  INT

('Americas','California condor',9,5,3,1),
('Americas','Grizzly Bear',4,2,5,4) ,
('Americas','Large mouth bass',15,2,2,1) ,
('Americas','Black widow spider',14,1,1,4) ,
('Americas','Llama',16,3,1,1) ,
('Americas','Electric Eel',8,4,3,2) ,
('Americas','Polar Bear',2,2,5,5) ,
('Americas','Mountain Lion',3,4,4,4) ,
('Americas','Alligator',12,2,4,1) ,
('Americas','Manatee',13,5,1,1) ,
('Americas','Rattle Snake',6,3,2,5) ,
('Americas','Bison',11,4,3,1) ,
('Americas','Coyote',7,2,2,5) ,
('Americas','Piranha',5,3,2,5) ,
('Americas','Desert Tortoise ',10,5,1,2) ,
('Eurasia','Snow tiger',2,3,3,4) ,
('Eurasia','Pangolin',16,2,1,1) ,
('Eurasia','Indian Rhino',7,2,5,1) ,
('Eurasia','Bengal tiger',1,3,4,4) ,
('Eurasia','Panda bear',15,2,2,1) ,
('Eurasia','Yak',14,1,3,1) ,
('Eurasia','Komodo Dragon',13,1,2,2) ,
('Eurasia','Eurasian Wolf',5,3,1,4) ,
('Eurasia','Moose',10,1,5,1) ,
('Eurasia','Asp Viper',4,3,1,4) ,
('Eurasia','Wolverine',6,2,3,3) ,
('Eurasia','Fattail Scorpion',11,1,1,4) ,
('Eurasia','Sloth Bear',12,2,3,1) ,
('Eurasia','Cobra',3,2,1,5) ,
('Eurasia','Gharial',9,2,3,2) ,
('Eurasia','Camel Spider',8,1,2,4) ,
('Afstraulia','Blue ring octopus',6,4,2,5) ,
('Afstraulia','Black mamba',11,1,3,3) ,
('Afstraulia','Gorilla',5,3,5,4) ,
('Afstraulia','Elephant',4,5,5,3) ,
('Afstraulia','Kangaroo',14,2,2,2) ,
('Afstraulia','Platypus',16,1,1,1) ,
('Afstraulia','Crocodile',12,1,4,2) ,
('Afstraulia','Great White Shark',1,4,5,5) ,
('Afstraulia','Koala Bear',15,2,1,1) ,
('Afstraulia','Emu',10,1,2,4) ,
('Afstraulia','Python',9,1,5,2) ,
('Afstraulia','Giraffe',13,2,4,1) ,
('Afstraulia','Hippopotamus',8,3,4,2) ,
('Afstraulia','Jackal',7,1,3,5) ,
('Afstraulia','Lion',2,4,5,5) ,
('Afstraulia','Cheetah',3,5,3,5) ,
('Classified','Bigfoot',1,5,4,5) ,
('Classified','Jackalope',13,2,1,4) ,
('Classified','Loch Ness Monster',10,1,1,5) ,
('Classified','Gryphon',7,3,3,3) ,
('Classified','Unicorn',6,5,3,2) ,
('Classified','Cerberus',3,3,5,3) ,
('Classified','Phoenix',9,5,2,1) ,
('Classified','Minotaur',2,2,5,5) ,
('Classified','Gremlin',15,1,2,2) ,
('Classified','Hell Hound',11,1,1,5) ,
('Classified','Dragon – Night Fury',5,3,5,2) ,
('Classified','Chimera',8,2,4,2) ,
('Classified','Wampus Cat',12,1,2,4) ,
('Classified','Acromantula',16,1,2,1) ,
('Classified','Audrey 2',14,2,3,1) ,

SELECT Division,
FROM   @animals
ORDER  BY division,

SELECT Division,
         WHEN score = maxscore THEN 'critical hit'
         ELSE NULL
       END [Critical] --critical hit does nothing special, just interesting to note
               ( total * ( Abs(Checksum(Newid())) % 25 ) ) + ( weighted * 2 ) [score],
               weighted * 2                                                   [MinScore],
               ( total * 24 ) + ( weighted * 2 )                              [MaxScore]
        FROM   (SELECT *,
                       ( heart + cunning ) * 1.5                                                                         [loveofthegame],
                       ( strength + cunning ) * 1.6                                                                      [pro],
                       ( heart + strength ) * 1.2                                                                        [passion],
                       heart + strength + cunning                                                                        [total],
                       ( ( heart + cunning ) * 1.5 ) + ( ( strength + cunning ) * 1.6 ) + ( ( heart + strength ) * 1.2 ) [weighted]
                FROM   @animals)a)b
WHERE  name IN ( 'gorilla', 'minotaur' )
ORDER  BY division,

       ( total * ( Abs(Checksum(Newid())) % 25 ) ) + ( weighted * 2 ) [Score],
       weighted * 2                                                   [MinScore],
       ( total * 24 ) + ( weighted * 2 )                              [MaxScore]
               ( heart + cunning ) * 1.5                                                                         [LoveOfTheGame],
               ( strength + cunning ) * 1.6                                                                      [Pro],
               ( heart + strength ) * 1.2                                                                        [Passion],
               heart + strength + cunning                                                                        [Total],
               ( ( heart + cunning ) * 1.5 ) + ( ( strength + cunning ) * 1.6 ) + ( ( heart + strength ) * 1.2 ) [Weighted]
        FROM   @animals)a
ORDER  BY MaxScore

Thanks for playing.  Maybe I’ll get or write up something that keeps track of the bracket next time around.  I enjoyed writing the battles.

March Animal Madness – Championship 2 votes

On my final trip to the ship something occurred to me.  I had been here before.  I had been in this helicopter before…but when?  Was the intoxication of animal wars clearing or clouding my memory?  Maybe these amazing events have helped shake loose some memories that I’ve stored away.  I would need to think about this more after the fights.  There is something here – some memory that I need to work out.

As the helicopter landed this time I noticed fewer people on board than the previous night.  Strange.  I would have expected everyone who could attend to do just that.  Maybe there was an emergency.  I put my foot on the landing platform and felt a rumble and then it made sense.  The final battle was inside the ship.  Everybody is inside.  I was ushered to my press position which was secure and offered an incredible view.

Two floors (including the casino from last night) had been completely removed.  Gorilla and minotaur were going to have plenty of room.  One would be crowned king of beasts the other would surely be killed.

The first time we heard an announcer through the entire tournament was now.  He informed us in a very bland tone that there were no rules and anything goes.  He informed us that all spectators were on the boat at their own risk.  I felt a bit uneasy after hearing this but I was too excited to do anything about it.

We suddenly felt an energy as the whole boat became quiet.  Minotaur appeared from around a hallway, dragging his hammer, breathing heavily, and watching the faces in the crowd.  No loud entrance, no pageantry, no show.  Actions had spoken louder than words.  Minotaur stood tall, watching the other end of the arena for the gorilla to appear.

Next the gorilla made his way down the hallway.  Angry, punching the ground and his chest.  Showing his canines and breathing heavily with spit flying.  Standing up on his legs he puts his arms up and lets out a fearsome howl.  I was shaking in my shoes.  This minotaur is clearly the experienced fighter but that gorilla is just bananas.  We had no idea what was in store for us that night.


Quickly the gorilla charged the minotaur who stood his ground.  The gorilla reached out and took a swing at the minotaur.  The punch landed squarely on his jaw but was quickly returned with deep punch to the gorilla’s chest.  The gorilla’s screamed at the minotaur showing his teeth and the calm and cool minotaur finally broke character.  Arms extended leaning toward the gorilla he lets out a powerful angry yell.  He wasn’t holding anything back this time.  This was all or nothing.

The gorilla was not shaken.  I’ve never seen fear in this gorilla’s eyes – only blood rage.  The minotaur’s change in composure intimidated the whole audience.  I wet myself and I’m not ashamed to admit it.  The minotaur charged the gorilla, grabbing him by his head and slamming his body to the floor, breaking the floorboards and dropping the two down another level.  Clearly this was planned.  It became silent and the lower floor was completely dark.  The minotaur disappeared.  The gorilla had been forced into the minotaur’s maze.

I had to piece together what happened down there because I wasn’t able to see all of it but I was able to talk with other witnesses.  The gorilla was immediately at a disadvantage.  This gorilla’s strength was rage, not rational thought.  He knew what he had to do.  First, find the minotaur.  Only after killing the minotaur was it necessary for him to leave the maze.

There were minutes of screams, grunts, and obvious wall and floor punches looking for weaknesses in the maze.  From above we could catch a glimpse of the gorilla moving through the maze through the huge hole in the floor.  The minotaur would occasionally pass by in complete silence carrying his hammer.

Then the minotaur found the gorilla.  The minotaur hit the gorilla with his hammer which slammed him through the walls of the maze to the thick iron wall of the ship.  We heard a loud bang and the whole ship rocked to one direction.  There was more scuffle and another loud bang but this time it was the gorilla flying up through the floor.  The minotaur hit him again with the hammer straight up in the air.  The gorilla quickly fell back to the ship as the minotaur climbed out of the maze.

The gorilla got up and after gaining his composure threw a barrel to distract the minotaur and charged again.  The minotaur attempted the same horn skewer strategy that killed the Bengal tiger but the gorilla didn’t fall for it.  As the minotaur put his head down, the gorilla grabbed the hammer out of his hand and swung it at the minotaur’s head breaking off one of his horns.  The minotaur’s whole body slid to the other end of the ship.  I don’t think that the minotaur could swing the hammer as hard as the gorilla just did.  It was spectacular.

The minotaur felt for his horn and realized it was missing.  He stands up and limps toward the gorilla.  It slowly turned into a run and then a full charge on all fours with the remaining horn on a collision course with the gorilla.  The gorilla stood his ground with the hammer high in the air, ready to crush the minotaur’s skull.

The minotaur stabbed the gorilla in the chest and slammed his body into the side of the ship, breaking his other horn.  He continues to push until the gorilla is completely limp.  The gorilla’s body was reduced to a fleshy bag of bones.  The minotaur stood there looking at the carnage as the gorilla’s blood dripped down his whole body.  There was no celebration.  I think he was glad that it is over.  He picked up his hammer and looked around at the audience.  An officiant in a spectacular suit game out to shake the hand of the minotaur and handed him the crown.  Never smiling the minotaur took his prize and raised his arm in the air.  The crowd cheered.  The minotaur won and is truly the King of Beasts.

The announcer tells us that the score is 166-153 obviously in the minotaur favor.


That’s all we have. What did you think? How did you do? I’ll post our winning bracket and scores soon. Thanks for tuning in and have a great weekend!

UPDATE:  Here’s the winning bracket out here in Tucson.



During my second to last trip out to the wonderful world of illegal animal fighting I couldn’t help but feel a bit somber about the whole thing.  No, the animals fighting is gruesome and I’m not attached to them emotionally.  I just wonder what brought it all on?  Clearly it had been going on for some time.  I have papers here from long ago that prove just that.  When was it first decided to pit animals against each other to the death?  Was it the Romans?  Was it farther back than that?  I could hardly hear myself think over the sound of the helicopter’s engine.  Maybe more will be revealed soon.

But whatever.  This is it.  One of these will be crowned King of Beasts!

Afstraulia/Americas (Bracket A)

Gorilla smashes grizzly bear 309 to 140.  Something is in this gorilla.  A five-ranked fighter going to the finals.  Just look at those teeth.  The grizzly was no slouch but the gorilla just is unstoppable.  The fight began with lots of posturing and canine flashing.  Grizzly stepped in and took a few good swings, cutting up the arms and chest of the gorilla pretty good.  The gorilla countered with a few good punches to the bears snout.  Then the gorilla backed off a bit and paused.  I knew something was up when he started moving again with a handful of his own crap.  He flung a gorilla dump at the bear but only hitting the bear’s fur.  Grizzly was enraged and charged the gorilla with the force of a freight train.  Gorilla climbed up part of the ship as the bear slammed into a wall.  Grizzly followed the gorilla.  Gorilla had better balance as the ship rocked.  Grizzly lost his footing and fell toward the deck of the ship.  Gorilla jumped down and fell with grizzly, both swinging at each other in the air as the ball of fury crashed through the deck to the lower floor.  Gorilla grabbed a slot machine and grizzly grabbed an entire poker table.  Grizzly threw the poker table at the gorilla and the gorilla destroyed it in the air with the slot machine.  It shattered into a million splinters.  Out of the dust the gorilla appeared in the grizzly’s face holding the machine over his head.  Grizzly snuffed because he knew he’d been beat.  The gorilla slammed the one-armed-bandit onto the grizzly’s head.  Quarters and grizzly teeth flew everywhere.  The crowd went bananas and then they stopped because gorillas eat bananas so they went nuts instead.

Eurasia/Classified (Bracket B)

Minotaur crushes the Bengal tiger 238 to 162.  The minotaur, with his silent rage and patience was able to outwit and outlast the Bengal tiger.  The Bengal tiger was ferocious but the minotaur is just insanely powerful.  The tiger came out fast and hard.  The tiger was the highest ranked fighter to make it to the final four.  Hissing and clawing the minotaur seemed concerned but never lost his cool.  The minotaur swung his fists and his horns keeping the most vicious swipes at bay.  Minotaur was clearly concerned as it was clear that the tiger was showing no concern for its own well being.  The minotaur grabbed one of the tiger’s swipes and threw it against the wall.  The tiger was shaken but got up and charged the minotaur, slamming him against what was a bar.  The minotaur grabbed a barstool and smashed it over the tiger’s head.  As he swung a second barstool the tiger caught it in his mouth and ripped it away.  Tiger went straight for the throat but minotaur was strong enough to pull him off.  Minotaur pulled the tiger off of his throat as the tiger ferociously growled in his face.  The minotaur threw the tiger about twenty feet away.  The tiger charged back at the minotaur and then it was over.  The minotaur leaned his head down and the tiger impaled himself on the minotaur’s horn.  The sound was unforgettable.  It was suddenly silent.  The minotaur pulled the tiger’s skull off of his bloody horn, threw the body to the ground, and let out a roar that stopped my heart.  The tiger was given a warrior’s burial at request of the minotaur.  Minotaur looked around and then walked away.  I’ve never seen so much blood.


That’s it! Afstraulia vs. Classified. Who will be king?  Will the minotaur’s skill be enough to destroy the gorilla’s insatiable blood lust?  Is anybody still in?  Tune in on Friday, 3/27/2015 at 10AM Arizona time to see who will be crowned King of Beasts!

March Animal Madness – Final 4 1 vote

During tonight’s trip to the S.S. Stuxnet, I noticed a few old papers in the parachute holder of helicopter in that I’ve been commuting.  It looks like old brackets from animals time forgot.  A dodo fought a passenger pigeon?  A pilot whale fought a phoenix?  Has this been going on that long?  I couldn’t help but wonder if I stumbled into a world that was always there but hidden in the back alley of society.  Why did they choose me to witness these fights?

Anyway, we’re getting close to the end here.  After tonight’s bloodbath there are only four animal gladiators standing.


Gorilla takes black mamba 333 to 82.  This gorilla is in it to win it.  This was a fantastic display of strength.  The mamba struck fast and non-stop.  Striking so fast he was injecting venom before he even hit the gorilla.  Venom was spraying all over us spectators.  The gorilla was fast.  With every other mamba strike he was able to take a swing and punch it in the head.  The mamba landed its fangs in the gorilla’s hand but was out of venom.  The gorilla grabbed the mamba by the head and the tail and ripped it in half giving a blood curdling scream to the spectators.  He whipped the two halves of the mamba overboard as it was seemingly still conscious.  I hope that he saved some of that rage for the next fight which will test those opposable thumbs.  We all needed a cigarette after that match.


Grizzly bear kills coyote 207 to 161.  Grizzlies and coyotes can live in the same area.  I understand that the grizzly was upset that his fellow alpha predator the mountain lion had been taken down in the previous round.  If there’s one thing that you don’t want to do it’s piss off a grizzly.  The grizzly showed up for the match with the door of a Volkswagen Beetle in one hand.  He looked the coyote dead in the eye, bit it in half, spit out the chunk of metal, and growled in his face louder than the gorilla could have ever hoped for.  The coyote knew right then that he was lucky to have made it so far and was way out of his league.  That’s not to say that he gave up nor that he didn’t put up a decent fight.  The coyote managed to get a few brutal bites in but once the grizzly caught him with his massive claws it was only a question of how gruesome the grizzly was going to make the final move.  The grizzly isn’t as much of a showman as the gorilla but I think he’s the meaner breed.  He simply put the coyote’s head in his mouth and crushed it.  He then walked away and ordered a Zima.  Nobody said a word.


Bengal tiger takes out snow tiger 305 to 298.  This was an extremely close fight between extremely similar animals separated mostly by elevation.  It was a very even and bloody match.  They fought like tigers.  The snow tiger came out fast with a wall of claws which were equally met with more claws.  They each went for each other’s necks.  It looked like a stale mate for ten or fifteen seconds but the Bengal had the better position, sinking his teeth into the throat of the snow tiger.  The Bengal was covered in blood but it was a lot more obvious on the snow tiger.  The same flamboyant German couple were there again, one was inconsolable. The Bengal was ranked first in the Eurasian division and took it all the way.


Minotaur annihilates bigfoot 346 to 108.  Bigfoot had the crowd but minotaur had the power.  Bigfoot couldn’t escape the minotaur’s power.  Bigfoot is excellent at staying hidden in plain sight.  Possibly the best.  He seemed confused by the minotaur’s gaze – as if he couldn’t escape it.  Bigfoot came out with a suplex which rung the minotaur’s bell but only seemed to anger him.  He took a few swings but bigfoot was quick on his big feet.  As bigfoot attempted a one-man con-chair-to, minotaur had seen enough and landed a punch to his massive, ape-like skull that I can only describe as crushing.  Bigfoot lay on the ground, body moving but head like a puddle that couldn’t be mopped up.  Minotaur chops both feet off as bigfoot slowly stopped moving.  This minotaur is one cold dude.
Holy crap!  This is the final four.  Is anybody still in the game?  Gorilla is going to fight a grizzly bear!  Minotaur fights a Bengal tiger!  I’m thrilled.  No upsets this round unless you want to count number two Minotaur taking down number one bigfoot but that’s hardly a big deal.  Who will be the king of beasts?  The final two will be announced tomorrow (3/26/15) at 10AM Arizona time.


This is an exhausting trip to make night after night although I really enjoy the atmosphere.  Where else can you watch a snake kill a cheetah and eat a giraffe neck at the same time?  I know what you’re thinking and trust me, they don’t serve that at TGI Friday’s.

The Elite Eight have been decided.  Let’s get down to the dirty details.


Gorilla beats the great white shark 237 to 207.  I think that the great white shark got cocky.  He did really rip up the gorilla.  The gorilla snuck the tusk that he pulled off of the elephant into the fight and was able to shove it into the jaws of the shark.  Once the shark could no longer bite it was far less the threat.  The gorilla continued to rip the gills from the shark.  In a surprising show of pop culture knowledge, the gorilla shoved an oxygen tank into the shark’s mouth and shot it with a rifle.  It rained shark parts for five minutes and I think that I saw the platypus hit one of the bartenders.  This was quite a display.  The great white shark was the last of the fish.

Emu ties with black mamba 209In the tie breaker, black mamba pulls ahead with 118 to 41.  This was an amazing fight that ended in a tie.  The emu was able to get away from each of the mamba’s strikes.  The first match was called a tie and allowed to refight after the Americas fight.  The second match saw the black mamba strike the emu.  It was pretty clear that the emu was tired.  I was sad to see the emu go down because he had really proven himself as an incredible warrior and the last of the birds and the mamba is the last of the reptiles.


Grizzly bear takes anaconda 328 to 178.  I think that the anaconda was finally in a food coma.  The grizzly came out with some serious blood lust.  Anaconda actually got the grizzly in its grasp but there were too many partially digested animals to make a tight squeeze.  The grizzly began ripping the flesh of the anaconda and its last eight meals came pouring out.  A bison, polar bear, yak, chimera, Cerberus, lion, Indian rhino, and gryphon along with a dolphin and two complete sets of patio furniture sloppily oozed out onto the deck. It took a dozen people to push everything overboard.  The smell will haunt as powerfully as the wraith.

Coyote beats mountain lion 224 to 117.  These two know each other well.  Under most circumstances the coyote would be taken down by the lion with ease.  The coyote was lucky.  The lion ripped his tail off and one of his legs in the battle but the coyote managed to get a few good bites into the throat.  It was quite a mess and a gruesome battle.  As the body lay on the floor the staff seemed to have forgotten that the anaconda was finally dead so it sat for longer than it should have.  They made their way in with the shuffleboard sticks and pushed the lion overboard.  The coyote is becoming a crowd favorite.


Bengal tiger beats Eurasian wolf 283 to 127.  Regardless of the new following found by the Eurasian wolf, the ego wasn’t enough to take down the Bengal tiger.  He managed to bite off an ear but the Bengal tiger was the better fighter.  He bounced away on his tail.  I was pissed.

Snow tiger takes the cobra 168 to 47.  The snow tiger hasn’t had a great season but I think that the crowd has been on his side through the tournament.  The cobra had an awful fight went down fast.  He managed to get a bite into the tiger’s leg but wasn’t able to inject any venom.  The snow tiger was more surprised than anything and bit the snake in half, eating part just for shock value.  The crowd went crazy.  A pair of flamboyant German showmen were seen exchanging high-fives in the shadows.


Bigfoot beats wraith 234 to 108.  I was expecting the wraith to fully take control of bigfoot and cause him to eat his face or something stupid.  Bigfoot came out fast with a bronco buster which the wraith just turned into a cloud of smoke and got out of it.  These are both clever fighters and it could have gone anywhere.  The wraith began to cast another curse but bigfoot vanished into the crowd.  The curse hit a crowd member instead who attacked the wraith.  As the two fought, bigfoot slammed the wraith to the ground, stuffed him into a bottle, sealed it, and threw it out into the ocean.  For some reason the wraith cannot pass through glass.  He’s now the devil’s genie.

Minotaur crushes Audrey 2 154 to 112.  Again, a lazy game with the minotaur but still a victory.  Audrey 2 just wouldn’t shut up.  The crowd cheered as the minotaur chopped it up into a respectable salad.  The remains were gathered into large plastic bags.  Everybody on deck got a free salad without tomatoes because as crazy as these people are, nobody puts tomatoes on a salad.  I believe that they’ll be selling the rest to schools with low academic scores.


Wow, we’re down to eight amazing fighters.  Coyote takes the mountain lion?  Gorilla takes the shark?  I have my house riding on the results.  The final four will be announced tomorrow (3/25/15) at 10AM Arizona time.