Political pundits around the country sprinted downstairs in their pajamas this morning and tore open their laptops, bursting with excitement for the day they’ve all been waiting for: Super Tuesday, a pivotal date in the race for the GOP presidential nomination. With ten states holding their primaries or caucuses today, much is at stake — not only 437 delegates, but also a chance for Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum (maybe even Newt Gingrich?) to fundamentally alter the campaign’s narrative.
But the enthusiasm of political nerds aside, is Super Tuesday as super as advertised? It's important, sure, but how super is it, really? In an effort to find out, we pitted sixteen self-described "super" things from the worlds of entertainment, politics, sports, and glue up against each other in a March Madness—style single-elimination competition.
We started by seeding each “super” thing based on a completely objective evaluation of its superosity:
- 1— Superman (comic-book hero)
- 2— Super Bowl (sporting event)
- 3— supernovas (space event)
- 4— Super Mario Bros. (video game)
- 5— supergroups (bands formed by famous members of other bands)
- 6— Super Soakers (water guns)
- 7— Super Glue (adhesive)
- 8— “Super Freak” (Rick James hit)
- 9— Seattle SuperSonics (defunct NBA team)
- 10— “Super Bass” (Nicki Minaj/little British girl song)
- 11— Super 8 (J.J. Abrams movie)
- 12— Super Tuesday (high-stakes primary day)
- 13— Supercuts (chain of hair salons)
- 14— superdelegates (convention participants)
- 15— super PACs (campaign-finance killers)
- 16— super committees (where problems go to die)
The teams were then matched up against each other based on their respective rankings, with the victory going to whichever team boasted the most inherent superness in our head, at that moment. There was only one upset in the first round, with the ninth-seed Seattle SuperSonics just edging out eighth-seeded “Super Freak,” thanks to a strong performance by Detlef Schrempf. All of the politics-related “super” things — including Super Tuesday — were quickly eliminated.
In the second round, Superman quickly halted the SuperSonics’ miracle run; Super Mario Bros. defeated supergroups, which are almost never as good as the hype; and Super Bowl rolled right over Super Glue, which you can never find when you need it. The only upset in the second round was Super Soakers over supernovas, which was, in all honesty, a pretty big shock, considering the awesome power and beauty of a supernova. But, then again, we’ve all probably had a really good time with a Super Soaker at some point.
Let’s cut to the chase. It came down to Superman and the Super Bowl in the championship game, a matchup for the ages. It really could have gone either way, but when the dust settled, the Super Bowl, on the strength of buffalo wings, came out on top as the most super of all the “super” things.
So there you have it. Super Bowl: superior superness. Super Tuesday: important, but, relatively, not that super.