The Final 4 Is Set

It's been a rough road for all of the 64 entrants into the Super Xtreme Asskickin Monster Truck Firestorm Tournament of Death but only four have made it to this point. We knew going into this thing that there would be no cakewalks, and nothing should be taken for granted until the buzzer sounds. Now here we are, four are left - who will walk out as champion?

If you were able to handle all of the hard hitting analysis that the regional previews dished out, then handled the second and third round analysis and predictions, you should be rewarded. Note that you should be...instead you will be bombarded with the hardcoreiest, in your faceiest analysis and breakdowns you've ever seen. Put a helmet on and grab some nunchucks, you're entering the danger zone!

#1 Wiffleball (Hazelwood Regional) - When the warm weather rolls around it is always time to break out the wiffleball and bat. You don't need much else besides that, usually just a lawn chair for the strike zone, make up a few rules, and you're ready to play. Games can vary from "non-competitive" to "Texas Death Match." I'm still here, so you know I've fared pretty well in the latter.

Strengths: Fun to play for males and females, goes hand in hand with barbeque's and drinking beer, you can plunk someone and send a message while no one gets seriously hurt (unless they charge the mound on you), bat flips and showing up your opponent is encouraged.

Weaknesses: Works best while playing outdoors, so weather and playing surface play a key role, sore arm after throwing for an hour or two, can be humiliating if you suck.

Why it will win: Classic game designed for kids, but still enjoyable in your mid-20's. It's hard to not have a good time playing wiffleball, as it goes with so many great things: nice weather, BBQ, beer, girls, funny batting stances, and taunting.

Why it will lose: I don't think enough people take the time out to play wiffleball as often as they should (myself included). There can be a big gap from the time you play as a kid to when/if you play with your own children, and sometimes the love for the game can get lost in between.

#2 College Life (Alton Regional) - There you are hotshot, you're finally on your own. Ready to take over the world? No, not yet. First meet my lady friend, she wants to get to know you a little better. Wait, untuck that shirt, math boy. Also meet my other friend, beer bong. You and him are going to spend a lot of time together. Last but not least...meet Ricky Williams. I know he can't open his eyes right now, but you guys will have some funny fucking conversations later, it will be awesome.

Strengths: Girls (or dudes for the handful of ladies reading), booze, skipping class to play video games, skipping class for ____(insert any noun or verb here), degenerate behavior, girls "experimenting" with each other in your presence.

Weaknesses: Believe it or not there are a few, like when you actually have to go to class, study, and do papers; using any of those things as an excuse for not hanging out is always depressing, the drama that you either have to put up with or witness, paying $125 for books that half the time you don't use or can't sell back, paying expensive tuition and/or "fees" to the school.

Why it will win: Too many people go to college nowadays and have the greatest experience of their life. Assuming you graduate, it typically lasts from four years for some...to seven (via five schools) for others.

Why it will lose: Some people go and don't have fun, or have to work their way through school and miss out on the cool stuff. Also some may just have bad memories from their college days. Like people who lost a 10-7 lead in the final inning of a softball championship by giving up 13 runs and losing 20-10.

#1 Bacon (Woodson Terrace Regional) - A recent Jack in the Box commercial had Jack saying "Bacon is the candy bar of meats." I don't know where that quote is from, but I'm pretty sure it was in the Bible (where? somewhere in the back). He is absolutely correct (I'm talking about Jesus and Jack). Bacon is hands down the best form of meat out there, despite a lot of great competition. Any time bacon is invited over to your house, a party breaks out.

Strengths: Goes with everything - sandwiches, other meats, chocolate; one of the most delicious things you can put in your mouth (hopefully that sounded as sexual as possible), never disappoints, and it's Atkins Diet friendly! Eat all the bacon you want!

Weaknesses: Can't be consumed in large amounts like steak or hamburgers, not for the lazy - it takes some prep time to cook, some say it's bad for your heart.

Why it will win: Bacon has that swagger that a lot of championship teams have. The '85 Bears, '00 Ravens, and '08 Bacons all have it. There are a lot of common elements when you look at each team on paper. Of course, looking at Bacon on paper is not recommended, use a plate.

Why it will lose: It is just a matter of choice here - do you go with the best meat in bacon, or a bunch of them in BBQ? This should be the toughest vote for our panel of judges, and should make most of them cry.

#2 BBQ (Natural Bridge Regional) - If there were ever a rulebook for guys, one of the first rules would be that you have to know how to barbeque. If you don't know anything about cars, fine. Don't know anything about crescent wrenches, whatever. But you better damn well know how to cook meat on the grill. Women (though not their first choice) can live with going to a mechanic or plumber, but if you don't know how to cook simple hot dogs or pork steaks (for St. Louis folk only), then they might think twice about you as a man. They'll still marry you, but know that they wear the pants in the household, while you hold the purse.

Strengths: Contrary to popular belief BBQ can be grilled and eaten 365 days a year, delicious and not too difficult, many good options of what can be barbequed, Atkins friendly, not exclusive to warm weather, great for male bonding.

Weaknesses: Also not for the lazy - unless you have Bandana's do it, you have to be careful with fire and not under- or overcooking your meat. Burnt hamburgers are the worst thing ever.

Why it will win: BBQ is kind of like Eli Manning, trying to step out of Peyton's shadow. Bacon has had a stranglehold on all foods for a long time now, but this could be BBQ's year to prove it is worthy of holding the crown as well. Either way, BBQ and Bacon's father - Bologna Manning will be proud.

Why it will lose: Same reasoning as why Bacon would lose. I anticipate fights and arguments aplenty. Households will be divided in half, carnage will ensue. Ben Affleck will have to save the world. Now there's a guy who likes meat. He's probably got his eye on some wieners right now...

That is the breakdown of our Final Four. We'll keep you posted on results later this week.

PS. The stats say this is post #300. Hooray for us!

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