Desert Island Pop Culture Tournament: Round Two – Day Two

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The premise is easy. You are stranded on a desert island for the rest of your life and are permitted to bring just one entertainment choice along with you. Chad Campbell & Justin Rozzero, along with an assist from the PTB Nation staff, have chosen 64 essential items across eight different categories. After a random draw, these 64 items have been matched up tournament-style. You will vote to determine the one item you could never live without! Here are the categories!

Games & Activities: All materials needed to play the game or activity are included

Yearly Events: You get to watch these special televised events each year

Complete Television Series Collection: You receive a DVD set of the entire series

Complete Movie Series Collection: You receive a DVD set of the entire collection of movies, where applicable

Wrestling Pay Per View DVD: You receive a DVD copy of the full unedited wrestling DVD

Magazine Collection: You receive an ongoing subscription to the magazine

Complete Video Game Series Collection: You receive a copy of the entire series of a game title, where applicable

Music Albums: You receive a digitally mastered CD of the album

Come back each and every day to vote and share your opinions at the Place to Be Nation Facebook page!

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Region El Gigante

Super Mario Bros. vs. March Madness

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We kick off Day Two with the most popular video game franchise of all-time clashing with the madness of College Basketball’s postseason.

Released in 1985 and paired with the original Nintendo Entertainment System, Super Mario Bros. took the pop culture world by storm. Receiving immediate praise and lauded as an innovator the 2D scroll style, this version of the game would eventually reach an amazing 40 million copies sold, making it the second most purchased video game of all time. Mario and Luigi would stick with gamers for decades, appearing in 18 more games dedicated just to their adventures, plus cameos in handfuls of others. Their place in pop culture is sealed as it would be hard pressed to come across somebody that had never at least heard of the sewer-dwelling paisans.

March Madness is a term every basketball fan can here and immediately elicit nostalgia and hysteria.  The NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship first started being broadcasted on television in 1969, but the term March Madness was mainly formed in the way the tournament was shaped from 1975-1985.  During that time, the field expanded from 32 teams to 64 and the shaping of those events and the broadcast schedule implemented by CBS are still in effect today.  March Madness’ staying power has a lot to do with the community the whole event takes.  A person doesn’t have to be a college basketball expert to fill out a bracket and perhaps win the office pool.  March Madness will also create some underdog and unexpected narratives making the event essentially fall safe from not being interesting every year.

Desert Island Tournament Round Two - Day Two

  • Super Mario Bros. (62%, 33 Votes)
  • March Madness (38%, 20 Votes)

Total Voters: 53

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Region VKM

Great American Bash 1989 vs. Royal Rumble 1992

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Next up are two of the most popular wrestling pay-per-views of all-time.  To raise the stakes you have NWA/WCW taking on the WWF.

WCW is often the butt of many wrestling related jokes, but back in 1989 you could easily argue that they were delivering the highest level of in ring product in the history of the sport. This argument is best solidified by using Great American Bash 1989 as your primary example. Main evented by a great Ric Flair/Terry Funk World Title tilt, and featuring a hard fought US title match between Lex Luger and Ricky Steamboat and a War Games battle, the card was loaded with hot, high-level match action from top to bottom. The card reads as a who’s who of WCW stalwarts and studs and the show as a whole is still spoken of in reverence nearly 25 years later.

Coming at you live from Albany, NY on January 19, the 1992 edition of the Royal Rumble was the first to offer a true prize. And that prize was a dandy, as the winner would walk away with the vacant WWF World Title. Despite a shaky undercard, the loaded Rumble match was a who’s who of former and future world titleholders. Featuring a beautifully woven storyline throughout, with Ric Flair entering early and trying to deliver on his promise of being the “Man”, expert tour de force commentary from Gorilla Monsoon & Bobby Heenan, a wild crowd and all the top stars of the day, the 1992 Rumble match still stands as the peak example of the gimmick to this day. Flair would outlast 29 men to take home the gold, and his epic post-match promo put the cherry on top of this delicious wrestling sundae.

Desert Island Tournament Round Two - Day Two

  • Royal Rumble 1992 (75%, 39 Votes)
  • Great American Bash 1989 (25%, 13 Votes)

Total Voters: 52

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Region Dennis Stamp

WrestleMania III vs. Wrestling Observer Newsletter

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Next is a battle between watching one of the greatest WrestleManias of all-time and reading about the show (and many, many others).

Emanating from the Pontiac Silverdome in March 1987, WrestleMania III shattered attendance records and cemented a place in wrestling lore with one of the biggest main events in history when Hulk Hogan went to war with former friend Andre the Giant. On the undercard, Ricky Steamboat and Randy Savage stole the show with one of the greatest WWE/WWF PPV matches of all time. WMIII is often credited with putting the then WWF on the map and kicking off the 80s boom period, and it is hard to argue that point when you look at the success of the show and popularity that the promotion experienced afterwards. Sitting here 25 years later, WrestleMania III still stands tall in the WrestleMania pantheon and in the hearts of longtime fans.

Launched in 1983 by Dave Meltzer, the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (WON), has been the go-to source for wrestling (and eventually MMA) news, notes, rumors and archives for decades. With an ever growing circulation and a massive online presence, the WON still stands as the official word on the backroom dealings of pro wrestling. The newsletter is published weekly and contains oodles of information and some of the best biographical looks at wrestling’s greats that you will find this side of Chad Campbell. Even if you have never subscribed, not a week goes by that an in-the-know wrestling fan isn’t affected by Meltzer’s writing in some way.

Desert Island Tournament Round Two - Day Two

  • WrestleMania III (50%, 26 Votes)
  • Wrestling Observer Newsletter (50%, 26 Votes)

Total Voters: 52

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Region Hacksaw

Stanley Cup Finals vs. Friday Night Lights

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Finally, we close with the exhilarating finals of the NHL season taking on the dramatic television series centered around Texas high school football.

The first Stanley Cup Finals occurred in 1914, and ever since has been one of the most beloved sports championship series, catering to both diehard and casual fans alike. With goals at a premium, every minute of ever game is heart wrenching, nerve racking and can’t miss, something no other sport can lay claim to. And some years, like 2013, you get that perfect mix of quality, tradition and heart, which delivers an epic series to watch.

Based on both a book and a movie by the same name, Friday Night Lights debuted on NBC in October 2006. Despite a shaky second season, FNL featured some of the best writing, acting and drama to appear on network TV in the modern era. Never given a chance due to poor programming by executives, FNL constantly fought the always looming cancellation threats with the poise and grace of Tami Taylor. While many may see FNL as a football show, it evolves far, far beyond that pigeonhole. It is a story of love, hate, triumph and tragedy, all told through the eyes of a small Texas town, where pigskin is King and Queen. FNL was also able to stave off the death knell of many high school based dramas: students graduating and moving on. Instead of finding ham-fisted ways to keep the kids around, the show let them leave, only to pop in sporadically when it made sense. By digging up quality young talent to step in and fill the void, FNL chugged right along through a high quality fifth season, when it was finally forced to kneel on the ball and give itself up thanks not to a lack of quality, but rather thanks to the mysterious quagmire that is the TV industry.

Desert Island Tournament Round Two - Day Two

  • Stanley Cup Finals (68%, 32 Votes)
  • Friday Night Lights (32%, 15 Votes)

Total Voters: 47

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Author: Place to Be Nation Staff

Place to Be Nation Staff pieces feature any number of our contributors who are multifaceted when it comes to Pop Culture expertise.