Zack Morris is Your SBTB Tournament Champion

Well people you didn’t let me down.  Zack Morris cements his legendary status as he beats out his sweetheart Kelly in the finals.  When we started this charade over a month ago (see the entire tourney from finish to start here) and I think deep down all the SBTBites out there knew that there would be no SBTB, no lasting memories without Zack.  He is synonymous with the show and it should always begin and end with him.  I actually felt bad for the kid they brought in for The New Class to be the new Zack.  He had no chance.  It was like giving a guy a toothpick and telling him to stop an asteroid from impacting and destroying Earth. 

Whether it was breaking the fourth wall to share something with us, calling timeout (even though I don’t understand why he didn’t use this function more often), or working his way through a scheme Zack was the ideal archetype for what guys wanted to be in high school.  We could never be Zack in our world, but we could watch him be him in the SBTB world. 

Most important of all he was fallible.  Remember the U2 mall episode?  Zack tries to scrape and scheme his way to tickets, then they fall into the cash, then he tries to conduct a huge scalping scam with the cash, then they are on the run.  Not one of his plans work out but the guy never stopped trying or thinking on his feet.  The others would get upset with him when things fell through yet they always went along with Zack.  They’d follow him straight into hell if he could convince them there was something to gain on the back end.  Zack represents the quintessential icon of the 90s.  Things were good, and there was hope for a brighter tomorrow(remember in the SBTB universe world peace broke out all over), there was the wearing of even brighter neon shirts, and guys like Zack were trusted with the keys of promise. 

Zack doesn’t deserve to be worshipped because he was perfect or even the best at what he did, but rather because he did it with the zeal of a man who feared no consequences.  FDR’s old voice telling us that fear is the only enemy to truly be afraid of is a mantra that Zack seemed to take to heart.  He had that arrogance that he was the man of the hour and it was going to be about him.  It often led to his plans backfiring but it is what also made him so successful.

I don’t want to speculate as to what happened to Zack after he and Kelly got married.  That event essentially ended the SBTB universe as we knew it and only an appearance on Jimmy Fallon (by the way it was criminal how the crowd wasn’t more into that bit, maybe they were stunned) gave us any insight.  It all blurred when he went off to college at Cal U.  The first episode of TCY was great, it showed how Zack would have to adjust his personality to adult life.  However everything devolved into Zack trying to win Kelly away from his anthropology professor.

It rarely ends the way you want it to, but I do know when I wake up each morning and turn on TBS, Zack is there.  The way I want to remember him, the way you remember him, in the way that had him voted champion of first (and last) SBTB Tournament in internet history.  Thanks to everyone that participated and everyone who was patient with the process.  Now I can fortunately get back to writing the other crap I am known for.

Before we sign off though, I want to give a quick plug to our winner.  You can follow Mark-Paul on twitter here.   He also has a new show on TNT called Franklin and Bash that starts June 1st at 9 pm.

SBTB Tournament Final: Zack vs. Kelly

The final is here.  Zack Morris versus Kelly Kapowski.  We have been through a long month of SBTB character match-ups and the two left standing are the two Bayside kids that left an indelible mark on pop culture history.  They are the Marc Antony and Cleopatra of Saturday morning.  The Romeo and Juliet of teen sitcoms.  However, now we must decide who truly embodies the spirit of SBTB.  

You can track the entire tournament’s progress up to the final here.

I’ve decided to leave the poll open through the weekend so you will have plenty of time to spread the word.  Vote with your hearts, SBTBites, next week we shall know who the champion of SBTB is.

SBTB Tournament: The Final Four

Weeks of SBTB Tournament action (review it all here) has finally led to this: The Final Four.

Zack Morris, James the Actor, Mr. Belding, and Kelly Kapowski.  Each tread their way through tough competion in their respective regions to earn their way here.  Now over the course of this week they will battle until we have one iconic SBTB character left standing.  Voting for the semifinals runs through Wednesday and then the final will be voted on through Friday.  So vote and tell your fellow SBTBites to chime in their opinion.

In one semifinal Zack Morris takes on James the Actor.  These two worked together in harmony on seperate occasions, but now they are at odds.  It may be considered a VCU-sized long shot to hope James can take down someone with the SBTB tradition of a powerhouse like Zack Morris but you never know.

In the other semifinal Mr. Belding takes on Kelly.  Kelly seems to be unstoppable right now.  In the Regional Final match-up that was highly anticipated, Kelly crushed Stacey Carosi.  If Stacey can’t take her down, it is going to be hard for Mr. Belding to take down the queen.

SBTB Tournament: Bayside Student Body Region

Our final piece to the SBTB Final Four puzzle comes down to Zack vs. Slater.  Will these two begin the epic match-up with their patented handshake snap?  Or will they just go straight-up fisticuffs?  You can never tell.  These guys started as rivals, became bitter rivals, then became friends, then best friends, then mortal enemies, back to super best friends.  But as the old cliche goes you can throw friendship out the window when it comes to competition.  So I ask you: Blond hair or curly half-mullet?  Brains or brawn? Strutter or dancer? Single child brat or Army brat? Hustler or wrestler?

Recap the entire SBTB Tournament here.

SBTB Tournament: Special Guest Region Elite 8

Every SBTB Bracket ended up with a 1-2 Elite 8 match-up, except this one.  In a surprise (to me at least) Rod Belding and Max were ousted in the Sweet 16 by James the Actor and Kevin the Robot.  The appeal of these ancillary characters has gotten them this far, but now only one can move on.  Will it be the actor whose range is only eclipsed by Leo or the robot that was made from spare parts of a Neo Geo? Vote now.

Follow the entire SBTB Tournament here.

SBTB Tournament: PTA Region Elite 8

It’s showdown time in the teacher’s lounge.  Belding vs. Bliss.  Both shapers of young minds, both committed to their craft, but only one will survive and make the SBTB Final Four.

You can follow the SBTB Tournament so far here.

Belding was there from beginning to end with these kids, and while he mostly let them get the better of him when the chips were down Belding delivered.  He also was oblivious to some serious school rule violations and occasional illegal activity going on behind his back.  That lack of vigilance could hurt him against Carrie.  You have to keep your head on a swivel when you’re in a viscous cock fight, Belding’s always seemed to be on more of a cement block.

Miss Bliss was the genesis of what would befall at Bayside.  Only Screech, Lisa and Zack would survive and each was pretty much the same character they were at JFK Junior High as they were at Bayside.  Everyone has that one teacher they recall as being the best they ever had, pretty sure all those kids would vote for Bliss.  I am certain Zack would not vote for Jeremiah Laskey.

So who will it be?  A Final Four spot is at stake….

SBTB Tournament: Girls of Zack Morris Region Elite 8

View the tournament thus far here.

In the pantheon of competition, dream match-ups rarely happen.  Competitors exist in different eras, facing different opposition and the debate exists in a vacuum with no resolution.  We will never see Tyson-Ali, Jordan-LeBron, or Gordon Bombay-Gretzky.  However, thanks to the support of all you participating out there we get to see two of the titans clash.

RELEASE THE KAPOWSKI!

Kelly is seemingly the All-American sweetheart.  Object of Zack’s affection since his early days at Bayside.  He would hit the remote that lowered her cardboard cutout down from the ceiling often(I’m guessing, until he began to store it under his bed in the Artie[Slater’s chameleon] episode) and when he finally won her, all seemed right with the world.  Zack and Kelly were just meant to be, or so we thought.  The parallel universe that SBTB exists in is in many ways different from our own, but perhaps in the Zack and Kelly saga we can see some congruence.  How rare is a sure thing in matters of the heart?  Of all the people you know how many were high school sweethearts that ended up sticking it out through the marriage?  Can we truly blame Kelly for her heart running wild? 

In many ways we can.  Not only for her refusal to let Zack care for her the way he was capable (see: Daddy issues) but in the choices of the whipping post for her convoluted vessels of passion.  Jeff and Professor Laskey were both bounced in the first round of this tournament as a testament to the disdain they garner from SBTB-ites.  Still, the true beauty of Kelly is that she will indelibly always be Zack’s girl, even when she isn’t and that makes her a heroine.  One that we can aspire to or to aspire to be with.  She is the girl keeps you coming back, even when she’s given you enough reasons not to.  She is the “it” girl.  There are no other adjectives that do her justice, only to say she is Kelly Kapowski.

AND IN THIS CORNER

Stacey Carosi.  She jumped into our hearts one magical summer.  Is there anyone out there that never had a taste of Summer Lovin’?  Stacey came off cold and distant at first but after awhile she was dumping Yale fratboy douchebags for Zack’s sun-kissed blond locks.  It was a strong testament to the universal pull of young Morris.  Here we had Stacey who was as fervently anti-California as anyone could be, but in the end she could not deny Zack had something special. 

She was not as polished or lady-like as her contemporaries like Kelly or even Jessie, but when she had to let her tangled brunette mop down, she could wear the hell out of a blue and white polka dot dress.  She had that independent streak that might scare some guys off but only made Zack more intrigued.  While she was not around long enough to see the affects she definitely had some Daddy issues with Leon.  That is part of the magic of Stacey.  She was not long enough to make those mistakes with Zack, or become annoying or overly popular.  Isn’t that how most of our past relationships work?  You always look back with some sense of mysticism or curiosity about those with whom you had a short, albeit fiery, relationship. 

So, we have the contrast in styles and everything we need to know about these two.  The only thing that is left is to settle it once and for all.  Kelly or Stacey? What say you?

SBTB Tournament: Bayside Student Body Region Sweet 16

View the 2nd round Bayside results here.

Becky the Duck support is at an all-time high.  However, now she faces Zack Morris.  The most popular guy at Bayside who hit her with a baseball, rescued her from harm, then returned her to her home only to have her killed in an oil spill.  Becky’s legacy has been shown in the tournament as she took down Screech and then Violet Bickerstaff to make it this far.  It may be too far of a hill to climb to take down Zack, but it’s been a hell of a run.

Oh dear, it’s Momma versus Poppa.  We knew this was coming.  One last Slater-Jessie clash to end them all.  When the first met they were just so different.  He a muscular jock who saw women as disposable objects for him to groove on.  She a liberated woman who took her studies way too seriously.  Yet somehow they connected.  Thus began a love-hate relationship that would send them on their way through Bayside and beyond.  Did they learn and grow from their tempestuous romance?  Who knows, perhaps not.  I mean Slater ended up ditching the Doritos girl for someone else and Jessie went from showgirl to best-selling children’s author.  We do know that they will never be an item again, so what better way than to settle who reigned supreme more at Bayside: Jessie or Slater?

SBTB Tournament: Special Guest Region Sweet 16

Kevin the Robot takes down Johnny Dakota.  Just like that one of my darkhorses for the final four is gone.  Perhaps it is because he reminds them of Johnny Five but the creation of Screech has made it farther than his creator has.  A SBTB Frankenstein.  All the match-ups in this region have been close except James the Actor taking out cinderella Cynthia.  Who will advance to square off for a shot at the Final Four?  View the 2nd round results from this region here.

Voting closes tomorrow evening.

SBTB Tournament: PTA Sweet 16

The basketball Final Four is over, but the SBTB Final Four is just ahead!  Three teachers, one boss/parent.  That is what we are left with in the PTA Region.  Mr. Belding has been cruising and so has Miss Bliss.  Will old foes reunite or can a couple of spark plugs pull an upset.

Second Round PTA results can be found here.

The 1 seed Mr. Belding gave Zack’s mom a spanking in the previous round.  He’s hardly had any competition….until now….maybe.  Mr. Dewey; math whiz, detention bulwark, American Gladiator hopeful now stands in his way.  Can the mild mannered Dewey befuddle Beldo? 

In the other bracket semifinal, Miss Bliss goes against the napoleonic Leon Carosi.  More than a parent of Stacey Carosi, he was also not quite a teacher as the boss of Malibu Sands.  This hybrid attack has apparently endeared him to the Bellanites out there as he ousted Derrick Morris in the previous round.  Can he handle to sagely lass?

Voting closes tomorrow evening.  The march towards the SBTB Elite 8 continues!