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.