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Ellen DeGeneres vs. LeBron James (3); Pele advances

Not a lot yesterday; maybe Phil‘s right that the formation of the brackets is sometimes more fun than the actual competitions. Anyway, best argument came from Ethan:

We’ve not thought at all about language. I think modern Portuguese might do better in Columbia’s neighborhood than classic French. Laplace would write equations in a universal language but Pele could show us stuff that didn’t require words.

(I started out expecting the language argument to favor Pele, convinced myself otherwise, then convinced myself back.)

This is pretty much all we’ve got, so I’ll take it.

And today we have two leaders in their respective fields, each of whom has displayed longevity while remaining outspoken. A few months ago, I’d’ve said LeBron was an easy win here, but given the Lakers’ recent performance on the court, I dunno. What do you say?

Again, here’s the bracket and here are the rules.


  1. I vote for LeBron in honor of a former student who, as a high school junior, gave a rousing classroom speech in defense of LeBron and against LeBron’s naysayers. I don’t remember his argument, but I remember thinking it was good. So I am basically voting for the good, or intimation of the good, by proxy.

  2. Jonathan (another one) says:

    Between the two of them, they have exactly one semester of college experience. I’ll go with LeBron — he has one semester less than Ellen, and we wouldn’t want the experience of college to subtly corrupt the speaker at a college seminar.

  3. Ethan Bolker says:

    The world needs all the generosity we can find.

  4. Manuel says:

    And King James said unto them, What seemeth you best I will do. And the king stood by the gate side, and all the people came out by hundreds and by thousands.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I found the following on wikipedia:

    “A selfie orchestrated by 86th Academy Awards host Ellen DeGeneres during the broadcast is the second-most retweeted tweet ever.[36][37] DeGeneres said she wanted to homage Meryl Streep’s record 17 Oscar nominations by setting a new record with her, and invited other Oscar celebrities to join them. The resulting photo of twelve celebrities broke the previous retweet record within forty minutes and was retweeted over 1.8 million times in the first hour.”

    If i look at the bracket, i can see that if DeGeneres would go on to the next round, she could meet Meryl Streep (if she also goes on to win her round). That would be a nice coincidence i thought. And we could then also subsequently determine who should get the most credit for the re-tweet record by letting either DeGeneres or Streep win their battle. So i am voting for DeGeneres to go through this round.

  6. Jordan Anaya says:

    How could you miss out on yet another chance to hear LeBron talk about how he’s just a kid from Akron? #striveforgreatness

  7. zbicyclist says:

    LeBron has been in the NBA finals for many successive years. This year, the Lakers may not even make the playoffs. LeBron needs something to do this spring. Let’s have him talk.

  8. Not Trampis says:

    It has to be Pele if for no the reason pele is latin for wonderful

  9. jrc says:

    The big secret around LA is that Ellen is basically the Heckman of entertainment. Which is to say that when she can’t convince you she’s right, she tries to run you over with her car in the parking lot. Technically that is legal in LA for celebrities, but we don’t have to support it; just like it is academically acceptable (apparently) to publish crazy estimates if you are a famous econometrician, but we don’t have to believe them.

  10. Dzhaughn says:

    L-N S L-A-R-E-S, N R Y-F S A B-U-T.

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