Feathers, Fur, and Nuts: The REAL Final Four

My bracket’s hopes are long gone, I resigned to torching mine by way of kitchen matches long ago when all of my genius picks were promptly thwarted by the finicky mistress of NCAA hoops.

In that light I have decided to one up March Madness and take a look at this year’s two final four games through a very different lens.  My results below:

Cardinal vs Wildcat



  • The Cardinal, a robust, seed-eating bird with a strong bill is a worthy adversary; prone to capturing the hearts and camera lenses of many a mid-west bird tourist.  They are quick, flashy and have an aptitude to clog the bird feeder lanes with their strong plumage presence.  However their obsession with nuts, seeds and grass as well as an almost negative killer instinct misses the aggressive mark and leaves many a hole in their defense.
  • The Wildcat, refusing to go by its proper name of lynx or catamount immediately gives off the vibe of cocky and self-assured.  However this is largely just a defensive ploy as the bobcat is a very shy animal and does not handle noise or large crowds especially well.  With few known predators and a powerful athletic and agile fortitude the Wildcat has taken a comfortable seat atop the forest throne, but is often seen napping and swatting at flies.  They can be caught off guard by a clever opponent who can dart in and around their claws, teasing them out beyond their own reach. Especially if a well placed bit of string is involved.

The winner here is the wildcat.  The cardinal would put up a good fight; flying around and tiring out the lazy wildcat but ultimately would be caught posing for a tourist camera and become wildcat feed.  The cardinal would be played with, batted across the floor a few times before either being consumed or taken as a dead gift to someone’s doorstep.

Buckeye vs. Jayhawk




  • The Buckeye is a shifty nut, it’s leaves often being mistaken for marijuana and this has caused it to develop a spike laden exterior to fend off any would be addicts or junkies.  While the spikes prove to be a great defense, they leave the buckeye with very little speed or mobility, opening them up with a nimble and cleverly designed offense reveals a very soft and docile nut that is ripe for the picking.
  • The Jayhawk is a combination of two birds, the blue jay, a robber of other’s nests and the sparrow hawk a smallish devious hunter.  This combination leaves the Jayhawk with great power and speed but often a lack of morals and integrity.  While stealing the Jayhawk is prone to making costly mental mistakes due to the pressure of a high stakes life of thievery.  However, when cornered look for the jayhawks to lash out with beak and claw in a valient effort to make off with their bounty.

This match-up promises to be a real thriller with copious amounts of rolling around aimlessly and much pecking.  It will be a test of patience and stamina.  I give the victory to the buckeye, who will wait until, through no act on the nut’s part, the jayhawk will become frustrated and make that costly error.  The jayhawk will get antsy with the non-responsive and very sluggish nature of the opponent and accidentally stab it’s beak on a spine as it tries to make off with the sweet nut inside.  The jayhawk flies off in extreme anger and a beak full of pointy skin-parts to contemplate his lack of identity while the buckeye nut sits on the ground, brown and shiny, awaiting his future as neck jewelry.

– Rob Melick