Sherman Ave Professor of the Year Bracket: Elite 8 Matchups

Sherman Ave Professor of the Year Bracket: Elite 8 Matchups




(1) Renee Engeln vs. (3) Eric Zaslow [expand title="Analysis"]

Beautiful. Intelligent. Funny. And with a research background specifically designed to tell me to go fuck myself for that ‘beautiful’ comment, it's no surprise Renee Engeln easily took down her first round opponent, with a spread of over 40 points.   She's well known, both as resident of Allison and as a frequent professor of intro psych classes. Beloved by all, Renee has many people convinced that she's a shoe-in for Sherman Ave professor of the year title.

But in the end, it won’t matter how many times Renee says penis. Eric Zaslow is the David to Renee’s foul-mouthed Goliath. After taking down economics golden boy Mark Witte, Eric Zaslow is on his biggest winning streak since he published those papers on the SYZ conjecture. You know, the ones that revolutionized string theory. But it's not the Zazman's seven world championship titles in ultimate frisbee or three simultaneous personas that will get him there: it's his voter turnout strategy. The Zazman managed to close a 50% gap in a day by getting 200 more votes in his election than any of our other polls. Are those real votes? Are they mathematically generated? Are they biproducts of Zaslow's carefully honed ability to manipulate mirror spaces? I have no idea. But what I do know is that Renee better watch out cuz Zaslow's gunning.

Prediction: Renee by 12 votes.

*A Note Concerning Mark Witte* 

Mark Witte, macroeconomics lecturer and professional old man sweater model, has accused Sherman Ave of ~*libel*~ (gasp!) and would like you to know that he did in fact respond to our requests for comment. In the interest of fairness, here is a direct quote from Mark Witte:

"I'm gonna need some seriously big bribes and deflated balls to get past the Zas." It's a real shame we couldn't get you off fast enough Witte. A real shame.

- Frank, the Guardian of Pain[/expand]

[polldaddy poll="8893943"]



(1) Gary Saul Morson vs. (3) Lane Fenrich

[expand title="Analysis"]

It may not look it, but Fenrich and Morson are about as different as two male, Northwestern, Weinberg, highly-popular Humanities professors can be. It doesn’t sound like there’s a lot of wiggle-room there, but hear me out. On one hand you have Lane Fenrich: a hip, relatively young professor, doing work in a relatively new, fast-growing field that changes by the day. The dean of freshmen, he spends time during the summer answering questions and virtually palling around in the “Class of some-year-that will-make-you-feel-really-old” Facebook group. On the other hand you have Gary Saul Morson: a man that has spent decades studying the same century-old novels in a field that studies a millenniums-old culture. He spends his time non-virtually palling around with Morty, who has his finger on the pulse of the freshman class in the same way that Bill O’Reilly has his finger on the pulse of ‘80s hip-hop [1]. Plus, I don’t want to pry too far into the whole Russia-LGBT thing, but… yeah, okay, this matchup is a little too good to be true, let’s pry into this a little bit.

We’re in the middle of a time where Russia’s hugely controversial laws about homosexuality have come to a forefront, and we have a Gender Studies professor matched up against a Slavic Studies professor. This would be like if we had this tournament in the great depression and an American Studies professor matched up against an Economics professor.  Or if we had this tournament in the ‘80s and a Finance professor matched up against an Ethics professor. Or if we had this tournament in the ‘60s and a Rock-and-Roll Studies professor matched up against a Grumpy Old Men Who Just Don’t Get It Studies professor. Peanut Butter Studies professor, Jelly Studies professor. Apple Studies professor, PC Studies professor. Good Long-Term Life Advice Studies professor, My Great Aunt Martha Studies professor. Things That Are Advertised as Part of a Balanced Breakfast Studies professor, Things That Are Actually Part of a Balanced Breakfast Studies professor. Point being, their fields of study are hard to ignore.

I feel like the framing of that last couple of paragraphs have been a little unfair to Morson, so let me digress and discuss just why it is that Morson is universally considered one of the best professors at this school. He’s a man who has taken dense, historical-reference-laden, philosophy-heavy, thousand-page Russian novels and convinced hundreds of students every year who can’t even bother to read the One Book One Northwestern book to study, understand and enjoy them. On top of that, he teaches Humanities 260—affectionately referred to as the “Morty-Morson class”—which 200 students sign up for each quarter despite a) having absolutely no idea what “Humanities 260” means [2], and b) for the most part not even knowing that the class is Humanities 260 and just signing up because it’s the “Morty-Morson class.” Name one other professor whose name means so much that people will completely blindly sign up for their class in a department they don’t even understand the function of.

Prediction: Morson by 10 votes.

[1] Or in the same way that Stephen Hawking has his finger on the pulse of the bucket hat trend

[2] Without checking, I’m pretty sure the “Humanities” department exists solely for the purpose of making the topic of this particular class as vague as possible.

- Jameson the Manatee[/expand]   [polldaddy poll="8893945"]



(1) Danny Cohen vs. (3) Jeffrey Sconce

[expand title="Analysis"]

Why Danny Cohen could win:

Despite the fact that Cohen scraped by with a 5 vote advantage against 4 seed Judy Franks, we got glimpses of the tenacity and late-game clutch performance he displayed this year that earned him a 1 seed in this bracket.  Though not the most recognizable name on campus, Cohen excels in his respective field, with his Caps Lock Use Per CTEC Review (CLUPCR)—a statistic I made up to measure how frequently endorsements such as “TAKE THIS CLASS!” and “BEST CLASS AT NU!” appear—measuring about 20% for core classes and approaching 50% for specialty classes.  For reference, the legendary Intro to Russian Lit class taught by Weinberg Arts 1 seed Gary Saul Morson has a CLUPCR of 11%, though it should be noted that this number is deflated by a number of responses from downers who claim the class is overrated (it’s not, take it).

Why Jeffrey Sconce could win:

With a jump shot rivalling Jordan’s at North Carolina, the knowledge of when text should be set apart with something stronger than parentheses, and a deep understanding of load-bearing metal pieces used to strengthen corners, Sconce excels at brackets.  This one is no different.  Jeffrey, or Jeffro Tull as his aunts affectionately call him, cruised through the play-in game against rival Jason Sperb and the first round matchup against Zach Wise, neither of whom is by any means a pushover.  We forgot to ask Sconce what his secret is in our interview with him (don’t worry, the writers responsible have been…dealt with), but many have speculated that he is either the last of an ancient race of interdimensional beings (a la Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull) hiding in the body of a human, or that he follows the mantra “Working hard? More like hardly working!” with a religious fanaticism.  Regardless, it’s working.


While these professors are neck and neck in teaching merit, Sconce has the upper hand in terms of number of students he’s taught, name recognition, and again, jump shot.  Prediction: Sconce by 20 votes.

- Walter Klondike™[/expand]   [polldaddy poll="8893950"]



(3) Mallory Thompson vs. (4) Alex Birdwell

[expand title="Analysis"]I once saw Mallory Thompson walking around Las Palmas holding a quesadilla in front of her face. In addition to being a world-class conductor and music educator, Thompson and the Symphonic Wind Ensemble’s afterparties are probably the primary reason Las Palmas is still in business. Thompson does a service to the world by producing talented musicians and conductors and also by keeping Las Palmas hanging around.

Birdwell is a bird, namely an extremely rare Florida Grasshopper Sparrow, that teaches mechanical engineering. This explains why Northwestern Mechanical Engineering graduates are all building nests out of string and sticks. I want to know how our students going to learn to finally build a spaceship that can pierce through the space-curtain when their professor thinks every airplane should be covered in feathers. Birds can’t even survive in space because they rely on gravity to swallow.

Prediction: Unless Birdwell has trained his friends to use computers with their beaks there's no way Thompson isn't going to win this one.  Thompson by 15 votes.

- Sparky Brownwhistle[/expand]   [polldaddy poll="8893957"]


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