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Feline fighter fury #2016MMM #catscandal

Note: This post is about March Mammal Madness. Check out this year’s tournament if you’re unfamiliar with it.


 

It started:

But is it really alright? Investigators have discovered a disturbing trend in March Mammal Madness that threatens to shake the foundations of this noble tournament. Supposedly, match outcomes are determined by the flip of a coin weighted by each mammal’s seed. But one intrepid follower noticed something awry:

Cat scandal indeed. Investigative research has discovered anti-cat bias that goes back to the very dawn of March Mammal Madness. Since the first tournament in 2013, cats have entered the tournament SIXTEEN times. And not one has made it even as far as the Elite Trait.

Not one.

And it’s not like the cats are low seeds that wouldn’t be expected to advance. In the first three tournaments, there were NINE feline entries, with an average initial seed of 3.9. Two of those were division first seeds (Tiger-2013 and Cath Palug-2015), one was a second seed (Caracal-2014), and two were third seeds (Lion-2013 and Greek Sphinx-2015). That makes more than half of all cat entries as top three seeds in their diviison. We would have expected at least one — if not more — of these highly ranked cats to make it to the final two in their division. But no.

Instead five of these nine (more than half!) were victims of an upset. And none — NONE — were the winners of an upset. As a result, being a cat in March Mammal Madness meant you were likely to finish 2.0 places below your seed on average.

“It’s insulting,” opined Leopard, “I mean, a River Otter? Seriously. I’ve been boycotting March Mammal Madness since 2014.”

This year is not all that different. With SEVEN new cat entries this year, it seemed likely that cats had a greater chance than ever. But this year they tended to be more lowly seeded. Just one of these seven furry felines was seeded in the top three: Snow Leopard at seed #2. And Snow Leopard bowed out to #3 seed Wolverine in the Sweet Sixteen. This year, two-thirds of cats were victims of an upset. Unlike previous years, three were victors of an upset, with two Chill Cats, Pallas’ Cat and Andean Mountain Cat, and the Quinnipiac Bobcat beating higher ranked foes. But cats were unfortunately matched with one another, with two cats being knocked out of the tournament by other cats, including Quinnipiac’s upset win over Schoolcraft College Ocelots.

On balance, being a cat continued to be a negative, with the four-year statistics showing that cats finish 1.1 places below their seeds on average.

“A Polecat is like a fake cat, a pseudo-cat!” exclaimed Cat of the Sand after the March 11 battle between the two. “There’s no way a pretend cat beats a real cat. Tail floof, shmail ploof.”

What will happen now that these revelations have come to light? Will the tournament be embroiled in scandal? What do the moderators have to say? What does this mean for future generations of cat aspirants to March Mammal Madness? As we go into the Elite Trait this evening, we have more questions than answers.

cats

Permanent link to this article: http://ecologybits.com/index.php/2016/03/21/feline-fighter-fury-2016mmm-catscandal/

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  1. Steve Heard

    Wow, if ever an issue was crying out for a P-value, this is it. Simulations anyone?

  2. Katie Hinde

    Outcomes are determined from a 1-100 random number generator after probabilities have been assigned as a function the animals’ mass, weaponry, armor, temperament, battle location, and any relevant special abilities. Additionally note that in three of these outcomes (lynx, mountain lion, & sabertoothed cat), the felids had tangled with venomous combatants in the current or previous battle which played a role in the outcome. Also, in any future statistical analyses, account for the complex issue that Greek Sphinx is only part felid… probably the loser part. 😉

    1. Margaret Kosmala

      “probabilities have been assigned as a function the animals’ mass, weaponry, armor, temperament, battle location, and any relevant special abilities”

      … and whether or not the mammal in question is a cat. Obviously.

      Good point about the Greek Sphinx, though. Further analyses warranted…

  3. Stan

    Maybe next year one of the four brackets should be filled only with felines the title could be “per-r-r-fect mammals”?

    1. Margaret Kosmala

      Apparently we’re getting a Coulda-shoulda division next year! It should have some cats. But all cats? No way…

      https://twitter.com/Mammals_Suck/status/713179257027964929

  1. Coulda, Shoulda… Didn’t. Wouldn’t. #2017MMM Round Two Recap | Bookish

    […] of you may have caught rumblings of the alleged #CatScandal in March Mammal Madness. This is a theory that argues (as many of our pool players do) that cats in […]

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