Y100, a Philadelphia area radio station playing mostly current rock songs, used to hold an annual tournament between 64 bands that typically (in theory) got played on their station. In ~2004, Y100 went out of business and many of the staff members there, including the Preston and Steve show and Matt Cord, found their way to 93.3 WMMR. 'MMR was more of a span-the-decades style of station, mixing contemporary songs with classics. During 2006, the station decided to host the same type of tournament that used to be done at Y100. Whether or not there is a connection is unknown. Regardless, 'MMR created a superior version of the tournament, splitting the four brackets into four decades and assigning the "teams" with meaningful seedings. Rather than ram-rodding the tournament with a match every half-hour across one weekend, they spread the matches out and metered them across an entire week. The results were rather positive, and out of this, an annual tradition has been borne.
The 2006 tournament bracket was created entirely in-house. Some of the inclusions/omissions were surprising, bot overall it proved to be an entertaining tournament, and the contests definitely did not all go the way one would expected. Right from the beginning, the listeners were stunned with the #1 seed Rolling Stones falling to Cheap Trick in the second match. What followed was a romp of expected victories mixed with enough interesting upsets to make the tournament meaningful -- essentially exactly the way you would want it.
Although the winner of the tournament was mostly for bragging rights' sake, the listeners were treated to an "essential A to Z" by the champion of the tournament. When Pink Floyd eventually won in the finals, the station played a Floyd set that lasted for roughly 6 hours.
- 70's winner: Pink Floyd
- 80's winner: Metallica
- 90's winner: Pearl Jam
- 00's winner: Godsmack
- Biggest upsets: (16) Cheap Trick over (1) Rolling Stones, (14) Live over (3) Green Day, (11) Collective Soul over (6) RHCP
- Voting in this tournament took place strictly via phone vote.
- Two bands, Van Halen and Aerosmith, were placed in the 70's and 80's region, respectively. In all succeeding tournaments, they have been reversed.
- Standard format for each match was to play one song by each band, briefly take in a recap of the vote totals, and then play one more song by each band, with the winner announced at the end of the fourth song.
70's Region AnalysisEdit
Only two upsets took place in the first round of the 70's. (13) The Grateful Dead defeated (4) Bruce Springsteen in a match-up of two infrequently-played artists. It would not be revealed until next year that the Dead were a total powerhouse in the tournament, as they met their demise in the second round to eventual winner Pink Floyd. The other upset by Cheap Trick was utterly astounding, and was likely a result of the listeners not yet coming to terms with the fact that it really is important to vote for your favorite band. Curiously, this would be just the first of many quick exits by the Stones, perhaps predicated by this loss. Regardless, Cheap Trick went one-and-out, falling to Van Halen easily in the second round.
One of the more curious matches in this round took place in round 1 as well, between Pink Floyd and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Initially when the match-up was announced, it was billed as Eric Clapton vs. Pink Floyd. It was not until a listener managed to get through to Jaxon on the phones in the late stages of the round before this error was corrected. Jaxon wiped the slate clean and started anew. Since Pink Floyd's two songs had already been played, Jaxon opted to only play two Skynyrd songs, back-to-back, to make up for this shortcoming and keep the station's programming on schedule, using his afternoon iPod song to account for this error.
After round one, the higher seed won every single round up until (5) Pink Floyd beat (2) Led Zeppelin to win the bracket and advance to the Favorite Four.
80's Region AnalysisEdit
The 80's region was arguably the most boring and stable of all of the brackets, and this has remained the case with successive years. In all matches except for Metallica's, the overseed won. Perhaps this is testament to the bracket being well-devised, or to there being a very clear pecking order among 80's bands, but Metallica's victory in the bracket came as little surprise in spite of being the 4 seed.
90's Region AnalysisEdit
During the 90's, the band of the 90's was Nirvana. This may have held true in the years immediately after Kurt's death, but ever after that title has belonged to Pearl Jam. It was incredibly difficult to imagine Pearl Jam not winning the bracket, except perhaps to Nirvana. However, (2) Nirvana bowed out in the second round to (7) Alice in Chains, who would go on to face and lose to Pearl Jam. In spite of PJ's expected dominance being realized, the 90's region was a rather entertaining one. (11) Collective Soul and (14) Live, ironically two bands that tour together, both pulled off some shocking upsets, knocking off (6) the Chilis and (3) Green Day. They would meet each other in the second round, where Collective Soul edged out the local boys. The 8-9 matchup between The Offspring and Soundgarden was rather tight, as was the round 2 match between (12) Smashing Pumpkins and (4) STP.
00's Region AnalysisEdit
The 00's are indisputably the most volatile. A region that produced finals out of its 11 and 13 seeds would put forth its 15 seed as the winner the next year. However, although many of the matches were technically upsets, this was only because of poor seeding, which should come as no disgrace to the MMR staffers who got three brackets very right and only came up short with the current-era bands, that are subject to whim, anti-voting, and simply the time of day that the match-up takes place. So when Godsmack faced first Staind and then Coldplay, it was really not that big a stretch to see the hard-rocking band decimate the creators of such hits as Outside, It's Been a While, The Scientist and Clocks in a popularity contest. Anti-voting was also quite possibly to blame for the victories by (12) Fuel over (5) Nickelback and (13) Disturbed over (4) 3 Doors Down.
Curiously, this meant that the 4 thru 8 seeds all lost in round one. The 1 and 2 seeds would hold out for a second round before succumbing to a rash of nu metal that took over the bracket. In this particular match-up, Godsmack got the better of Disturbed, and became the most unlikely of the four participants in the Favorite Four.
It's very easy to look at all the bands in each bracket and ask the question, "How could any band from the 00's have a chance? For that matter, how could any of the 90's bands have a realistic chance, except *maybe* Pearl Jam?" These questions would be revisited in '07 to rather shocking results, but there were no great surprises in '06. Godsmack got crushed by Pearl Jam, while the two heavyweights on the other side of the bracket duked it out. Metallica would come up shy on Pink Floyd, who would go on to dominate Pearl Jam as well in the finals. The venerable old standards had prevailed.