It turns out, if anything, that 2008 would be a return to normalcy. The 70's, 80's, and shockingly the 00's were all rather predictable, with the #1 seeds advancing to the favorite four. The only real shocker was the emergence of Tool, which wasn't actually a total surprise given the previous year's performance.
- 70's winner: Led Zeppelin
- 80's winner: Metallica
- 90's winner: Tool
- 00's winner: Foo Fighters
- Tournament champion: Led Zeppelin
- Biggest upsets: (13) Soundgarden over (4) Nirvana, (15) Genesis over (2) U2, (14) The Hooters over (3) AC/DC
- Voting took place via phone and text. Each was given equal weight in the balloting. Texting requests were strictly for the number 1 or number 2, rather than potentially misspellable or confusing name variations.
- The bracket was created via WMMR VIPs voting for their nominations. This determined not only the participants, but the seeding as well.
70's Region analysisEdit
As first glance, there isn't a whole lot exciting happening in the 70's. A few upsets here and there, but nothing that goes horribly against the seedings. Still, there are some important notes regarding particular bands.
Queen had received a shockingly-high seed in the tourney. In two previous years, Queen had lost in round 1 to The Doors, but they were able to get free of Jim Morrison this year and won two rounds. (11) Jimi Hendrix continued to outperform the seed he was given, taking down both (6) The Who and (3) Aerosmith. Zeppelin met Skynyrd and Floyd met the Dead again, and the favorite won in both those matches this time. The Rolling Stones lost again in round 1, predictably enough.
80's Region analysisEdit
There would be no giant killers this year. Tom Petty astounded Metallica last year, but they would just push through the bracket and win, with their stiffest competition being Bon Jovi in round 3. The upper half of the bracket was 100% by the seeding. The lower half, however, was anything but, as both the 2 and 3 seeds lost in round one to rather unassuming rookie contenders. Local boys The Hooters managed to defeat the thunder from down under, and U2 succumbed to a surprise entry in Genesis. (Does the station actually play Genesis?) These two losses opened the door for some of the middle seeds to advance. Petty won two rounds again, but the real benefactor was Rush, who reached the bracket finals by accident. They won their first match-up simply by not being Guns'N'Roses, as Pierre was adamantly doing his best to throw the match with chants of "flaming terd" and trying to rile up Philly fans with memories of the famed '03 concert when Axel snubbed the city. Their second round draw was The Hooters, who everyone voted for in one round as a feel-good winner, but their support dried up after that as people decided it was time to take the tournament seriously. By virtue of U2 also losing, we ended up with an odd 7 vs 11 match-up, and Rush began to ride a wave of support that carried them past Petty, before ultimately losing to Metallica.
90's Region analysisEdit
(1) Pearl Jam vs (16) Creed: The most shocking upset ever....or not. The higher seed won throughout round 1 with the exception of (13) Soundgarden over (4) Nirvana, however things got more interesting in round 2. Soundgarden won again, Green Day proved they finally have some chops, and AIC continued to dominate against anyone not named Pearl Jam. The big stunner of perhaps the entire tournament, however, was Pearl Jam dropping out early in the tourney. It was widely believed that no band had it in them to take out Pearl Jam. *Maybe* Nirvana could do it, but it would take a cause and a bit of luck for anyone else to pull it off.
Turns out, there were enough counterculture voters tired of listening to Pearl Jam, and the most un-Pearl Jam-like band in the field (except maybe Korn) brought the mighty giants to their knees. It would be learned later that PJ vs Tool was no David vs Goliath, as Tool would proceed to win the bracket from their 8 seed, after making the bracket finals against Pearl Jam the year before, and this rivalry would play itself out in spectacular fashion the following year as well.
00's Region analysisEdit
The region that brought you a finals between an 11 and a 13 seed in 2006, the region that sent a 15 seed to the finals that actually won in 2007, what more would you expect from such an unpredictable bracket than...1 vs 2? And yet, 1 vs 2 is precisely what we got. There were absolutely no upsets in round 1, unless anyone thinks that Nickelback losing is an upset. There were no upsets according to the seeds in round 2, either. Or round 3. In fact, the only thing that threw off the seeding at all was Nickelback's loss to Evanescence, which meant the 6 seed represented that quad rather than the 3 seed.
For all the claims of predictability, this was completely unexpected. Based on two years of past tournament history, there were a ton of matches here that one would anticipate would have gone the other way. Godsmack should have beaten the Foo Fighters. Maybe Breaking Benjamin as well. Evanescence maybe could have beaten Audioslave. Disturbed was the favorite over Linkin Park. And yet, none of those "upsets" materialized. The 00's were -- by the seeding -- completely boring, and yet everyone was floored just the same.
There would be no epic grand finale to write about this year. The only non-1 seed present, Tool, fell to Led Zeppelin. Metallica trounced the Foo Fighters. As a result, with the 70's on one side and the 80's on the other, we had what could probably be the grandest showdown between powers. Reminscent of 2006's semi-finals, the 70's winner took down the mighty Metallica in a way that only the 70's bracket winner can. (And, apparently, Tom Petty.) This would be an auspice of 2009's results, but 2008's finals went to Led Zeppelin.