The first 32 rounds of the 128th-final are behind us. Took me about two months, which is a decent pace, I guess. I’ll take a couple of days off before returning with round 33, so in the meantime I thought I’d take a quick look back at that first quarter.
I have to send a big thank you to Charlie over at DeadHomerSociety.com, who kindly mentions this project in his weekly link digests and sends a handful of people my way every day.
It was with him and his excellent treatise on Zombie Simpsons in mind that I created this bar graph, showing the wins and losses per broadcast season that have happened in the tournament so far:
Of course the numbers are skewed by the way the tournament was set up. Starting with season 9 there are fewer and fewer episodes included (I only removed the clip shows from the seasons prior to that), which explains why less of the later episodes competed. That only two of the 22 second season episodes competed is a bit of statistical anomaly, as is the fact that almost half of the 13 episodes from the first season are already in there.
The luck of the draw will also sometimes pit episodes of the same season (or consecutive seasons) against each other, which led to the red numbers in seasons five and six.
The all-red bars from season 11 forward are pretty telling. Sooner or later one of them will produce a winner (round 41 is season 17 vs. season 19, for example), but over all the story the graph tells is clear.
Take this graph with the same caveats – it’s only representative-ish – but you see the same pattern emerging. (I’d like to point out that exactly one half of the Al Jean & Mike Reiss episodes lost and the other half won, while all of the episodes produced by Al Jean alone have lost. You may draw your own conclusions.)
Aaaand… that’s all I got.