By far the most interesting thing about the first Harry Potter movie (aside from the stunt-casting of Hans Gruber and nearly every great British actor in the known universe) was the competition for The House Cup.  Though the plot naturally drifted towards fighty-fighty and noseless perfidy, it was interesting to see the characters focused on the competition.  Though sports and nerdery are often natural enemies in the wood, it’s still fun to see fictional characters pitted against one another…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) can’t wait to hear how the Batman fans manipulate this one, asking: What’s the most impressive competition/award in all of pop culture?


About Author

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.


  1. SmarkingOut Adam on

    Clearly the Zach on Film “grade” from Matthew. If Zach were to ever get an A…

    In the “ongoing in comics” category I am really enjoying Avengers Arena. I picked it up because I think X-23 is pretty great, but I love what they are doing with this series. There is a lot of mystery to what EXACTLY is going on, whether anyone is dying for real or not. Regardless, the emotional moments are played really well and I really look forward to this book coming out every month or so. (Yes, I made up a really niche category so I could write about Avengers Arena. I like it.)

  2. I’d have to say the Rugball competition in the Space Adventure Cobra series.
    It’s a very violent mix of baseball and football that’s played inside a high-security prison in outer space.

  3. American Ninja. Guys in seriously good shape try to go through an obstacle course designed by Rube Goldberg.

  4. Most “Impressive”? That’s tough… For real-world competitions, I’d have to go with some of the beatbox competitions: (e.g., )

    There’s plenty of ridiculous fictional competitions: Thunderdome, Tron, Star Wars Pod racers. If I had to pick one I’d say the competition in The Running Man.

    In the ranks of Nerd Pop culture: There’s some pretty crazy feats of concentration and dexterity pulled off in the Star Craft II competitions, espec the GSL. PAX’s Omegathon competition is probably the most fun nerd competition out there. Orson Scott Card’s back to back Hugo/Nebula awards is a pretty impressive accomplishment.

    • I almost went with Podracing, but then I thought it is sorta the NASCAR of the Star Wars universe and I started giggling like an idiot with the mental image of some Hutt equivalent of “trailer trash” sitting at home watching it on the Holonet with an X-Wing up on permacrete blocks on the front lawn.

      “They’re making a left turn! They’re making a left turn! What are they gonna do next?!?!”

  5. Batman Answer: The Battle for the Cowl, because the biggest prize in the DCU is who gets to be Batman for the 30 seconds Bruce Wayne is “dead”.

    The wish for the winning team of Secret Wars: Originally, the winning team from the Secret Wars were supposed to be granted a wish from the Beyonder (till Doom screwed it up). Since that wish could be anything, ipso facto, this encompases all other awards. Plus this was one of the earliest cross over mega events and for my money is still one of the best. It is the series that got me into comics as a kid.

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