Like many of you, I was a bit concerned about Baby Mangino's initial dominance in the bracket. Was this a rash, spur-of-the-moment choice that we'd all regret down the line, like Driving Miss Daisy winning Best Picture or the Buccaneers winning the Super Bowl? But, like some of you, I eventually came around, and the reason was the last week of voting.
I found myself charmed by, of all things, the local news report about the Lubbers family's obvious pride in young Bode's accomplishments. I've always considered Deadspin, more than anything else, a site about fun, about how so much of sports has lost it, how we can all regain it again. It's about how sports is silly, how it's a diversion, how it's a way to step away from the world for a few hours and enter a place of simplicity, purity and goofiness. (Even if sports is often the furthest thing from simple, pure or goofy.)
I've come to appreciate Baby Mangino, and the fact that some caustic but ultimately good-hearted commenters took a funny baby picture and turned it into something larger, something that inspires piffly local news broadcasts with "human interest" stories, and inspires Buzz Bissinger to joke about the baby being "full of shit." I like that it's a sports story that's as harmless as it is to continuously laugh at. And yeah: I like that Baby Mangino is so cute. That's OK. This is not meant to be a site that makes you feel like you need to take a shower after reading it. There are nastier sites out there, worthy, commendable sites, but nastier nevertheless. I think Baby Mangino is a vote for the silliness of it all. I like that.
And, if your candidate didn't win, you can always watch the above video again. The ball is tipped ...
VIDEO: The brilliant Mike Byhoff