MARCH MADNESS: News vs. Booze – Day 5


Yesterday’s battles were admittedly a bit boring. There was no real contest on either side of the bracket as both No. 4 seeds (Sylvia Weatherspoon and tequila) held significant leads over their respective thirteenth-seeded foes from start to finish.

WBRZ’s Weatherspoon earned a spot in the second round, where she’ll face coworker Chris Nakamoto, after defeating WVLA’s Jeanne Burns with 78.1% of the vote. Meanwhile, tequila will face vodka in Round 2 after soundly defeating brandy 72% to 28%.

We wrap up Week 1 of the tournament today with matchups showcasing a pair of whiskeys from opposite sides of the Atlantic, a 35-year veteran at WBRZ, and the object of Red Shtick contributor Sunny Weathers’ obsession.

NEWS: Kiran Chawla (6) vs. John Pastorek (11)


Regular listeners of The Red Shtick Podcast know how absolutely enamored our Sunny Weathers is with sixth-seeded Kiran Chawla. And who can blame him? The WAFB reporter not only has a lovely visage, but she purportedly speaks four languages (Hindi, Punjabi, English, and French). Hopefully, for Sunny’s sake, she also knows how to speak drunken a-hole.

Kiran’s opponent has been at WBRZ longer than she’s been on this earth. No. 11 seed John Pastorek, who co-anchors WBRZ’s morning show 2une In and anchors the station’s noon newscast, has been at WBRZ since July 1977, along the way holding numerous titles such as reporter, anchor, and director of news. During his incredibly long tenure at Channel 2, John’s had so many coworkers at WBRZ, he’s like the Kevin Bacon of Baton Rouge news.

BOOZE: Bourbon (6) vs. Irish Whiskey (11)

Contrary to common belief, our No. 6 seed need not be distilled in Bourbon County, KY, in order to legally be labeled as “bourbon.” In fact, while bourbon must be produced in the United States, there are exactly zero bourbon distilleries in Bourbon County. And despite what it may say on the label, we’re going with the NAFTA standard and classifying brands such as Jack Daniels as bourbon, mainly because we aren’t creating a separate contest entry specifically for Tennessee whiskey.

Traditionally seen as an older man’s drink, bourbon’s popularity has surged in the past decade, especially among younger folks, such as those who actually know how to work a computer. This was evident when angry Maker’s Mark drinkers took to social media to protest the bourbon bottler’s plan to cut its alcohol content from 90 proof to a paltry 84. Within days, Marker’s Mark announced it had reversed the decision, proving that tech-savvy drunks with a solid Wi-Fi connection can achieve just about anything.

Our eleventh seed comes from the home of the very word whiskey, which is derived from the Gaelic phrase meaning “water of life.” That’s right, though vodka might be Slavic for “little water,” only Irish ancestors would indelibly associate drinking whiskey with not dying.

Surprisingly, every drop of Irish whiskey consumed is produced by one of only four distilleries on the island of Ireland, because that’s where Irish whiskey must be made to be labeled as such. While the Irish may have forgotten how to grow potatoes – twice – in their long history (thank you, Adam Wilson), at least they never got drunk enough to forget how to make whiskey.

Ready. Set. VOTE! (Polls close nightly at 10 p.m. CDT.)


FYI: If you’re trying to make sense of this experimental info-alcohol competition, here’s an explanation. You can also find all March Madness results/other March Madness posts by using our handy “MARCH MADNESS: News vs. Booze” tag.RedShtick-Top-ColumnStop

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A random collection of overqualified, underachieving smartasses.

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