RSS icon

Top Stories

Whatever Works

Whatever Works Blog

Tournament Update

Voting is now over for the Workforce Impact and Pop Culture bracket challenges. The winners will be announced July 2, 2012. Thanks for playing! Updated Thursday, June 14, 2012, at 3:30 p.m. CT.

March 20, 2012
Related Topics: Top Stories - Frontpage
Reprints

Thanks to everyone who played the Workforce Impact and Pop Culture bracket challenges. We hope you had as much fun playing as we did putting it together. We will reveal the winners on July 2 when our special 90th anniversary magazine comes out.

So stay tuned. In just a couple of weeks we'll reveal whether the Internet or PC and Seinfeld or The Simpsons won.

You definitely made an Impact!


See the matchups in the Workforce Impact bracket challenge.

See the matchups in the Pop Culture bracket challenge.

It's the final countdown.

After weeks of head-to-head matchups in both the Workforce Impact and Pop Culture bracket challenges, it all comes down to this. In less than 24 hours, we will have winners in both tournaments. Will it be the Internet or PC, Seinfeld or The Simpsons?

It's up to you, so vote now and tell your friends. We will announce the winners when our July issue comes out on July 2, and we will feature those topics in the magazine and on workforce.com/90th.

We thank you for following this blog and for participating in the tournament. There's still time to make an Impact. Just make it snappy!


Play the Workforce Impact bracket challenge.

Play the Workforce Pop Culture bracket challenge.

OK, Impact fans, this is it. The Finals of the Workforce Impact and Pop Culture bracket challenges have begun.

For the Impact bracket, let's talk about tech. Of the 64 topics that were included in the challenge, two No. 1 seeds remain: the Internet and the Personal Computer. As we said early on, you like technology; you really like technology. But which will win? That's up to you to decide. Somewhere in California Ed Frauenheim is high-fiving everyone in sight and doing a victory dance as he backed tech from the get-go.

In the Pop Culture bracket, as I and other bracketologists predicted (podcast), two comedies emerged as finalists. In the Finals, it's The Simpsons vs. Seinfeld in a winner-take-all battle royal.

It's up to you to decide who the victors will be. So keep those votes coming.

There's time to make a Final Impact.


Play the Workforce Impact bracket challenge.

Play the Workforce Pop Culture bracket challenge.

Well Impact fans, this is it—your last chance to get your favorite topics into the finals, which start on Tuesday, May 29.

Right now, the Internet is running away with it in its matchup with Email. Poor Email looks like it's about to get bounced. In the other Impact contest, the Personal Computer has a miniscule lead over Women in the Workforce. This one is just way too close to call.

In the Pop Culture bracket, it looks like comedy will prevail. Seinfeld seems to be coasting into the finals in its matchup against Wall Street, and The Simpsons has opened a, dare we say, comfortable lead over ER.

But who knows which topics will emerge after the holiday weekend? As you're barbecuing this weekend, pull out your smartphone, tablet, laptop computer or power up your PC on the beach and keep voting.

Your votes do make a difference. We thank you for playing, and we're excited to see who will come out on top in the finals.

There's still time to make an Impact.


Play the Workforce Impact bracket challenge.

Play the Workforce Pop Culture bracket challenge.

So, have you heard the latest CYA Report podcast discussing the brackets? If not, you're missing out. On the show, Workforce's bracketologists discuss who they think will win the Impact and Pop Culture brackets. Check it out.

In the meantime, we have only two matchups remaining in each of the brackets, so it's time to make your voice heard by voting.

For both the Impact and Pop Culture brackets, there's one blowout and one nail-biter taking place. Care to guess?

OK, we'll tell you.

In the Impact bracket, The Internet has a ginormous lead over Email on one side, while Women in the Workforce and the Personal Computer are separated by only a few votes. Because of the Memorial Day holiday, there's one extra day to vote in this round, so if you like one of these topics, there are no excuses. Vote today, and tomorrow and the next day ...

The Pop Culture bracket finds Seinfeld lapping Wall Street in the Big Apple battle. And, you guessed it, deja vu, The Simpsons, the lowest seed remaining in either tournament, is slightly ahead of ER.

Ready to change things up? Good. Time to vote. There's plenty of time to make an Impact and help send the topics of your fancy to the finals.


Play the Workforce Impact bracket challenge.

Play the Workforce Pop Culture bracket challenge.

Four remain. There are only two rounds left in both the Workforce Impact and Pop Culture bracket challenges, and only a handful of topics are still in play.

We might have to rename the Impact bracket as "Tech Takes Over." Three of the four topics that remain are: The Internet, Personal Computer and Email. Apparently IT is it, and that's that. On one side of the bracket, the Internet takes on Email. As a No. 6 seed, Email is the lowest seed left in the bracket. Will Email send a clear message to the Internet that it's in it to win it or will the Internet send Email to the junk folder and continue its mission to conquer cyberspace?

On the other side of the bracket, the Personal Computer takes on Women in the Workforce. Can women prevail? Or will we see an all-tech final?

For the Pop Culture tournament, it's funny business vs. serious business. On one side, we have Seinfeld talking on Wall Street. Can Gordon Gekko buy his way into the next round or will Jerry Seinfeld and the gang go for broke and pull into the final?

The other matchup has The Simpsons taking on ER. The Simpsons, the ultimate underdog in this tournament as a No. 13 seed, will have its hands full against the docs from Chicago. Guess this wouldn't be a good time to mention that Homer deep sixes George Clooney in a Halloween episode? D'oh!

So, what's it going to be? It's time for you to make an Impact.


Play the Workforce Impact bracket challenge.

Play the Workforce Pop Culture bracket challenge.

We are rolling right along in the Workforce Impact and Pop Culture tournaments. In just a few days, we'll be down to the final four topics in each.

The Internet continues to dominate. In this round, the Web has all but sewn up its place in the final four as it maintains a huge lead over the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The other two tech-related categories are data-driven to join the Internet in the next round. Email has a slight lead over the Civil Rights Act of 1964, but the Personal Computer, which eked out a victory in the last round over Mobile Technology, finds itself well ahead of Health Care Costs and Health Care, Employer Provided, finds itself trailing Women in the Workforce. Eh, what's up, Docs? Aren't you playing?

In the Pop Culture bracket, Seinfeld looks like it's about to send The Office on an unpaid holiday, and Wall Street, it appears, will be open for business on said holiday, while The Devil Wears Prada might be sent packing—or shoe shopping. Additionally, ER seems to be pulling away with surgical precision in its matchup with Erin Brockovich, and Simpsons fever continues as the Fox Sunday-night staple has, yet again, opened up a lead on its opponent: Law & Order. But, as usual, it's still too close to call.

But nothing's settled. Really. Send a Tweet, post on Facebook, link on LinkedIn, phone a friend. Don't wait; there's still time to make an Impact!


Play the Workforce Impact bracket challenge.

Play the Workforce Pop Culture bracket challenge.

And we're off. The fourth round of the Workforce Impact and Pop Culture bracket challenges has begun.

In the Impact tournament, two tech topics are taking over. The Internet and Personal Computers have jumped out to big leads over the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Health Care Costs, respectively. Additionally, Email, which is an underdog in this round, has pulled in front of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The other topic in the lead is Women in the Workforce over Health Care, Employer Provided.

Moving over to the Pop Culture bracket, we find Seinfeld with a big salad of a lead over The Office. In the battle of the Big Apple, Wall Street has pulled ahead of The Devil Wears Prada. And there's no "E" harmony in the contest between ER and Erin Brockovich, which has the doctors calling the shots at this writing. And finally, The Simpsons finds itself in a dead heat with Law & Order. What new? Pop Culture bracket fans know that every round has been a close one for The Simpsons. Can the Springfielders pull off yet another upset?

Don't like what you see here? Worried your fave is about to head for the exits? Well, it's time to do something about it. Recruit friends, colleagues, Twitter followers and the like to play the game. Keep the votes coming. Hey, you know the drill: There's still time to make an Impact.


Play the Workforce Impact bracket challenge.

Play the Workforce Pop Culture bracket challenge.

And then there were eight. In the Workforce Impact bracket, three No. 1 seeds remain. The only No. 1 seed that got knocked off last round was Health Care Reform. Indeed, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act fell to another health care-related topic: Health Care, Employer Provided.

In the Pop Culture tournament, it has been a whole-nother story where nary a No. 1 topic survived to see this, the fourth round. Instead, we have two No. 2 seeds left: The Office and The Devil Wears Prada. The lowest-seeded topic still in play is The Simpsons. Matt Groening's lovable dysfunctional family from Springfield, Oregon, pulled off yet another upset—this time taking out No. 1-seeded The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Did anyone else just hear Nelson Muntz's laugh?

The fourth-round has some unique matchups to say the least:

In the Impact bracket, the Internet takes on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Both topics are coming off lopsided victories over their opponents, the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1934 and Affirmative Action, respectively. And it's the Civil Rights Act of 1964 taking on Email. While there are folks out there looking to eradicate email for good, so far topics have not been able to junk Email. The other topics still in play are the aforementioned Health Care, Employer Provided, which takes on Women in the Workforce, and Personal Computers goes head to head with Health Care Costs.

The Pop Culture bracket has the Seinfeld gang taking on The Office. Cosmo Kramer vs. Dwight Schrute? Oh, yeah. It's on. In a high-stakes contest, Wall Street battles it out with The Devil Wears Prada. Forget business casual in this one. And The Simpsons better get serious if it wants to win its matchup again Law & Order. Lennie Briscoe doesn't joke around. Finally, in the battle of the E's, ER takes on Erin Brockovich.

Which topics will move on, and which will be sent packing? It's all up to you. You can vote once per day. There's plenty of time to make an Impact!


Play the Workforce Impact bracket challenge.

Play the Workforce Pop Culture bracket challenge.

There are only a few days left in the third round of our bracket challenge, and the nail-biting continues. Wall Street, for instance, has used its influence to come from behind and move into a small lead over Who Moved My Cheese? We guess Gordon Gekko doesn't go down without a fight. So if you want the Cheese to last, you better package up some votes.

Another comeback is in the works in the East where The Mary Tyler Moore Show has pulled out to an ever-so-miniscule lead over The Simpsons. Can Homer and the gang drum up enough support to be renewed or has the all-you-can-eat buffet closed on the family Simpson?

In the Impact bracket, Health Care Reform has fallen slightly—and we mean slightly—off the pace of Health Care, Employer Provided. Will the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act have enough left in the tank to move on or will it get vetoed by the voters?

Another health care topic has found its way into a miniscule lead. Health Care Costs have pulled in front of Social Media in the South. Will costs skyrocket their way into the next round? The other interesting matchup in this region is Personal Computers vs. Mobile Technology. Which will cash in its chips and move on? We'll soon find out.

And now for some not-so-close contests: For two rounds you've been saying, "Take This Job and Shove It," but it's looking like you're giving the Devil her due as The Devil Wears Prada is enjoying a comfortable lead. And No. 1 seed Mad Men is barely holding on in its bid to take down the team that's usually in green scrubs, namely ER. The Cinderella team looks like it's going to keep dancing into the next round. Similarly, The Apprentice has been getting schooled by The Office in the Midwest.

On the Impact side, Franklin Delano Roosevelt doesn't look like he'll serve another term as Women in the Workforce appear to be powering their way to the next round. Also, the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 looks to be severely laboring in its bid to upset the Internet.

Remember to vote once per day, but there's not much time left to make an Impact in the third round. So get in the game today!


Play the Workforce Impact bracket challenge.

Play the Workforce Pop Culture bracket challenge.

Hope you had a nice weekend Impact fans, but it's time to get to business. There are topics that are looking for some love. Unlike the second round, where we saw quite a few blowouts, the third round has given us close contest after close contest with a few noticeable exceptions:

After beating Martin Luther King Jr. in the second round of the Impact bracket, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, finds himself well behind Women in the Workforce as Todd Johnson's crystal ball appears to be working just fine thank you very much. Can the 32nd U.S. president pull a fireside chat out of his hat to sway the voters? We'll find out soon enough as only one week remains in the third round of the tournament.

Another matchup that appears to be completely lopsided is Baby Boomers in the Workforce vs. the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Civil Rights Act has the boomers crying uncle in this one.

In the Pop Culture bracket, The Office has a 2-to-1 lead over The Apprentice. Are you telling the Donald he's fired? Wouldn't want to be in that meeting. It would be like walking into Bizarro World.

In the East, Law & Order is maintaining order—or should we say its dominance. After blowing out its first two opponents, Law & Order, again, finds itself with a lead that's beyond a reasonable doubt impressive. Can Norma Rae rally the troops to join her side?

Finally, we wanted to reiterate that Mad Men are insanely behind ER in the South. While ER may no longer be on the air, it apparently still holds a warm place in your heart if not your DVRs.

You can still vote once per day, and there's plenty of time to make an Impact in the third round.


Play the Workforce Impact bracket challenge.

Play the Workforce Pop Culture bracket challenge.

Some interesting contests are taking place in both the Workforce Impact and Pop Culture bracket challenges. We are particularly fascinated by the seesaw battle that's going down between the Personal Computer and Mobile Technology. In fact, as of this writing, the PC has caught up to Mobile Tech, and the two are tied. Which topic is wired (or wireless) for success? We'll find out.

Another head-to-head challenge that we're keeping a close eye on is Health Care Reform vs. Health Care, Employer Provided. In this round, Health Care, Employer Provided, has pulled out to a miniscule lead over Health Care Reform. Has the looming Supreme Court ruling come into play? Not sure, but regardless, this has surely been a healthy competition.

One matchup that is not close at all is Email vs. the Great Depression. Yes, we get that you use email every day and the Great Depression is something your grandparents had to deal with, but we did not expect electronic mail to take almost a 3-to-1 lead over the biggest economic event in U.S. history. If you're pulling for the Great Depression—the topic, not a return to the terrible times of the '30s—you better send a high-priority email to your friends to get out the vote. Oh, um ...

Moving right along ... in the Pop Culture bracket, The Simpsons is for the third-straight round in one of the closest contests. As Homer once said, "Son, if you really want something in this life, you have to work for it. Now quiet! They're about to announce the Lottery numbers." In this round, The Simpsons goes head to head with No. 1 seed The Mary Tyler Moore Show. And so far, Mary has a little lag, little lag, little lag, in its vote totals.

While the new season of Mad Men has packed a mean punch, apparently the judges (i.e., you) aren't swayed. ER has opened up a sizable lead, and Mad Men's chances of moving to the next round are on life support unless you sell, sell, sell the AMC drama.

With a little over a week to go in the third round, we're excited to say voting totals are picking up. Thank you. We appreciate your taking the time to play.

But your job isn't over. You can still vote once per day, and there's plenty of time to make an Impact.


Play the Workforce Impact bracket challenge.

Play the Workforce Pop Culture bracket challenge.

Round 3 is here. We have tallied the votes as Survivor host Jeff Probst frequently says, and you have sent some really strong topics packing. Rosie the Riveter has left the building as has Telecommuting in the Impact bracket, and you can say so long to Up in the Air and Broadcast News in the Pop culture bracket. Both were grounded in their matchups against Who Moved My Cheese? and Erin Brockovich, respectively. In this round, Erin Brockovich takes on another topic that has pulled a couple of huge upsets in WKRP in Cincinnati. WKRP as a No. 14 seed is the lowest-seeded topic still in play. Compare that to the Impact bracket where the lowest seed that made the third round is Email, a No. 6 seed.

The one show that keeps squeaking out victories is The Simpsons. The No. 13 seed in the East has pulled off two of the closest victories in either tournament with its wins over Dilbert and then All in the Family.

Round 3 has a particularly interesting matchup in the Midwest bracket. You have Cheers, which dominated the rating for NBC in the 1980s and early 1990s going head to head with Seinfeld, the show that took over as the network's centerpiece comedy in the mid- to late '90s. It's Norm vs. Kramer, Diane vs. Elaine, Cliff vs. George and Sam vs. Jerry in this spotlight contest.

In the Impact bracket, one of the interesting matchups that we're keeping our eyes on is Franklin Delano Roosevelt vs. Women in the Workforce. Hard to predict how that one will play out.

We'll be back with more updates, but we'll give you a few early returns for the third round:

The Internet, again, has jumped out to a commanding lead over its new opponent, the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has also jumped out in front of Affirmative Action. Mobile Technology has an early lead over the Personal Computer in a really interesting matchup between two tech titans. On the Pop Culture side, The Office leads The Apprentice, and ER is taking it to Mad Men in the South.

The third round is under way. So come out and vote once per day. There's plenty of time to make an Impact.


Play the Workforce Impact bracket challenge.

Play the Workforce Pop Culture bracket challenge.

It's down to the wire in Round Two:

"D'oh!"

"Meathead!"

"Smithers, release the hounds!"

"Aaarrrchiiieeee!"

Such is the soundtrack as The Simpsons and All in the Family slug it out in the final seconds of their round-two match up in the Workforce Management Pop Culture bracket challenge. And you can make a difference. Voting in our Pop Culture and Impact brackets for Round Two continues through Sunday, April 15.

As of late Friday, April 13, Homer and Archie were neck-and-neck, with The Simpsons clinging to just a six-vote lead.

Other tight contests in the second round include Wall Street vs. Murphy Brown, Franklin Delano Roosevelt against Martin Luther King, Jr. and Employer Provided Health Care vs. Workers' Compensation. In the waning moments, Wall Street is ahead and showing little sympathy for the fictional journalist and gender-role pioneer Murphy Brown. FDR has the late edge on MLK Jr. And while you might think they are two sides of the same coin, Employer Provided Health Care is on its way to closing out Workers' Compensation.

Looking ahead to the third round, it appears the Internet juggernaut will try to keep rolling against the mighty Fair Labor Standard Act of 1938. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) will test its mettle against a generation that came of age in its wake, Baby Boomers in the Workforce. And in the Pop Culture bracket, Mad Men will square off against ER. What happens when you pit a winning 2010s show about the 1950s against one of the top shows of the 1990s?

We shall see beginning Monday, April 16.

--Ed Frauenheim

Play the Workforce Impact bracket challenge.

Play the Workforce Pop Culture bracket challenge.

OK Pop Culture followers, are you George Clooney fans or not? We sure can't tell. While ER, the show that made Clooney a star, has opened up a comfortable lead over Grey's Anatomy in the battle of the hospital dramas, the Clooney vehicle Up in the Air, which garnered six Academy Award nominations—including Best Actor—and scored a No. 1 seed in our tournament, still trails Who Moved My Cheese? in the second round. And Clooney's no chopped limburger when it comes to popularity, right? Right?

Moving right along, we find The Mary Tyler Moore Show has definitely found its groove. It has opened up a 4-to-1 lead over Workaholics in its matchup. Apparently, love is still all around for Mary.

In the battle of working-class heroines, Sally Field's Norma Rae has taken a commanding lead over Silkwood, which stars Meryl Streep as Karen Silkwood.

Trading Places, which pulled a first-round upset over Glengarry Glen Ross will have to concoct some sort of scheme to pull ahead of the long arm of the Law & Order. The long-running detective show has almost twice an many votes as the Eddie Murphy-Dan Aykroyd classic.

And we'd also like to point out there's a huge upset brewing in the South region. Erin Brockovich, a No. 10 seed, is about to close the case on the No. 2 seed, Broadcast News, unless the William Hurt, Albert Brooks and Holly Hunter fans start showing up.

In the Impact bracket, Baby Boomers are still holding a commanding lead over Talent Management Systems. And the Internet still is the leading vote-getter in the Impact bracket. Its opponent, Deng Xiaoping hasn't even come out of the locker room to start the second-half.

Rosie the Riveter has gained some ground on Affirmative Action, but she still has a ways to go to catch up.

And finally, the Great Depression is making Performance Appraisals depressed in their bid to take down the No. 2 seed in the West.

The second round ends April 15 and the third round begins April 16. So come out and vote. The clock is ticking, but there's still time to make an Impact.


Play the Workforce Impact bracket challenge.

Play the Workforce Pop Culture bracket challenge.

The end of the first week of Round 2 is approaching, and one thing is crystal clear: Technology has reigned in the Workforce Impact bracket. And, as I mentioned in my latest blog post, a few days without an Internet connection can make you feel like a castaway on an uncharted desert isle. But no need to fear Impact fans, our service provider came yesterday bearing the gift of a new router. And now onto the updates.

The aforementioned Internet is not only running away with it in its matchup against Deng Xiaoping, it's also pulling Google's 2.45 million Deng hits with it. As Dick Vitale would say: This is NC—no contest, baby. Email is also beating its second-round opponent, the Social Security Act of 1935, but maybe Social Security will send email a high-priority message that its not going to go out quietly in the second half. Another not-so-close-to-call race is between Mobile Technology and Background Checks. Right now, background checks are checking out. Social Media has called upon its followers to overtake Sexual Harassment in the Workplace in the early going.

The West Region has the only two tech-related categories that are struggling: Telecommuting and Talent Management Systems are both apparently running on 300-baud modems in their bids to take down the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Baby Boomers in the Workforce, respectively. And if you don't remember the old 300-baud modems from the 1980s, that means slow. Real slooooooow.

In the Pop Culture bracket, Airplane!, coming off its impressive upset win against 9 to 5 in the first round, isn't toasting its good fortunes anymore. Cheers has pulled out to an early lead. Can Airplane find the clearance, Clarence, to make a comeback?

Charlie Chaplin's Modern Times, the film that I picked to win this thing, is getting antiquated by Donald Trump's Apprentice.

A huge upset is taking place in the wacky West. Who Moved My Cheese?, the No. 8 seed, has almost a 2-to-1 lead over No. 1 seed Up in the Air. Got milk? Up in the Air could use some. Another surprise is that Take This Job and Shove It has opened up a comfortable lead over Nineteen Eighty-Four. We've said it before, is there a touch of angst out there in workforce land?

The closest contest is in the East. Again, Homer and the gang from The Simpsons find themselves in a tight—and we mean tight—battle with their opponent. But instead of Dilbert, The Simpsons is going head-to-head with Archie Bunker and All in the Family. Who's the bigger curmudgeon, Archie or Mr. Burns? Discuss.

Have a great weekend folks, and we'll be back next week with more updates.

Don't forget to vote once per day and get your colleagues to play as well. There are topics that are counting on you! Come on, make an Impact!


Play the Workforce Impact bracket challenge.

Play the Workforce Pop Culture bracket challenge.

Well, here we are in the second round.

We're shocked to say a No. 1 seed has gone down in the first round of the tournament. It's never happened in the NCAA tournament, but we bring you the upset of the century as Airplane! didn't have to work overtime to take down 9 to 5. The Leslie Nielsen classic jumped out to an early lead over the Dolly Parton, Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin flick and never looked back. Unfortunately, it's not looking like Airplane! has enough left in the tank to take down Cheers, which turned the Grapes of Wrath into a nice Merlot in the first round.

Seinfeld is also firing on all cylinders as it cruised to an easy victory over Taxi in the first round and didn't even leave a tip. Now, Seinfeld has opened up a commanding lead over its next opponent Lou Grant. Hello, Jerry ...

In the battle of the offices—The Office vs. Office SpaceThe Office is holding all calls as it has opened up a comfortable lead in the early going.

In the Impact bracket, Outsourcing took out Cesar Chavez in the first round, but has fallen off the pace in its second-round matchup against the Fair Labor Standard Act of 1938.

Affirmative Action, which won a squeaker over OSHA, is also holding its own against Rosie the Riveter. First The Rosie Show gets canceled, now this. What's next?

Are there a lot of baby boomers playing this game? Baby Boomers in the Workforce, which cruised to a victory over Southwest Airlines Under Herb Kelleher is making it look like child's play in its second-round contest against Talent Management Systems.

Deng Xiaoping who came off a convincing victory over Manmohan Singh in the first round is now up against a buzz saw named the Internet. I guess a lot of you figured if you had to use the Internet to look up "Deng Xiaoping," then it should get your vote.

Hey folks, the second round is just starting. Don't forget to vote once per day and get your colleagues to play as well. There's still plenty of time to make an Impact!


Play the Workforce Impact bracket challenge.

Play the Workforce Pop Culture bracket challenge.

Happy Friday, Workforce Bracket Challenge fans. It's late in the fourth quarter of first-round games, and a few contests still hang in the balance.

Affirmative Action, the Midwest's No. 2 seed, has a mere one-vote lead over No. 15 seed OSHA. And while these two regulatory topics battle in the Impact Bracket, a couple of nail-biters are unfolding in the Pop Culture Bracket. The East's fourth-seed Dilbert is nine votes behind No. 13 seed The Simpsons. On the movie front, Philadelphia, No. 7 seed in the South, trails No. 10 seed Erin Brockovich by 10 votes.

Can Homer and Mr. Burns hang on for the upset? Could Catbert, Dilbert's evil HR director, stage a last-minute comeback? Will the Tom Hanks-Denzel Washington feel-good story of workplace discrimination enamor enough voters to overtake Julia Roberts' portrayal of the whistle-blower bulldog?

We will find out Monday. Voting in the first round of the bracket challenge ends Sunday. And even if you've already voted, you can still affect the outcome. Our Bracket Challenge favors serious fans. You can vote once in each bracket each day.

Despite the cliffhangers mentioned above, there are some matchups that are all but decided. the Internet (my pick to win it all), is trouncing CEO pay/bonuses by more than a 10-to-1 ratio. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) is walloping the Great Recession (another of my favorites, I'm sad to say). And A. Philip Randolph has essentially thrown in the towel in his contest with Franklin Delano Roosevelt (thankfully so, given that I'd also picked FDR to do well).

Over in the Pop Culture bracket, The Apprentice is schooling Head Office, Wall Street has a greedy lead over The Cubicle, and The Mary Tyler Moore Show has left The Man in the Grey Flannel Suit looking bedraggled.

Looking ahead to the second round, here are some juicy matchups in the making:

  • Airplane!, a No. 16 seed Cinderella story poised to beat top-ranked 9 to 5 in the first round, will likely take on Cheers. Cheers was seeded just 8th in the Midwest region, but it crushed The Grapes of Wrath and has garnered more votes than any other Pop Culture topic in the first round.
  • Two contestants with dim views of the workplace are set to square off when Take This Job and Shove It goes up against 1984. George Orwell's dystopian classic enters the match as the favored No. 3 seed in the West, while Take This Job and Shove It is the 6th seed.
  • In the Impact Bracket, an epic Man vs. Machine clash is a real possibility. Peter Drucker, the South Region No. 8 seed, has a slim lead over No. 9 seed Ethical Practices in the first round. If he holds on, the management guru is slated to go up against Personal Computers. Seeded No. 1 in the region, Personal Computers has destroyed No. 16 seed Cubicles (maybe through some sort of virus?).

Check back early next week to see who advanced to the second round, and to cast your (first) ballot in the second round.

And don't forget, you still have time to cast another vote or two to help Catbert claw his way to victory—or to give him the pink slip!

—Ed Frauenheim


Play the Workforce Impact bracket challenge.

Play the Workforce Pop Culture bracket challenge.

There's a disturbing scene in the movie Mommy Dearest where Joan Crawford (played by Faye Dunaway) lashes into her daughter with the famous line: "What's wire hangers doing in this closet when I told you: no wire hangers EVER?" We get the impression you feel the same way about cubicles.

Both Cubicles and the short film The Cubicle have the lowest vote totals so far in their respective brackets. If there's anyone out there who loves a good cube, show it some love and give Cubicles/The Cubicle a vote in the Workforce Impact and Pop Culture brackets.

We're also wondering where all the Diahann Carroll fans are out there? The groundbreaking television show Julia, where Carroll stars as a widowed single mother is well off the pace of Office Space. Also, Claudine, which stars Carroll as a mother who must keep her relationship a secret from her social worker in order to ensure she continues to collect welfare checks, is having a tough go of it against the Mad Men of AMC.

It looks like an inside job in the South region, as The Insider has a sizable lead over Real Women Have Curves. And Broadcast News is airing it out over Kevin Smith's Clerks. Maybe Clerks wasn't supposed to be there today? The Good Wife, on the other hand, has made up some ground on Grey's Anatomy. Perhaps that dream hospital matchup was not meant to be in the second round between Grey's and ER? We'll see.

In the Impact bracket, Affirmative Action holds the slimmest of leads over OSHA. Who will take it? It's any topics game right now. Also, Deng Xiaoping has opened up a bigger lead over Manmohan Singh. Does India's prime minister have enough left in the tank to make a comeback? General Electric Under Jack Welch was losing by quite a bit, but has gotten a second wind in its bid to take down Telecommuting. On the other hand, Southwest Airlines Under Herb Kelleher has been grounded in its attempt to beat Baby Boomers in the Workforce.

Any union folks out there? The AFL-CIO Teamsters is well behind Workers' Compensation in the East region.

The South still holds two of the closest matchups with Peter Drucker tied--yes tied as of this writing--with Ethical Practices. Also, Gloria Steinem is only a few votes behind Background Checks.

We are now ending the first week of the bracket challenges, but there's still plenty of time for things to change. The first round ends April 1 and the next round begins on April 2. As you know, there's still lots of time to make an Impact.

Stay tuned for periodic bracket updates right here.

Have a nice weekend, folks.


Play the Workforce Impact bracket challenge.

Play the Workforce Pop Culture bracket challenge.

Good morning, Impact fans. Ready for some more early returns? The Fair Labor Standards Act is doing very well in its matchup against the Family and Medical Leave Act. In fact, the FLSA holds a comfortable 2-to-1 lead over its tourney rival. Also in the Midwest region, COBRA is taking quite a drubbing in its pairing with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The Internet is the leading vote-getter in either bracket; it's making CEO Pay/Bonuses look superfluous. The Civil Rights Act of 1964, which brought us Title VII, is also running away with it against the Great Recession. I guess that was so 2009, right? And Commercial Flights have barely gotten off the ground in their bid to upset the Social Security Act of 1935.

U.S. icons Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Martin Luther King Jr. are both leading in their head-to-head matchups, but Defined Contribution Plans are giving the civil rights leader a tough battle. A. Phillip Randolph, an African-American leader in the civil rights and labor movements, on the other hand, is having a tough time making a dent in the 32nd U.S. president's big early lead.

We also are keeping a close eye on the Peter Drucker-Ethical Practices matchup. The self-described "social ecologist" is right on the tail of his Ethical Practices opponent. Can he overtake his competition in time and make it to the second round? We'll find out on April 2.

In the Pop Culture tournament, not taking anything away from Seinfeld, one of our favorite shows of all time, but we are surprised to see it pull out to such a big lead over Taxi, another of our faves. Louie DePalma's blood pressure must be going through the roof! The George Lopez Show has also had a disappointing tournament so far. Will it be able to stage a huge comeback and take down the Mary Tyler Moore spinoff Lou Grant? Lopez is definitely going to need your help to do it.

The top vote-getter in the Pop Culture bracket so far is Cheers. It's absolutely squashing the Grapes of Wrath.

Reality shows have been a mixed bag, so far. It would put a smile on The Donald's face to know The Apprentice is out to a big lead over Head Office. On the other hand, Undercover Boss isn't even making a contest of it so far against All in the Family, although we doubt even that news would get more than a glower out of Archie Bunker.

Finally, The Devil Wears Prada is really rubbing its stilettos into The Pursuit of Happyness. Prada leads by more than a 2-to-1 margin.

Remember, folks, just because you voted once doesn't mean you can't vote again. In fact, it's encouraged. You can vote once a day in each tournament. If you want to save some of your favorites, it's time to get on your social networks and put the call out for help. There's still plenty of time to make an Impact.

Stay tuned for periodic bracket updates right here.


Play the Workforce Impact bracket challenge.

Play the Workforce Pop Culture bracket challenge.

Well, it's clear that you like technology. You really like technology. Ed Frauenheim's pick to win the Impact bracket, the Internet, as well as Email and the Personal Computer are running away with the votes in their respective matchups. And Telecommuting, Talent Management Systems, Mobile Technology and Social Media have sizable leads as well.

Women are also making a strong showing in the Workforce Impact tournament as Todd Johnson prophetically stated in his bracketology. Rosie the Riveter, the symbol of women working in factories during World War II, has a big lead over the Postal Worker Strike of 1970, and Disaster Planning isn't even making it a contest in its bid to beat Women in the Workforce. Gloria Steinem, the spokeswoman for the women's liberation movement of the '60s and '70s, on the other hand, is in a tough battle with Background Checks, and she has fallen slightly off the pace.

In the Pop Culture bracket, it's way too soon to call the Dilbert and The Simpsons matchup. It's almost tied. Airplane!, looking to pull the huge upset, still holds a comfortable lead over 9 to 5, but the other No. 1 seeds in the tournament, Up in the Air, The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Mad Men have huge leads against their respective opponents, The Crowd, The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit and Claudine.

The health care juggernauts ER and Grey's Anatomy are both holding their own in their contests, which could set up an interesting second-round matchup between the two hospital dramas.

It looks like only one song is going to make it into the second round as Billy Joel's Allentown, John Lennon's Working Class Hero and Bachman-Turner Overdrive's Takin' Care of Business all are taking their lumps. Take This Job and Shove It, which is matched up against Takin' Care of Business has a substantial lead. Hmmm, are we singing the blues out there in workforce land?

There is one really tough battle developing in the South region: the Julia Roberts vehicle Erin Brockovich holds a miniscule lead over Philadelphia, which stars Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington. Talk about a star-powered matchup!

But there's still plenty of time to change all this. Get your colleagues and friends together and make an Impact.

Stay tuned for periodic bracket updates right here.


Play the Workforce Impact bracket challenge.

Play the Workforce Pop Culture bracket challenge.

The Workforce Impact and Pop Culture bracket challenges are under way! And we're already seeing some surprising results!

In the Impact tournament, as Kris Dunn predicted, Outsourcing is leading Cesar Chavez by a near 2-to-1 margin. Rosie the Riveter is also running away with it over the Postal Worker Strike of 1970. Another upset in the making is Talent Management Systems are lapping the Rev. Jesse Jackson in the West region.

There are also some races that are too close to call: Deng Xiaoping has a slight lead over Manmohan Singh, and Affirmative Action and OSHA are neck-and-neck in the Midwest region. Also, Peter Drucker is falling slightly behind Ethical Practices.

The biggest upsets in the making, however, are in the Pop Culture brackets. Could a No. 1 seed go down? It's never happened in the NCAA men's tournament, but it could happen here. Right now, 9 to 5 is trailing Airplane! by a considerable margin. Hello, Dolly fans? Also, Outsourced has a comfortable lead over Metropolis in the West. Millennials will be happy to read that Workaholics is holding its own over Lilies of the Field. And Eddie Murphy fans are voting in droves for Trading Places to pull the upset over Glengarry Glen Ross. Finally, we wonder where all the 30 Rock fans are? WKRP in Cincinnati is beating it soundly.

Perhaps the most interesting Pop Culture contest right now is between The Simpsons and Dilbert. It's any cartoon's race here. And Modern Times is holding off a big charge from Hoffa.

His Girl Friday, which bracketologists Luke Matheny and Chuck Ross went to bat for, is having a tough go of it, losing to ER by more than a 4-to-1 margin.

But there's still time to change all this. Get your colleagues and friends together and make an Impact.

Stay tuned for periodic bracket updates right here.


Play the Workforce Impact bracket challenge.

Play the Workforce Pop Culture bracket challenge.

Comments powered by Disqus

Hr Jobs

Loading
View All Job Listings