What sandwich types should be deemed fit for a 32-pronged, single-elimination, bracket-style competition? This became a topic of great debate in our newsroom as we set out to launch RedEye's Best Sandwich Tournament.
Some argued that we should include patty melts, but not burgers. A falafel-filled pita is most definitely a sandwich, others said. When our heated discussion led to how a sandwich should be defined, most insisted that it's some kind of filling between two pieces of bread. But such a strict definition left local specialties such as the jibarito -- a sandwich with pressed plantains instead of bread -- out in the cold. Is a quesadilla a sandwich? What about a taco? Exasperated, our nightlife reporter Kate Bernot offered up the following: A sandwich is like porn. I can't define it, but I know it when I see it. Meanwhile, movie critic Matt Pais threatened to boycott the competition entirely if his favorite, the buffalo chicken sandwich, was not included.
And so, I leave you with this explanation: You will find no burgers or hot dogs in this bracket. We left out open-faced regional specialties such as The Horseshoe and Beef Manhattan. We had to put falafel, gyros and other pita sandwiches aside. Grilled salami, fried bologna sandwiches, naan-wiches and waffle-wiches were all advocated for, but foregone for more commonly found categories. Sincere apologies devotees of ice cream sandwiches and knuckle sandwiches, which were nominated but did not make the final cut. These decisions, fellow sandwich lovers, were not easy.
After noticing me toiling over this bracket at home one night, my husband wondered what I was up to and offered his two cents. How could we possibly attempt a bracket without seeding, he said? Shouldn’t these sandwiches be required to play a regular season before being thrown into the playoffs? Valid points, I told him, if this were not a completely made-up tournament created for our own amusement.
We might never agree on what is and isn’t a sandwich (#whatisasandwich), but hopefully we can all have a little fun voting for our favorites in this totally fictional war of the ’wiches. View our bracket and cast your vote in the fourth round of competition now here through Sept. 9.