The Good Men Sweet 16 Bracket

Sixteen athletes, entertainers, businessmen, and world leaders face off for the imaginary title of Best Man.

In honor of March Madness, we’re pitting 16 of the best men in the world against one another in a single-elmination, bracket-style competition to try and find who the best man truly is. We already gave you a bracket for good men. This is the (completely subjective) bracket of good men. We start off in the Sweet 16:



(1) Drew Brees vs. (4) Landon Donovan

Brees is the overwhelming favorite, and he jumped out to an early lead because, well, he saved an entire city. Generally, he’s just a great dude. He’s pretty freaking good at football, and now that we might not have football, he’s front and center, trying to bring the game back. Intelligent and athletic. You know, if I were a woman … wait, where were we?

Right, Landon Donovan.

You can never rule out our four-seed. If you need a little refresher course, here’s why:

Brees saved a city? Big deal. Landon Donovan captivated a country for, well, a couple of days. That’s more than enough. Everyone’s brackets are busted, and we’re only one game in.

(2) Derek Jeter vs. (3) Steve Nash

Everyone loves Derek Jeter. OK, no they don’t. Everyone wants to be Derek Jeter. He’s that two-seed who’s almost always a one-seed, but, since it’s Derek Jeter, we all still think he’s a favorite, kind of like UNC. His, um, “dating” resume is impressive, but it’s the consistency and the way he’s succeeded—he’s the one guy we’d never put anywhere near the All-Steroids team—that makes Jeter such a respected winner.

His opponent though, other than a few MVPs, hasn’t won anything. Still, despite his absolutely terrible haircut, everyone really does love Steve Nash. Whether it’s his charitableness, his entertaining basketball skills, or his general awesomeness, you won’t find anyone who’ll say a bad word about Nash. Also, being really good at two sports doesn’t hurt. Nash advances in a blowout we all saw coming, but were afraid to admit.



(1) Bono vs. (4) Ben Stiller

Stiller is a fan favorite. He’s the team everyone wants to be “this year’s George Mason.” Stillerstrong? Yes. He’s doing good in a funny way, which is something we all want to see more of. But Meet the Fockers? Seriously, man. What the hell was that? Maybe in the NIT that crap would’ve flown, but not here.

This is Bono we’re talking about. The guy might not even have eyes and no one would care because he’s so awesome. Right now, he’s simultaneously solving world hunger, cleaning water in Cambodia, setting the world record for the fastest Sudoku game, and recording a No. 1 single. It’s Bono in a romp.

(2) Sean Penn vs. (3) Conan O’Brien

Sean Penn is weird. We’re supposed to think he’s good. He does a lot of good stuff. But we’re really not sure what the hell is going on over there. Like, sure, he’s a great guy and all, but he’s too … removed and mysterious. And that freaks me out. If BYU was a talented, philanthropic, Oscar-winning actor taking part in a fake celebrity version of March Madness, they would be Sean Penn.

Conan, though, is a little more straightforward. He’s a nut job, but he’s one of those really loud, really harmless crazy people. That’s crazy in a good way. Conan is crazy for a good cause. Midway through the second half, he figures out Penn’s complex, vaguely secretive defense and squeaks out a close one.



(1) Bill Gates vs. (4) Mark Zuckerberg

No, the Zuck doesn’t have a friend on the selection committee. He didn’t offer us a rather sizable share of Facebook ownership. He didn’t mention anything about a secret program that lets you see everyone who’s clicked on your profile. And he didn’t promise any of us a collectable pair of his Adidas slip-ons and tube socks. None of that! His late-season form earned him his spot in the field.

However, as we’ve seen, late-season form means absolutely nothing in March. Bill Gates has been doing this for years, and he absolutely demolished Zuckerberg. His inside and outside game are too much for Zuckerberg’s free-flowing, open-door privacy policy … er, defense.

(2) Steve Jobs vs. (3) Warren Buffett

Chalk. Chalk. Chalk.

You know, sometimes the team that deserves to advance just doesn’t. Whether it’s a bad bounce, a freak injury, or an absolutely ridiculous call by a numerically challenged referee … shit just happens.

And that’s how it is here. If Warren Buffett pronounced his last name differently, he would advance, especially after a last-second slip-up by Jobs opened the door. But a technicality cost him: we’re stuck with the boring “Buff-it.” And because of that, Warren Buffett has to watch the rest of the tournament from home. Steve Jobs advances.


World Leaders:

(1) Dalai Lama vs. (4) President Obama

After beating out Vladimir Putin in the play-in game that many thought he had no right to be in, Obama’s bid to become this tournament’s VCU comes to a screeching halt at the feet of His Holiness.

The Dalai Lama caught game tape of the president’s early-season out-of-conference loss to Ben Stiller, and he exploited those same weaknesses to perfection.

(2) Pope Benedict XVI vs. (3) Ban Ki-moon

Ban Ki-moon came into the tournament as the hot upset pick. The computer rankings said he was under-seeded. His up-tempo game was supposed to be a mismatch for the Pope’s slow-it-down, grind-it-out, old-school style. But that’s why they play the games.

Everything went wrong for the three-seed. Whenever he needed a big shot, the ball rimmed out. Every close call went the way of Pope Benedict. After the game, Ban Ki-Moon was looking for answers.

“You know, we ran everything to perfection. We stuck to our game plan and did what we needed to, but it just wasn’t our day. It’s like there was some higher power guiding the ball out there today or something.”


Next: Elite Eight

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About Ryan O'Hanlon

Ryan O'Hanlon is the managing editor of the Good Men Project. He used to play soccer and go to college. He's still trying to get over it. You can follow him on Twitter @rwohan.


  1. You got some underwhelming seeds here: bill gates, lance donovan, argh! nothing against lance but andres iniesta is so much more a compelling player and person. a real hero on and off the field. and sure, bill gates has used his billions to do good but the guy is an utter asshole who used underhanded tactics to monopolize (and charge monopoly pricing for ) PC software.

    Come on guys, you can do better than this!

  2. We love you guys!! Who else would run a competition for Most Good Man??

  3. Adam Ploni says:

    So, your #1 good man is someone who is celibate, who renounces family and fatherhood, and who sustains a religious patriarchy? Is this a joke? This post runs counter to everything else I’ve read on this site.

  4. I knew you wrote this Ryan since you had a soccer player in the final! Being a fellow aficianado, I love that of course, but a different player comes to mind for me: Tim Howard. His success despite dealing with Tourette’s Syndrome has been really inspirational for kids who are often bullied & ostracized for their disability.

    Let the debating begin…

  5. todd mauldin says:

    cornel west was robbed, not even in bracket! :/


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