Nerds Battle for Supremacy at the Phoenix Ultimate Geek Smackdown Starting Tonight
Local geek guru Jeff Moriarty can sum up what Phoenix Comicon is all about in one single word: Passion.
Courtesy of Lighting Octopus Two of the participants in last year's edition of the Phoenix Ultimate Geek Smackdown
"It's a chance for geeks to really let loose about things they're passionate about," he says. "Most of the time, if they geek out hard about Star Wars, Serenity, cosplay, or the DC Universe, ordinary people won't know what the hell they're talking about. Being passionate about something geeky is what Comicon is all about."
Moriarty hopes to tap into said passions with the annual Phoenix Ultimate Geek Smackdown, which kicks off this evening during Phoenix Comicon's opening night.
The two-day competition, which is organized by Moriarty and local geek blogger Jonathan Simon (of Lightning Octopus fame), will pit geeks and nerds against one another in a battle for nerd supremacy.
Courtesy of Jeff Moriarty Andrea Beesley's funky trophy from last year's Phoenix Ultimate Geek Smackdown
"Personally, this is a chance for me to bust out every single geeky cliché all at once," Moriarty says. "Stuff like, 'There can be only one,' or 'In a world where only one geek can reign supreme.' That sort of stuff."
According to the smackdown's organizers, contestants will be paired off in each round an assigned a geek-oriented topic for debate (such as, "Team Edward or Team Jacob?"). One participant will then make their case, their opponent will counter, a healthy session of debate will follow, and then both will each be given an opportunity for a closing statement. The audience will then decide the winner.
Tonight's opening round of the smackdown will feature 16 competitors, which will be selected from those who signed up online or are in the audience. Eight winners will move on to the finals tomorrow night.
At stake are some major bragging rights, as well as a humorous, one-of-a-kind trophy created by Andrea Beesley (a.k.a. the "Midnite Movie Mamacita") for the smackdown. Moriarty is certain that this year's trophy will be just as goofy as last year's version.
"It was like this lion being ridden by Chewbacca and Geordi La Forge wrapped in gold lame. And in its mouth was C-3PO's head. It was the most ridiculous thing you could've ever possibly imagined for a trophy and everybody loved it," he says. "Andrea took this as a personal challenge to outdo herself this year and has been hitting up Bookmans and other stores and calling in favors to create this thing she's putting together."