Side Dish Bracket: Cold Division Part 4

Ladies and gentlemen, yesterday we saw just how ugly bracketing can get. We saw rebels rising up and trying to bring about complete anarchy. We saw people I have no choice but to label “terrorists” attempting to redefine the parameters of what the Selection Committee declared a Bean. It was looking pretty tough, and I wasn’t sure if we were going to make it through.

Thankfully, in the end, calmer heads prevailed. Votes were cast. Reasons were given for Seasons. Fries pulled a Michael Flatley on Beans’ dick. Interestingly, Fries will move on to face Non-Fry Potatoes in the next round. T’will be brother against brother.

But that’s a matter for another day. Today, we have to finish out the last round of the Cold Division. I expect this one will either a) be entirely one-sided, or b) spark another mini-Populist revolution. Only time will tell which way the Cookie’s gonna crumble, so let’s get into it.

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Salad (1)

Here’s the fucking deal: there are limitations to what can reasonably be considered a Side Salad, and that’s a damned shame. One of the only reasons I like Salad is the Cobb, which many people have made abundantly clear is an entree Salad, and therefore not relevant to this competition. This breaks my heart.

And thus, I am making a slight tweak to what we’re talking about when we say “Salad.” Sure, we’re talking about a Side Salad you may order at a upscale eatery, but more to the point, we’re also talking about a Salad Bar.

If you don’t like this wrinkle, blow me. I can’t count the number of times I enjoyed a nice “1 Trip Salad Bar For A Dollar” Side at local Missouri steakhouses. In fact, for reasons I will delineate now, I was happier to have that than a Baked Potato.


  • You are in charge of your experience. When you go to a Salad Bar, you can control your fate. You want a shit ton of Pickles on your Romaine and Beet Salad? It’s your world. You want to make a mountain of Shredded Carrots, top it with 1000 Island, and call it “a Salad?” I don’t advise it, but I certainly wouldn’t stop you from doing so.
  • The Salad Bar is a sneaky little trick, in that when we introduce the Bar, we’re also introducing¬†Pepperoncinis, Olives, and Cottage Cheese. There’s a whole world of customization to be explored on that Bar.


  • At the end of the day, Salad is still Salad, and Salad kind of sucks.
  • Due to “Becoming An Entree Limitations,” it must be stipulated that even if you have free reign at the Salad Bar, there are a few things that still don’t fly. You can add a little Deli Meat, but you can’t add Hot Meats, lest your Salad no longer be considered a Side. It’s seems to be the consensus that a Chef Salad can be a Side, but a Cobb cannot.

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Jello Salad (8)

Jello Salad got an automatic bid into the tournament. My old podcast/bracketing co-host Nicky Gifts would explain that they won the title, coming out of a weak conference, to claim a #8 Seed. No matter the case, it’s here, and now we have to deal with it.

I’m not thrilled with this either, but I’m just one many of many on the Selection Committee, and in this instance, the rest of the team showed themselves to not be the pushovers I previously accused them of being.


  • On a textural level, there’s nothing else like this in the bracket. Depending on inflection, this could be a pro or a con.
  • There is an amazing variety of things that can be considered Jello Salad. There is the traditional Jello/Marshmallow Fruit Salads we’re all so aware of from cookouts passed, but that’s the tip of the iceberg. A lot of other stuff (Google “Aspic Salads”)¬†falls under this heading, and most of it is harrowing.
  • I’m down with any Side Dish that has the quiet confidence to associate itself with not only Marshmallow, but also Whipped Cream, and not allow itself to be relegated to the world of desserts.


  • Any of those Tomato-Based Aspic Sides look like horrifying abominations.
  • Jello Salad is really a pretty White Trash Side. You rarely see it outside of an outdoor-eating-scenario; you rarely see it served anywhere that requires shoes.
  • Even a good Jello Salad isn’t really what you want to go along with a meal, unless there are no other Side options.

That got bleak at the end there, folks. I just can’t remain neutral here, and that’s fine. That’s what #1 v. #8 match-ups come down to sometime: Tyson v. Punching Bag.

But it’s not my opinion that matters; it’s yours. Only your Seasoning matters here, so what’s it going to be? Who is our last entry into the Edible 8 be: Sexy Ass Salads or Jovial Jello Salad? Let’s get to voting.

14 thoughts on “Side Dish Bracket: Cold Division Part 4”

  1. I didn’t know that jello salad was a thing. Now I’m questioning why it’s a side and not a dessert. Very many questions. I vote salad, the real kind.

    1. Logic would dictate that it should be a dessert, but it’s often passed off as a Side. Also, even though you think of Jello as being a sweet thing, you can use Gelatin in a lot of savory presentations. The effect is disgusting, but you can do it.

      Overall, I’m not happy about this, but it’s an 8 Seed; more or less a lamb being led to slaughter.

  2. I vote for salad bar. What’s interesting about this battle is I have seen jello salad available in various salad bars. This is the most incestuous match up so far.

  3. Some salad bars have jello salad, potato salad, and macaroni salad in them(I’m looking at you Ruby Tuesday salad bar). So really, isn’t the cold division just salad bar?

    1. Admittedly, this is the limitation of the Cold Division, but the truth really is that the Cold Division is going to get worked by the Hot Division, so it’s all kind of an exercise in futility. You make a great point though. The Selection Committee is not thrilled with how this worked out, but to be fair, Jello Salad played Cottage Cheese in the play in game, so it would have been bad no matter what.


    Finally Chips and Salsa has some competition. Also, don’t sleep on either vs Fries. Rice shoulda taken this whole shit home running away, but I really think that both chips and salsa and salad bar fucks with fries.

    1. I think you have a good point, especially considering the diverse offerings of a Salad Bar and how unimpressed we all are by Fries at this point. It could get murky, but really, even with those two contenders, the Cold Division is undoubtedly the underdog.

  5. I really want to play devil’s advocate here, but man, it’s hard to defend Jell-o salad. Trad sal (traditional salad) takes it handily.

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