Grantland is running a tournament to find the greatest Wire character. They’ve created a seeded bracket of 32 Wire personalities and the voting (round 1 is already under way) is taking place on their Facebook page. Do it!

My predictions: the tournament is divided into four “regions” – West Baltimore, East Baltimore, the Ports, and Hamsterdam. Each region has 8 characters, seeded 1-8. The following may contain information about plot points from the show, so if you’re the kind of stubbornly self-defeating person who hasn’t watched the Wire yet, get over yourself and watch it before reading on.

West Baltimore (1st round of voting already complete):

Snoop vs. Michael in round 2 will be an epic matchup, but I fancy Snoop to take it. Omar should thump Cutty and will almost certainly have too much for Snoop as well: he’s a clear semi finalist and one of the favourites for the title.

East Baltimore (voting under way, preliminary results coming through):

It’s going with the seedings (Marlo beats Kima, Bodie beats Rawls, Stringer beats Herc), apart from Lester Freamon vs. Weebay, where the underdog Lester has the lead. That is not so surprising: I’d make Lester one of the strongest in this quarter of the draw. But it’s impossible to look beyond Stringer as the semi finalist from this lot.

Ports (1st round of voting already complete):

Round 1 went comfortably with seeding, but the 2nd will be interesting. Carcetti is an underdog against Avon but I think he’d be a good shout to cause an upset due to his prominence in the final two seasons of the show, which will be uppermost in voters’ minds. Bunny vs. Prop Joe is a tough one, but I’m picking Joe to edge it on language: a guy who gets to use the word “cadaverous” is to be reckoned with. That leaves us Carcetti vs. Prop Joe for a semi final spot, and my guess is that again, Joe takes it for sheer badass factor, and having a brutal death scene.

Hamsterdam (not started yet):

Controversially, this quarter includes both Bunk and McNulty, partners and buddies, who share one of the most memorable scenes of season one, where they break down a crime scene using only the word “fuck.” They should both take their round ones, and Bunk will be comfortable in the second against either Wallace or Levy. McNulty has a tougher route the the quarter final… Hold on wait a second! It looks like voting is under way after all, and McNulty will be facing Bubbles in round 2 after he upset Clay Davis in round 1. I’d have fancied Davis to trouble McNulty, but I think Bubbles won’t have the staying power and McNulty and Bunk will face off for that semi final spot…. Such a tough one to call. I’m taking Bunk, because McNulty’s rubbish in season 4 and highly controversially mental in season 5.

Semi finals.

Stringer vs. Prop Joe: Come on. His journey was cut short in season 3, but Stringer is a Wire icon. There’ll be plenty of underdog support for Joe, but Stringer has too many weapons: the Avon relationship, the McNulty relationship, the hard stares, the “40 degree day” thing. It’s all gonna tell in the final reckoning.

Bunk vs. Omar: I could see a tidal wave of support building for the “humble mofo with a big dick,” especially given this stirring endorsement, but Omar is Omar. The President even voted for him (FACT. Look it up when you get home).

Final: Gah. I’ll want to revisit this after another round of voting. Heart says Stringer, head says Omar.

PS: thanks to the inevitable (and redesigned! check it out) kottke for the link.