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The Scenario

Michael Corleone paced around his new office on Lake Tahoe, discussing the future of the family with his consigliore, Tom Hagen. "Tom, our move from New York is over, and we are now settled in at our new home in Nevada. Our new complex on Lake Tahoe is complete, except for one last item. We've acquired almost all of the property we need, except for this land right here." Michael gestures to an old, singed map of Lake Tahoe, and points at an area of land to the north named "The Ponderosa". "Get Fredo and the other Capos to take care of it. This has priority."


"Hoss! Adam! Little Joe! Grab your guns and come with me. The Corleones are making another move for the Ponderosa. We have to put a stop to them once and for all." Ben Cartwright once again heads out to defend the Ponderosa from evil-doers from out of town.

Will the Cartwrights succeed in defending their home from the Corleone family? Or will the Corleones subdue the local good guys?

Michael Corleone, The Godfather Ben, Hoss, Adam, Little Joe Cartwright: Bonanza

The Corleones vs. The Cartwrights

The Ponderosa Given that this match takes place at Lake Tahoe, the Godfather-related commentary will be limited to the characters and settings from the relevant portions of The Godfather, Part II. Of course, since these characters can draw on past experiences, The Godfather, Part I and the flashbacks from The Godfather, Part II may be referenced.

The Commentary

JEFF: If this were a straight-up gunfight, I would say the Cartwrights would have the upper hand. But if we know anything about the Corleone family, we know that they use guile, stealth, and misdirection to overcome their enemies. They are from Italy, and are masters of Machiavellian manipulation. With a few quick phone calls to some contacts in law enforcement, immigration, and entertainment, Michael will easily arrange some mysterious "Accidents" to wear the Cartwrights down.

Finding no immediate line of gunfighters, Ben Cartwright will send his three sons in search of information. Adam will be sent east, where he will mysteriously disappear from the show...err ranch, only to be discovered researching old FBI files eight years later. Hoss will be sent westward where he will meet up with a wagon train heading to California. He will have a bit of trouble with them at first, but his Cartwright good nature, and succulent and high protein body will keep the Donner party fed *almost* until spring. Little Joe will be sent north to Reno, where, without his father's sound guidance, he will give into temptation, rebel against his overbearing father, and fall into the wrong crowd at a casino concert. Ben will receive a CD wrapped in brown paper. "What is the meaning of this," Ben will ask. "My God! Rittre Joe sreeps with the Phishes," Hop Sing will reply.

In the end, after finding the head of his favorite horse, Big Buck, in his bed, Ben will see that he has been given an offer he can't refuse. The next day, he will lead what remains of his household, along with a rag-tag fugitive wagon train of refugees from the Cylon...uh...Corleone invasion on a quest to find the promised land. A land where he can again stake a claim on the shore of a lake, marry three women, and have three sons by each of his wives. And maybe take up harvesting salt.

Corleones without firing a shot.

STEVE: Jeff, haven't you even watched ONE episode of Bonanza? In every episode, some villain comes into town, then he/she/they always try to steal land or cattle from the Cartwrights, kill the Cartwrights, frame the Cartwrights for some crime, get into a brawl with Hoss and Little Joe, or at least make fun of Hoss's ridiculous hat. And how do the episodes always end? The Cartwrights come out sparkly clean. No matter how bad or evil the baddies are, the Cartwrights have a knack for coming through unscathed. Meanwhile, the Corleones are always coming though with losses, like Sonny and Vito. Undefeated vs. 0-2? I pick undefeated.

Of course, the big weakness in the Corleone family is Fredo. You know that it is only a matter of time until he befriends the Cartwrights and is ready to turn on his brother. Honestly, if Fredo is willing to turn his back on his brother over some sleazy casino guys and some shady Cubans, then it'll be a piece of cake for the Cartwrights. Hop Sing will keep shoving good ol' country eatin' in front of Fredo, and the next thing you know he's having a drink with the boys in Virginia City. Drunken Fredo will reveal all, and the Cartwrights will know just where to strike.

Finally, you have to remember the Michael Landon Factor (tm). If you recall your elementary Sunday school teachings, the hierarchy goes: God, then Jesus, then Michael Landon, then everyone else. I believe in some southern revisionist churches they may have even moved Michael Landon up to the #2 position. But #2 or #3, the fact remains that he is the chosen one. The Corleones might as well pack it up and head back to the city where they belong.

JEFF: Well look, I'll give you Sonny, but Vito died of natural causes. And even with Sonny, did you see how many bullets it took to take him down? More than the total number of bullets in all the episodes of Bonanza combined! Sure, there were 14 seasons, but there were no more than one or two gunshots per episode on Bonanza. More often than not, you would see the Cartwrights chicken out of gunning down an unarmed rival. Can you imagine the Corleone family thinking twice about showing mercy? No way man. Adam will be gunned down in the street, Hoss will be strangled while enjoying a drink, and Little Joe will be sold into prostitution. Face it, six shooters are no match for Tommy guns with extra large clips.

As for the Holy chain of command, recent news from Rome suggests that the actual chain of command goes something like this: God, Jesus, Mary, The Pope, George W. Bush, That Little Girl That Fell Down The Well, and THEN maybe Michael Landon. Frankly, I have no doubts that being mobsters themselves, BOTH George W. Bush AND the Pope are solidly on the side of the Corleone family.

As for the weak link, I guarantee you that Hop Sing is about one load of smelly Caucasian laundry from going all Kung Fu on Ben Cartwright's ass. Think about it: Working on a ranch is hard, hot, smelly work. And Hop Sing is on the receiving end of all that. Scrubbing out the skidmarks from Hoss's Kalvin Kleins. Working away those nasty rings from Adam's work shirts -- the armpit rings. And, just between you and me, it is a well-kept secret that Little Joe is a bedwetter. Then along comes Fredo. He trades some ethnic recipes. He tells stories about the way his old man fought against his Anglo-Saxon oppressors in Brooklyn to become his own man. Maybe hints about how a casino manager has his pick of showgirls every night. Before you know it, old Ben Cartwright is wearing a Colombian necktie, and Hop Sing is manager of the new Chinese restaurant/casino in Virginia City. Oh no, Fredo will be doing much more than just eating when he comes to visit Hop Sing carrying a suitcase full of green, green dollars. He'll be giving Hop Sing ideas.

STEVE: The best you can do is Hop Sing?! Jeff, I'm amazed that your whole Corleone victory revolves around such a minor character. Granted, he does get the lousy jobs on the Ponderosa, but he knows where his bread is buttered. The Cartwrights have been good to him, and he'll be loyal till the end. Hop Sing's place is in the kitchen, cooking up a hearty dinner for the boys when they get back from kicking some Italian butt.

And if you doubt the Cartwrights' toughness, just last night I was watching a Bonanza rerun, and Adam actually shot someone dead in cold blood, in front of many witnesses. And that was on 1960's TV! If Adam is able to pull that off under 1960's TV violence standards, imagine what he could do today. Don't forget, he wears a black hat. Who knows what kind of evil lurks within him? He may single-handedly kill the whole Corleone family himself if he's in a particularly bad mood.

The Results

Ben Cartwright, Bonanza

The Cartwrights (541 - 51.3%)

calf rope

Michael Corleone, The Godfather

The Corleones (514 - 48.7%)

You folks had been well-behaved for awhile, but at least two parties got
a little over-zealous with the voting this time. All they really managed
to do was cancel each other out, but we threw the votes out anyway.

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Voter Comments


This is an easy one...The Corleones win with Michael sending Rocco out to kill all the Cartwrights when they are on the ranch chewing grass and talking about women. The tough part would be the Congressional hearings.

Senator from NY: "Mister Corleone, isn't true that on the night of Sept. 14th you ordered the killings of a whole Cartwright clan?"

Michael: "This is an utter falsehood and I would never do such a thing."

Senator from Utah: "We have a witness who can dispute that hearings are in recess until 9am tomorrow morning."

That night Michael thinks of which button man in his capos could possibly turn on him. He goes to his brother Fredo for help.

Michael: "Fredo, can you tell me anything about who this witness is?"

Fredo: "Mikey....I'm sorry...(whines some more)....I think they got the "Ranger", he's the only button man we haven't heard from in a while."

Michael: "'re nothing to me now, not a brother, not a half-cousin, not the guy who shines my shoes for a nickel..I don't ever want to see you again in my house."

The next morning the hearings start and the Senator from Utah says: "Please bring in our witness..a Mister Lone Ranger." The crowd is in shock, it is the Lone ranger as we know him but a little greyer and a little out of shape. The Lone ranger takes his seat, and then Michael Corleone, his wife and a third man are entering the room. Michael takes his seat with his wife Fay, and suddenly the Lone ranger recognizes the other man. It is none other than Tonto. he takes his seat next to Michael and looks towards the Lone ranger with sad eyes.

Senator from NY: "Now Mr. Ranger can youi please state for the record your relationship to Mr Corleone?"

Lone ranger: "Mr Corleone?? I know a Vito Corleone, he helped me get my start out here in the West, but Michael, I don't know no Michael Corleone."

Senator from Utah: "Sir you signed affidavits stating that you killed for the Corleone crime family and that you took your orders from a "Rocco" who took his orders straight from Michael Corleone."

Lone ranger: Rocco, yeah, me and Rocco like to go to the gun range together. he's a good guy, but he's never mentioned no Michael Corleone."

Senator from Utah: "Mr Corleone, could you tell me who that man is with you?"

Michael: "Yes, this is a Mr Tonto, a close personal friend of Mr Ranger, who cares deeply for his old friend. He speaks little English, and just wishes to observe with my wife and I."

Senator from NY: "We stand in recess until i can find a way to make some sense of this."

- Matthew an Italian-looking Scotsman at Cornell

Silver Grudgie ROTW Silver Medal GrudgieTM

The decisive factor in the match-up is that Fredo is the field commander of this expedition. Given his fondness for the dining and entertainment industries, it's a safe bet that he will have the Corleone squad stop and sample the local cuisine before tackling the Cartwright problem. Now, any region that goes by the names of "Ponderosa" and "Bonanza" is going to have one and only one type of restaurant: all-you-can-eat smorgasbords.

Recall that Fredo and most of his henchmen come from Italian immigrant families, just one generation off the boat from an impoverished environment. Since they grew up rarely having enough to eat, adult life for the mafiosoes means constantly suppressing the tendency to wolf down everything that is put in front of them. A sheltered environment with knowledgable wives and careful, cooperative chefs can provide the proper diet to keep the goons in fighting-shape, but they're not in their Lake Tahoe compound or Gotham ghetto anymore. In short, a serving room full of substantial food at one low price (i.e. "where the extras don't cost extra") will overwhelm these second-generation Americans.

With the cafeteria line full of ninety-something different dishes to sample, all constantly being replenished, and those pesky waiters always asking if diners want their drinks refilled, it will take Fredo and company hours to struggle out of the Bonanza/Ponderosa restaurant snare, with the Cartwrights patiently waiting outside. When they finally do emerge, the New Yorkers will be bloated, drowsy, and easy meat.

- Matt Bricker

Bronze Grudgie ROTW Bronze Medal GrudgieTM

Damnit, I'm voting for the Godfather bunch again - I went and watched the movie to see what this match is about, sure as HELL I'm not watching fourteen seasons of a show for you guys.

- Keith, the Emperor of Penguins

[Bookworm searches in vain for her response to last week's fight.] is over? Damn you, Iron Fist! Damn you!

*sniff* Here I was, thinking I was immune. That whenever I chose to respond, my pithy or witty (slightly, at least *sniff*) response would be allowed to grace the hallowed halls of the Grudge Match. And now...*sob* I will never feel safe again! I will always be dreading that terrible touch!

Anyway, I...I voted for the Cartwrights, cuz...*sniffle*...cuz, if nothing else, Michael Landon can turn into a werewolf and throw milk at the Corleons.

[Bookworm leaves, continually scanning the skies for that now-dreaded Iron Fist.]

- Bookworm

There, there. Don't cry. Here, take this hanky -- no, not THAT hanky, that's Shane's hanky. Here have some hot chocolate. We'll put you in this week. Here, right near the top. That's better isn't it? We'll find the one who edited you out last week. Then we'll... well, we won't talk about what we will do. No, this doesn't have anything to do with affirmative action. No, nor the recent congressional hearings on voilence in the media. It's because we like you and we think you're funny... uh... amusing... uh... humorous.

I refer you to

Deriving from "[Middle English familie, from Latin familia, household, servants of a household, from famulus, servant.]"

Family (Noun)..Two or more people who share goals and values, have long-term commitments to one another, and reside usually in the same dwelling place.

Like someone could take on just one Italian "business man"..

- bullseye

Who is more intimidating? Imagine walking into a bar where everyone is dressed in expensive Italian suits, versus walking into a bar where everyone is dressed like a cowboy. I think my point is made.

- Rick

This is clearly a case of HOO-HAH! vs. YEE-HAH! Hard to say exactly what that means, but I'll give it to the Corleones.

- Evan D.

The Cartwrights seem to be good old fashioned Republicans. Democrats, like Richard Daley, are bought by the mob. There's no way in my America that some honorable Republicans will lose to some crooked Democrats. By the way, according to (I think) "Executive Power" by Tom Clancy, there are no Mafia hitmen. There are some who are good at killing people, but that's hardly ever their main occupation. Back in the lawless days of the old West, folks had to fend for themselves, and the death rate was higher than Bill Clinton and Al Gore in a pot party combined.

- Noman

Whats up with this even a match? This battle reminds me of the intro to timecop...normally the Corelone's would have to use a whole slew of plots, dirty tricks, and underhanded manuvers to get the win...but against a bunch of cowboys? This is all going to boil down to who's got the bigger guns...I'm no munitions expert but I figure back in the Cartwrights day the big gun of choice was a rifle, and Gatling guns were pretty hard to come by. If Young Guns (dont laugh) taught us anything its that Gatling Guns are 1 per town. On the other many Corelones do you think own tommy guns. Even with his bad lungs Marlon Brando could aerate these bastards in under 60 seconds.

- Providing the world a valuable service...ridding the world of sucky ass heroes

Now, lots of reasons will be given as to WHY Michael and the Corleones will win. But let's knock out the reasons that aren't valid:

(a) It's not the "government-avoidance-ability" factor. Basically, avoiding the government was simple for the organized crime syndicate in the 1950s. Everybody was too worried about being accused of being a commie. Extortion and murder meant nothing compared to the reign of McCarthyism. Even the Cartwrights could avoid them.

(b) It's not the "holy" factor. Divine intervention is out, since the church has probably long given up on Michael. No way are they helping him fight these gunslingers.

(c) It's not the "business" factor. Not even Tom Hagen's slick words would sway the Cartwrights. That's what half the villains they fought against comprised of: suit-wearin' city-folk, or white-suit-lame-string-tie-and-white-cowboy-hat-wearin' fast-talkin' folk. No chance for reasoning.

(d) It's not the "war hero" factor. We're talking a World War II vet. You just don't corrupt World War II vets! If you could, like Michael in this situation, I'd imagine that they'd never go back and forget all about fighting the Axis. I don't think the Cartwrights will honor this vet.

(e) It's not the "family" factor. Sure, there's no doubt the entire Corleone family will support Michael 110%. But after Sonny was gunned down at a tollbooth ("exact change only, dammit!"), and after Fredo was eliminated, everyone's probably a little edgy. Who knows what could happen with them?

(f) It's not even the "hoo-ha" factor. Although many will side with Michael Corleone because of the "hoo-ha" factor, the "hoo-ha" factor is actually pretty meaningless. The "hoo-ha" factor just doesn't fit.

No, folks, the real reason is the GREAT SEQUEL FACTOR! Yes! Before The Godfather, Part II we were sparse on even good sequels. James Bond was there and faithful, to be sure, but almost everything else was pretty bad in sequel terms. And, to be fair, not much has changed since then. BUT, thanks to the likes of Part II, we were introduced to such great sequels like Die Hard 2, Toy Story 2 and The Empire Strikes Back! That's right! The Corleones win and defeat the Cartwrights because of the GREAT SEQUEL FACTOR!


Oh, who the hell am I kidding? It IS the "hoo-ha" factor. Hoo-ha!

- Charge Man (By my Grudge Match calculations, "the adequate sequel to the greatest sequel of all time," Vincent Mancini vs. Adam-12, will be coming in approximately sixteen weeks.)

Hmmmmm. There are a few ways one could interperet this match.

Method #1 The Classic Grudge Match Method (Calling on the assistance of characters tangentially related to the combatants): You could call in any of dozens of characters to fight on either side, but what it ultimately comes down to is the ultimate Grudge Match of good vs. evil, God (or at least an angel of God in the person of Michael Landon) vs. Satan (Al Pachino). God always wins.

Method #2 The Logical Method: According to the logical method, this fight could not occur unless time travel were involved, so we'll skip the logical method. (Besides, as I already pointed out last week logic has no place in a Grudge Match.)

Method #3 The Slightly Illogical Method (Combining elements of methods #1-2): Okay, since Al Pachino starred in The Devil's Advocate with Keanu Reeves and Reeves starred in that well known time-travel comedy Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, that solves the obvious historical problems with this match . . . sort of. Suspension of disbelief is obviously required. Anyway, the Godfather and his mob, with their superior firepower and knowledge of future events would obviously win.

Method #4 The Totally Illogical Method (The method most people use when voting on Grudge Matches.): The entire cast of Bonanza is dead. And besides Al Pachino by himself is way cooler than the cast of Bonanza. And besides Bonanza was on TV before my time and I've only seen a few episodes on late night cable. And besides, as badly as the Godfather sterotypes Italians, it doesn't even come close to how badly Bonanza stereotyped the Chinese and Native Americans. However, none of that matters. I'm voting for the Godfather because he's cooler, and also because he already has more votes.

So, I geuss the Godfather wins.

- Don "King" Milliken

Cartwrights would win because of the Asian Factor:

By definition the Asian factor is that all asians have knowledge beyond the normal realm of man and they all know Kung Fu and such.

To prove this I will give you 3 examples.

1) Mr. Uchida, my ex science teacher, he was so calm and collected, never got mad or anything. Turns out he knew Shaolin Kung Fu (2nd degree Black Belt) and was a member of Army Intelligence. He fought in vietnam and knew how to diffuse a bomb. Yet he never showed anger...

2) Jackie Chan, this little fop has proven time and time again that he is one dangerous man. In Mr. Nice Guy, he was a Chef...Of death, Shanghai Noon a Cowboy...of death, in Rush Hour, a grinning singing idiot...of death.

3) Cartwrights have Hop Sing, this is a maniac with a cleaver, just waiting to snap.

- Canadian Highlander

I voted for the Cartwrights, simply because their theme song's cooler. Sure, the Godfather theme is pretty cool, but it's damn near impossible to hum under your breath. Bonanza, on the other hand...


There's just no contest. Call me when it's the Cartwrights vs. the Killer Tomatoes.

- Vermin Boy

"Go Little Joe! Go Hoss! Go Adam!"


"Sic 'em boys!"


Face it, the Cartwrights are just outnumbered.

- Boba Foot

The Cartwrights win this easily for one reason. They have that annoying theme song that gets stuck in people's heads (it is already stuck in mine). All they have to do is play it really loudly before the battle and Corleons will have the tune so stuck in their heads that they won't think straight, let alone fight straight.

And, don't forget that one of the members of the Cartwright gang goes on to become an angel on the highway (to heaven, that is). With God on their side, how can they loose?

- Corfy

The Cartwrights are toast. Look at the photo of them: three of them are stepping daintily in time, right hands all extended, holding antiquated firearms. They look like dancers. And dancers are not up to taking on the Corleones. Dancers see themselves as artists, but they keep forgetting to add the prefix "starving" to their job description. Plenty of dancers have other jobs, or die paupers. Not a recipe for cut-throat success. And believe you me, this ain't Broadway. It's Business, pure and simple. And business is best left to businessmen.

But consider the mafia... the epitomy of ruthless corporatism. Think that the Cartwrights could handle Hop Sing's union greivances? Nope. The mob will arrive, wearing suits so shiny that they gleam like suns in their own right. And they will shake their capi at the willingness of the Cartwrights to provide so many horses, whoseheads they can unattach.

Not even Federal Disaster Aid can save the Cartwright Codgers now.

- The Nestbeschmutzer

Let's face it, no inbred hicks like the Cartwrights can take out the mob. I repeat THIS IS NOT A DELIVERANCE SITUATION. Start the funeral banjo for ben and gang now.


- Raven Cobriety

Sure, the hands at the Ponderossa have held of criminal thugs before...but there's one thing the Godfather's crew has the Cartwrights just aren't prepared for. Imagine Little Joe's reaction when he wakes up to find a severed horse head in his bed.

The Ponderosa is history folks.

- Great Bob

A: One of the Cartrights is an angel (Highway to Heaven).

B: One of the Corleones is the devil (Devil's Advocate).

C: Evil will win because good is dumb (Spaceballs, Survivor).

- Kilgore Trout

Using the Obvious(tm) and probably Overused(tm) - Lorne Green to Battlestar Galactica to Dirk Benedict to The A-Team to Mr T(tm). How can there be any doubt??

Aside - doesn't this just seem anti-climatic for a Mr. T reference? I think so.

- One of Many Marks - founder of the Mark Jihad (there know the rest)

Michael Corleone: could not break free of his father's shadow. Had at least three onscreen mobster identities (including Big Boy Caprice in Dick Tracy) that all went down. Went soft on Italian cooking.

Ben Cartwright: single father. Filled in for Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show a few times and led a rag-tag group of humans across the galaxy to find the lost tribe of Kobol on the mythical planet Earth while fighting off Cylons. Shilled for (and perhaps even ate) Alpo.

In the end, Cartwrights won't even have to raise a finger. Special guest star Jack Palance rides out of the Ponderosa a'la City Slickers getup, pistol-whips that wimp Michael, spits at the young don as he lays bleeding on the ground and quietly says oh so cooly "Go back East. You're beaten, believe it, or not."

- Chris 'Jedi' Knight says Alpo makes a fine casserole, stop by for dinner sometime!

City boys? On a ranch? Gosh, I hope the Gucci loafers don't get soiled. The Corleones have tommy guns because THEY CAN'T AIM! The Cartwrights on the other hand find that a box of ammo is good for a 14 season run. Which brings us to the final point... durability. The Cartwrights managed over a decade of consistent work. The Corleones? a couple of movies and they are all done. Bury the out-of-their-element-bad-aiming-can't-last-a-minute city slickers where the cattle do their best thinking.

- Night Tripper

I would have voted for the Corleones- they've all those mad skills that mafia guys have. However, anyone who votes for them has failed to notice one fact- we're in an Old West environment. The good guys fighting for their land ALWAYS win. You know how it happens- the Old West Lawman(TM) will be fighting a bunch of Indians/Desperados/Crazed Mexicans and at first he will suck miserably. Then his Lifelong Friend/Deputy/Dog will get shot or hit with an arrow. Seeing this, Old West Lawman(TM)will get The Vengence (A wholly owned subsidiary of The Rage) and start to kick serious butt.

In short, the Corleones will kill off Hop Sing in three seconds. Hoss and the rest of the gang gets mad. The remains of the Corleones are used to fertilize the soil for next year's crop.

- The Blue ONe

"Mr. Cartwright, let me make you on offer, you cant refuse." says Corleogne.

Gun goes against head...

"You get on your knees, and beg for mercy, and we see how many of your toes I break. Or, you face the gun"....

- The Mad chicken horder

Hey! How come I have voted 3 times for the Cartwrights and it still says "Cartwrights- 0" Talk about rigged- something is very wrong with this election!!!!

- Grammagoose

You kiddin' Me??Guns have no meaning.All the Cartwrights have to do is get 50 MEGA BoomBoxes and put their theme on. 2minutes later those who aren't immune(The Cartwrights)Will all take their lives. Sadly they'll have to listen to the music for ALL ETERNITY.

- A.D.D. Annoying Deadly Dave

You say George W. Bush is in a chain of holy-ness?

How dare you defy Heaven so badabaly!

RATS have a better chance of being in the chain! Oh, and about the match, who cares?

- Damion

Well, in my last response I explained how Marlon Brando was a badass, time to take it the next step further.

It isn't just Brando; any actor with a major role in a gangster movie turns into a flat out badass. Think about it; would you take on Pacino alone? No, you'd remember Scarface and you'd get down on your knees and beg for him not to hurt you. Fight Robert DeNiro? No, you wouldn't be able to get the image of him in The Untouchables with the baseball bat, and you'd quietly get away as quickly as you could. Face it, you wouldn't fight any Mafia actor, not Joe Pesci, not James Caan, not Harvey Keitel, hell, not even Ray Liotta, and the man smells like apples, for god's sakes!

Cowboy actors, on the other hand, don't have the same badass rate. Sure, they've got some, Eastwood, John Wayne, but there are numerous others who don't quite muster up. Take John Travolta, the Urban Cowboy. You'd think of Saturday Night Fever and then you'd think "Hey I could take this fat loser." Leonardo DiCaprio played a cowboy in The Quick and The Dead. Tell me you don't think you could take him in a fight. Then there's Dean Martin, Glen Campbell, the list goes on.

I was never one for westerns anyway.

- Infraggable Krunk

Actually, you got the Holy hierarchy one slot skewed...

You see, JESUS IS GOD, so that makes both of them #1, which automatically promotes Landon to #2. So I prophesy some good old-fashioned eternal judgment raining down on the Corleones....

....perhaps in the form of 40 days and nights of Michael's "well-kept secret"......

- The Genius Formerly (and Still) Known as Eddie

In this case, I'm going to go with the side whose theme would make better music for ice cream trucks: Godfathe...

...fuck, actually, I think the Bonanza theme would actually make decent music for an ice cream truck. But the only person I know who watches Bonanza is my retired Dad. Unfortunately, even after working all his life to send four sons through college, my dad can't program the VCR he's owned for 15 years, much less log on and vote here. Sorry, Dad: Godfather.

- Mike Leung

A rather interesting matchup. Let's look at the various factors involved:

Weaponry: The Corleones have access to better guns than the Cartwrights do. They have machine guns while the best the Cartwrights have are six-shooters. However, these are Western TV-style six guns with near-infinite ammunition supply. While the Old West revolver was a .45 to .50 caliber gun with considerable knockdown power, the guns the Corleones have come with a much higher rate of fire. So, the Corleones do have the lead here, but it is not quite as great as one might think.

Unarmed Combat: The Cartwrights have the unquestioned advantage in this category. Ever seen an episode of "Bonanza"? In just about every one, there would be some sort of fight. This would give the Cartwrights an immense amount of experience. Then there is Hoss. He may have been fat, but if he took a swing at you, you went down. I don't think any Corleone could stand up to Hoss's brawling for very long.

Allies: The Corleones have the Mob (since we are limiting this to the Vegas/Tahoe area, this would mean the Vegas branch of the Mob, not a bunch of lightweights). However, the Cartwrights have a surprising and impressive list of allies. Since "Bonanza" current airs on the PAX network (and also due to Michael Landon - Little Joe - and his work on "Highway to Heaven"), a large segment of the Christian Fundamentalist community can be considered allies. These people can strike fear into the US government and get the Republicans to pander to them. Even if the fundamentalists don't join in the fray, there is an extremely powerful, Grudge Match-tested ally that the Cartwrights have. It must be remembered that Ben Cartwright was played by Lorne Greene - who also played Adama on "Battlestar Galactica". All Ben Cartwright has to do is to draw on this connection and the mob will have to put up with wave upon wave of Vipers and everything a colonial Battlestar can throw at them. The Corleones wouldn't stand a chance.

Unless the Corleones can strike a fatal blow against the Cartwrights and do it quickly, they will lose - big time.

- The Demented Astronomer

I voted for the Cartwrights, because I prefer ranch dressing over Italian on my salads.

- My name is Kenny

Sorry. As much as I want to vote for the good-guy underdogs, I really gotta side with the gangsters here. It's all a question of firepower.

The Cartwrights have, at the most, a couple of old style single-action revolvers, shotguns, and some rifles. The Corleones, on the other hand, have a virtual cornucopia of death-dealing weapons to choose from: Semi-auto pistols with high-capacity magazines, Uzis, Ingram MAC-10's, submachine guns, or high-powered carbines like the M4 or Ruger Mini-14.

And even if the good guys could get their hands on some decent up-to-date weapons, with all the Government officials in the Corleones' pocket, it's not unreasonable to assume that they also have access to military grade hardware as well. Just how long can we assume that the Ponderosa gang can withstand a Corleone force armed with M60 machine-guns, M224 60mm Mortars, and flamethrowers? Not long, that's for sure.

And, remember, the Corleones have no desire for the actual ranch house itself, just the land. So they would have no hesitations into blowing it (and everybody holing up inside) into a thick, yellow spray.

Remember the scene in "Timecop" where the goober armed with the twin laser-sighted Uzis goes back in time and wipes out a fully armed Confederate escort?

It's not gonna be pretty, but it'll be quick. An easy victory for the Gang From Italy.

- Xoxotl

My vote goes to the Corleones for the very fact that they ascend beyond the level of Mentos(tm) coolness. Hell, even the name itself is easy to pronounce rather than the sloppy verbal charnel that is the Cartwrights.

Another deciding factor for the Corleones is their cold-blooded viciousness and psychological warfare tactics. Does the horsehead-on-the-bed tactic ring a bell? The kiss of death anyone?

The Cartwrights, on the other hand, are simply over-glorified red-necks who don't know the existance of a low fat diet. Their simple Southern morality will be a nothing more than a hindrance against the Godfather's cold blooded henchmen who stop at NOTHING to murder their target.

In conclusion, Hop Sing's head on the bed will be all that's left of the Carthwrights after the Corleones are through with them.

- Filip J. Frackiewicz

Well, after the pounding last match and given the Corleone's thing about horses, I don't give the Cartwrights much of a chance.

- Tirdun

The Cartwrights for one reason alone: they specialize in patrolling the perimeter. In fact, it's really about all they're good for. Some episodes, our heroes do NOTHING but ride around and kick squatters off their land, like a tribe of baboons protecting their corner of the veldt. The Cartwright clan has almost completely escaped the ravages of evolution.

The Corleones, on the other hand, maintain at least a veneer of sophistication and refinement. Brutal as they are on occasion, can they deal with primal Cartwrightian territorial imperatives? I think not. As soon as Hoss gets to marking his territory, our Sicilian friends will decide that it's just not worth it.

- Lou the Inscrutible

Michael, wearing dark glasses, starts waving his white cane randomly in the air and shouting, "HOO-HAA! DIE, CARTWRIGHTS, DIE! HOO-HAA!" --Wait a minute, I did that joke last week. . . .

Okay, let's put it this way: if one pompous Englishman can wipe out the entire Corleone Family, I don't think they're going to be any challenge for ... Battlestar Galactica!!! The Corleones are reduced to a pile of steaming linguine as soon as Ben says "LAUNCH ALL VIPERS!"

By the way guys, I seem to notice a distinct trend in the matchups. What's up for next week? Let me guess: the "who's better at running a good movie series straight into bedrock" matchup? "Godfather III vs. Joel Schumacher"? If so, I vote for the Corleones, and may the Lords of Kobol have mercy on you, for I will not...

- Deacon

Come on, this one's obvious. A couple of gunslingers are no match for the Corleones, even without having the whole Mafia at their aide. Think about it. Stereotypically, cowboys are fighters, but stupid fighters. They can hurt you, if they remember how. On the other black-gloved hand, Italians are fighters, and good fighters. Watch Rocky and you know what I'm talking about. Besidese, most cowboys would rather tie up their enemies rather than kill them. Corleones? Death. This fight shouldn't last more than 5 minutes.

- The Earl of Hardcore, Paul-to the-Hay

Those Cartrights have been digitized! They've got the whole army of stolen character to help them rub out the mob! Fred Astaire dances by Connie with his damn superbroom. Duke Wayne pauses from beating up Maureen O'Hara to break a Coors Light bottle over Fredo's deathkissed face. The Bill Clinton from Contact woos Diane Keaton away similarly, except he ain't twirling a Dust Devil. Robert Duvall gets stymied by LBJ, Nixon, and JKF triple-teaming his German-Irish law abilities. Johnny Fontaine gets pummeled by John Lennon. And look! It's the last-scene versions of Brandon Lee (Crow) and Oliver Reed (Gladiator) to fight the absent presence of Marlon Brando and Jimmy Caan! And Michael himself gets offed by private eye Rigby Reardon, from Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid.

- Wubbie

The Cartriges have to win, no contest. Do you really want to mess with those guns?

And isn't Italy somewhat related to France? Both are sites of European Tourism. Both are assoicated with classical and romatic culture. I rest my case.

- Katrover Swatroad

Since mobsters and cowboys are both about equal in shooting talent (and enthusiasm in demonstrating it), I gotta agree with Jeff and give the mobsters the edge thanks to technology; six-shooters are no match for tommy guns. Sure, if Ben Cartwright channels Adama, the Corleones could be wiped out by a strafing squadron of Vipers, but the Colonials being on Earth would indicate this is another episode of Galactica 1980, and frankly Lorne Greene is too decent a human being to subject us to THAT even to save himself.

- "Mad Dog" Mike

Tom: Good morning Michael.
Michael: Good morning Tom, what's on the agenda for today?
Tom: Well, the royals of Monaco are waiting to talk to you, they're a little upset about our latest bid on their casinos... its too small, they claim, for the amount of power we'll have its-
Michael: You know how I feel about this, Tom... tell them I would look at it as a personal favor to me if they let this deal go through...
Tom: Very well, lets see, what else? Ah yes the OPEC nations want approval for another oil price hike.
Michael: Alright, tell them its okay this time, but if they raise it anymore, make sure they realize it'll be very difficult for us to keep our power in Congress settled... then what will they do?
Tom: Excellent... oh and I almost forgot, Bill Gates want's you to be his child's godfather...
Michael: Well its the least he can do after I got Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson off his back..
Tom: But you were the one who initiated the whole anti-trust trial to begin with!
Michael: Bill was getting a little full of himself... He needed a reminder of who his friends are... Anything else?
Tom: Hmmm... Nothing of consequence... Well there was that little matter in the Ponderosa?
Michael: Now Tom, I think you can handle a little issue like that... Sigh... Did you send Fredo like I asked? It should have been simple enough for even him to have dealt with...
Tom: Uh, Mikey, do you really think that's appropriate? I mean... aren't you... uh... "arranging Fredo's funeral"?
Michael: True true... hmm... well just call in a little police muscle... maybe a Congressman or two... and I think the Governer owes us a favor, that should have the problem fixed by breakfast... now I've got an election to fix before supper...

About 30 minutes later, in the Ponderosa

Ben: Okay men, we're gonna march on down to that silly Italian's "compound" and call him out...
(knock knock knock)
State Trooper: I'm sorry gentlemen, you have to leave...
Ben: What?
State Trooper: The governor has declared this area a state of emergency, yall have to evacuate.
Ben: What for?
State Trooper: The fire that's raging out of control through this area.
Ben: What fire? I don't see any fire?
(WHUMP!!! Ben hits the ground, massive gun fight ensues, the Bonaza gang fights valiantly, but how can you stop 400 tommy gun totting mafiosos?)

The Corleone's win without breaking a sweat.

- Evil Midnight Bomber

Since my geometry wracked brain is back in high school, lets see a proof.

Given: The Cartwrights "have the right to pick a little fight"
This is not a little fight.
The Cartwrights are not within their rights

The Cartwrights are not within their rights
The police usually arrest people who are not in their rights.
The Corleones own the police.
The Bonanza Boys will soon be learning about why one should never drop the soap in the shower. QED

Anyone who rules over a steakhouse doesn't deserve to win.

- Peanuts "Please let a hole be burned in the screen if another Godfather match is done" Pat

The head guy from the Cartwrights looks like Commander Adama from Battlestar Galactica, so I voted for him, because

*remember all those repeated external shots?*


*They used the same shots over and over and over and over and over...*


*and over and over and over and overandoverandoverandover*




- I'm not an Alien!!!

Last match, the guy arguing for the equalizer said that the only reason they might lose is because Micheal Corleone(tm) wasnt in charge.

Micheal is now in charge.

Enough said.

- Bob

Im amazed that neither side guessed it...the RAGE (tm) The Corleone family obviously has it in spades, and as for the Cartwrights, well, how many attractive women did we ever see on the Ponderosa? The characters never even talked about going out and finding some girl to bang. Yeah...very realistic depiction of life on a ranch. Not once did we hear Hoss or Little Joe brag about his sexual exploits. Frustration equals rage.

Of course, I`m also amazed that this match wasn`t Marlon Brando vs. Marlon Brando`s weight in chihuahuas...

- 1/2 Nelson

Oh come on... The cartwrights vs. the Family? I can see it now: Hey Ma! We got's visiterz! And they got's a really purtty car too! I... *pzing -> thud* Well boys, one down and only... oh nine or so to go. Be quick about it, you know how impatient the Don is..."

The suits enter the house to the sight of five family members hurridly throwing their pants on and screaming "jeezuz boy! give me that gun!"... "No not THAT GUN!"
*pzing - pzing - pzing -> thud thud*
A shimmering gold covered finger moves to it's owners ear... "Yes sir... two in the bushes out back, roger... I have a visual." *pzing*

The sound of a motor starting out front quells the silence and the suits look on calmly as their Mercedes roars to life. Without batting an eye, the lead man reaches into his breast pocket, pulling out a red buttoned remote control. The man to his right nods and mumbles something about the chopper being within range, and with a gleam in his eye almost visable throught the dark sunglasses the lead man presses the button leaving the car and it's would be heisters in a pool of molten steel.

The lesson? Don't ever stand in the way of the family, or the horse's head you wake up with might be named Hoss...

- Unisniper

"he who eats better lives longer" says a nepali proverb

corleones = italian name, italian family, good food

cartwrights = english name, english type family, for whom fish an' chips is gourmet

corleones by a huge byte (ok, im a nerd)

besides, i hate limeys more than you americans do

- nepali keta ajaya panday

I know nothing about the Godfather series.

I know next to nothing about Bonanza.

But I do know that Bonanza had a catchy theme song, even if I don't in fact know any of the lyrics to it (besides "Bo-nan-ZA!").

So Bonanza wins for that.

- Denis "Okay, so in high school a friend gave me grief for never having seen the Godfather -- but he had never seen Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure! Some priorities there, huh?" Moskowitz

While the Cartwrights may be a tough bunch, the Corleones have the advantage. The advantage they have is called The Reality Factor(TM). The Cartwrights operate according to Hollywood Rules circa 1960, which state that no good guy can die or lose. The Corleones operate according to the rule that states Colt SAA's lose very very badly to Thompson Sub-Machine guns with 50 round drum clips. Let's do a chart comparison:

               Corleones              Cartwrights         Winnner

Firepower      Tommy Guns             .45s                Corleones

Past Record    Ya win ya lose         Never Scratched     Cartwrights

Manpower       As many as they want   Four                Corleones

Morale         Love killing           Hate killing        Corleones

Allies         The Teamsters(TM)      The Ponderosa       Cartwrights

Coolness       Mentos!                Zzzzzz...           Corleones

The Rage(TM)   Not Really             Alive in the 60's   Cartwrights

Money          Successful Mobsters    Billionaires        Cartwrights

The Cartwrights will off about 5 hired Corleone thugs in five episodes before the Corleones bribe the producers to allow more violence and then will level everything in sight. They will get the property, but the Cartwrights will stroll off and set up somewhere else, which is what they wanted to do anyway. Victory to Both.

- The Amazing Wonder Jew

The Cartwrights were guest stars on an episode of the Flintstones.

The Corleones were not.

The Flintstones= the Simpsons' 1960s versions.

The Cartrocks... er, Cartwrights, win. Boulder-sized bullets HURT.

- Todd Evil

Hmm, the Carleones vs the Cartwrights... This is a tough one. A group of dark, yet failable, bad-asses against a group of infailable, yet exceedingly cheesy yokels... Hmm...

Wait a minute! We just had this match! X-Men vs the Superfriends! So lets just mosey on over to the History section and see how that match went. *Surfs over to the Grudge Match History Page(TM)* ...Well, well, well. Will ya look at that margin of victory...

Well, that's settled. Carleones in a route.

- The Animator

Corleones vs the Cartwrights, huh? Intriguing.

In the end, I've got to say that the Corleones are probably the tougher bunch. As a man who has had experience with Italian women, I have got to say that when you hear the comment "Italian women are more dangerous than shotguns," whoever said that was'nt kidding.

ANY man who has to constantly use that kind of care in his romantic life is DEFINITELY going to be jacked up for a fight. And mob wives tend to take things to a new extreme. Just think of Tony Soprano as exhibit A. HIS OWN MOTHER was trying to put a hit on him. With relatives like that, who needs enemies?

The Corleones would go into this fight like they go into any other fight-well fed, extremely irritable, and with a score to settle. A dangerous combination indeed.

- Dak Barhopper, Guy with email

The scene: the Corleones are sitting in a small room. Michael, Vito (or whatever his name was, the red-headed brother) and some consiglieri are sitting together, when a messenger comes in, whispers in the ear of a consiglieri, and leaves.

Consiglieri: They've recommened a meeting at a local saloon.

Michael: They'll search me, won't they?

Vito: Yeah.

Michael: So... if we could hide a gun there before hand, and I could get to it... I'll kill them all.

There is some discussion, and eventually they tape it to the inside of the bottom of the outhouse shit-hole... or whatever you call 'em.

Scene: Michael and the Cartwrights are seated at a table, and they are discussing business in Italian (how Little Joe learned it, no one quite knows). Michael excuses himself, and leaves for the outhouse. He sticks his arm in up to the shoulder, wades around in the sludge-like shit for the gun, and eventually comes out with an old six-shooter. He takes a minute to unclog the corn from the barrel, then walks back in.

Hoss: Wait a minute...

Hoss and the rest of the Cartwrights stand. Michael walks in, and is gunned down by the entire family.

Adam: The old gun-in-the-crapper trick? I did that a lot when I was younger...

- Keith, Emperor of Penguins

The Corleones will waste no time taking this fight to the Cartwrights, bursting fully armed into the ranch house while the family is sitting down to dinner. And this will be their downfall.

Hoss, his mouth stuffed with biscuits and gravy, will choke out an exclamation of surprise. The Corleones, briefly confused by his girth and mumbled speech, will momentarily take him for Don Vito. Their hesitation will last a split-second, but that will be enough for the fastest-drawing family in the West.

The Cartwrights win before Hoss can even swallow.

- Call me Shane

I just wanted to point out to all those who look at Italy's military to judge the chances of the Corleone's should remember that the reason the Italian army couldn't hit the broadside of Etheopia is BECAUSE of the Mafia. The mafia made Italy the most corrupt nation on earth where nothing works without a bribe and a years weight. The only way to get anything done in Italy, even invade small nations, is to show some respect, capiche? Saying the Mafia's weak because the Italian army sucks is like saying a German couldn't win a war because France can't win. You're confusing Allies with Enemies.

The Cartwright's wake up with one their bed full to overflowing with horse heads.

- Steven

After randomly selecting what seems to be the loser, I think I'll write a pro-Cartwright bit here so I can relish in the irony. Since I don't know too much (read: anything) about the Cartwrights, I think I'll just make it up as I go along.

Ben: Damn those I-talians! Little Joe, go fetch me the corpse of Michael Landon!
Hoss: Michael Landon sleeps with the fishes
Ben: Now knock that off Hoss!
Adam: damn traitor
Little Joe: C'mon guys if we're going to beat those dumb ol' i-talians we've got to WORK TOGETHER!
Ben: Jee-zus!
Adam: the boy's gone fruity on us, paw
Hoss: Little Joe sleeps with the fishes
Little Joe: h-h-h-e's a-scaring me!
Hoss: have you ever seen so many hyphens in your life?
Ben: awww now see, you've gone and broke the "fourth wall".
Adam: Fourth wall?
Ben(sage-like): yeah, you know, basic acting concept...fourth wall...we're supposed to be SAYING this, not reading it.
Little Joe: What's my motivation?
Ben(showing Joe the back of his hand): got it right here, this is my shot at stardom and I'll be damned if some snot-nosed poofter is going to screw it up for me!
Adam: Pa, what happened to your accent?
Ben: Sheeeeee-it, you morons going to keep to the script or what?
Hoss: the script sleeps with the fishes
Ben: ok you're scaring me
Hoss: but look, Adam has his head stuck in a buffalo again...
Adam: I do not URK!!!
(All watch in horror as the situation Hoss described happens before their eyes)
Little Joe: Got-DAMN! If'n that's not the weirdest thing I ever did see....well, since the last time he's done it. Before that there was the time there was a smallish green muppet...
Ben: Ain't got time for that malarky now son, Hoss has just given us the Key to Victory(uh-oh, my first TM since my return...)

So the Corleones go home embattled, bittered and unable to shake the taste of buffalo for weeks.

- Akhamed -- a very, very feeble-minded idiot. I like hyphens!

No contest. Corleones in a second over the Cartwrights. Why? Tommy guns vs. 6 shooter for one thing (although in all those 60s shows, everyone always was able to shoot more times than their respective weapons held). Second, all I have to do is point to modern society: Do cowboys still carry 6 shooters and ride horses down to the OK corral? No. Does the mob still control Vegas? You bet.

Corleones win by the length of a decapitated horse's head.

- Jay

The way I see it, Benny-boy'll wake up in his bed all stressed out about some blood he finds on his fingers when he goes to rub his eyes. He'll then sit straight-up in bed and frantically starts pulling off the blanket (which takes up even more time, for some reason). At this point, some really creepy violin music is heard in the background - JUST because! The cowboy finally pulls off the sheets and to his horror discovers . . . . . Hop Sing's bloody, dismembered head lying in bed with him! Ben then starts screaming like a girl (cowboys - pheh) and keeps screaming as the camera pulls back to different shots of him screaming.
The next morning, the Corleones are given the deed to the Ponderosa. No fighting, no arguing.

- Some Guy


The High Sierra, with winter approaching? Screw the Corleone's AND the Cartwrights. My money's on the Donner family!

- Dan McD.

If you liked this match, check out these other past matches:

Godfather v. Equalizer
Clint Eastwood v. John Wayne
Brady Bunch v. Partridge Family

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Next Match: Dudes look like ladies.
ETA: Monday, September 25th, 2000

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