Portland Madness: The Incredible Journey to find out what’s the most Portland thing about Portland

Portland Madness

The month of March is a special one. Renowned for the transition of spring into winter, for the celebrations of St. Patrick’s Day and Mardi Gras, and for the birthday of Christopher Walken. But above all, the most important tradition in March is filling out brackets.

Everyone from President Obama to your office mates take the time to fill out brackets for the very famous college basketball March tournament of Madness that cannot be explicitly mentioned for legal reasons. And now, there is a tournament bracket just for Portland.

Madness Animation
We picked 65 of the Most Portland Things About Portland™ to battle it out in a winner-take-all single-elimination tournament.

What one thing defines a city so eclectic, so diverse, and so weird? How can one thing possibly represent an entire city? Is it our abundance of food carts? Our love of and near-obsession with microbrewed beer? Or is the Most Portland Thing About Portland™ something that embodies the city in a more subtle way, like brunch lines, or irony? This tournament will eliminate 64 hopefuls down to the most Portlandia-est thing of all, and only then will we know the answer to that question.

How it Works

From March 3rd until March 20th, will be open to you, the public, to fill out your own brackets. Stuff the ballot box and share with friends! Make the hard choices as you pick your winners to advance in the tournament, before finally choosing a winner. You will be able to create an account for the site, so you can come back later and edit your choices if you change your mind (Don’t worry, we absolutely will not share your email with anyone, nor will we send you unsolicited spammy emails). Beyond the thrill of choosing the most Portland thing of all, the player (that’s you!) who ends up with the most accurate bracket, will win a really awesome Portland prize. See below for more details on that.

On March 20th, the tournament will officially begin, but rather than the matches taking place on the basketball court, they will be determined via votes on the tournament page. This means you can vote for the things YOU picked in your bracket to increase your chances of winning the tournament.

Every few days we’ll post a new round with the winners advancing on. We’ll post the new brackets on the site and announce the new rounds on Facebook and Twitter. Don’t forget to vote in every round! Your bracket has a better chance to win, the more you vote!

Remember, the winner will forever define our dear city, so let your voice be heard!

Play-In Maine

Don’t think that we forgot about our sister city in the icy North East. We wanted to give them a chance in the big show, so from now until March 20 when the full bracket goes live, we’ll have the vote up to see whether Lobsters or Snow get a chance in the tournament in a first-round matchup with a strong 1-seed Hipsters.


Once the tournament begins on March 20th, all brackets will be locked and will be entered for a chance to win a grand prize, consisting of gift certificates to local establishments, and an assortment of “Things” that scream “I freaking heart Portland.” Oh, and did we mention eternal glory and bragging rights?


With the weather inching towards spring, the most Portlandy things start to emerge from their rainy hibernation. When you see something that’s so Portland you just have to share it with the world, put it on Instagram with the hashtag #pdxmadness. Our panel of experts will pour through the submissions and pick their favorite one to win another very Portland prize.

Is Instagram too mainstream for you? No worries, just post them on the eROI Facebook page, or snail-mail them to our office. The post office is really just retro-Instagram!

Stay tuned to and all of our social channels to see in-depth analysis of the contenders, things that didn’t make the tournament, and hilarious side bets between eROI employees.

Madness is coming!

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