The Edible Bracket 2011

Last year's winners of the MNCAAPG Best Bracket contest are back. This March Madness season, we will be documenting foods associated with the competing schools. Consider it March Madness, Top Chef Edition.

Indiana State University Sycamore Sam (Terre Haute, IN): “Put a [Larry] Bird on It” Fig Bird

sycamore fig byrd

OK, go with us on this one. This Indiana State¬†food art has many meanings, many layers. Let’s unpack it together.

1. Ficus sycomorus, sometimes called the sycamore fig, sycamore, or sycomore, is a fig species that has been cultivated since ancient times. Thus, the fig represents the Indiana State mascot, Sycamore Sam.

2. Larry Bird was an Indiana State star and a major NBA star. Bird was born in Indiana and also coached the Indiana Pacers. Dude is all around Indiana star. The fact that the figs have been shaped into a bird (um, sort of) is an homage to him.

3. Finally, and also, we love Portlandia, a show starting Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein, which features a hilarious skit called "Put a Bird on It." 

We wanted to put a [Larry] Bird on it. So we put a bird on this sycamore fig. Get it?

This is definitely our weirdest entry.