Flaws in The Charlottesville 29

The premise of The Charlottesville 29 is not without flaws.  There are several.

One is that the premise gives an unfair advantage to restaurants that serve a cuisine that few other area restaurants serve.  For example, Ethiopian food can be delicious, but no Charlottesville area restaurant serves it.  So, if a decent Ethiopian restaurant were to open in Charlottesville, it would have a good shot of cracking The Charlottesville 29.  It might even beat out restaurants whose kitchens were home to considerably more talented chefs.  So, there is an advantage to serving a cuisine that few others serve.

Another flaw is the “bubble.”  Every March, basketball fans and sports radio hosts across the country foam at the mouth debating which teams deserve the 37 at-large bids that the NCAA doles out for the Division I men’s basketball tournament.  The NCAA selection committee’s decisions regarding the last few teams to receive bids are inevitably controversial.  After all, is there ever any significant difference between the 37th most deserving team in the country and the 38th? Yet, the team deemed the 37th most deserving plays in the NCAA tournament, and enjoys all the trappings that go with it – the national television exposure, the boost with alumni, and the chance to win a national championship.  Meanwhile, the team deemed 38th most deserving team gets bupkis.

Of course, making The Charlottesville 29 brings none of the prestige that comes from making the NCAA tournament.  Nor is it as lucrative.  Teams qualifying for the NCAA tournament earn their conference hundreds of thousands of dollars, as well as the chance to advance and earn much more.  Restaurants making The Charlottesville 29 get nothing.

Nonetheless, the point holds that the least deserving restaurant inside The Charlottesville 29 will be barely more deserving than many restaurants outside The Charlottesville 29.  And, that strikes us as a flaw.  So be it.