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An Explanation of Ron Swanson's Pyramid of Greatness

Here's what the epic chart is all about. 

By Megan Lasher

In Season 3, Episode 1 ("Go Big or Go Home") of Parks and Recreation, Ben Wyatt (Adam Scott) said that Pawnee needed to have a basketball league, and Pawnee Parks Department Director Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman) unleashed his new basketball coaching persona. 

How to Watch

Watch every episode of Parks and Recreation on Peacock.

Ron put together a two-team league with Tom Haverford (Aziz Ansari) and Andy Dwyer (Chris Pratt), culminating in a fruitful competition. 

"Under my tutelage, you will grow from boys into men, from men into gladiators, and from gladiators into Swansons," he told his group of young players. 

It was then that he revealed the Swanson Pyramid of Greatness, something he said he had been developing for "years."

Dennis Feinstein and Ron Swanson appear in Parks and Recreation.

What is the "Swanson Pyramid of Greatness"?

Well, in his own words, it's "a perfectly calibrated recipe for maximum personal achievement." The pyramid is a large poster board with specific values, flanked with black and white photos of Ron.

The entries include things like "pig protein" and "buffets." The top of the pyramid, which is the most important value, is "Honor," defined as "If you need it defined, you don't have it." 

Ron Swanson appears in Parks and Recreation.

Other Important Swanson Pyramid of Greatness Categories

Ron walked the boys through other key parts of the categories, such as "Capitalism: God's way to determining who is smart and who is poor" and "Crying: Acceptable at funerals and the Grand Canyon." 

"Rage, Poise, Property Rights, Fish: For sport only, not for meat," he showed the boys. "Fish meat is practically a vegetable." 

When the cameras zoomed in on the pyramid, audiences could read things like "America: The only country that matters. If you want to experience other 'countries,' use an atlas or a ham radio" and "Greatness Itself: The best revenge." 

Did Ron's basketball team win the tournament?

Unfortunately, all of Ron's tough training did not pay off for his basketball team. They went up against Andy's team, who were a tad less skilled at the sport...  but biased refereeing changed the game. 

Tom, who was calling the shots, saw Ron with his ex-wife, Dr. Wendy Haverford (Jama Williamson), and decided to call fouls on Ron's players out of spite. Eventually, every boy on Ron's team had been ejected from the game — as was Ron — and Tom announced that Andy's team won. 

It might not be on the Pyramid of Greatness, but watching Parks and Recreation is a top-tier value. Stream every episode on Peacock.