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Winners may come, but losers I make.
I hope they do well, at least for their sake.
The dream that they have, the goal is in sight.
They battle all day, and into the night.
The world watches on, in terror and glee,
For they know not who the victor will be.
The time is just right, the weather is nice.
But they do not care, for they are not mice.
From many to one, all others will die.
Let mayhem ensue, now what am I?

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    $\begingroup$ Should "loser" in the first line be "losers"? $\endgroup$ – Joe Z. Mar 19 '15 at 18:33
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, that fits a little better. $\endgroup$ – Aggie Kidd Mar 19 '15 at 18:34
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Answer:

You are the NCAA tournament, of course.

Reason:

Winners may come, but losers I make.

In each game, one team wins and the other loses.

I hope they do well, at least for their sake.

Obviously, each team wants to win.

The dream that they have, the goal is in sight.

The dream for each team is to win the tournament.

They battle all day, and into the night.

Games take place during the day and at night.

The world watches on, in terror and glee,
For they know not who the victor will be.

The tournament is exciting. Everyone has someone they want to see win and others they want to see lose.

The time is just right, the weather is nice,
But they do not care, for they are not mice.

The weather is nice because it's spring. The people watching are indoors in front of a TV or in an arena, so the weather isn't important.

From many to one, all others will die.

All but one team will lose in the tournament.

Let mayhem ensue, now what am I?

The tournament is also called March Madness. Mayhem is a synonym for Madness.

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  • $\begingroup$ Very nicely done. I'd say some are feeling terror with their brackets right now. $\endgroup$ – Aggie Kidd Mar 19 '15 at 20:23
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    $\begingroup$ Hmm, I feel like the NCAA tournament is just one of many that would fit this description. $\endgroup$ – Joe Z. Mar 19 '15 at 21:21
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    $\begingroup$ While I agree that this describes any single-elimination tournament, I feel like you might be thinking too hard. Consider the timing of this riddle. $\endgroup$ – Mike Mar 19 '15 at 21:40
  • $\begingroup$ The timeing was key, and the "mayhem" in the last line was supposed to jump on that as well. $\endgroup$ – Aggie Kidd Mar 19 '15 at 22:10
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    $\begingroup$ @Mike For somebody who doesn't watch sports and isn't American, the NCAA March Madness isn't exactly the first thing that would spring to my mind. $\endgroup$ – Joe Z. Mar 20 '15 at 0:28
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You are

War

Winners may come, but losers I make.

People fight war to be winners, but all sides lose in war.

I hope they do well, at least for their sake.

If they don't do well, the loser is killed or repressed.

The dream that they have, the goal is in sight.

A victory in war is easy to see, but, like a dream, hard to get to.

They battle all day, and into the night.

War lasts throughout the day and night.

The world watches on, in terror and glee,

Especially in the 20th century, war coverage is regularly broadcast on news media, leading to both terror at the possibility of defeat, and glee at the possibility of victory.

For they know not who the victor will be.

No one knows who is going to win a war.

The time is just right, the weather is nice. But they do not care, for they are not mice.

Mice (cowardly people) do not go to war. And when at war, day-to-day things like the weather don't matter.

From many to one, all others will die.

From many belligerents reduced to one victor.

Let mayhem ensue, now what am I?

War is full of mayhem.

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  • $\begingroup$ Very nice guess, but not quite. Those coming to war aren't always winners already. $\endgroup$ – Aggie Kidd Mar 19 '15 at 18:46
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    $\begingroup$ @AggieKidd Most people who go to war think themselves winners. People don't willing go to war if they think they are going to lose. And the "may" implies that not all who come are winners anyway. $\endgroup$ – Nick2253 Mar 19 '15 at 18:48
  • $\begingroup$ Very true. Again, nice answer. $\endgroup$ – Aggie Kidd Mar 19 '15 at 18:57
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The obvious answer seems to be any form of single-elimination tournament in which the penalty for losing is death, such as the infamous Battle Royale, or perhaps the Hunger Games.

The latter is a particularly good match, and here's why:

Winners may come, but losers I make.

Anyone who "wins" the selection process is forced to take part in the Hunger Games. Out of those "winners", every person but one will lose.

I hope they do well, at least for their sake.

Anyone who does not do well does not survive.

The dream that they have, the goal is in sight.

The dream each player has is to continue surviving, and if they succeed, they are then lavished with wealth and fame.

They battle all day, and into the night.

The Hunger Games is a battle with no time limits. Players must keep constantly aware.

The world watches on, in terror and glee,
For they know not who the victor will be.

The Hunger Games are a televised event, like a gladiatorial match.

The time is just right, the weather is nice,
But they do not care, for they are not mice.

If the movie is anything to go by, the games take place during spring or summer, when the weather will not be inclement.

From many to one, all others will die.

Only one person can survive the Games.

Let mayhem ensue, now what am I?

However I fear the answer may not be that obvious...

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  • $\begingroup$ Note, I've never actually read the book past the fifth chapter or watched more of the movie than the trailer. All this was researched or gained from promotional knowledge. $\endgroup$ – Joe Z. Mar 19 '15 at 18:49
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    $\begingroup$ Another good guess, but it really isn't that morbid. Don't take death too literally. $\endgroup$ – Aggie Kidd Mar 19 '15 at 18:50
  • $\begingroup$ @JoeZ. Well, you should! :-) Nice answer btw. $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Mar 19 '15 at 21:19
  • $\begingroup$ I've been getting upvotes left and right past my cap today. Like 40 at once with the first 20 that count in the first 10 hours or so. Dunno what's going so crazy today. $\endgroup$ – Joe Z. Mar 19 '15 at 21:22
  • $\begingroup$ My troll answer got me to my cap yesterday as well. People might have been giving us loads of upvotes to compensate for not getting accepted when that crappy answer did. $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Mar 20 '15 at 0:51

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