Thursday, March 20, 2014

121 Take The Challenge

The 2014 Challenge has started! CLICK HERE to view Player Picks, Player Listing, Current Standings, Projected Standings, and much more! 

Daily Recaps:

2014 Preview

Once again, top competitors from the world over have converged at to take part in this greatest of traditions. We've set a new record for participation at 121 challengers as the intoxicating lure of the pageantry and prestige of the Chippens Tournament Challenge brings ever more souls into her supple bosom.

Here's a look at some of the notable competitors this year:


As in years past, competitors this year submitted picks from west coast to east, but Uncle Leo submitted his all the way from the Far East. The veteran would simply not let a YMCA trip to Vietnam stop him from entering the contest. Rookies, take note: It's that type of grit and determination that sets champions apart. Uncle Leo is getting his 5 Year Ring this year, meaning he's eligible for the All Time Records. In his previous four seasons, he has three finishes in the top 22, and his lowest finish is 49th from 2011. A happy ending to this season could put him on the all-time leader board. 

But there can be no doubt that the one player over all others to watch out for this year is Voltaire (Rodney Dawson). Dawson said he only had time to complete one bracket this year, and he made it this one. Clearly a wise man. Dawson is also in line for his 5 Year Ring, which should make current holders of all-time records very nervous. Dawson's last four seasons have been brilliant: 4th (2010), 11th (2011), 21st (2012) and 16th (2013). Can his incredible run continue? Or will the limelight of a 120 computer screens cast a shadow over his success? Only time will tell.


We have a number of players competing this year from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, home of the U.S. Airborne Forces and the U.S. Special Forces. Most are rookies, including Airborne Chef, Ft. Bragg, jprose24, Monster, and Mr. Stew. There can be no doubt that their military training and background will have prepared them well for the rigors of the Chippens Tournament Challenge. They'll be in competition against each other now, however, and only one can prove to be sine pari, "without equal," which I understand is the motto at Fort Bragg. 


What can I say other than look out for this guy. He deserves a section all to himself. A "rookie" in name only, Boss Hogg ran the CHS tournament back in the paper and pencil days of the 1990s, before Chippens even existed. In fact, he was there for the birth of Chippens on that fateful New Year's Eve, December 31, 2000 (ask GG20 for more info on that). A creative entrepreneur and a man of wide-ranging talents, Boss Hogg has always had a gift for spotting and seizing opportunity. In this year of the wolf, it might be time to start asking which among us are the sheep.   


MKizzle and hv porter are two top competitors back this year that haven't competed recently. MKizzle was runner-up in 2010 and finished 21st in 2011. She's staked her chances at a glorious return to competition on Duke -- she's the only player in the tournament to take them all the way. 

Hv porter (Liz Reinhart) did not compete last year after putting together a remarkable five-year run. The research manager is currently ranked #1 in lifetime pick percentage, #4 in average place, and #5 in average points. She's back to defend her spots in the record books with an Arizona-Kansas final. If you also have that pairing, you are in good company. 


This year marks the 14th annual Chippens Tournament Challenge and the 10th since the dawn of the "modern era" in 2005, when we instituted our stringent records retention policy. The following players are not only back this year, they have competed every year since at least 2005. Players with an asterisk are those I believe have been with the tourney since our first year in 2001. 

Honorable Mention: Nicholas A. "Blizzard T. Husky" Schultz has only missed one year (2007) from 2001-2014. 

TODAY'S UPDATES: Standings will be updated as close to real time as possible today. The Current Standings page always reflects the time of the last update in the top right corner. 

Thanks for playing and good luck!

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