Friday, April 10, 2015

1LL1N1T Wins Top Prize

Frank O'Hare The Fourth (ILLINIT) can finally be called Number One. O'Hare, the fourth in a line of five Frank O'Hares, just beat out The Bryman by one point, 152 to 151, to claim the 2015 Chippens Tournament Challenge Championship. Stump, aka Stump'n Claus, finished third. 

O'Hare remained in contention for the title when Wisconsin beat Kentucky, and the 25 points he received for being one of only five players to sell their souls expertly choose Duke to win it all were enough to push him passed Bryman for the title. O'Hare was the only one of the five players with Duke as the champion to pick them over Wisconsin. Had any of those other four players (huskerrobSeñor Wences, hot hoop, and jungle cat) gone with the Badgers as far as Frank did, they would have won instead. 

But, as Señor Wences himself is fond of saying, if "ifs" and "buts" were candy and nuts, every day would be Christmas. But they aren't. And every day isn't Christmas. No, the only player with the nuts this year was Frank O'Hare, IV. He had the nuts to pick Wisconsin over Kentucky and then ruthlessly predict the Badgers' heartbreaking defeat by Duke. In so doing, O'Hare proved he has what it takes to be a Champion. 

Not everyone has the strength and skill to be a Champion. This year it took a remorseless assassin. Someone who could pick a couple major upsets late in the tournament without staining his underarms. Someone who could walk out in the street in his bathrobe and slap a couple smart mouth, uppity kids around if that's what it took. 

This year, Frank O'Hare, IV was that man. With his tall, strapping figure and curly hair, O'Hare is somewhat of a brunette Erlich Bachman, a character on HBO's new comedy Silicon Valley. O'Hare proved by winning the Challenge that he also has Bachman's temperament: fun-loving, but all business when he needs to be.

Watching O'Hare's stunning and sudden rise from the middle of the pack to Champion reminded me of how Bachman efficiently (and shockingly) dispatched of his rivals in this scene (I don't recommend viewing in front of your mother, boss, or clergy). In just two days' time, O'Hare turned all the people fat and happy with Kentucky from sure winners into sure losers, and then he drove a stake through the heart of the Badger faithful, who after the defeat of Kentucky were just starting to allow themselves to hope. O'Hare ran over them like a souped-up John Deere mower over a new spring sapling, just emerged from the earth and blinking its leaves open to the sun. And there is no doubt in my mind he did it all in his bathrobe. 

Congrats to Frank O'Hare, IV, your 2015 Chippens Tournament Challenge Champion. He will now be forever enshrined in the Hall of Champions.     

Other Notable Finishes:
  • With his third-place finish, Mike Stump regained the top spot on the All-Time Average Place list from Cotter, who fell to third behind Brandon Gamble. Stump now owns every All-Time Career category in the record books
  • While Stump regained his place in the record books, Blizzard T. Husky lost his. His 86th place finish--his worst ever in 10 years by a large margin--dropped him from the top 10 in Average Place, Average Points, and Average Pick Percentage. He'll be back to form next year.
  • Husky's demise made room for Trevor Sierra, who earned spots in the Top 10 in Average Points and Average Pick Percentage. His 9th place finish was his second time in the top 10 and fourth time in the top 20 since his rookie year in 2008. 
  • Gianina Baker, TheAdministrator, had her best finish ever with her 52nd place finish. That might not seem like much, but in three prior tries, Gianina had only defeated a combined three people. That's one last place finish, one second to last place finish, and one third to last place finish. Now she can be proud to say she finished in the top half. 
  • A number of players earned their Five Year Rings this year, meaning they became eligible for the All-Time Records. Only one player, Julie Thompson, managed to crack the lists though. Even though she didn't have her best year (in fact, she had her worst, finishing 98th), she still managed to earn the No. 5 spot on the All-Time Average Points list. 
  • One player who earned his Five Year Ring this year, Felton Howard (James Wylder), has a lot of work to do if he hopes to one day make the record books. He made his debut on the All-Time Average Place list as No. 71 out of a possible 71 with a 72.8 average place over the past five years. Chez has reason to celebrate, though, as she now moves to No. 70. 
  • Felton Howard is the father-in-law of this year's Champ, Frank O'Hare. O'Hare and his in-laws had all areas of the standings covered. O'Hare at the top, Felton at the bottom, and O'Hare's wife, sister-in-law, and brother-in-law in the middle. Pooty Lederhosen, Ingrida Mikelionyte, and KLoco all finished with 115 points in 41st through 43rd places, respectively. 
  • From first to worst: If you're wondering what happened to last year's winner, Matthew Melick, he finished 106th. Last year's third-place winner, Sydney Penney, finished 107th. They join David Erdman (1st in 2012, 98th in 2013) as players who were apparently jinxed by their successful season the year before. Erdman finished 4th this year, so redemption is possible. 

Thanks to all for playing. See you all next year! 

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