Thursday, March 15, 2018

Welcome To The 2018 Chippens Tournament Challenge

Greetings 2018 competitor! The Challenge is now underway. 

Check out the latest standings, player picks, player lists, and much more HERE


Tournament Preview

2018 is another banner year for the Challenge. A record 123 ferocious competitors ranging in age from their 80s to single digits have entered the arena, ready to choose a weapon and annihilate each other Hunger Games style. All in the name of raising funds for pediatric cancer. 

Pun and Done?

Every year players compete in a competition within a competition--who can choose with the best handle. Some try to shock, some try to be subversive, some try to be humorous, some (most?) have no clue what they're doing. Some instantly regret their choice, like KelseyRuder (Kelsey Ruder) in 2012, who I was told at the time was mercilessly ridiculed for her creativity of deleting the space between her first and last name. Some, like 2009 Chippens NCAA Challenge Champion, just pick the wrong handle at the wrong time (2009 Champ finished second to last in 2009).  

And some we try to forget but, through the force of destiny, etch themselves in the history books (yes, I'm talking about you, Longing for Gus Johnson's Orgasms).   

This year's handle portfolio is strong . . . to quite strong. We here at Chippens like Creighton Barrel (Don Christol) and Lord and Xavier (Brian Brennan), with Syd Winselot (Sydney Penney) running a strong third. 

But it wouldn't be a Chippens tourney without some controversy. I'm told Lord and Xavier is actually the intellectual property of Christol, and Brennan "inadvertently" (so he says) stole the handle. So it seems as if Christol actually owns two of this year's top three handles.

Perhaps Brennan is hoping for a boost by cribbing from his more-albeit-modestly-more-successful-at-picking friend. Brennan is a 2x member of the Century Club (finishes in 100th place or worse) and currently ranks 81st all time after eight seasons. Christol ranks 54th after 11 seasons, and has two top 20 finishes. Whatever a good handle is worth, both players could use it. 

Lost Badgers

This year marks the first time in the last 20 that the Wisconsin Badgers have not made the big dance. That fact has a few players with ties to the cheesehead state reeling. Sad Badger, Where's Bucky?, and Where are my Badgers? are all putting up the sad face emoji. After seeing a trend emerge, I thought BadgerHoopla might go with BadgerDroopla this year, but he seems to be keeping the light on for now. Bucky will be back, and maybe a strong performance by one of these forlorn Badgers will provide a spark. 

Thanks For Giving

Thanks to all the many, many players who donated to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. We here at Chippens are overwhelmed with the results of the fundraising effort. The generosity is truly remarkable. Know that your blood, sweat, and tears as you sit on the couch and watch the games this year will be benefiting thousands of kids with cancer and other catastrophic diseases.       

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