Thursday, March 21, 2019

Welcome To The 2019 Chippens Tournament Challenge

CLICK HERE for current standings, player picks, and much more. 

Daily Recaps
The 2019 Chippens Tournament Challenge is now underway. If you are like Señor Wences, right now you are reclined on your fainting couch, feet in a bucket of cool water, with a half dozen fair maidens fanning the perspiration off your stately brow. 

Or you might be at an establishment that serves adult beverages, refreshing the standings every minute to see how close you are to the Grand Prize T-Shirt. 

Or you might be like Cotter, thinking it's Wednesday for most of the morning and then pleasantly surprised it is in fact not Wednesday, and so you'll be able to spend the day lounging about watching basketball instead of lounging about watching plastic bags blow down the street.  

Or, you might be at work.

In any case, WELCOME to the 2019 Chippens Tournament Challenge. You can CLICK HERE for current standings, player listing, player picks, projected standings, and much, much more!

Tournament Preview

Over 100 competitors have joined the fray for the 7th consecutive year, meaning there will be more players joining the "Century Club" when all is said and done. As usual, the field is a mix of young and old, rookies and veterans--and new this year, several competitors vying for the Mug of Magnificence and the Plates of Preeminence (we thank these players for their incredible generosity). 

Double Double

This year's tourney features an interesting matchup between Double A Ron and Double T's--veterans Aaron Atchinson and Tara Tresh.  

Atchinson has competed every year since 2008, but the last three have not gone well. He finished 99th in 2016, improved to 98th in 2017, but then finally gained membership to the Century Club last year, finishing 113th. 

That's still a better record than what Double T's has been able to accomplish. Her best finish in the last four years is 87th in 2016. She's also a member of the Century Club, finishing 112th in 2017.

The Double Doubles will have to redouble their efforts to climb out of the rubble this year. 

Former Champs Return

Two Champions for the Ages are back in this year's tourney after taking some time off. David Erdman, the 2012 Champ, hasn't competed the last two years. He's competing this year under the handle Sparty On. 

Because David has missed two consecutive years, he became ineligible for the All Time Records. He regains eligibility this year, and would currently rank 26th on the All-Time Average Place list (right in-between Badger Hoopla and The Unimpeachable Mikey T). Another good year could vault Erdman into the record books. 

Amy Dominguez (nee Boven) won the title as a rookie in 2011. She hasn't competed since 2015. Amy is still the only rookie to win the Championship. No doubt she will shake off any accumulated rust and get back to that 2011 form, when she was the only player to correctly pick Connecticut to win it all. Her pick this year, Gonzaga, isn't exactly a sleeper pick, but she is just one of 15 with the Zags. 

With Amy and David back in the game, this year's field features every Champion since 2008. Chippens is yet to have a two-time Champ.

Rookies To Watch

A host of rookies will try to match Bovena as the only first-timers to win the championship. Among them we have Caccers (Catherine VanDellen), spouse to longtime player J_Bone (Jeff VanDellen). Jeff finished as the runner-up in 2005. He hasn't come very close to repeating that success recently (official Century Club member in 2017), but still ranks 35th All Time thanks to four Top 20 finishes earlier in his career. The potential Duke-Michigan State matchup could be the decider between whether Jeff climbs further up the list or if Caccers steps on his head on her own way to the top. Caccers has Duke, while J_Bone has his beloved Spartans winning it all.  

Keep your eyes open for The Only Ten I See (Liz Shafer). Shafer is one of just three players who picked Tennessee to win it all (Auntie Em and lanneek are the others). The Volunteers beat popular picks Gonzaga and Kentucky earlier this season, and they certainly have a shot to win the title. If that happens, it will be a three-way race with Shafer, Auntie Em, and lanneek to see who will be swilling moonshine high on 'ole Rocky Top. (Auntie Em + Moonshine = knee-slappin' good times).

Speaking of Auntie Em, watch out for B Sneezy (Brian Snider), a Chippens rookie who is Auntie Em's grandson and as far as the Chippens Competitor Research Department knows, the only competitor here who has played in the Big Dance (with the WMU Broncos in 2004). Of course that is nothing as grand as participating in the Chippens Tournament Challenge, but it may prove to be valuable experience. 

Good luck to all competitors!  

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