Tuesday, May 07, 2019

Data Is In: Sederstrom #1

"I'm the luckiest man alive," Scott Sederstrom said in his Champion's Interview. 

Of course, he was talking about his "awesome wife, two fantastic kids, and four above average cats," not about winning the 2019 Chippens Tournament Challenge in record fashion. 

After all, it is pure genius, not luck, that makes a Chippens Champion.

Sederstrom, a research scientist by day who sucks up data like a municipal leaf collector, showed he has plenty of genius. The 7th-year player dominated the first weekend so thoroughly the Chippens Record Keeper created a new All-Time Record just for Scott: Most Wins Through 48 Games. Scott holds the record with 43 wins. Next best is only 41.  

Scott's mark on the All-Time Records doesn't stop with the new category. His final total of 175 points ranks 9th All-Time, and his pick percentage of a stunning 83% ties him for second. He's also now one of only 10 players in Chippens history who picked at least 15 teams in the Sweet 16. 

"This is among my greatest achievements," Scott said. "It beats everything else I've accomplished in sports."

Well, that goes without saying for any Chippens Champion, but the victory is especially thrilling for Scott considering the amount of sweat, blood, and tears he put into winning this year's title. 

"I'm on the tournament page 24/7," he said, "hitting F5 every hour at least." 

Through it all, Scott maintained his conviction that he could emerge as the champ. 

"I felt I had a chance after Day One," he said. "I'm Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm when it comes to optimism." 

That optimism earned Scott quite a bit of tourney loot. In addition to winning the Grand Prize T-Shirt, Scott also won the Cancer Conqueror Paper Plate Set thanks to his generous donation to the Chippens fundraising initiative for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. "We are happy to support St. Jude," Scott said. "They are fantastic." 

Sederstrom said he plans to wear the Grand Prize T-Shirt in his "new LinkedIn photo." And the paper plates? "I will serve the hearts of my enemies on them," he said. "Plus, potato salad." 

Will Sederstrom, the data dynamo, win again next year to become the Challenge's first two-time champ? The research scientist in him says it's not likely ("According to the metrics, my probability of a repeat are about .01%"), but the spirit of Rebecca beams through.

"Statistics, schmatistics," he said. "I will smoke those numbers like a baby boomer at a Doobie Brothers concert." 

Congratulations to Scott Sederstrom, a Champion For The Ages. 

Other Notable Finishes:
  • Two tourney vets finished second (Robb Perkins) and third (Derek Dawson) to take home prizes. Both Perkins and Dawson picked up the second top-10 finishes of their respective careers. 
  • Congrats to Brian Snider for finishing in fifth place as the top rookie. He achieved his goal of pummeling his grandparents, Auntie Em and Down Not Out, who finished one point from each other in the middle of the standings (and one spot ahead of their other grandchild in the contest, Bridget Snider). Brian still has a ways to go before he catches his gramps, Bill Snider, in lifetime points, however. Bill finishes this season ranked 7th All-Time in that category with 1,540.  
  • Brandon Gamble regained his top spot in the All-Time Average Place list. In 13 seasons, Gamble has never finished below 50th. This year he finished 33rd. 
  • Poor Stumper lost his top spot in the All-Time rankings. His 90th place finish, the worst of his career, dropped him all the way to 6th on the All-Time Average Place list. He also lost ground in All-Time Average Pick Percentage. 
  • Congrats to Mackie Mo and Susu Willis, who both made splashes in the All-Time record books in their first year of eligibility. Mackie debuts tied for #1 on the All-Time Pick Percentage list with her future mother-in-law, Leta Corwin. She also cracked the All-Time Average Points list, coming in at #10. Susu is burnishing her reputation as a fierce Chippens competitor. Now five years in, she's finished in the top 14 in two of the last three. Her name appears in the All-Time Records five times, including #7 in All-Time Average Place and #4 in All-Time Pick Percentage. 
  • Congrats to another Willis, Jake Willis, for almost keeping up with Susu. He finished lucky number 13 this year, his best finish in the Modern Era (2005-present). Lucky 13 was good enough to make Jake the top-finishing Angel to the Innocents, earning him the coveted Mug of Magnificence. Sip of the cup with pride, Jake! 
  • Connelly Bowling is the final prize winner. He takes home the Gold Club Competitor Button. Connelly finished 23rd for the second time in three years. He couldn't match his Spartan sister Cheryl, though, who finished 21st, beating him for the second year in a row. 
  • Last year's champ Brandon Christol didn't repeat, but he did finish 10th. Only two players in Chippens history have recorded three straight top 10 finishes. Next year, Christol and another player, Mike Cowin, will have a shot at three straight. Cowin finished 4th last year in his rookie campaign and 6th this year. 
  • Lisa Corwin continued her streak of top 20 finishes. She now has 8 total, the most all-time, and 3 in the last four years.    
Thanks to all competitors for another great season! See you next year! 

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