Friday, March 19, 2021

Welcome to the 2021 Chippens Tournament Challenge -- Special 20th Edition

The 2021 Chippens Tournament Challenge -- Special 20th Edition is now underway! You can CLICK HERE to see the player listing, player picks, current and projected standings, and much, much more!  

Daily Recaps
Tournament Preview

Once again, we've had wonderful participation as veterans have been pining to get back in the action after a year off and rookies have come of age, ready to try their hand at the fabled Chippens Challenge to see their names etched in history. This year's tourney has 119 worthy competitors, all vying for the right to wear the Chippens Grand Prize T-Shirt with unabashed pride at the first large group gathering they are allowed to attend. 

Dads Do Battle

Two veterans will be vying for the title of top dad this year. Alia's Dad and Gracie'sDad will be at their couch command centers, running all TVs and handheld electronic devices at full capacity as they try to leave their daughters a lasting legacy. No dad or daughter could ever hope for more than a Chippens Championship with their name attached. 

These two are both fearsome veteran competitors. In 2017, Alia's Dad, then playing under the handle Baby's Is Coming, finished the first weekend in first place. Alas, he eventually faded to a 73rd place finish, and the last two contests has earned membership to the Century Club, finishing 116th and 105th. His big chance this year is everything-is-bigger-here Texas. He's one of only four players with Texas reaching the championship game. 

As for Gracie'sDad, he's coming off an excellent third place finish in 2019. A potential Texas-Alabama matchup in the Sweet 16 could be the decider between the two dads. Gracie'sDad is one of only three players with Alabama winning the title. 

Journeyman Hero Returns

Every year, the Chippens Tournament Challenge sees a competitor return to competition from years in the spectator sport wilderness--time no doubt spent wandering adrift and wondering what was missing from life until finally listening to the siren song of Chippens competition and returning to a life of fulfillment exercising the clicker finger and staring obsessively at a screen. 

This year that person is Lebron's ACT Coach (D. Froelich). Froelich has not competed since 2014. In the comments he submitted with his picks, Froelich tells a tale of the last seven years greater than that of Odysseus. Though unlike Odysseus, he seems to have found his Penelope along the way. "I moved from Houston to Cleveland, met an amazing woman and married her, bought a house and had a child...." he writes. 

And what of the rest of us, left here waiting for his return? Froelich has a warning.

"It has been seven years, but I have reemerged like the itch, a confused cicada, or a Ralph Nader bid," he writes. 

"I left a boy and have come back a man. Now you all have the honor of watching me bloom from myth into legend." 

Of course, Froelich has been a legend (in Cadillac, at least) long before now, but to burnish his credentials he will need a Chippens Championship. He has some work to do. In 2013, he finished 88th out of 112, and in 2014 he finished 28th. Not bad, but not yet the stuff of Chippens lore. 

5-Year Ringers

A big milestone for Chippens competitors is of course their fifth year of competition, when they become eligible for the All Time Records. Two competitors earning that honor this year are Purdue-ing it for St. Jude and Pawwwl.

Forced to wait an extra year for their Rings, these two are no doubt eager to make a good showing this year. So far, Pawwwl hasn't been able to match his rookie campaign when he finished 34th. Purdue has had many heartbreaks in the Chippens tourney over his four years of competition (who can forget Purdue's loss to Virginia in 2019). His best year is also his first, when he finished 16th. But he's come close to greatness before, like in 2016 when he finished as the tournament's top rookie, only for a cruel twist of chance to snatch away his glory. 

Pawwwl will be looking to take victory late in the tournament, as he is one of just eight players with Baylor winning it all. Purdue will need success in the early rounds to separate himself from the pack, as he is one of many, many players with a Gonzaga-Illinois final. 

Rookies To Watch

Pudue's arch-nemesis on the summer cornhole circuit, HowDidKentuckyGo9and16, is making his Chippens debut, along with bride-to-be Cinderallie. Only one rookie has ever won the Chippens title, but these two come from an impressive extended family that has won three of the last five Chippens titles. 

Cinderallie will need a Cinderella performance from Wisconsin as she is one of just three players (along with perennial Badger partisans fungibility and MonsterTruck) with the Badgers in the finals (of course, the last time Wisconsin made the finals was when they ... beat an undefeated Kentucky team). Without Kentucky in the tourney to root for, Mr. 9and16 is another player with a Gonzaga-Illinois final. He'll be hoping for Cinderella performances from Ohio and UC Santa Barbara early in the tourney. 

Good luck to all!

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