One of the things the NHL has gotten right in terms of how to sell the playoffs to fans for the last couple of years has been their Bracket Challenge. Since this comes right after a different and more-popular nationwide bracket challenge, the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs in early April is a perfect opportunity to get people invested in rooting for something after their own team is eliminated.
Namely, their own bracket.
For the second year in a row, we’ve run our own Bracket Challenge, and for the second year in a row, I’ve lost both the overall WIIM league and the Writers’ Challenge. However, there’s plenty of time to talk about me being a loser (preferably behind my back). We’ve got winners to crown!
Winging It In Motown’s Bracket Challenge Winner
Congratulations to "Goats are cute" for beating out the 525 other participants in our challenge and for also having a mildly unsettling team name. Your prize is the shame of joining a Red Wings fan challenge and picking the Penguins to win it all!
Here’s your winning bracket
In all honesty, the fact that Goats are cute picked the Wings to win in the first round and still won the overall is a nice touch (a mistake shared by 7 out of the top 10 finishers, BTW).
While the Twitter request for millions in prizes went largely laughed-at, we did want to give our champ an opportunity to say something to the millions of adoring fans who were inspired by such a commanding victory. Here’s what we got instead:
@wingingitmotown I would like to know if people would rather fight a bee sized Tyler Johnson, or a Tyler Johnson sized Bee.— Ryan LaMielle (@Ry6uy) June 13, 2016
@wingingitmotown scratch that, it would have to be 167 bee sized Tyler Johnsons.— Ryan LaMielle (@Ry6uy) June 13, 2016
So there you go, a challenge for all of you. Go ahead and vote at the bottom of this post to make Ryan feel better.
WIIM Writers’ Challenge Winner
The eagle-eyed among you will have already noticed the winner for the sub-challenge among WIIM writers, since this person finished in the top ten overall, but just in case you need it spelled out, here goes:
To put things in perspective, my 2nd-place finish among these miscreants was only good for 97th place overall in the general WIIM bracket, so if it wasn't already made obvious enough how badly he smoked the rest of us, let that help too.
Also hahaha to uvgt2bkdnme for picking the Panthers.
With more on his wonderful, marvelous victory, here’s Prashanth himself to school us on how badly he schooled us:
Prashanth: When presented with the challenge of filling out a bracket, I elected to turn to the numbers as you all know I love to do. Many of you know that I have been trumpeting the Penguins as my Stanley Cup pick since the middle of March. I feel shame in having selected them as I have long despised that team. Sadly, as the playoffs went on they were the team I wished the Red Wings could be. My pain was somewhat lessened as I realized that I didn't need to fill out anything past the 2nd round and I still would have won the writers' challenge. Kudos to the six people that finished above me in the overall challenge, you were worthy adversaries which is more than I can say of my colleagues. I will now return to my parents' basement, where I will remain until I surface next hockey season.
Thanks and congrats, Prashanth. Nerd.