Ploughshares Fantasy Blog Draft Finals: The Holden Caulbabies vs What the Chuckin’ Buk?!

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It’s been a long, tortuous path from the inception of the Fantasy Blog competition to the finals, full of upsets and surprises—but here we are, left with two teams standing after the semifinals three weeks ago which brought surprises of its own.

After a cross-country move, the commissioner was rendered connectionless in his new apartment in the Great American Midwest. As if to mock his Net-less existence, Facebook decided to cripple our voting system with no warning. Without even a hanging chad to count, we were forced to rely on an arcane calculation that involved mixing salt crystals taken from the white T-shirt Kerouac wore when writing The Scroll and mixing them with the dregs of a dusty bottle of ron añejo found in a closet at the Hemingway House, creating an obscene, literary Papa Doble daiquiri. The resulting concoction sent the commissioner into a disturbing sleep during which he learned, in a dream, that the winner was none other than What the Chuckin’ Buk?!Continue Reading

Ploughshares Fantasy Blog Draft Round 2 – Vonnegut to the Chopper! vs What the Chuckin’ Buk?!

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Voting this past week was a return to the pitched ferocity of the first round, as both Benjamin Samuel’s The Mighty Duck Palahniuks (Electric Literature) and Michael Nye’s The Holden Caulbabies (Missouri Review) brought out voters in force. The two teams deadlocked at the end of the week, and again we were forced to undergo a tiebreaker: this time, each manager was tasked with composing a sentence mentioning each of the bloggers on their team.

The winner, a difficult selection made by the commissioner after consultation with the Ploughshares blog editor, is Michael Nye and The Holden Caulbabies! His winning sentence challenges even some of Gogol’s finest work:

Preparing to write “On Tiebreaking,” Michel Montaigne tips way back in his chair and lights a cigarette for James Baldwin, who then spins back to his desk and reviews all his travel vouchers and photographs and notes from his most recent globetrotting; across the room, huddled over a coffee table, Elizabeth Bishop and Dave Eggers discuss the imagery in the third stanza of her latest poetic masterpiece; at her desk, Roxane Gay frowns at her computer monitor, thinking through her recent essays on Trayvon Martin, or “Blurred Lines”, or the new Channing Tatum movie, or how women in sex scandals are rarely forgiven; and William Faulkner slips from desk to desk, pouring everyone a finger of bourbon, smilingly ruefully as he repeats “The past is never dead, it’s not even past” and Montaigne’s eyes light up, turning to his colleagues, and after they all agree with the new thought entering his head, with nods and slight smiles, he turns back to his desk and writes “We’re living the future, so the present is our past, and our presence is a present: kiss my ass!”

So despite the bye and a week of rest, The Holden Caulbabies shake off the rust and advance to the finals to take on the winner of this week’s match-up.Continue Reading

Fantasy Blog Draft – Round 6 – Final Wildcard Picks!

Fantasy Blog Header - resizedMarch Madness has come and gone, as have the NFL draft, the NBA draft lottery, most of the NBA and NHL playoffs, and the start of the MLB season—but the Fantasy Blog Draft competition is only just getting started. Literature never sleeps!

This week the managers will fill the final spot on their rosters and then start up training camp to prep for the competition. In two weeks, we will preview the matchups and once again ask for you to pick the winners, and two weeks after that the competition will begin in earnest.

But before that, let’s see what decisions the managers made this week. Remember: for the last wildcard picks they must choose the blogger and the blogger’s position, so there’s lots of room for creativity.Continue Reading