After tonight we will know exactly who has made the Sweet 16, bringing an end the best 4-day stretch of sports America has to offer. There really is no better stretch. You wake up and fill out your bracket, which has absolutely zero chance to be relevant come Sunday. Just grab some popcorn and watch sports all day long. Thursday and Friday should just be national holidays because no one gets any work done. You spend all Thursday morning trying to figure out how you can set up your computer to make it look like you’re working when your boss walks by but still managing to watch 98% of the action. What’s the point of work at that point? The blizzard in the northeast F*&^ed up by coming two days too early. Way to go God. Unfortunately, two things happen before Sunday rolls around to eventually dim my interest; Florida State being out of the tournament, assuming we were even in it and my bracket being beaten by a girl picking games off colors of a mascot. It’s actually sad how little of this tournament I watch AFTER the field gets narrowed to 16. By then all the cute, special, fairytale teams from the first round have been railroaded by some basketball powerhouse. Sure you will have the 7/8 seeds that are still alive but they are normally bluebloods i.e. Michigan and Wisconsin, but that’s not special. I am talking George Mason type stuff. That is what gets the people going. With all of that being said, here is the real reason I am writing to you at 7:00 PM on a Sunday, A. I am hungry. B. I have to fill out a bracket of something that is fact of life and can’t be wrong. 100% correct across the board. We’re going to do a sweet 16 on fast food chains, something I actually know based on the top rated fast food joints in the USA by Business Insider.
The Sweet 16 pits some of the big dogs against each other. Notable absence in this was having to leave Cookout out of this. Those fancy milkshakes…yummmmm. No one has an easy road here! Let’s go game by game to see who makes the Elite 8.
In our first match up we get Chick-Fil-A against Zaxby’s. Zaxby’s is that VCU or Wichita State, they are a smaller chain but they have a small cult like following who will go down for their squad even if it meant leaving their friends and family. What normally would be a landslide win for Chick-Fil-A will be a tighter matchup but let’s be honest this is a Chick-Fil-A win.
The 4/5 matchup pits morning people against sandwich lovers. Jimmy John’s is amazing in that you can stay home, place an order, and it will be there in 20 minutes. A lot of late night drunk conversations have been broken over a Jimmy Johns sub as you discuss who pulled at the club that night in your apartment. Meanwhile, Dunkin is that sugary goodness that can pull you right out of your hangover and get you back on the saddle for another night. At the end of the day I am rolling with Jimmy John’s because I don’t have to get in my car. And let’s be honest if you’re lazy enough to order food so you don’t have to cook then you take delivery where you can get it.
2/7 brings us to Papa John’s and Subway. This one was a blow out. Subway is terrible. No need to waste time here. Papa John’s wins in a landslide.
3/6 pits Panera and McDonalds. McDonalds being seeded at 6 seems unfair considering you can’t drive 5 minutes on a busy road without seeing one. Kind of Like Kentucky ever being labeled an 8 seed. Like c’mon you’re doing the 1 seed no favors putting the Alabama of basketball as an 8 seed. I’ll be honest I have never been one for Panera. I went there a couple of times in college and was never impressed. I defaulted to the lady on this one and she said Panera over McDonalds. But then I realized how many times McDonald’s has saved me late nights and overruled her. McDonalds and their late night fast food option carries them along.
On the other side of the Bracket Chipotle takes on fellow Mexican foe Taco Bell. I’ve only actively searched for a Taco Bell twice in my life and both were at 3 AM and because the line at McDonalds was too long after Bullwinkles. I seek Chipotle 6 days a week. This is easy, Chipotle by 140.
4/5 seeds bring up two opponents I have almost 0 experience with. Thanks for this Business Insider…But I got to work with what I got. Arby’s has one good thing and that is curly freaking fries. When that server asks you “Do you want curly fries or regular sweetie?” I can’t think of one soul out there that doesn’t stop her at the word curly. Curly fries are the thing that bring you back to a place that serves 4’s for sandwiches. Domino’s has had a bit of a resurgence lately. It was in a dark place. Kind of like Florida State in the mid 2,000’s. But at the end of the day Pizza is king. Domino’s at the buzzer.
2/7 In-N-Out is king out west. You get people who when they check the places to go on vacation it actually weighs in on a decision. Its powerful. Burger King is like that 3rd or 4th option of the big boys. You don’t go there unless McDonalds, Wendy’s and Chick-Fil-A are stacked. In-N-Out moves on comfortably.
3/6 Little Caesars was that freshman year of college savior. It was cheap and it was pizza. And as we established earlier pizza is king. So if you can give it to me AND save me money you’re a special place. However, when your main slogan is “Hot and Ready” that concerns me a bit. Where else do you get cold food? Wendy’s is my bihhhh. It’s part of the big boys with McDonald’s, Chick-Fil-A and Burger King in that you see it more often than other but it’s won me over. That Spicy Chicken Sandwich has the right amount of spice, chicken goodness and mayo to make my mouth water. If you want to save some money the Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger and $1.09 chicken sandwich is a budget dream. While most people may disagree give me Wendy’s. Pizza’s run ended here.
So here is how the bracket stands as we move into our elite 8.
We’re starting to get to the tough decisions. But someone has to make them and someone has to win so here we go.
1/5 matchup features Chick-Fil-A and Jimmy Johns. Both are quick in their service, both have consistent food and both are fan favorites. Jimmy Johns delivers, which definitely had to be factored in. However, who can say no to Chick-Fil-A? Chick-Fil-A moves on in a tight one.
2/6 has Papa Johns and McDonalds. McDonalds is king of roadways. You can always count on seeing it pop up on those little highway signs that tell you what is on the next exit. It’s that team you can always count on giving you solid effort in a tournament but never really having enough “oomph” to win it all. Papa John’s offers a couple things. One, its pizza and we all know by now that….? Yes, pizza is king. Two, they deliver. Three, when your team wins you get 50% off. I don’t care that the Magic beat the Kings but I do care that I get 50% off the following day. While it is tough to say goodbye to McDonalds, Papa John’s take it.
1/5 features God’s finest achievements, Chipotle and Domino’s. Pizza….is…….king. But even kings get slaughtered. And this wasn’t close. Chipotle moves on.
2/6 brings In-N-Out against Wendy’s. This is where shit hits the fan. 95% of America cast’s In-N-Out as the winner here but thankfully to me IDGAF about that. In-N-Out is great; don’t get me wrong. But the lines always take forever. One cannot go to an In-N-Out at midnight and get served in less than 30 minutes. Fair play to them they are super popular and always have long lines but F that. I like a solid burger but its sloppy, messy, and burgers are kinda meh. Wendy’s has that juicy lovin Spicy C that gets me going. Spicy Chicken moves on to face Chipotle in the final four.
The final four is set. Chick-Fil-A and Chipotle walked in with ease where Wendy’s and Papa John’s has tougher roads but prevailed. Take a look below.
At this point there really is no loser to be had. This is America’s finest. But we must carry on!
This chalk final four matchup features Chick-Fil-A and Papa Johns. Both bring great things to the table as we have mentioned earlier. I really had to weigh my options here. Take a long hard look in the mirror and really ask myself who wanted it more. We have established the pro’s of each but now let’s look at the cons. Let’s address the elephant in the room, being closed on Sunday’s is inexcusable. Not to mention their political and religious stances. Just serve me my damn #1 with a coke and go away. How many times do you find yourself craving that chicken goodness only to realize it’s that dreaded day of the week, Sunday. Ugh. Papa Johns on the other hand only does one thing well and that’s Pizza. Deserts suck…please stop. Your soda is grossly overpriced. It’s also not very consistent. Sometimes it’s the stuff from the heavens and other times it looks like the guy from Toy Story was driving it to your house as you piece together that mess of a pizza. But pizza is king so you deal. Ya dig? Here was the tie-breaker for me. Breakfast and checkered fries. No one does it better than you Chick-Fil-A. Enjoy that OT win and get ready for the final.
Chipotle and Wendy’s bring two contrasting styles to the table. Chipotle is that fresh fast food option that you can’t ignore. Wendy’s has a good mix of value and consistency. Let’s again weigh the cons. Chipotle has that whole Ecoli scare thing that American’s think too much about. The lines tend to be a little overbearing but we deal. Wendy’s are just hard to find when you want them. Whenever I am driving on the highway and start craving food I never see Wendy’s. I will pass 254 McDonalds and 149 Burger Kings waiting for that elusive Wendy’s sign to pop up on that blue highway slice of heaven. For a beast of an operation you could help me out a bit. Also their drive-thru lines can be brutal. You either wait 2 minutes or 15. I need to be able to count on my drive-thru to come through if I am in a pinch with time. At the end of the day even the Cinderella stories need to come to an end. Chipotle was a matchup nightmare for Wendy’s. Chipotle to the final.
Now we have the final everyone predicted at the start of this. Chipotle against Chick-Fil-A. This one has all the makings of a great final. Stuff of dreams. I could eat Chick-Fil-A and Chipotle every day of my life and be just fine. Even combining them together. Breakfast at the A and lunch and dinner at Chipotle. We know the pros and cons here so it comes down to the intangibles. Chipotle has the heart of a champion. They don’t take days off like Chick-Fil-A does. They know their weaknesses of long lines and offer a lifeline with their online ordering. While breakfast was a huge factor in this, there is something sexy, exciting and mouthwatering about the unknown with Chipotle. You can switch every up. Secret menu’s, online ordering, unknown food illnesses, Mexican food. They have everything to make you wonder what you’re going to get. Chick-Fil-A won’t make mistakes and is always consistent but when you want a champion you need a little more. Chipotle is that. Sign me up. See you there tomorrow afternoon. Chipotle takes home the peoples real sweet 16 bracket.