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Carty Free Article Bracket — Tom Carroll Region tip-off!

Everybody ready? Let’s bracket!

Coronavirus Cases Causes Johns Hopkins To Ban Fans At NCAA Division III Basketball Tournament Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Happy Monday, everyone! The NCAA Tournament normally wouldn’t begin until tomorrow with the First Four matches in Dayton, but I’m sure nobody will mind if we begin our bracket a little earlier.

In case you missed it, in the absence of March Madness we are conducting our own bracket of the 64 best Cartilage Free Captain articles, going all the way back to 2012. We’ll do four match-ups a day initially and you get to vote for which article moves on to the next round.

What’s the voting criteria? It’s whatever you want it to be. Best writing, funniest, most poignant, most relevant, etc. Doesn’t matter. Also note that while we personally seeded the top four articles in each region, the rest are more or less haphazardly assigned, giving you ample opportunities to criticize the selection committee, as is traditional.

Ready? Let’s begin.

PLEASE NOTE: If you’re viewing this article via AMP, the polls may not show up. You’ll need to click through and open the article in a browser to vote.

Tom Carroll Memorial Region


#1 — Sex, Drugs & Through-Balls: Life on the Road with Tom Carroll (Skipjack)

This article is so notorious that nearly eight years later we still see it pop up on various online bulletin boards, with confused readers wondering whether Tom Carroll was a drug-runner, cocaine addict, and womanizer. It also made us realize that Carroll read the blog, as he blocked us on Twitter not long after this went up. Truly, an article worthy of a top seed.

#16 — Book Review: “A People’s History of Tottenham Hotspur” (Dustin)

When Alan Cloake & Martin Fisher’s book about Spurs’ history from a supporters’ perspective was announced, I knew I wanted to read it, but it also offered an opportunity to try stretching my writing muscles in a new way. Carty Free was, as far as I can tell, the first outlet to review and publish this book, and I was pretty happy with the results. The authors were too — they thanked me personally.


Select the winner

This poll is closed

  • 91%
    #1 — Sex, Drugs, & Through Balls
    (174 votes)
  • 8%
    #16 — Book Review: "A People’s History of Tottenham Hotspur"
    (16 votes)
190 votes total Vote Now

#8 — Tactical Analysis: The Transcendent Vision of Meszut Özil (Michael Caley)

One of the stand-out articles from our first takeover of The Short Fuse in 2015, SBN’s Arsenal blog, this article also happens to be one of my favorites — a pitch-perfect tactical parody that perfectly captured the zeitgeist of Arsenal fans at that time.

#9 — AZ Alkmaar boss denies second bid for Vincent Janssen (Dustin)

This is just your bog-standard transfer rumor, but it came at the tail end of so much speculation surrounding Janssen’s protracted transfer that I tried to have some fun with it by tying it to a famous scene from the 1995 movie “Mallrats.” I’ve always been pleased with how this article came out.


Choose your fighter:

This poll is closed

  • 90%
    #8 — The Transcendent Vision of Meszut Özil
    (164 votes)
  • 9%
    #9 — AZ Alkmaar boss denies second bid for Janssen
    (18 votes)
182 votes total Vote Now

#4 — Introducing the Recurrently Generated Football League (Dustin)

We’ve done a lot of crazy stuff over the years, but I don’t think anything came close to the RGFL. Born out of a mash between machine learning and creative writing, it came out better than anyone possibly imagined and generated a lot of buzz. There might not be a project I’m personally prouder of than this.

#13 — Europa League 2015: An interview with an FK Qarabag supporter (Sean)

Know Your Opponent is a time-honored feature of Carty Free where we interview fans from opposition teams, but Sean went above and beyond and actually found a fan of FK Qarabag when Spurs were matched up with the RPL side in 2015. It’s one of my favorite KYOs.


Who’s your winner?

This poll is closed

  • 66%
    #4 — Introducing the Recurrently Generated Football League
    (117 votes)
  • 33%
    #13 — An Interview with an FK Qarabag supporter
    (59 votes)
176 votes total Vote Now

#5 — Postcards from the Ledge: On Beethoven & Tottenham (Dustin)

This article was one of my first features after I joined the masthead in 2013. A trained musicologist, I loved trying to find connections between sports and other genres. In this one I took a string of bad results and tried to find comfort in the sturm & drang of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony.

#12 — Tottenham confirms transfer of Georges-Kevin N’koudou from Marseille (Sean)

Remember just how long it took Spurs to complete this transfer? GKN was reportedly living in a London hotel for a month before everything got finalized right before the close of the window. The club had some fun with his arrival, and so did Sean.


Pick your victor.

This poll is closed

  • 46%
    #5 — Postcards from the Ledge: On Beethoven & Tottenham
    (71 votes)
  • 53%
    #12 — Tottenham confirms transfer of Georges-Kevin N’Koudou from Marseille
    (83 votes)
154 votes total Vote Now