Search Menu

What the Brackets Have Told Us About YOU

What the Brackets Have Told Us About YOU

Picture it: A balmy November day in 2012. The Sparkitors sit at their desks respectfully admiring the attractive young males on their stock photo websites (hazard of the job). "'Handsome young man over a grey background' is the dreamiest!" cries Emma over her cubicle wall. "No, 'Blonde guy wearing scarf' is cuter!" replies Chelsea. "But have you seen #18597362?" asks Jenny, sighing. "I have an idea," says Emily. "Why don't we ask the Sparklers which stock boy they think is cutest?"

Thus, the SparkLife Brackets were born. A year later, the brackets have spoken. Or rather, you have spoken through the brackets. Here's what we've learned about YOU from the brackets:

The Hot Stock Boy Bracket
Rundown: In an epic battle of schmexy vs. schmexier, it came down to the angsty, scarf-wearing Aladdin body double and the "love child of Jeremy Renner and Mikhail Baryshnikov cast as Peeta." Just when it appeared Tall, Dark, and Handsome had locked in the win, Tall, Blonde, and Handsome pulled ahead with his "hey, girl" gaze.
Takeaway: For Sparklers, it's all about the eyes. Unless it's about the scarf.

The Celebrity Boy Bracket
Rundown: The bracket backbeat of "left-right-left" marched on as we pitted Hollywood's hunkiest hunks against each other. SparkLife was swamped by a stampede of inward-bound internet traffic. Things were shipped. Things took an interesting turn when the question arose in the comments: Is this reverse sexual objectification? We addressed the topic with another post, "Ogling: Objectification or Appreciation?" Meanwhile, we forged ahead in the bracket with all due respect and fewer catcalls. Zefron won in a landslide against GG's Chace Crawford. Dumbledore and Sparklers rejoiced.
Takeaway: Ogling celebrities is alright as long as you are also ogling their talent.

The Boy Band Bracket
Rundown: For a moment we feared there might be some serious mental breakdowns as Sparklers fervently defended their imaginary boy band boyfriends (boybandfriends?). Healthcare professionals were on call. One Direction, The Wanted, Big Time Rush, some K-Pop—all were represented, but only one band made it to the final two. Directioners cursed my name as they were forced to choose between Harry and Zayn. In an historic upset, Zayn took the trophy.
Takeaway: Sparklers like a pop star who can commit.

The Cute Girl Bracket
Rundown: Equal opportunity! You asked for it, and you got it: a bracket for the Manklers. A lack of glasses and short hair was duly noted. We regret the error. Despite difficulty with your rights and lefts, fourteen lovely ladies were eliminated until we had the age-old face-off: blonde or brunette. Turns out blondes don't have more fun, because you chose the smiling brown-haired beauty over the pouty flaxen fox.
Takeaway: Smiling makes you prettier.

The Villain Bracket
Rundown: There was so much unruly malevolence in this bracket that it would not even cooperate with bracket conventions, and we had a first-ever event—a tie in the semifinals. In a particularly difficult round, you were confronted with a three-way duel between Benedict Cumberbatch, Heath Ledger, and Ralph Fiennes. Despite your mad respect for the memory of Heath, He Who Must Not Be Named was, in fact, named as the champion.
Takeaway: Harry Potter 4 EVA.

The Puppy Bracket
Rundown: Your suspicions were correct. We were actually trying to make you cry. Why else would we ask you to make these impossible decisions? Our plan backfired, however, when we had a four-way tie in the finals. By one vote—ONE!—the fuzzy wuzzy Yorkshire Terrier that we're 99% sure was a real dog and not a stuffed animal won Best in Show. And all of you went home and asked your parents for a puppy.
Takeaway: Confirmed. Puppies are, in fact, adorable.

The Kitten Bracket
Rundown: Of course we couldn't do a puppy bracket and not do a kitten bracket. That would unsettle the very delicate balance of the universe. Cat fanciers leaped enthusiastically into the fray, exercising their stock options until we were down to Very Concerned Scottish Fold and Hip Hop-Dancing Grey Tabby. What she lacked in ear cartilage she made up for in adorableness, and you chose the former.
Takeaway: No kitty left behind at SparkLife.

The Piglet v. Bunny Bracket
Rundown: No one could have seen this battle royale coming. It was the first bracket where we pitted two different things against each other. From the get-go, it appeared the bunny wunny wabbits would have it. And they did. Somewhere in the Hundred Acre Wood, Piglet wept bitterly but vowed to compete again another day.
Takeaway: You haaaaaate piglets and love bunnies. JK. JK. Don't have an aneurysm. We know this one really tore you up inside. The takeaway is that Sparklers are animal lovers.

The Board Game Bracket
Rundown: In a moment of meta-consciousness, we thought, "Hey, why not do a game of games?!" Choosing only 16 board games to compete was difficult, but not as difficult as the choices you had to make. Despite the serious heat Monopoly was getting in the comments, the classic game made it to the finals, where it lost against one of the bracket's newest competitors, Apples to Apples.
Takeaway: Word games are more fun than math games.

The Halloween Candy Bracket
Rundown: With Halloween around the corner, this bracket was a no-brainer. We knew the real question would be chocolatey or fruity, and the Sparklocracy spoke loud and clear on that matter. Admittedly, your votes surprised us. Three Musketeers over Butterfinger? M&Ms over Snickers? Really? But you call the shots, and M&Ms won the bracket.
Takeaway: Give the Sparklers chocolate and no one gets hurt.

Next up is the Jelly Belly bracket! Stay tuned, Sparklers!

Topics: Life
Tags: sparklers, competitions, brackets, things we love, cute animals, sparklabs, stock photo boys

Write your own comment!

About the Author

Kathryn Williams is the author of three YA novels but only one with an Oxford comma in the title. She is a Taurus and hates writing bios. Check out her website,, and follow her on Twitter @kathrynwauthor.

Wanna contact a writer or editor? Email