Tears were shed, brackets were broken, and hometown pride was rampant. As predicted, this year’s Destination Bracket was unpredictable. We may have seen the BIGGEST UPSET in Destination Bracket History for the first round of the tournament. Austin, the Texan underdog, shocked us all with its big win over the foodie famous New York City in the ‘Eat’ matchup. Vegan breakfast tacos and the spicy chile con queso were a slam dunk with fans while New York City’s foodie fandom underestimated its opponent’s fan base and relied too heavily on their iconic delis and pizza parlors.
Not every matchup throughout the tournament was a nail-biting bracket buster as preseason favorite Denver made it out of the first and second round without a bead of sweat. There were some smaller upsets in the semifinals: the so-called ‘Nashvegas’ overcame the actual Las Vegas in the ‘Play’ bracket and international newcomer Montego Bay beat out Belize in the ‘Relax’ bracket.
Austin shocked us again in the semifinal by overtaking Chicago, last year’s Destination Bracket contender that took it all! Chicagoans are still reeling in disbelief that their deep dish failed them in this year’s Destination Bracket. Austin went on to represent the foodies in the semifinals. Austinites cheered their team onto victory over the high-seeded Denver, then securing their spot in the Destination Championship against Montego Bay.
However, Cinderella lost her glass slipper and her winning streak in the final game. Montego Bay’s pristine beaches and blue water slayed on the court. Austin’s weirdness just couldn’t keep up to this relaxing hotspot.
Your brackets may have gone to mush, your destination may have gone home empty-handed, but 15 lucky participants went home with Southwest gift cards. We hope you had as much fun as we did compiling brackets and cheering on destinations. Stay tuned for next year’s Destination Bracket, you never know when your hometown may make a special appearance.