Burger Bracket 2012: Call for Judges

It doesn't seem possible that nearly an entire year has passed since our inaugural Burger Bracket competition, in which we set out to determine the city's best burger in a March Madness-style breakdown that pitted four finalists (out of the original Sweet 16) against one another at Lucky's Pub: Petrol Station, The Burger Guys, Hubcap Grill and Jonathan's the Rub.

It was ultimately a dark horse that swept the Burger Bracket, just as Virginia Commonwealth University (whose mascot should be the Underdog) beat the top-seeded Kansas Jayhawks to advance to the Final Four in last year's NCAA championships. Jonathan's the Rub won top honors, which means it's out of the running this year: We're out to find some new favorites for 2012.

We'll have four new brackets this year for the competition, with categories (once again) as defined by A Hamburger Today's style guide: Fancy-Pants Burgers, Fast Food-Style Burgers, Extreme Burgers and a special wild card bracket, Veggie Burgers.

Don't all scream at me at once.

If you have a suggestion for any of the four brackets, feel free to submit it below. But know that we're pretty much set on almost all of the 16 competitors, so make it a good submission. The more important matter at hand is the selection of 16 judges.

As with last year, we'll have four teams of four judges each that we'll send out into the city armed with a list of burgers to try and a stipend of cash. In other words, it's your chance to be a food burger critic for a few weeks. Last year's judges included teams from Pola Cheese and Saint Arnold as well as the cutest family ever, so step up that game when you tell us why you and your team should be judges this year.

Leave a comment below explaining why you and your group would be ideal judges for the Burger Bracket (and remember to leave a valid email address so we can contact you). You must apply as a team. Please note that your group must be ready and available for burger judging throughout the entire competition; no flakes need apply.

Managing editor Cathy Matusow will choose the four teams from the comments below and we will notify them of their judging duties by Friday, February 25. On the following Monday, February 27, the entire bracket of burgers will be revealed in all its juicy, cheesy, oozy glory. Start your countdown to March Madness now: the 2012 Burger Bracket has officially tipped off.

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Katharine Shilcutt