The world feels like it’s ending, but hey, at least we have Fat Bear Week.

Now I’m not Sporty Spice or anything, but I’d like to think I get just as enjoyment out of a good ol’ fashioned competition as the next guy. I also enjoy the beauty of creating a bracket, choosing which teams you predict will go the farthest and bring home the bacon. Now, these are popular amongst fans of the NHL, NFL, and NBA, and really any sport out there, but now one has been created to honor one of America’s favorite competitions: bears. Fat bears, to be specific.

Yup, you read that right. There’s a thing called Fat Bear Week, there’s a bracket we can all vote on, and it’s all exactly what we need in our lives right now.

The Katmai National Park and Preserve is home to some of the fattest bears in King Salmon, Alaska as they prepare for hibernation. This is an achievement that clearly deserves some recognition, and the park agrees. That’s why they hold an event each year aptly titled ‘Fat Bear Week’, a week dedicated to voting for the bear you think is the fattest.

I know you’ve heard that your vote matters, but in this instance, your vote really matters.

So here’s how it goes. Starting today until October 6, you vote for the bear who you think is the fattest out of a set of two bears. Much like a sports bracket, the bear with the most votes advances each day, but only one will be crowned champion of Fat Bear Week. Do they win anything? Probably not. Are they aware people around the world are voting based on how much quarantine weight they’ve gained? Definitely not. But alas, here we are.

fat bear week bracket
Image from Katmai National Park

I know what you’re thinking. How am I supposed to vote when I don’t even know who the candidates are? Don’t worry, their website has a full list equipped with photos, identification, and a biography so you can get to know who you’re voting for.

I personally am rooting for Bear 435, Holly. You got this, girl.

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