Thursday, February 26, 2009

2008 Pickies: The Love Is Blind Award

We are all human... except Chris, he's a robot. But for the rest of us, most of our picks are made by rationalizing pickem decisions made from reasons lying somewhere between emotion and wisdom. Generally speaking, the more clouded your judgment or distorted your reasoning is... well let's just say the more money you are going to lose in Vegas.

I do a lot of research for my picks, but when it comes to regional matchups or games involving the Longhorns, I'm as guilty of being a homer as the next guy... although, I usually employ a reverse homer approach. For example, I often pick against Texas. This way if Texas covers, I'm happy (this usually means a win for the good guys). If they don't cover, well, at least I got the pick right. It's win/win! The same works for ou, but in the reverse.

Being a homer is one thing, but this award goes out to one of you that has taken emotional picking to a whole new level (no seriously, worse than my reverse homer approach).

The Love Is Blind Award
And the Pickie goes to... Amanda

Don't get me wrong, she'd pick her or him over us every day and twice on Sundays, but Amanda humors me by playing along in my league (fun fact: she and my old dog Louie were the charter members of this thing... i couldn't run any smack on those two). Amanda begrudgingly does her picks every week (sometimes after some "encouragement"). However, I don't want to imply that she doesn't put some thought in the card. She consistently picks for or against the same teams every single week. You ever see her pick the Cowboys? If so, it was a mis-click. Her weirdest fetish? Georgia. She picks Georgia every time they are on the card. Why? If you said the dog, you get a cookie.

Congrats on the award, Amanda. I can't say it's a solid winning strategy, but it's something.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

2008 Pickies: The High Roller Award

This is a quicky pickie that won't require much type-y.

The High Roller Award

And the Pickie goes to... Kirby.

Kirby bankrolled the most players this year. Although his post season win didn't give him a positive net cash flow for the pickem year, I'll make up the difference in malted beverages next time we are out (Kirby has called in his winnings to be paid in kind via beers). Now that's high roller treatment baby... or something.

2008 Pickies: The Silent (but not so) Deadly Award

We keep a small-ish group here, but there is plenty of room to ride somewhere between Amanda (she puts up with my online picking friends, but probably deletes all the emails) and Gary (who is frequently referenced, misquoted, and translated here). If you are winning, it's hard to ride the entire season under the radar *coughchrissneeze* without being called out. But with 15-20 people every year, that leaves the majority in of the league landing somewhere in the middle, regardless of perceived skill. So fear not, award recipient, there is always next year and we all find ourselves somewhere in the middle, like, most of the time.

The Silent (but not so) Deadly Award
And the Pickie goes to... Mark.

You may not have noticed, since he clearly played under the radar, but Mark had a bit of an off year. It’s cool dude, it happens to the best of us.

Runners-up: uhh... several of us

Monday, February 23, 2009

2008 Pickies: The Wizard of Oz Award

Through my Pick'em years, I've seen all different kinds of pickers... casual pickers, technical pickers, ooops-I-almost-forgot-to-send-these-in pickers, and people who have the picking style of a morgan ensburg at bat... just to name a few.

I've already given out awards for picking early (presumably "going with your gut") and picking late (maximum research), so here is one for something........ a little in between.

This award goes to one of you who tried to follow his brain, always picked with his heart, and despite sub-par results, still had the courage to stick with it week after week.

The Wizard of Oz Award
And the Pickie goes to... Bob.

Bob, I'll leave it up to you to decide whether this is better than getting an award for prematures...

Follow the 2008 Pickies online at

Friday, February 20, 2009

2008 Pickies: The Carnality Award

The presentation of this award leaves at a loss of words. In fact, I'm not even sure this email makes it through to everyone's inbox (maybe not even the award recipient's box).

The Carnality Award

And the Pickie goes to... Crystal.

Congrats and stuff.

For some of Crystal's greatest hits this year, you can go to the website and search for "CJ" or "Crystal" and find most of the post stuff. All her private dirty notes to me will stay... private.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

2008 Pickies: The Technical Pickies

Most awards shows have that "other" show where they give out all the awards not worthy interesting enough for the big show. Since I gave out the Guest Poster of the Year Award earlier today, it seems like a good time to break and give a few technical pickies.

Post with the Most Unique Visitors:

20 different people visited this post... Hmm... I guess interest waned from there.

Runners up (tie):
(each had 14 unique visitors)

Most Active Day on the Website:
October 1st

What were *you* doing that day?

Most Used Label:
results (71)

And possibly more interesting, the least used labels were (all tied at 1)
- brewing
- errors <-- see, i rarely admit make them
- ou sux
- three illegals without insurance or id
- vote

2008 Pickies: The Guest Poster of the Year

I remember it like I just spent 4 1/2 minutes trying to find it... On September 8th, the website was blessed with its first (and *sigh*, only) guest post. It's not like it was worth any extra points, and I'm probably the only person that appreciated it, but it's deserving of some hardware (er, software, er whatever these imaginary awards are).

The Guest Poster of the Year

There was only one of you... And the Pickie goes to...... Gary.

By far, my favorite guest post… EVER.

Friday, February 13, 2009

2008 Pickies: The Lagniappe Award

I began creating football pickem games circa 1999 after getting hooked on the idea of making games exciting to watch without the huge letdown that goes with real gambling. At the time, it was just Amanda, myself, and the dog. Over the years, a game that was expanded among co-workers at Sempra turned into this motley crew of awesomeness that it is today. The football season is still every bit as exciting to me as it became in 1999, but soon pickem unexpectedly gave birth to a new little member of the awesomeness family. Every week, two, three, or six of you will send a little extra with your card. And soon what seemed like just diaper duty (so am I supposed to respond back to everyone's little note?) turned into a cute little awesome-child of the league.

Eh-em... uhhhh... where was I?? Oh yeah, awards... This award goes to the person that sends the best notes/anecdotes/random thoughts with their card. The award had a little competition this year, but one of you was both the most consistent and most entertaining.

The Lagniappe Award
And the Pickie goes to...... Kyle.

Kyle has a common theme to his card submission emails... he sent a rhyme with almost every card this year. Here's to using corporate internet to do lyric searches for rap songs! They were all very much appreciated.

Runners up: Amy/Carrie, Curtis

2008 Pickies: The Kolache Award

If I were to name presenters for these awards, Dave would be my choice. Sometime a several weeks into the contest Dave sent me an email requesting the return of the open ended bonus question. I guess I had gotten kind of lazy in both the formulation of open ended questions and the duty of judging the answers. But it only took a few weeks of their return for me to remember how much fun it is using random (well actually pretty simple and precise) criteria to hand out ambiguously earned post season points. They also made for some entertaining (I think), but extremely time consuming to write (M. D. Anderson will be sending you a bill Dave) blog posts. A few of you were sometimes brilliant. Many of you were consistently funny. However, only one of you was most deserving of the first award given in this category, the award for the unofficial king of open ended bonus question answers.

The Kolache Award
And the Pickie goes to…… Kevin.

I’m not saying there weren’t a few a you who rocked the bonus questions, I’m just saying Kevin really knows how to work the system. Conjuring up middle school memories might have been cheap and unfair, but it works.

Runner-up (and a very close one at that): Kyle

Thursday, February 12, 2009

2008 Pickies: The Professor Award

I'm going to keep this thing rolling with award #2 in the 2008 Pickies. To juxtapose the Early Bird Award for "finishing quickly" (thank you Jess), this award goes to the person that took the longest to make their picks.... and I'm not talking about just being late, I'm talking about someone who researched and scrutinized their picks more than anyone else.

I present the 2nd award of the year (and I can't believe I'm not winning this award):

The Professor Award

And the Pickie goes to...... Rich.

Trust me, no one analyzed and re-analyzed their picks this year more than Rich. I remember years where competitors used to check the weather forecasts before making their picks, but Rich was all up on the gameday details, often sending his NCAA picks Saturday morning and his NFL picks Sunday morning. Unlike my picks, Rich's hard work seemed to mostly work (well, he didn't win either of the pickem contests). Well done Rich... and good luck next year.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

2008 Pickies: The Early Bird Award

All good things must come to an end. I never really know how to end these things, but I did think of something (and I can’t believe I never thought of this before)... an end of the year “awards” presentation.

I spent several hours coming up with this crap, and it is still rather unsatisfying. So to spice things up and to give us something to do until March Madness rolls around (someone needs to point me in the direction of a good NCAA Tourney pool), I'm going to stretch this "award show" out.

Every few days or so I'll present another award. This way it'll give you guys a chance to cheer, jeer, or give a little acceptance speech for the award. Each award will be sent by email and posted to the blog (for us to remember from here until the end of time... or the internet... whichever comes first).

Without further ado folks, may I present:

* I love the use of "first annual", so you can't make me change it

I can't think of a better way to get this thing started than with an award for the person who consistently sent their picks in the quickest.

The Early Bird Award
And the Pickie goes to...... Jess.

Jess often turned around his card in a matter of hours after it was sent. Too bad that landed him in the middle of the pack this year, but in his defense, that has been his strategy for years and has worked quite well in the past. Congrats Jess.

Runner-up: Amanda


Jess: It's not often I'm recognized for finishing quickly, but in this case I'll accept. Maybe the strategy will pay off a little better next year.

Crystal: I just threw up a little in my mouth.

Gary: I'm just leaving this one alone. Jess you just painted a big set of crosshairs with that email.

Greg: This may be the first award you've ever gotten for it... but I'm sure they've always noticed.

Bob: Wow...I'm speechless. At least Gary won't get mauled for spelling and grammar errors anymore.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

2008 NFL Playoff Pick'em - Official Post

Playoff Week 1 - Wild Card Weekend

1/3 10:39PM update: OT baby, and the Chargers move on... AND, no one picked that.

1/4 3:27PM update: Baltimore breaks the streak of upsets and gives some of us our first win of the week... but more importantly, everyone will have at least some points left over for next week.

1/4 6:58PM update: McNabb gets it done, and with that, the first NFL playoff week is up. Kevin comes out of it all with the most points... and it looks like Kyle will be getting his room comped.

1/5 1:07PM update: I made some administrative edits to the card.

Playoff Week 2 - Divisional Playoffs

1/10 3:39PM update: Week 2 begins...

1/10 6:25PM update: I've got a new drinking game if Baltimore pulls this game out. Anytime a TV personality says "Joe Flacco," you must take a drink. Not just "Flacco," but "Joe Flacco." You won't remember the 4th quarter. Trust me.

1/10 6:40PM update: Look, I'm not the biggest Titan fan out there, but it may be time for them to get off the Kerry Collins bandwagon. Wow, how many underwhelming games does he have to have? If they don't like Vince, or don't think he's ready, they outta think about trading him or drafting someone. On the plus side, we can all try out my Joe Flacco Drinking Game next week! Who is in?

1/10 10:29PM update: Whoa! Panthers -9.5? How about Cardinals -19.5? Is there anyone who wanted that action? It looks like the grocery sacker sent Del home tonight... and bagged a few Pick'em leaders in the process. Kerry Collins looks like Joe Montana now compared to Delhomme's performance.

1/11 9:06AM update: 2day's pickz r up.

1/11 3:19PM update: Dag-McNabb-it... another #1 seed down... another defending Super Bowl Champ disappoints... another favorite fails to cover (5 of 7 playoff 'dogs have won straight up).

1/11 7:12PM update: The Steelers stop the Playoff madness and cover a relatively large NFL Playoff line. Props to Dave and Crystal... each went undefeated this week. Once again, Kevin ends the week on top. It's also time to say goodbye to Amanda, Chris, and Gary. Chris blew his entire 174 pt wad this week (previously 3rd place). But really dude, did you need to win anything else?

Playoff Week 3 - Conference Championships

1/18 2:10PM update: Week 3 picks are now updated and up.

1/18 2:31PM update: I hope you guys are watering up and getting ready for the Joe Flacco drinking game this evening. If we are lucky, we'll be able to play a Super Bowl version as well.

1/18 4:04PM update: Tips for Philly: 1. Cover #11 (whoops, too late I guess), 2. Get ready for the offseason. This game just got relegated to a small TV in my living room. Time to queue up some 'Without a Trace' and wait around for that Joe Flacco drinking game.

1/18 4:31PM update: Uh oh... watch out Cards, it's the big mo'. This may interfere with my catching up on 'Without a Trace."

1/18 4:46PM update: The 2-point conversion should be against the rules until the last 5 minutes of a game. Why does every coach think the need to jerry the score to make it a football number? Here's one for you. You are up by one... you can go for two and be up by 3? But maybe that doesn't mean sht when there is still over 10 minutes to play! I could go on......

1/18: 6:38PM update: Baby bathing duties called, so I'm a little late on updating the final score of the first game AND getting started on the Joe Flacco drinking game. I missed the first series, but I've already caught 2 "Joe Flacco"s. As for the little pickem game we have going on here, Crystal is our leader... at least until the final seconds tick off the clock of this Baltimore/Pittsburgh game. Dave and Crystal will be pulling for the Ravens pretty hard, while Kevin will coast to a huge lead if Pittsburgh covers.

1/18 9:24PM update: First of all, the Joe Flacco drinking game was a huge flop. I only counted 15 Joe Flaccos... that is barely more than a beer if you take 1 oz sips... and there was an entire Joe Flacco drought in the 3rd quarter (only a mention right after half before the clock started). What went wrong? I can think of two big things. 1) Joe Flacco sucked. Most of the time when he wasn't being mentioned, it was because he was handing the ball off or not even on the damn field because he sucked it up the series before. 2) Jim Nance. Most of the Joe Flaccos were uttered by that @ssclown Phil Simms. Jim freakin' Nance screwed up my Joe Flacco drinking game. He's so... whatever. He's a Houston boy, maybe he was tipped off of my game. So I've checked, it was Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf who did the previous Ravens game full of Joe Flaccos......... and now it all makes more sense.

It will be a Cardinals/Steelers Super Bowl... not the rousing matchup an all Penn Super Bowl would have been, but I can dig it.

Kevin now has 2 weeks to figure out his Final Jeapardy-style play for the Super Bowl. He's got a big lead, but he'll have to win the pick (or pick the same winner as Rich) to pull off the win.

Playoff Week 4 - The Super Big Game

1/27 9:42AM update: Super Big Game card sent.

2/1 4:30PM update: Super picks are up... and we have a contest folks.

If Pittsburgh covers, Kevin wins.
If they don't, Rich wins.

Good luck guys!

2/1 9:12PM update: Pittsburgh wins 27-23! And... Rich wins!