Monday, August 19, 2013

P-F13: Week 1 NCAA Card and Rules Refresher

The Week 1 NCAA card is now live. hashtag letsdothis.

The general due date for each week's card is before the kickoff the first game, which in this case means 8/29/13 5:00PM Central. We are doing Thursday games for Week 1, y'all.

Late picks totally happen, you guys, and I'll always take any pick that gets to me before the kickoff of a game. 

But let's get this out of the way early: All your picks are time-stamped by the Google form, so don't even try with the "my iPhone lost my picks" excuse. Whatever. Google. Says. Goes.

Also, I'm keeping the system I added last year where you can send partial cards or edits to your picks. If you fill out the form a second time, you only need to enter the picks you want to add/change and it will automatically be changed online. Note, the form won't stop you from making late picks or cheating, but I'll audit everything at the end of the week. Whatever. Google. Says. Goes.

The Links:

WEEK 1 PRINTABLE CARD LINK (for those that like to do your picks on paper first)

Quick Rules Refresher:

  • NCAA games are picked against the spread (NFL will be straight up).
  • The picks are made using a Google Doc form. This option is so awesome that you can even do it from your wireless pocket phone.
  • Remember to check for bonus questions. I give away bonus points for entertaining and/or correct answers, but these points DO NOT count toward your overall pickem score. To win the pickem contest, you have to have picked the most games right. Bonus points are for pride and for an advantage in the respective post-season game.
  • A pick for any game is technically due BEFORE the kickoff of that game. Bribes are accepted. No cheating.
  • If you have submitted your picks and want to change anything, you can:
    • Fill out the form again, but only pick the game(s) you want to change You don't have to fill out the entire card to just change a few picks.
    • Email me with your change (
    • Text me with your change (I'll email you my phone number)
  • If you forget your picks altogether, you will not get a zero for the week. Instead, you'll get the score of whoever was the lowest scoring picker for that week.
If any of you know someone who may want to play, send them the link to the blog post or the card link. Filling out the card is every person's official commitment. We'll talk entry fees ($25) in the next few weeks. Thanks to those that have already sent in their money.

Any other questions?

Sunday, August 4, 2013

The Official 2013 Pick'em-Football Annual Recruitment Post

I'm a football fan. I may not have PhD level ability to break down personnel, scheme, etc., and football is one of a few sports I've never played in an organized league, but I totally geek out on football. I consume football in live form on television and in person, in news form on the Internet, and I even found myself watching classic games on the Big Ten Network last month (great production, by the way). I'm just saying, I like to watch. Naturally, I started my own league.

It started when I was in college. The year was 1998, if memory serves. My girlfriend, now wife, suggested we start a league similar to one from the local news station to test our ability to pick game winners. I used my budding Excel skills to create a format to track our success. My dog played too, and he often won.

From that innocuous suggestion came what is now the ritual and tradition, the pomp and the circumstance, the simple excellence of Pick'em.

Fantasy sports provide a fantastic approach for fans wanting to connect to the game. However most leagues are too time consuming and can be easily dominated by someone who spends half of every work day "researching." I still partake in many forms of fantasy leagues, but my true love during the football season is picking games. The football schedule easily lends itself to weekly picks. Picking winners requires only a small time investment for the player, but it greatly improves the football weekend experience. Our game has also proven year after year that time investment does not correlate linearly with success.

Pick'em and football are tremendously complementary resources.

That's where Pick'em Dash Football comes in. After a modest start and over a decade of participation from friends, friends of friends, and friends of those friends, the best part of this league is now you. No longer are the other teams just benchmarks for me to judge my skills (recall my dog used to beat me). I truly enjoy our motley crew of individuals that gather every year, even more than some Thursday night MACtion, but maybe a little less than my favorite teams. And when I've got pick'em action, I can be pretty into MACtion. I really heart pick'em.

Some of you have been playing for many years. Thanks! It's good to have you back. If you are ready to head straight to the Registration Page, then I'll see you on the flip side.

If you're on the fence or would like a refresher, check out the details below.

The league consists of 4 games, 2 regular season and 2 post season. 

Regular season games:
  • 15 NCAA Games per week. Picked against the spread. Odds provided for each game.
  • 14-16 (all) NFL Football Games per week. Picked straight up (no spread).
On the game card for each week's NCAA and NFL games, I may include optional bonus questions (example from last year). While these won't increase your Pick'em score, they "points" are collected and used to give you an advantage in the post season games. Bonus points are also given to weekly winners, for paying your entry fee early, and for some other random stuff I make up along the way.

Post season games:
  • 35 (all) NCAA FBS Bowl Games. Picked confidence pool style, straight up (no spread).
  • 11 (all) NFL Playoff Games. Picked week-to-week against the spread.
Game cards (2012 example) are built using Google Docs and the links will be emailed to you every week.

The cost is $25 for the entire season, which is a bargain and I'll tell you why. We play for roughly five months, which comes out to something like $0.16 a day, give or take a penny. All of the money collected goes to the winners. The distribution of the pots varies, but is typically about 35% NCAA, 35% NFL, 15% NCAA Bowls, 15% NFL Playoffs. Payouts are given to first and second place players in the regular season games.

After you sign up, I'll email you about sending the entry fee. I'm not strict about getting them in before the first kickoff, but I strongly suggest paying early in the season. If anything, early payers will start accumulating bonus points every week.

I guarantee Pick'em has all the of the accoutrements for football season enjoyment or I'll rip the period off the keyboard I'm using to type this -- period

Pick'em Dash Football 2013 Registration Form