This 100k contest started at Sportsbook.ag on September 9 with 12,299 entries. Here we are 111 days later where 31 still stand. Glancing back at the teams I have used, I managed to chose 12 teams that are either in the playoffs or still fighting for their lives. Only four teams that I used are having bad seasons. Somehow, the plan is all working out the way I had hoped. I have scrupulously saved New England for Week 17 like a wise Crow saving a shiny button. I spent the first part of this week floating on the feeling that I had already made my toughest decisions for this journey, I survived the Tennessee v Washington near debacle whilst walking through the French Quarter on Saturday evening, and now all I had to do was plug New England into the final spot and wait.
But there's a wrinkle. I forgot that this clause in the Terms and Conditions had been triggered.
Moreover, if there are between 10 and 34 entries alive after Week 16, each contestant must select two teams that will win their Week 17 game outright.
Well, that changes things a bit now doesn't it? I'm back to full worry mode again. You can imagine the noises my stomach is making as I sit here drinking coffee three days before kick off. While on the one hand it's good that this is more than likely going to vastly narrow the field of winners down, it is no longer a 90% certainty that I am going to make it across the finish line myself. However, I have made good decisions thus far and now my usage of marginal teams NYG, ATLANTA and TENN in weeks 14-16 is going to pay off, because I still have Houston in my back pocket, ready to play in a spot I liked them in: at home vs. a team playing for nothing in a position where they need to win to secure the division title.
Used: Baltimore, Los Angeles Rams, KC, Los Angeles Chargers, Carolina, Minnesota, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Green Bay, New Orleans, Dallas, Seattle, New York Giants, Atlanta, Tennessee
I stayed up all night Sunday night playing craps. Hit the All Tall Small with 51 in action on the feature bet (15 apiece, 2-2-2 for the crew) and rolled all the numbers, hitting a 2 for the final hammer. For those of you who don't play craps, the small side pays 30-1 (so 450 for me & 60 for the dealers) then hitting the tall side also pays 30-1 but more importantly triggers the "All" which pays 150-1. So that was 3,150 bonus bucks for me and 420 for the dealers. The table was rocking.
Atlanta smoked Arizona last week. Here we are with two decisions left to make. I've made my selection and I'm taking my family to Nola tomorrow for a Christmas trip. Hope I can resist the urge to watch this game Saturday. I may just walk along Rue Royale and just listen to street musicians with a good bottle of wine in my leather satchel.
Used: Baltimore, Los Angeles Rams, KC, Los Angeles Chargers, Carolina, Minnesota, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Green Bay, New Orleans, Dallas, Seattle, New York Giants, Atlanta
Really nice to be alive after 14 weeks. Last week, sticking to my guns on NYG paid off. Denver fell in SF. Ontheplusside lobbied for taking NE and then they fell to the Miracle in Miami. Pittsburgh knocked out another 29%. All told, 67% of the 109 got the axe. 37 remain.
I'm not going to worry about that number. My job is to get over the finish line. We'll see who is standing beside me at that point.
Used: Baltimore, Los Angeles Rams, KC, Los Angeles Chargers, Carolina, Minnesota, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Green Bay, New Orleans, Dallas, Seattle, New York Giants
Nice to be able to type that headline. Still alive with one ticket after 13 weeks. There are 109 survivors, but I can't think about my competition. I just have to keep my head down, make four winning picks and make it across the finish line.
I have agonized over this week. I have Denver beating SF on the road in my Path to Victory, but I cannot trust Atlanta next week at home against Arizona. Atlanta might be in total rebuilding mode in ten days (as I expect GB to wax them this week) and Arizona proved resilient last week (a desert team winning in the snow, hmmm). So then we look to Tennessee tonight at home against the Jaguars. I picked Tennessee this morning and continued studying. It just felt wrong. Like that dry mouth feeling of dread. The quiet before the storm, where the wind is whipping up the dry leaves and the sky turns green before a tornado hits. The zombies are walking up the street kinda wrong. Just Wrong with a capital W.
So I'm selecting the New York Giants to carry me to week 15.
Used: Baltimore, Los Angeles Rams, KC, Los Angeles Chargers, Carolina, Minnesota, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Green Bay, New Orleans, Dallas, Seattle
Week 14: NYG
15. Denver v cle 16. New England v buf 17. Houston v jax