Thursday, August 05, 2004

signs of the impending end of summer, #1

Rob has sent out the announcement for this year's edition of his famous NFL pool. Last year, I was commissioned to write a haiku for a winner; as if that was not an unfamiliar enough creative form for me, this year I have been assigned to devise a recipe as part of the prize for the champion. In accordance with the time-honored more=merrier maxim, football-following JFW readers are invited to participate; participation not only entitles you to being part of the contest but also to receiving Rob's renowned recaps of week-to-week pool action. Details below.
Welcome to the 2004 NFL Pool!  The way it works is simple.  During each

week of the NFL regular season, contestants will select winners for every
NFL game played. Contestants will receive one point for every correct
winner they pick. After the final week of the regular season (there are
17 weeks in the NFL's regular season), the contestant with the most
accumulated points is the 2004 NFL Pool Champion. The one-time entry fee
for this year's pool is $20. This year's 1st place prize is 50% of the
total pot, plus an "Original Cooking Recipe" named after the Champion by
"The Amazing (Chef)" Dr. Jeremy Freese. 2nd place receives 20% of the
total pot. 3rd place receives 10%. In addition, this year's pool will
award Weekly Champions with cash prizes! Every week, the Weekly Champion
receives 1% of the pot. Finally, the remaining 3% of the pot goes to one
lucky Weekly Champion to be determined at the end of the regular season
(see below under "The 3% Bonus" for details). All prizes will be mailed
out to winners on March 1st, 2005. During the season, the entry fees will
be accumulating interest in a 6-month Certificate of Deposit at our trusty
bank here in Kent, Ohio. The accumulated interest will be added to the
1st place prize. Note: At the conclusion of the season, all contestants
will be able to view Jeremy's "Original Cooking Recipe" named after the
2004 NFL Pool Champion at Jeremy's Blog
Table 1. Distribution of the Pool Money

1st Place 50% (Plus Recipe and Interest on 6-month CD)
2nd Place 20%
3rd Place 10%
Weekly Champions 17% (1% each week)
3% Bonus 3%
Total 100%
If you are interested in participating in this year's pool, keep reading.

And if you know of anyone else interested in playing, please feel free to
forward this invite!
A. Deadlines

In order to be eligible to participate, I must receive (1) an email from
you confirming your interest in playing NO LATER THAN SUNDAY, AUGUST 15th,
and (2) your $20 entry fee NO LATER THAN TUESDAY, AUGUST 31ST. Please
send your email to robclark(at)indiana(dot)edu, and send your entry fee to the
following address:
[contact Rob via e-mail for address]
Weekly entries are ALWAYS due at 12:00PM NOON ET on the day of the first

game played that week. Usually, the first game of the week falls on a
Sunday. However, there are FOUR weeks in which the first game of the week
falls on an earlier day. These four weeks and their corresponding
deadlines are:
WEEK #1: Thursday, Sept.9th @ 12:00PM NOON ET

WEEK #12: Thursday, Nov.25th @ 12:00PM NOON ET
WEEK #15: Saturday, Dec.18th @ 12:00PM NOON ET
WEEK #16: Friday, Dec.24th @ 12:00PM NOON ET
Once you have emailed me your selections, you CANNOT change your

selections for that week. Contestants who submit entries that are
incomplete or unintelligible will receive zero points for those games in
which no (intelligible) selection was made. Contestants who do not send
me their selections, or send me their selections after the weekly
deadline, will automatically receive zero points for that week. Note: As
you may have noticed, the weekly deadlines this year have been moved
forward much closer to the start of the first games played that week.
However, given delays in email deliveries, it is recommended that you
submit your entries well before the deadline. Feel free to ask me to send
you a quick reply to your entry emails letting you know that I've received
your picks, and please feel free to remind me if you see that I've
forgotten to do this.

This year, weekly entries will be sent to me via email
( through a new entry format. On Wednesday,
September 1st, I will email all contestants (a) their unique two-digit ID
number, along with (b) the entire season's schedule, organized by week.
For each week, the games are numbered from 1-16 (or 1-14 during bye
weeks). These numbers are important because they will serve as the order
in which your selections are organized. For each game, simply type a "0"
(for the road team) or a "1" (for the home team). You will also predict
the margin of victory for the last numbered game each week. For weeks
#1-16, the last numbered game is the Monday night game. For week #17,
this is the Sunday night game, as there is no Monday night game that week.
The predicted margin of victory is important for tiebreaking purposes (see
below under "Tiebreakers" for details). Each prediction in your email
will be separated by a comma. Thus, weekly entries will look something
like this:
where (a) the first number represents the contestant's unique two-digit ID

number, (b) the following 16 numbers represent the contestant's selections
for each game that week (0=road team, 1=home team), and (c) the final
number represents the contestant's predicted margin of victory for the
PICKS, THEN THEY WILL NOT COUNT. Also, do not send entries as an
I will attempt as best I can to email all contestants everyone's weekly

entries some point after the weekly deadline. However, I cannot promise
this service on a regular basis. After each week's games, I will email
the weekly and cumulative results to all contestants as soon as possible.
Note: Tie games will result in zero points accumulated for all contestants
who did not predict a tie for those games. Contestants may predict a tie
by entering a "2" for a given matchup, but the contestant will accumulate
zero points for that game if that particular game does not end in a tie.
C. The 3% Bonus

At the end of the regular season, 3% of the pot goes to one lucky Weekly
Champion. This will be determined by the margin of victory of the final
game of the NFL's regular season (Week #17: Sunday night, January 2nd,
2005, @ 8:30PM (ET), Dallas @ N.Y. Giants). The margin of victory will
determine which Weekly Champion gets the 3% bonus by indicating which week
of the season gets picked as the "3% bonus week." For example, if the
margin of victory is 10 points, the Weekly Champion on Week #10 wins the
3% bonus. Obviously, some weeks are more likely to be picked than others.
Also, the more times a contestant wins the Weekly Championship, the
greater the odds of winning the 3% bonus. Note: The Weekly Champion of
Week #17 wins the 3% bonus for any margin of victory 17 points or greater,
while the Weekly Champion of Week #1 wins the 3% bonus if the margin of
victory is 1 point or if the game ends in a tie.
D. Tiebreakers

At the end of the week, if there is a tie for the Weekly Championship,
then the following tiebreakers will be followed:
(1) The contestant who picked the Monday night game correctly wins the
(2) The contestant whose predicted margin of victory for the Monday night
game is closest in absolute value to the actual margin of victory wins the
(3) The contestant who sent me their entry the earliest that week wins the
tiebreaker (I will automatically lose this tiebreaker to anyone else).
Note: There is no Monday night game on Week #17. Therefore, the Sunday
night game will serve as the 1st and 2nd tiebreaker for that week.
At the end of the regular season, if there is a tie for the 1st, 2nd, or

3rd place prizes, then the tie will be broken between the tied contestants
in "overtime" during the NFL Playoffs. Tied contestants will select
winners to all 11 playoff games, as well as the margin of victory of the
Super Bowl. Here are the tiebreakers:
(1) The contestant with the most playoff games picked correctly wins the
(2) The contestant who picked the Super Bowl correctly wins the
(3) The contestant whose predicted margin of victory for the Super Bowl is
closest in absolute value to the actual margin of victory wins the
(4) If contestants remain tied, then the applicable prize money is equally
split among the tied contestants. The portion of the total pot that is
equally split among the tied contestants depends on what place the tie
occurs in and how many contestants are involved in the tie (e.g., a
two-way tie for 1st place splits 70% of the pot (plus interest), while a
three-way or more tie for 1st place splits 80% the pot (plus interest),
and a two-way or more tie for 2nd place splits 30% of the pot). Note: if
the above tiebreakers do not break a 1st place tie, all contestants tied
for 1st place will have a unique "Original Cooking Recipe" named after
them from Jeremy.

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