Well, here goes another week, full of good news and bad news. This week was like a boxer taking a haymaker in the first round (Thursday night game), staggering to his corner between rounds, and coming out and getting knocked down with the first punch in the second (Cincinnati-Miami). After staggering to his feet, and turning to face his opponent one final time, he never sees the knockout punch (Green Bay-Indianapolis) that ends his dream of reaching the top of the world.
In my wife's line of work, insanity is defined as: "performing the same action or process, and expecting a different result".
How does all of this apply to 10-for-10? I've given you some hints. Now, let's dig a little deeper.
First, there are two directions to go with this boxing analogy. One direction has to do with 10-for-10 perfection. Everyone's aspirations for 10-for-10 this week were knocked out early, just like the boxer. A small number played the Thursday night game. Twenty-seven missed it (I got that one right). A bunch more began their 10-for-10 picks with Cincinnati over Miami Almost a hundred more missed that one. Whoever was left bit the dust with Green Bay's last-second loss at Indianapolis. By the time those two early games were over (they and Thursday were the first three games on KD's contest page), every single participant had missed at least once. Many missed two; and, some actually missed all three of them.
But, for some better news - here's the other direction for the boxing analogy. For those that weathered those first three haymakers, the rest of the weekend turned out quite nicely. Because of four teams having byes, there were only fourteen games this weekend. After those three, we collectively got ten of the remaining eleven games right. Our only miss later was minor (a small number of pickers, by a slim majority, missed Seattle at Carolina).
Everyone got caught in at least one of those early game traps. But, for those who only got caught once, there were good scores to be had. We had twenty-one players go 9-for-10. I mused in a comment on KD's last page that I wondered if that was the most ever 9-for-10s in a week. I looked it up - not even close. Last year's famous week #12 (Thanksgiving Weekend) that produced the record nineteen perfect 10-for-10s also produced a staggering thirty-four 9-for-9s! We may never see a week like that ever again.
Now, back to that insanity quote - it is growing more apparent to me that we have certain teams that we value highly ("strong teams"), and we generally pick them to win no matter who or where they are playing. Conversely, we also have certain teams that we value lowly ("weak teams"), and we generally pick them to lose no matter who or where they are playing.
At the beginning of the year, these perceptions are based mostly on last year's reputations. Later in the season, those perceptions gradually shift and we evaluate "strong" and "weak" based more on this year's results instead of our memory from last year.
One of the things I have been tracking since I began is our record picking each game. Here is our record picking each game this past week:
|Week #5 Results (Home in CAPS)|
|Win||Winners (we're great)||Lose|
|137||NEW YORK GIANTS||Cleveland||1|
|137||Houston||NEW YORK JETS||3|
|49||NEW ORLEANS||San Diego||18|
|Win||Losers (we're bleep)||Lose|
|Win||Pretty Even (we're indifferent)||Lose|
Something new that I began this year is tracking our weekly consensus record. Every Thursday, O.C.C posts a Pick-Em contest where the Front Page writers pick winners in every game. He tracks their individual records, and he tracks the "consensus" - the record of the majority of the writers on each game. I have been providing him our consensus record each week, and he includes that in his post.
So far this year, we are maintaining a slight lead over the FP writers. This week, our slow (0-3) beginning morphed into a strong (10-1) finish, giving our 10-for-10 consensus a 10-4 record this week. Look for O.C.C's next contest page on Thursday to see how we compared to the FP writers this week.
I teased you in a comment earlier this week about having a new table. Until now, I have only paid attention to how we picked each game (how many of us picked the winner, and how many of us picked the loser). But, as I began to notice patterns (mentioned above the first table), I wondered how we were doing on our picks involving specific teams. It seems this year that we always pick certain teams to win (SF, GB, NO, Hou, Bal, Pit, NE, etc.) and always pick certain teams to lose (Ind, Mia, Cle, Jac, Ten, etc.).
So, I made a new table that tracks our consensus records with each team each week. Each box has two letters. The first is our consensus - did more of us pick that team to win or lose that week - and the second is the result (did that team actually win or lose). So, "WW" is good (most of us picked a team to win; it won) and "LL" is good (most picked that team to lose; it lost). Here is that table:
|Picks/Results for Each Team/Each Week|
|Team||Wk 1||Wk 2||Wk 3||Wk 4||Wk 5||Wk 6||Wk 7||Wk 8||Wk 9||Wk 10||Wk 11||Wk 12||Wk 13||Wk 14||Wk 15||Wk 16||Wk 17||W||L|
|New York Jets||LW||LL||WW||LL||LL||4||1|
|New York Giants||LL||WW||LW||WL||WW||3||2|
Interestingly, we are only "perfect" so far with three teams. Two were "pet cats" - the majority picked Houston to win all five weeks (they did) and the majority picked Cleveland to lose all five weeks (they also did). But, the third perfect team showed our skill at prognostication: San Diego. Three times, we picked them to win, and they won all three times. We picked them to lose twice, and they lost both of their games.
At the bottom of this table is Seattle. Like San Diego, they have won three times and lost twice. However, unlike the Chargers where we were right each week, we have missed all five weeks with them. Three times we have picked them to lose, and they won all three games. Twice we picked them to win, and twice more they let us down.
Instead of languishing in anguish over the Colts' upset of the Packers on Sunday, the game that cost most of us our shot at 10-for-10, we need to do better at evaluating "strong" and "weak". Indy now has a better record than the Packers. We have picked the Packers to win all five of their games; they have lost three of those five. We have picked the Rams to lose all five games; they have won three of them.
If you want to move up the leaderboard, maybe you should focus more discretionary picks on teams that we are better at predicting, and not jump on teams at the bottom of the table (that we mostly get wrong).
This table is not purely scientific, but is merely an observation of our picking tendencies. There is no "weighting". It doesn't matter whether we pick 170-0 or 21-20 for a team to win or lose. I am only tracking simple majorities of who picked each team each game.
The majority of us always pick the Cowboys to win (and well we should; we're fans), so our record picking the Cowboys will always match their season record. Some guys on here will pick against the Cowboys when they think they will lose. Many did in week #1 against the Giants, and there will probably be many this week as well.
At the end of the year I was asked to run statistics of who had the best record picking Cowboys games. Obviously, most of us (including me), were 8-8 as we picked the Cowboys each week. The "winner", with a 14-2 record, was qbfannn (now known as CowboyBaby). On his heels, with a 12-1 record (he missed three weeks), was StarloverinWNC.
Personally, I can't pick against the Cowboys and then "hope" that they lose so that I have a better chance of going 10-for-10. No, this week is my first 9-for-10 that didn't have a Cowboy heartbreak end a 9-for-9 beginning.
Well, enough rambling. With the Cowboys on a bye, predictably we had fewer participate this week. In fact, every week has had two consistent trends - we have added new players each week (and are up to 253 total); and, we have had fewer actually participate each week (from 222 in week #1 down to 149 this week).
Here is that table:
|Week||Played This Week||Missed This Week||Total|
Unfortunately, another trend that has continued each week is the That Guy syndrome. With Thursday games each week, and many coming in on my FanPosts or on KD's contest pages and making Thursday Game Only picks. Despite my pleas and admonitions, at least one person each week has been That Guy - making a Thursday pick and not returning for the other nine. We actually had
four three this week.
[I messed up and didn't count HALIFAXPACOWBOY's "other nine". Apologies for including him as a "That Guy". I have updated all these files and table to include his scores.]
I hope that this new portal helps more people stay active each week. There is a link somewhere on the Front Page now at all times that links to this "sub-folder" that holds all of KD's and my 10-for-10 posts. I would suggest bookmarking this link so you can always be able to find the newest active 10-for-10 post and make your picks on that page without having to hunt throughout the entire blog.
We had twenty-one go 9-for-10 - more than I will single out here, but you will see our (yes, I was one of them) names in the table below. We also had sixty-five more go 8-for-10. Last week's overall leader, D_Carter, hit some traps and only went 7-for-10. So, our ever-tightening overall leaderboard is even tighter this week.
There is a four-way tie at the top this week, as ChrisMan, D_Carter, Pnut Gallery, and ziggy 19 all have 36. Five more are only one back, including the 2010 overall champion, BishopWest. Twenty-four more are only two back, including last year's overall champion, Jebediah Flibberbrush.
Good news for me - after two really bad weeks (weeks #2 and #3) - I am only three out of the overall lead.
Bad news for me - I am in an eighteen-way tie for thirty-fourth. There are thirty-three of you ahead of me.
Here is the new table showing the best pickers from week #5, and the top of the overall leaderboard. KD's next page will have the entire leaderboard, not just the top. So, if you don't see your name here, look farther down on KD's page.
|Top Scores This Week|
|Week #5||Score||Week #5||Score||Overall||Score||Overall||Score|
|Aggie Man||9||Gabby||8||Pnut Gallery||36||SoCal Cowboys||33|
|BoydNation||9||Hookem Up||8||revellyre||35||Aggie Man||32|
|KD Drummond||9||JDobermans||8||boyman||34||BigBad Joe||32|
|krikaley||9||Jebediah Flibberbrush||8||connor.cmr||34||BigHat in NewTexas||32|
|Pnut Gallery||9||Junkyard Dog||8||GordBerl||34||cproctor6||32|
|Against the Wall-24||8||mushpuppy||8||mdlusk||34||meisternance||32|
|Antonio S||8||Panzer84||8||Rex Pfister||34||Nord15||32|
|BishopWest||8||Rohpuri||8||Through Thick And Thin||34||Static||32|
|CapitalT||8||SoCal Cowboys||8||Wardo83||34||Timmy G||32|
|Cowboy Joe||8||swanhooch||8||wittenfan||34||True Blue-liever||32|
|cowboy1966||8||Tallgrass Prairie||8||Against the Wall-24||33||tsylvest||32|
|CowboyBaby||8||TARHEEL PAUL||8||alfanti||33||18 tied for 79th||31|
|CowboyinExile||8||TheBlueBaron||8||Allan Uy||33||11 tied for 97th||30|
|CowboysFan1994||8||Timmy G||8||CowboyinExile||33||11 tied for 108th||29|
|cowdog||8||True Blue-liever||8||HLCJ69||33||7 tied for 119th||28|
|cproctor6||8||tsylvest||8||hookerhome||33||3 tied for 126th||27|
|dbunny8it||8||Wardo83||8||jayrosser27||33||8 tied for 129th||26|
|DCB*||8||wittenfan||8||milehightexan||33||4 tied for 137th||25|
|DEL1SLE||8||yellowrose||8||MSM33||33||7 tied for 141st||24|
|eastbeast||8||ziggy 19||8||Panzer84||33||3 tied for 148th||23|
|Frankster_1||8||47 tied with||7||scotscowboyfan||33||100 others||2|
I am pleased, though, to note that I am now ahead of both Front Page writers who participate in 10-for-10 (KD Drummond and One.Cool.Customer). We had a third (Archie Barberio), but we lost him after week #2 this year. As ChiaCrack last year, he was active and competitive. Chia, we miss you on here.
If you wish to take this Thursday's game, you may post a Thursday Game Only pick as a comment on this FanPost. I will take care of transferring it onto KD's next contest page with the time stamp (showing that you did post it on time). Copy one of these lines and paste it into a comment. The asterisks will make your selection *bold*.
*Pittsburgh* at TENNESSEE
Pittsburgh at *TENNESSEE*
Don't forget. The Cowboys are an early game this Sunday. Since you must include the Cowboys in your 10-for-10 picks, we will not be accepting late picks this week.
If that is a hardship on you (you can't wait for KD's new page), then comment on here today and let me know. Maybe I can make an exception and take all ten this week on this FanPost.
If you are in an area that is not "Cowboys Country", and do not subscribe to NFL Sunday Ticket, here is a great link to bookmark. Starting on Wednesday afternoon each week, they map out which areas of the country are getting singleheader and doubleheader games on CBS and FOX. Then, they update through the rest of the week as markets get shifted from one game to another.
This week, the Cowboys are on FOX since they are the visitor (AFC visitors to Cowboys Stadium are on CBS). This is a FOX doubleheader weekend, which increases the chances that you may get the Cowboys, even if you normally do not.
Aw, forget what I said above. I am so late getting this FanPost out this week that I will take all ten from you if you wish, and not just the Thursday game. So, if you want to do Thursday only, copy and paste from above. If you want to do all ten, then copy the following into your comment, add your own asterisks (*like this* - with no spaces after the first and before the last). Since four teams have byes this week, there are only fourteen games. Please keep your picks in this order and delete the four games that you are not picking before you preview/post.
[EDIT - KD's new page is up. I have transferred everyone's picks to KD's page. PLEASE - no more picks on this page. Post them here on his new page. Please keep comments coming. I welcome discussion, critique, and suggestions.]
Pittsburgh at TENNESSEE
Oakland at ATLANTA
Dallas at BALTIMORE
Cincinnati at CLEVELAND
St. Louis at MIAMI
Indianapolis at NEW YORK JETS
Detroit at PHILADELPHIA
Kansas City at TAMPA BAY
Buffalo at ARIZONA
New England at SEATTLE
New York Giants at SAN FRANCISCO
Minnesota at WASHINGTON
Green Bay at HOUSTON
Denver at SAN DIEGO
Don't look for this exception every week. I probably won't do it again until the holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years).
Get all your picks in this week. Let's don't have a That Guy this week.
I've missed the Cowboys. I'm ready for some football.
Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.