This time last year, as the Cowboys were recovering from a 1-7 start, and a change in coach and culture, many on BTB were clamoring for an end to trying to compete. "Play McGee", "don't hurt draft position", and "build for next year" were cries heard everywhere.
I am a fan. Until all mathematical hope is snuffed out, I am looking for and sharing any path that could lead my beloved Cowboys onward and upward.
On the day that we "turned out the lights" on Dandy Don Meredith, I wrote my first FanPost - a tribute to Don Meredith from my memories as a boy watching him on TV and once a year at the Cotton Bowl. That night, I wrote my second FanPost - I Did the Math - an expression of hope against the wave of naysayers that declared the season over. Yes, it wasn't likely to happen (and, it didn't), but I did the math. I explained how the Cowboys (who had already lost eight games) could make the playoffs with an 8-8 record. Alas, a year ago, on another Sunday night at Cowboys Stadium, that hope died in a loss to the Eagles. My next two FanPosts anticipated that Sunday night and summarized it.
After I finish this one, I plan to revive that I Did the Math series. I appreciate the nice FanPost that Scarlet O did last week. However, even with the loss this past Sunday night, it is - believe it or not - still mathematically possible (not probable, but possible) for the Cowboys to gain the #2 seed and a first-round bye. Where else have you heard that since Sunday night? I'll update and link to it here when it is done.
In last week's FanPost, I shared my anguish at almost scoring my first 10-for-10. I was 9-for-9 with only the Cowboys-Cardinals game remaining. I closed that part of the FanPost by sharing my fanhood:
But, I’m a Cowboys fan. I don’t pull against them; and, I don’t pick against them. I would rather get 9-for-10 with that loss than have a 10-for-10 with an asterisk (*picked against Cowboys).
That's what I got; and this week, that's what ten of you got to share as you carried perfect 9-for-9s into the Sunday night game against the Giants.
As always, much, much more after the jump...
I know that the Christmas season (not, "the holidays") gets incredibly busy for many of you. It does for me, too. I was very late last week getting out my Fanpost. Assuming that many more wanted to get in on the "freebie" (Browns-Steelers game) last Thursday night, I offered to take Thursday Game Only picks, and even complete 10-for-10 entries. Your response was much more than I anticipated. With the Cowboys playing early this week (their annual December Saturday Night Special on NFL Network), I will make the same offer again. Except, this time I will offer two weeks.
Many of you will start traveling as soon as the kids get out of school (or, if you're a kid, when you get out of school). So, I will "pre-post" both Week #15 and Week #16 games. Feel free to submit anything/everything here, and I will make sure that you get counted in my spreadsheet and accounted for on KD's page.
I learned a new trick this week, and if you read the comments on KD's Week #14 contest page, you saw that (and, like O.C.C, you may have already known about it). With a hat tip to jakezze01, here is the trick (and it is great for mobile posting): type an asterisk before and after (no spaces) text that you wish to bold. Some of you use your smartphones for everything, including BTB. I don't know about the SBNation App (for iPhone and Android phones), but I have a BlackBerry, and have to use the mobile site when I read/post on my phone. The buttons aren't there the way they are on my computer. Many of you have the same issue when submitting your weekly 10-for-10 entries - how do you make your selections bold? So, when you copy/paste your entry into your comment, even/especially on mobile, apostrophes are your friend. Take Dallas at TAMPA BAY, add asterisks (*Dallas*), and voila: Dallas at TAMPA BAY. No mouse click-drag, no buttons to find/click. It works. I am using it from now on when I need to bold something on BTB (like this week's 10-for-10 selections. So, no more excuses this week ("Sorry, I was on mobile, and I couldn't format my entry correctly").
Well, here goes. Enough preliminaries. Here is my report from this past week.
Each week, we have added at least one new player, and that was the case again this week. I took entries last week on my FanPost, and KD got his contest page up on Wednesday evening. We definitely had more participants for the Thursday game (sixty this week; only ten the previous week). We have been consistent for a couple of months now with weekly numbers in the mid-seventies. Here's the chart that tracks our weekly participation:
For the second week in a row, there are no 10-for-10s. For the second week in a row, it was the Cowboys' last-minute loss that was the nail in the coffin. We started great (60-0 for Pittsburgh) on Thursday, and thirty-five were still perfect through the early games. However, many got burned by the 49ers, and only ten survived the late games.
We again had many games that we were "all in", and we had a couple that were almost ignored. We set another new record for "game avoidance", as only seven made selections in the Tampa Bay-Jacksonville game. Only two picked the Jaguars. This is the second week in a row for the Jaguars to play a team on a six-game losing streak.
Our composite record this week was 11-5. Our wins were strong; there were only six total misses in our ten biggest wins (530-6). However, our two biggest losses this week were killers (8-123). Everyone that ended up with 9-for-10 missed one or the other (NYG-Dal or SF-Ari). I actually got Arizona right, but I got burned picking against the Eagles (What can I say? I'm a fan; I'm not going to pick them to win).
We survived a couple of near-misses as New Orleans almost repeated their St. Louis stumble and were THAT close to losing in Nashville (where the Ravens did lose earlier). And, in another edition of "Tebow Time", Denver forced overtime with a 59-yard FG and won with a 51-yard FG.
We have become believers - we were unanimous (or near-unanimous) on: Broncos, Patriots (over Redskins), Packers, Steelers, Saints, Seahawks (at home), Chargers (in December), and anyone playing the Colts, Vikings, or Chiefs. We should become believers in the Texans. Both Houston and Denver have closed the deal, and won losable games the past two weeks. The Cowboys... There are other threads to vent about that. Here are the results from this week:
|Week #14 Results (Home in CAPS)|
|Win||Winners (we're great)||Lose|
|49||NEW YORK JETS||Kansas City||1|
|Win||Losers (we're bleep)||Lose|
|5||New York Giants||DALLAS||71|
|Win||Pretty Even (we're indifferent)||Lose|
Finally, and we're starting to hit the home stretch with only three more weeks remaining. Our top nine are now at or over 100 through fourteen weeks. Nine more have either 99 or 98. I'm at 96, but that is a tie for 25th. There are still a lot of us bunched together near the top.
But, look at ol' Jebediah Flibberbrush. After a hiccup last week, he was one of those with 9-for-10 this week; so, no one is gaining on him this week. And, for the first time, he is two clear of the field. We had a total of fourteen 9-for-10s this week. The ten who were perfect except for the Cowboys were joined by four who picked the Giants and missed with the 49ers. Muted applause for them.
Here is this week's leaderboard, both the best from week #14 and the overall leaders:
|Aaron Burtram||8||Pnut Gallery||98|
|Jason Pai||8||neon greon||95|
|Portland's Cowboy fan||8||Portland's Cowboy fan||92|
|Tuna Helper||8||TARHEEL PAUL||90|
|Cowboys_Attack||7||I am Ironman!!!||88|
|I am Ironman!!!||7||Enja||83|
|Jessy S||7||Jessy S||81|
|7 tied with||6||NJcowboysFAN||56|
As we approach Christmas, I am offering you a chance to enter Thursday, Thursday/Saturday, or all ten this week on this FanPost. Remember, with the Cowboys playing on Saturday, you have to get that pick in on time (can't wait until Sunday).
And, next week, for the first time in six years, Christmas Day is on Sunday. The NFL no longer plays on Christmas Day, so all the "Sunday" games will be on Saturday (Christmas Eve), including the late afternoon Eagles-Cowboys rematch.
So, my gift to you: schedules for week #15 and week #16. Submit anything/everything you wish. Just remember, there are Thursday games both weeks; and, Cowboys play the next two Saturdays.
Week #15 Games
Jacksonville at ATLANTA (Thu)
Dallas at TAMPA BAY (Sat)
Cincinnati at ST. LOUIS
Miami at BUFFALO
Tennessee at INDIANAPOLIS
Washington at NEW YORK GIANTS
Seattle at CHICAGO
New Orleans at MINNESOTA
Carolina at HOUSTON
Green Bay at KANSAS CITY
Detroit at OAKLAND
New York Jets at PHILADELPHIA
Cleveland at ARIZONA
New England at DENVER
Baltimore at SAN DIEGO
Pittsburgh at SAN FRANCISCO (Mon)
Bonus - Week #16 Games (all "Sunday" games on Saturday)
Houston at INDIANAPOLIS (Thu)
Denver at BUFFALO
Miami at NEW ENGLAND
Cleveland at BALTIMORE
Jacksonville at TENNESSEE
Oakland at KANSAS CITY
New York Giants at NEW YORK JETS
Minnesota at WASHINGTON
Tampa Bay at CAROLINA
Arizona at CINCINNATI
St. Louis at PITTSBURGH
San Diego at DETROIT
Philadelphia at DALLAS
San Francisco at SEATTLE
Chicago at GREEN BAY
Atlanta at NEW ORLEANS (Mon)