Time To Play The (Pick ‘Em) Game

Time To Play The (Pick ‘Em) Game

Blog PhotoWelcome back my friends to the show that never ends ends temporarily during the summer.  That’s right…it’s time once again to put on our prognostication hats and pick some Illini Football games.  News-Gazette Sports Editor Jim Rossow has once again bequeathed me the privilege of running this fine blog, and as was the case last year, I’m thankful for the opportunity and excited for the fun ahead.

For those of you who might not be familiar with me, head here for a quick bio.  And if you need a refresher on the type of material you’ll see on these blogs, head here.  As far as the nuts and bolts goes, here’s how it’ll work:

Starting next week and continuing once a week through the end of the season, I’ll post a blog with some thoughts on the Illini’s upcoming game and a score prediction for that game.  Then, you all will chime in with your analysis and prediction, either in a comment on the blog or via e-mail (tditman@wdws.com).  We’ll keep track of the predictions as the season goes on, with standings posted in each week’s blog to identify the leaders.  The pecking order will be determined in this manner:

  1.  Number of games picked correctly.  Note that you’re rewarded for picking as many games as possible.  For example:  if someone correctly picks the final game of the year only, technically their win percentage is better than someone who went 7-5.  But it wouldn’t be fair to slight someone who participated all year long for someone who got lucky at the very end.
  2. Real Spread Difference Total (RSDT).  This creation of my predecessor Tom Young is basically how close you predict the score.  For example, if you predict the Illini to win by 10 and they win by 17, your RSDT would be 7.  If you pick the Illini to win by 5 and they lose by 7, your RSDT would be 12.  Click here to see how this works in a chart.
  3. Number of scores picked correctly.  I don’t think this has ever happened, but I include it just in case.
  4. And if all else fails, we'll throw the top five pickers into a steel cage chutes and ladders match...winner take all.

And I’m sure you’re all wondering “What’s in this for me?”.  Well, the fun of interacting with your fellow fans of course.  But as far as prizes goes, that’s still to be determined.  My hope is to give something away to the best picker at the halfway point and the end of the season.  And maybe a bonus prize if someone picks a correct score as detailed in point three above.  I’ll keep you posted on this.

Most importantly, though, I want to reiterate that this blog is for FUN.  If you want the in-depth analysis from the folks who talk to the players and coaches every day, please read thBlog Photoe articles from my colleagues at The News-Gazette.  They do a fantastic job, and like that billboard over there says…if they say it, it’s the truth.  This blog, meanwhile, will be much more casual.  I’ve been following the Illini Football team my whole life, so I certainly have the credentials to analyze it.  But I still plan to do it from the common fan’s perspective.  After all, this blog’s name is “For The Fans”.  So yes, I’m going to continue to throw in pop culture references and nuggets not related to Illini Football.  And yes, I’ll get some things wrong from time to time, whether it’s a fact about the team or a miscalculation in the prediction standings.  Just bear with me and remember that, again, this is all just for FUN.  Keep your comments respectful, and we’ll have a great time.

I’ll leave you with my favorite football movie quote…


Coming up next week:  My thoughts on the Illini season and a breakdown and prediction of the SIU game

PS – In addition to this blog, I have the privilege of being Brian Moline's partner on Illini Soccer broadcasts this year.  Our first game is this Sunday at Louisville.  Tune in at noon on WDWS or wdws.com.  You won't regret it.


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