Monday, 11 January 2010

Gridiron Tipping

Each year the New York Times runs a finals tipping competition for the NFL.

The first year they ran it I finished 22nd out of 'several thousand'.  The company which ran it for them wouldn't say how many punters took part.

The second year I can't remember how I went, but nowhere near as well.  I'd guess about 3,000 out of 8,000.

So for this year I am having another effort and will see how we go.

In the first week of the finals I got 3 teams correct (Jets, Cowboys and Ravens and 1 wrong (picked the Packers who lost 45 - 51 (!!!  should have been an interesting game).  So after week 1, I am 1401st out of 8643!

The mathematicians amongst you may wish to speculate why I got as high as 840th  at one point (after the results of the Packers - Cardinals game was known) and then dropped 600 places.  Of the four resulting games 95% of players picked the higher ranked team in three of the games.  The odd one is Cowboys against Vikings which the only 75% (including me) favour the Vikings.

In the second week of the finals things went to Hades and back.  This was primarily due to the AFC where I thought that:
  • the Colts would pay the price for mucking around to rest players (sort of payback for fixing something that wasn't broke); and
  • the Jets miracle run would end.
Both of these hypotheses were Rong!

While I got the NFC winners I was (deliberately) conservative in my margins so have plummeted to 4233rd position.  Again the first go at my position was weird with me dropping to about 5400th at one point.  I thought the timing was such that the only change was that the results of the Jets game became known.  Since I got that wrong I don't see how it could change anything.

Third week:  it was a tad hard to do much about the AFC as I had got both of those games wrong in the previous round.   However the Saints did the right thing so I have rocketed to 3852nd position overall.   Since only 32% of folk have picked them to win the Super Bowl if they do so I should advance quite nicely!

SUPERBOWL:   After a very slow start the Saints did indeed go marching in and as expected I moved up the ladder quite a bit.  I ended up in 965th spot - just outside the top 10% but not bad for a total Gumby.

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