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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on August 30, 2008 10:40 AM. The previous post in this blog was Paging Bill McDonald. The next post in this blog is The countdown is on. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Saturday, August 30, 2008

So you think you know pro football

It's football time again. There's a college game on in the background as I type this. And starting next week, the "big daddies" of the NFL will be back into their regular season.

Last year we had a good time following the pro teams through the season as we played in a unique underdog pool. The object of this game is to pick an underdog team that wins its game outright. Each participant picks just one game a week. Merely beating the point spread isn't enough -- the team picked has to win the game outright. But the point spread isn't completely irrelevant -- pool participants who pick a winning underdog earn the number of points by which the underdog was favored to lose. A running tally is kept of the weekly point winnings, and the participant who wins the most points over the entire season wins the grand prize, awarded after the last playoff game.

The pool is recruiting new players for this year. The entry fee is $20 for the season, and if more than 20 people sign up and pay to play, there will be a second prize and a third prize in addition to the grand prize. So far, we're told, we're pretty close to having the 20. If you are interested in playing, shoot us an e-mail here and we'll get you in touch with the poolmeister (who isn't us, BTW). As they say, you'll never watch pro football the same way again!

Here are the official rules, released by the pool's organizer today:

There have been no changes from last year... unless we get up to 20 people playing, in which case I'll let you know the new winnings distribution. Please do take a minute to read them anyway. MONEY: $20 a head. I have money only from Dave right now. I'll be a bit of a stickler on this one -- if I don't have your $20 by Saturday, Sep. 20th (that's the day before Week 3), you're booted. Winnings will be winner take all, unless we get up to 20 or more people, in which case winnings will be divided among the top three finishers in something like a 70/20/10 fashion to be announced.

Send the money to me at *** --or just hand me the money if you're going to see me.

LINES: Every week, sometime on Tuesday or Wednesday (depending wholly on when I remember... usually it's Tuesday morning) I will log onto USA Today's lines site (http://covers.usatoday.com/data/odds.aspx#nfl). I have picked this site because they have multiple lines, so they'll more likely have something for us by Tuesday. I will take the first spread given on the RIGHT, but NOT the opening line (the one on the far left). If there's something wrong with the USA Today site and I can't access it, I'll look for Yahoo or ESPN. If there's internet trouble or something, I'll check the morning newspaper on Wednesday.

We're only going with the number I see when I log in to look on Tuesday morning (or Tuesday afternoon, or whenever I look first), and that won't change under any circumstances. So if, when I check on Tuesday, New England is favored by 17 over Miami, and then Tom Brady, Randy Moss, Bill Belichick, and the entire Patriots defense come down with botulism from food served at a team function on Wednesday, the line will remain 17 in our pool even as it changes (or is removed) in Vegas.

If any of this is unreadable or unclear, let me know and I'll give it another crack.

In the event that the USA Today site has a game with no line posted when I first look, I'll keep looking until Thursday. If a line is posted, before then, I will add it to the list with the first number I see. If there's no line by Thursday, that game is not in play.

Pick 'em games are also not in play.

If I haven't sent out lines by Tuesday evening, feel free to send me a friendly reminder via email. Occasionally, life will intervene and I'll stone-cold forget.

PICKS: Each week, you will select one and only one underdog. If that underdog wins outright, you win the number of points they were an underdog by. Do you swing for the fences with a prohibitive underdog? Or do you try to get 1-3 easier points per week? Your call.

DEADLINE: *YES, I DO ENFORCE THIS. The deadline for getting your pick in is midnight Pacific time on Saturday night/Sunday morning. There is a grace period -- if you have the pick in by the time I send the picks out on Sunday morning, you got away with your tardiness. But if I send the picks out and you desperately try to email in a pick afterwards, tough. It's an unfair advantage to make your pick after seeing everyone else's pick, so I do enforce this rule. So -- seriously, don't mess with the grace period. Do it by Saturday midnight.

If you're picking a Thursday or Saturday game, obviously, you have to pick that one before that game kicks off.

HOW TO SEND THE PICKS OUT: Please write a sentence or two in the body of your email before disclosing who your picks are. If your email simply says "San Francisco" in it, I see that in my Gmail preview bar. It's not fair for me to know who you're picking. So write a little bit of text (NOT spaces or returns!). Dave sends friendly greetings. Susan sends song lyrics, usually complaining about Kelsey. My brother sends the dirtiest limericks I have ever seen. But in doing so, they prevent me from seeing their picks until I make my own pick. I promise not to look at your selections until I have made mine. If I'm in the running late in the year, I may even have somebody else collect picks just so that those in the running with me can be relaxed and know I'm not peeking.

In the event you're having computer trouble, feel free to phone in your pick to me at ***. You can call before 11PM on Saturday or between 8:30 and 9:00 AM on Sunday with a computer-emergency phone pick.

WINNER: The competition will begin week one this year, and will stretch all the way through and including the weekend of the AFC and NFC Championship games. Whoever has the most points at the end is the winner (and second and third places will be determined then as well). In the event of a tie, well, I'm too lazy to invent a tiebreaker, so we'll just divide up the relevant winnings equally between tied players.

WHAT TO DO NOW: We should know a little bit about each other. Between now and Tuesday, you can either send me a biography of yourself, or give me permission to use a random Wikipedia page as your biography.

Additionally, if you want to invite anyone else in, I'll take anyone who has their money to me by the 20th, even if they've missed the first two weeks.


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In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
Willamette Valley, Pinot Gris 2015
Aix, Rosé de Provence 2016
Marchigüe, Cabernet 2013
Inazío Irruzola, Getariako Txakolina Rosé 2015
Maso Canali, Pinot Grigio 2015
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Kirkland, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016
Cantele, Salice Salentino Reserva 2013
Whispering Angel, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2013
Avissi, Prosecco
Cleto Charli, Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco, Vecchia Modena
Pique Poul, Rosé 2016
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Rosé 2016
Stoller, Pinot Noir Rosé 2016
Chehalem, Inox Chardonnay 2015
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
Gascón, Colosal Red 2013
Cardwell Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
Della Terra, Anonymus
Willamette Valley, Dijon Clone Chardonnay 2013
Wraith, Cabernet, Eidolon Estate 2012
Januik, Red 2015
Tomassi, Valpolicella, Rafaél, 2014
Sharecropper's Pinot Noir 2013
Helix, Pomatia Red Blend 2013
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2013
Locations, Spanish Red Wine
Locations, Argentinian Red Wine
La Antigua Clásico, Rioja 2011
Shatter, Grenache, Maury 2012
Argyle, Vintage Brut 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16 Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2014
Benton Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
Primarius, Pinot Gris 2015
Januik, Merlot 2013
Napa Cellars, Cabernet 2013
J. Bookwalter, Protagonist 2012
LAN, Rioja Edicion Limitada 2011
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Rutherford 2009
Denada Cellars, Cabernet, Maipo Valley 2014
Marchigüe, Cabernet, Colchagua Valley 2013
Oberon, Cabernet 2014
Hedges, Red Mountain 2012
Balboa, Rose of Grenache 2015
Ontañón, Rioja Reserva 2015
Three Horse Ranch, Pinot Gris 2014
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
Nelms Road, Merlot 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Pinot Gris 2014
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2012
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2013
Villa Maria, Sauvignon Blanc 2015
G3, Cabernet 2013
Chateau Smith, Cabernet, Washington State 2014
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16
Willamette Valley, Rose of Pinot Noir, Whole Clusters 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2012
Goodfellow, Reserve Pinot Gris, Clover 2014
Lugana, San Benedetto 2014
Wente, Cabernet, Charles Wetmore 2011
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
King Estate, Pinot Gris 2015
Adelsheim, Pinot Gris 2015
Trader Joe's, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley 2015
La Vite Lucente, Toscana Red 2013
St. Francis, Cabernet, Sonoma 2013
Kendall-Jackson, Pinot Noir, California 2013
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2013
Erath, Pinot Noir, Estate Selection 2012
Abbot's Table, Columbia Valley 2014
Intrinsic, Cabernet 2014
Oyster Bay, Pinot Noir 2010
Occhipinti, SP68 Bianco 2014
Layer Cake, Shiraz 2013
Desert Wind, Ruah 2011
WillaKenzie, Pinot Gris 2014
Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2013
Des Amis, Rose 2014
Dunham, Trautina 2012
RoxyAnn, Claret 2012
Del Ri, Claret 2012
Stoppa, Emilia, Red 2004
Primarius, Pinot Noir 2013
Domaines Bunan, Bandol Rose 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Deer Creek, Pinot Gris 2015
Beaulieu, Rutherford Cabernet 2013
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
King Estate, Pinot Gris, Backbone 2014
Oberon, Napa Cabernet 2013
Apaltagua, Envero Carmenere Gran Reserva 2013
Chateau des Arnauds, Cuvee des Capucins 2012
Nine Hats, Red 2013
Benziger, Cabernet, Sonoma 2012
Roxy Ann, Claret 2012
Januik, Merlot 2012
Conundrum, White 2013
St. Francis, Sonoma Cabernet 2012

The Occasional Book

Kent Haruf - Our Souls at Night
Peter Carey - True History of the Kelly Gang
Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games
Amy Stewart - Girl Waits With Gun
Philip Roth - The Plot Against America
Norm Macdonald - Based on a True Story
Christopher Buckley - Boomsday
Ryan Holiday - The Obstacle is the Way
Ruth Sepetys - Between Shades of Gray
Richard Adams - Watership Down
Claire Vaye Watkins - Gold Fame Citrus
Markus Zusak - I am the Messenger
Anthony Doerr - All the Light We Cannot See
James Joyce - Dubliners
Cheryl Strayed - Torch
William Golding - Lord of the Flies
Saul Bellow - Mister Sammler's Planet
Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 109
At this date last year: 151
Total run in 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269


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