We knew the OG 46 were pioneers, but we didn't know they'd be THIS good at survival...
When Commish made the inaugural call, 46 fearless souls - mostly friends, family, and co-workers - climbed aboard. The very last of the 46 was Commish's roommate, Joshua Masayoshi Huff. While Josh's reluctance was perhaps a reflection of BFIG's laughably bootstrapped initial state, his perfect season paved the way for a sports community steeped in unrivaled lore and swagger.
For The Commish, 2009 was a year of firsts. A tried-and-true Packers' die-hard, 2009 was the first year in which Brett Favre was the enemy. 2009 was his first post-collegiate NFL season, and thus his first time confronting "Hey, where should we watch the game?" as a legitimate question.
And perhaps because he was no longer allowed to be a sportswriter for the Daily Trojan, 2009 became the inaugural season of THE NFL (Brett Favre Isn't Gonna) Survivor Pool.
Week 1 immediately gave the pool its first legend - The Curse of Leon Hall - after Hall's fateful tip gave Denver one of the most undeserved victories in NFL history.
The Curse wasn't followed by many more crushing defeats, however, as a full third of the pool was still standing at Week 10.
Naturally, the once-latent Huff (not to be confused with the former Oregon receiver) blazed through all 17 weeks without a single loss. After his Redskins eeked out a two-point victory in Week 2, he went an amazing 12 straight weeks without a game closer than seven points. When Tyler Hannasch and Joe Turner's Week 17 pick (the Denver Broncos) got blown out at home, the title belt belonged to Josh.
It was a perfect season. And a perfect coronation for the world's best survival pool.
Season Ending Fast Facts
- Both the championship pool and the second-chance pool ended by the winner picking Tennessee and the loser(s) picking Denver.
- Fittingly for this pool, the final knock-out was an AFC-AFC game. In total we had 45 knock-outs - only 3 were NFC-NFC, and only 18 overall losers were NFC teams.
- Our overall season winning percentage was 77.5% (counting unique picks only). We picked 69 winners and 20 losers.
- Our favorite division was the NFC North, as we used a combined 60 picks on the Vikings, Packers and Bears. The AFC North was next with 54 picks, and the NFC East third with 53 picks.
- We picked all 4 teams from the AFC South (Indy, Tennessee, Houston, Jacksonville), NFC East (Philly, NY Giants, Dallas, Washington) and AFC East (New England, NY Jets, Miami and Buffalo).
- We picked 3 of the 4 teams from the NFC North, NFC South, NFC West and AFC North.
- Only the AFC West was limited to 2 teams. The Chiefs, however, were picked in the 2nd-chance pool, and the Raiders did a good deal of destruction in the championship pool.
The Survival Slaughter Award: Josh Huff
He won the overall margin of victory title, with a +288 on the year.
The Survival Surrender Award: Jody Smith
He won the (no) margin of victory title, with a -6 on the year. (Hey, it's always good to win something, right?)
Dude, That's Not Cool Award: Bryan Drever
He picked the Bengals to win Week 1 - yes, the game with the tipped pass caught by the Broncos' Brandon Stokley for an 80-something-yard touchdown on the final play
Dude, How Are You Still Alive? Award: Kevin Graves
He won 9 games by 10 points or less before going down with the Colts and their perfect season in Week 16.
Biggest Blowout Award: Parvin Parineh
She picked New England in the biggest blowout since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970. This was the last game before Tennessee remembered how to win.
Gutsiest Win Award: Mark Simones
He picked the Bears to beat the Steelers in Week 2, when all of us still regarded Pittsburgh as a Super Bowl contender. Even now it'd still earn a Moxie Award.
Best Survival Team: Seattle Seahawks
You might think Minnesota here, as the Vikings were picked 6 times in the championship pool, winning all 6 times. But the Seahawks were picked to win twice and also picked to lose 6 times. On all 8 occasions, the 'Hawks did just what we wanted them to.
Worst Survival Team: Denver Broncos
Denver was picked 3 times in the championship pool and lost all 3 times. For good measure, they were also picked - and lost - in the final week of the 2nd chance pool.