Three-point wins might take a few weeks off your life, but they all count the same in survival...
Ken Sofer considered himself dead many moons ago. He wrote himself off on several occasions, at one point waxing poetic about Edgar Allan Poe instead of considering the absurd thought that he might take home BFIG's Title Belt. An overtime field goal saved him in Week 7. An overtime field goal saved him in Week 8. And yes, an overtime field goal saved him in Week 9.
He picked the Cleveland Browns... and survived. He picked the Packers to beat the Eagles in Philadelphia... and survived. He made New Orleans his seventh most confident pick in the Week 17 pickoff, and because Aaron Hawkey made the Saints his sixth most confident pick, Ken became our 2nd Annual THE NFL (Brett Favre Isn't Gonna) Survivor Pool Champion.
The 2010 season saw the emergence of several BFIG truisms: Never pick games involving the Cincinnati Bengals; never pick the San Diego Chargers to win; never pick the Philadelphia Eagles when the season is on the line.
Now, we take these things for granted. In 2010, though, roughly half of our 86 compatriots were new to the pool. It was fitting, then, that heading into Week 16, we had three vets and three rookies still standing.
Week 16 looked too good to be true. With 15 weeks down, how were there so many easy matchups on the board? Jacksonville (-7) over the lowly Redskins at home. Philly getting 14 points because Minnesota was coming to town... with Joe Webb at quarterback. Dallas favored by 7 at Arizona in a must-win game for the 'Boys.
Silly us. Don't ever say such things to the Survival gods.
All three squads went down, and thus we had our first-ever pickoff (in Week 17, no less) for the title belt.
In the end, newcomer Ken Sofer emerged victorious, edging out veteran Aaron Hawkey by the slimmest of possible margins. They both picked 12 of 16 games right, but Aaron's first loss was confidence 6. Ken's first loss? Confidence 7.
So wrapped the storybook season for Mr. Sofer. He won two Moxie awards en route, along with those game-winning field goals in Weeks 7, 8 and 9.
Ken finished the season ninth in the margin of victory standings. Something tells The Commish that Ken didn't mind one bit.
Season Ending Fast Facts
- We picked 64 winners and 30 losers on the season. Our 68.1% season winning percentage was down from 77.5% one year ago.
- Our champ Ken had a lower total margin of victory (132) than Grant Tunkel (136), who lost in Week 10.
- Retrospective Editor's note: A 132 MoV is absurdly low for a Week 16 champ. We'll almost certainly never see that again.
- To shine some light on the competitiveness of this year's NFL, last year's margin of victory champ was +288 on the season. This year's leader (see below) was 25% lower at +213.
- The Packers were the most picked team, with 49 selections. The Lions were the only team to not be picked, making it two straight no-pick years for the Motor City Kitties.
- 49% of the remaining pool was knocked out in Week 5, thanks in large part to the soon-to-be 4-12 Bengals.
The Survival Slaughter Award: Aaron Hawkey
He won the margin of victory crown (+213) by four points over Justin Frederick.
The Survival Surrender Award: Ky Ryder, Lucas Pasch, Mark Simones, Max Kibort, Michael Livengood, Miguel Negrete and Mike Drachkovitch
These fellas all finished the season with a -25 margin of victory. On opening weekend, the 49ers got creamed by the Seahawks. Using this game as an unfortunate example, the pool stayed almost entirely away from the NFC West the rest of the season.
Dude, That's Not Cool Award: Jesse Lee
The Browns beat the Patriots by 20 in Week 9. Feel free to read that again.
Dude, How Are You Still Alive? Award: Dave Zito
The man lasted 13 weeks, and here were his winning (and losing) margins: 25, 27, 8, 2, 9, 8, 3, 3, 6, 6, 16, 3, -15. Yes, that's eight-straight wins of 9 or fewer points.
Biggest Blowout Award: James Pasch
Week 9: Packers 45, Cowboys 7. Bye bye, Wade.
Gutsiest Win Award: Andrew Skotzko
Heading into Week 6, the Niners were 0-5. Whether he was drunk or not is beside the point, because this man picked those Niners and he escaped with a win.
Moxilicious Award: Ken Sofer
The champ raked in two Moxies. Shout-outs to Steve Angarita and Rhett Bollinger, who each brough home 1.5 Moxies.
Best Survival Team: Green Bay Packers
49 picks, 49 wins.
Worst Survival Team: San Diego Chargers
This squad was picked in eight weeks (the most of any team), and lost four times.