BFIG 2013 Season Recap: Go Alone if You Want to Go Far

by TheCommish

Fred Jackson lets out a roar

Whether it was The Pick or The Spreadsheet, 2013 was proof that it's good to go it alone...

Everything that is good about the NFL, about survival, and about borderline-psychotic underdog bets combined to produce as perfect a survivor season as you'll find.

It ended just how you'd expect a storybook season to end: An OG BFIG'er, newly belted and drunk in an outdoor Icelandic tub, raising a frosty brew to the Viking Survival gods.

Heading into the season, NFL pundits were predicting a "chalk" year - a rare case where last year's playoff teams remained on top.

BFIG 2013 saw a ridiculous 18 picked teams go down in the first three weeks. So much for chalk.

After five weeks, just 118 out of 462 remained. But when weeks 6 through 9 saw just 38 survivors go down, there was a feeling that maybe 2013 would still go the distance. Maybe the waves had calmed for good.

The remaining field pointed at the 0-8 Jaguars, losers by a (historically bad) 198 points through the season's first half, and saw a clear path to BFIG glory.

Well, everyone except Ryan Thurlow.

Thurlow shocked the world by picking Jacksonville to win on the road at 4-4 Tennessee. A pick that was opposed by 61 of the remaining 77 survivors.

The Commish received a few jokes at Thurlow's expense once the picks were revealed. At halftime, that turned into a few worried texts. In the fourth quarter, it was emails asking about Thurlow's mob connections. And after Jacksonville won, there were calls to end the pool immediately and give the man behind the gutsiest pick in survival history the title belt.

Long live Ryan Thurlow, the only person without a title belt to be inducted into the BFIG Hall of Fame.

That's right. Without a title belt. Because two weeks later, Thurlow and three others in the final group of 8 lost by picking against the Jaguars. Three more lost by trusting the never-trust-'em Lions. And we were left with just one.

Kevin Graves: BFIG original, near-season 1 champ, owner of the most absurd (read: genius) survival analysis spreadsheet known to man.

Kevin won the Thursday night game, jetted off to Iceland, and upon word he'd won the title belt, promptly drank 20 beers and two handles of vodka in a retractable roof igloo hot tub while singing songs of football merriment with the (viking) survival overlords.

Because how else can you explain a survival pool of 462 people lasting just 12 weeks? Kevin must have an in with the gods.

Season Ending Fast Facts

  • We picked 79 winners and 40 losers on the season. Our 66.4% winning percentage was the lowest in our five seasons. The previous low was last year's 67.3%.
  • This was the first season in which all 32 teams were picked.
  • Three teams were picked just once - two (Bucs, Jets) in Week 1, and one (Jags) in Week Thurlow.
  • The Seahawks were picked 8 times, once more than the Broncos, Packers and Saints.
  • In five years of BFIG, the Rams have been picked... five times.
  • Jacksonville has been picked six times, and Thurlow's miraculous pick broke a pickless streak dating back to Week 16, 2010.
  • On the flip side, the Packers lead with 29 total picks, followed by the Patriots (25) and the Saints (24).
  • The Packers' 22 all-time wins are also tops, but the Bears are a perfect 15-0 in BFIG play - the only team without a loss.
  • The worst BFIG winning percentage goes to the Browns, who are 2-5 all-time in BFIG play. The only other teams below .500 are the Redskins (4-7) and the Eagles (8-9).
  • This season's picking trends followed the generally accepted opinion of division strength. The AFC West was picked 19 times, followed by the NFC West (18) and the NFC North (17). The latter was a good division until Cutler and Rodgers went down.
  • Our record in NFC West games was an impressive 16-2.
  • Our record in NFC East games was just 6-6.
  • The AFC lEast registered just 11 picks - six of which were on the Patriots.
  • The Texans were, somehow, picked five times.
  • The Vikings were, somehow, picked three times... and lost all three.

Season Awards

The Survival Slaughter Award: Brendan Ryan

There won't be displacement in the all-time margin of victory leaderboard this season. But thanks to seven straight wins of at least 14 points, Brendan's +173 gets him this season's award. Michael Callahan was second with a +170. Our champ finished T19th with a +149.

The Survival Surrender Award: Eric Buckley

The Giants showed up to play the Panthers in Week 3. That's about all the Giants did, losing 38-donut. That gave Eric a -33 on the season, which he thought was terrible... until he realized it won him an award. Totally worth it.

Biggest Blowout Award: Michael Callahan, Tyler Perleberg, Ramin Farhangi

The Bengals' 40-point massacre of the Jets in Week 8 was the biggest picked blowout of the year.

Gutsiest Win Award: Ryan Thurlow

For anybody who hasn't been following closely, we had a man pick the then-winless Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 10. Their opponent, the Titans, had something like 80% of the pool on them. The Jags won, Thurlow punched his ticket into the BFIG Hall of Fame... and then proceeded to lose by picking against the Jaguars a few weeks later.

Moxilicious Award: Ryan Thurlow

No one netted multiple Moxies this season, despite Moxie winners finishing above .500 for the fourth time in five seasons. Thus, the award goes to Thurlow, who many argued should win the pool outright because of his Jacksonville pick.

Best Survival Team: Denver Broncos

A perfect 7-0 record.163 picks and 163 victories, including our champion Kevin Graves' Week 10 pick, which enabled him to avoid the Titans/Colts apocalypse.

Worst Survival Team: Minnesota Vikings

Winless in three weeks picked, the Vikings cost 100 of us a shot at BFIG glory.

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