Remember Dez Bryant's
catch incompletion in the Cowboys-Packers playoff game? Yeah. That might have decided BFIG 2014.
In a year marked by razor-thin margins and repeated escapes - never before had a season gone to the playoff Divisional Round - two brave souls battled a full 19 weeks to decide sports' most coveted amateur title.
After picking the same Wildcard Weekend slate and going 3-1 with a PIT loss, David Mikulka and Anthony Walker found themselves almost fully aligned again the next week. Only David had Green Bay, and Anthony had Dallas.
Do you remember what you did when Dez caught it, then didn't catch it, then definitely caught it, then definitely didn't catch it?
Yeah, you screamed. You texted your Cowboys fan friends three sad face emojis. You Snapchatted your Packers fan friends your naked ass.
Imagine what Anthony must have done. If a Super PAC is ever formed to change the catch rule in the NFL, we know who'll be the mastermind behind it.
Who knows if that call would have flipped the game's result, but we do know that Mr. David Mikulka ended up taking home the title belt.
A few short months later, David's Duke Blue Devils won the NCAA basketball championship, meaning he'll never have a better sports fan season in his lifetime.
Unless he wins a second BFIG title, of course. But is that even possible?
Ask me again after BFIG season 92. You're damn right I'll still be writing the weekly emails.
Season Ending Fast Facts
- We picked 117 winners and 56 losers this year, good for a 67.6% winning percentage.
- It's our highest winning percentage since 2011, but still just 4th out of our six seasons.
- Nearly half of those 56 losses came in the first two weeks (24).
- We were 25-7 (78%) over the season's final six weeks. So much for it getting harder toward the end!
- Green Bay remains the most picked team in BFIG history (38 weeks), followed by New England (34) and New Orleans (30).
- This year's most picked team - Seattle - has a pick history that mirrors its overall ascent: 2009 (2), 2010 (1), 2011 (0), 2012 (4), 2013 (8), 2014 (11).
- The race for BFIG's least picked team remains fierce. Jacksonville, Oakland and St. Louis are all tied (8 weeks). Tampa Bay is at 9. (How crazy is that, by the way? We've done this for six years. That's disastrous futility.)
- Only two teams are below .500 when picked all-time - Tampa Bay (a somewhat understandable 4-5 given they've had "playoff team" preseason expectations a few times), and Washington (a totally inexplicable 6-10... we've picked Washington 16 times?!)
- Amazingly, Arizona was the only team to win all its picked games, going 5-0. All other 31 teams had at least one BFIG loss this year.
- Philly had the most picks (572, largely due to their Week 1 game vs. Jacksonville), and Denver and Seattle tied for the most wins (8-1 and 8-3, respectively).
The "Gronk Hungry" Survival Slaughter Award: Anthony Walker
We may never see a season-ending stretch like Anthony had again. His margin of victory in the last five games: 143 (52, 17, 18, 29, 27). His season total of +290 is the best ever (edging out Josh Huff's 288 in 2009), and earns him a slot in the BFIG Hall of Fame.
The "Greg Schiano's Bucs" Survival Surrender Award: Bob Contini, Drew Wolfe, Jesse Patch, Rich Severson and Steve Dormanen
Posting a -28 margin of victory isn't fun, but taking home a BFIG award is! Minnesota destroyed St. Louis by 28 in Week 1, giving these guys the distinction of having BFIG's most below-water total.
The "No, SEC Fans, Your Champ Can't Beat an NFL Team" Biggest Blowout Award: Anthony Walker, Justin Lee, Patrick Miller, Andrew Wehner, Esther Kruse, Erik Bell and Mike Lloyd
These fine folks all watched their St. Louis Rams absolutely destroy Oakland, 52-0. Fitting that the schizophrenic Rams were responsible for both the biggest blowout and the most disappointing Week 1 loss.
The "Riverboat Ron" Gutsiest Win Award: Kent Ochse
In Week 4, the Giants were 1-2, fresh off two awful losses and still without Odell "Freakatron" Beckham, Jr. And, wait a minute... yup, still quarterbacked by Eli Manning. Kent picked them... on the road... in a Thursday game... against a divisional rival. Sure, it was toothless Washington, but in Week 4 people still thought Kirk Cousins was a starting quarterback. 45-14 Elis.
The "No, Favre! Noooo... YES, Favre!" Moxilicious Award: John Kelly
John only made it to Week 5, but look at his first three weeks: Jets, Washington, Atlanta. If we knew then what we know now, John would definitely have been the Vegas favorite to win it all.
Best Survival Team: Arizona Cardinals
Not only were they the only undefeated team (5-0), but they were picked against twice and lost both games, and somehow didn't garner any picks after sitting at 9-1 in Week 10. Sure, Carson Palmer blew out his knee, but most people still felt Arizona was a great team at that point.
Worst Survival Team: Buffalo Bills
So many choices here. New Orleans went 2-4. Cleveland was good enough to make people pick them, then immediately returned to being Cleveland. But in the end, the Bills had a startlingly bad survival season. The Bills were involved in 10 games and had 5 total losses (either losing when picked or winning when picked against). They knocked 286 people (26%) out of the pool. They torpedoed many of us in Week 1, winning at Chicago; and they dealt five people a crushing Week 16 blow, losing to the Raiders one week after beating the Packers.