Tuesday, January 08, 2013

P6 2012: Crowning a Winner

I guess it's fitting that today is the birthday of the King, the only royalty it is acceptable to worship here in the United States, because it's time to crown a champ. (I mean, we ain't Canadians.)

Any excuse to run this photo. ANY excuse.

Five months ago you were invited to pick six schools at semi-random, and now that the games are over and the Associated Press voters have filled out their polls, I'm here to reveal the winner of the Pick Six game for 2012.

First the usual statistics.

Biggest gainers: Louisville had the biggest upset win of the bowl season, running over Florida in the Sugar Bowl. They jumped up nine spots. Texas moved back into the poll on the strength of an Alamo Bowl win over Oregon State. Nobody else moved up much.

Biggest losers: Nobody lost more than five points, but those minus fives (not that Minus Five) all fell flat: Florida, Kansas State (lost to Oregon), LSU (should have beat Clemson) and Michigan (lost to South Carolina in the season's most exciting game).

Hey let's look at Jadeveon Clowney's awesome hit on that Michigan RB again.

Best week: Technically the bowl season lasted three weeks, but whatever. Two pets, "Four legs and a cloud of dust" and Tippy, made hay with their picks: they shared Oregon, South Carolina, Texas and Louisville. Add up those four gainers and you have a 22-point improvement from the end of the regular season.

Here at TMMPF HQ: Bragging rights go to Franklin "The F-Bomb", in only his second year of competition (and life). He had a less than stellar finish, tied for 29th, but that still beat me, TinaMarie, 2010 champ Quigley and the baby.

Enough jibber jabber, who won the game?

"Thomas the Train" hadn't seen the lead since Week 10, but he'd been loitering in the top the whole time. Former leader "Flying Cougars" had four teams lose, and  No. 2 "I Hate Caillou" had three of those same teams. Meanwhile, Thomas had Ohio State (no bowl), plus four winners (and Notre Dame, who fell only three spots).

This means the last three winners have been a housecat, my father-in-law and a 1-year-old in suburban Cleveland. People: ANY ONE CAN WIN THIS GAME. The final scores are here. For your convenience, I've color coded the bowl winners and losers. The points for each school are here.

Congrats to "Thomas" and his mommy who likely made the picks, and to runner-up "Liars, Gastropods, Normads, D-bags, Enablers, and Jimbo Fisher". Your prizes will be revealed in a future post, and mailed out shortly.

Thanks again to everyone who played. I hope you found enjoyment in cheering for your six teams.

Sunday, January 06, 2013


BEST DAY: Feb. 28. It started with an early afternoon doctor's appointment and ended with our first child being born, around 11:30pm. Any other year the winner would be Aug. 24: I went to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for the first time, then to a Cleveland Indians game.

BEST PICTURE: All year I figured it would be this one, taken minutes after her birth:

But I just love this one too:

BEST AD: (tie) AT&T aired this Olympics ad several hours after the event in the commercial actually happened live in London. Amazing use of technology to capture the viewer's attention. Co-winner: This ad that makes fun of people who stand in line to buy a portable telephone. Hilariously dead-on.

BEST NEWS STORY INVOLVING A CAT: This cat is mayor of a small Alaska town.

BEST AMATEUR ATHLETE: Manti Te'o, linebacker, University of Notre Dame. Runner-up: Missy Franklin, swimmer/lip-syncher, America.

Manti Te'o, after beating Michigan.

BEST MOVIE: Argo (dir. Ben Affleck).

WORST MOVIE: The Dictator (dir. Larry Charles). Not that it was awful, but I only saw two movies in 2012.

BEST TV SHOW: "Louie" (FX).

BEST NOTRE DAME GAME: We saw the 17-14 win over BYU on Oct. 20.

BEST BASEBALL GAME: The Indians game I guess. We did not go to any Cubs games.

BEST WEEK: Chicago week on Conan O'Brien's show. (June 11-14).

BEST CAREER MOVE: Accepting a new position, then getting laid off (with severance) from my old job before I could turn in my notice. Yes, this really happened. (Aug. 22)


BEST SONG: "We Take Care of Our Own" by Bruce.

WORST/CATCHIEST SONG: The "red, yellow, blue" song on the baby's exersaucer. Runner-up: "Call Me Maybe" by Carly Rae Jepsen.

BEST ROAD TRIP: To Cleveland and Buffalo (Aug. 23-27).

BEST CONCERT (OUTDOORS): Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band at Wrigley Field (Sept. 7).

BEST CONCERT (INDOORS): Ray LaMontagne at the Chicago Theatre (Dec. 1). Runner-up: Alejandro Escovedo at the Prairie Center for the Arts (Apr. 21).

Thanks for reading my year-end review. I hope 2013 finds you happy and healthy and at peace.