12/29/18-1/1/19:   The Bowl Pool pickers' performance was underwhelming at 62.5% correct with Zack first and Mike 2nd; favorites only won 46% of the games.  The Dave Biddle Pool goes to Noah first and Ed 2nd with both being very consistent contenders week after week.  Congratulations and thank you all for playing; see you all for next season's edition of the Pool.  Games-wise yesterday Texas took it to the SEC (yay!), Washington only played the 4th quarter and made it easy for Ohio State, Central Florida lost to LSU but gave it a valiant effort to remain unbeaten, and no conference looked dominating.  As for the CFP championship game all I can say is "ho-hum" as the "rigging" continues.  See you in the fall and wishing you all a Happy New Year one more time from the Godfather and Commissioner Sam.
    Blind luck was on display in one of the ugliest games the Cardinal played in years winning 14-13 over Pitt - I will take it.  Utah fell apart in the 2nd half so the Pac-12 is 3-3 in the Bowls, far better than 2017.  The Bowl Pool is still up for grabs with no one running away with it  so far with New Years Day's five games all in play.  Happy New Year to all - hope the year is happy too! 
    Amelia wins Week 18 with Mike & Noah splitting second place in a tight contest helped by the fact that Vegas had 11 of 16 games picked correctly from the "chalk" favorite viewpoint.  Watched the tail end of the Niners just in time to see George Kittle set the Tight End record for receiving yards in a season breaking the record set in a prior game on the same Sunday.  Also watched Andrew Luck take the Colts to the playoffs and showing he is recovered from the previous disastrous two years of injury.  The next two days will wrap up our 2018 Football Pool which has been a fun trip.  No fun though for the NFL coaches dropping like falling leaves in the fall; no fun to happen to them during the Holiday season - bah humbug!
  We had a drop-off in our near-perfect "attendance" for the Bowl Pool and Week 18, as is usual during the holiday week.  The two CFP games were "underwhelming".  Touchdown Jesus failed to make the trip to the "Jerry Dome" with Notre Dame and the "Fighting Irish" provided a miserable demonstration of football making it easy for Clemson that had 3 players tossed for failed drug tests (all a mistake they claim!).  Oklahoma woke up late but the outcome was never in doubt for the "professionals" from Alabama over the defenseless Sooners who needed a redo after the first quarter.  So next Monday's so-called Championship Game was predictable as the Selection Committee failed again to pick the 4 best teams and the powers-that-be continue to refuse to see the obvious need to go to 8 (or 12) teams .  The SEC rules the world by playing up to Alabama and the rest of the decent teams in that "conference" that continue to schedule non-conference cupcakes for at least one-third of their regular season games.  What a travesty!  Other Bowl games had either routs with some competitive games sprinkled in.  Cal-TCU was an ugly display ending in a 10-7 OT win for TCU in a game with 9 interceptions and 15 punts.  Washington State-Iowa State was a real contest and fun to watch as Wazzu won 28-26 with the Cyclones failing on a 2-point conversion to tie at the end.  The odds-makers were way off with only 5 of 13 games so far following the "chalk".  As for the Godfather I will never pay attention to Las Vegas again as I trailed the field badly early on and still do. 

12/22/18-12/24/18:  It's Christmas Eve Day and Week 17 is still up for grabs depending on the outcome of Monday night's game.  A Denver win gives Andy a first place and Chris a second place, an Oakland win gives Noah first place and Andy takes second place.  Sunday's NFL action had an affect on the playoffs in both conferences.  The NFC has one spot available, either Minnesota or Philadelphia; the AFC has two spots open with 4 teams competing for the playoffs.  One game Sunday went into OT with Green Bay besting the Jets in OT after the Jets self-destructed on 6 late game penalties, some of which seemed like better no-calls than flag-eligible.  Several other games were close but personal achievements seem more noteworthy.  Christian McCaffery set a RB record for season catches (106) plus going over 1000 rushing yards and Zach Ertz set a season record for TE catches (111) -  both prominent Stanford alumni, I happily add.  Only one pool left (Week 18) but Las Vegas is late on odds for 5 games (holiday issues?) so The Godfather is waiting for more guidance to emerge from the odds-makers; besides today and tomorrow are family days so patience and Week 18 will be posted as soon as possible. 
  We are almost at Christmas Day, the bowl games have begun, and the upsets on the first day of Week 17 outnumber the "chalk".  Hawaii loses at home in a late game to Louisiana-Lafayette, Memphis loses to Wake Forest missing a tying field goal with 4 seconds left, the Chargers lose a game they needed to maintain a chance to enhance their playoff standing, and Army demolishes Houston 70-14 for their best season record ever.  REMINDER - your BOWL POOL picks are due early on December 26th so come down from playing with the toys Santa left under the tree and get them in; also, Week 18's picks are due Sunday morning, December 30th.

12/15/18-12/17/18:  This week's pool is over, tonight's game is irrelevant.  Before you all accuse the Godfather of fixing the outcome in favor of THE FAMILY it is pure coincidence, blind luck or just plain talent - yeah right!  Anyway The Godfather and Granddaughter split first and The Godmother finishes third due to less correct as the tiebreaker.  Honest - no manipulation has transpired.  The NFL "chalk" was 8 out of 14 with some interesting results.  Indy shutting out Dallas by 23 points was unexpected despite being a slight favorite 

as was Philadelphia over the Rams and Pittsburgh finally beat the Patriots ending a losing streak against NE.  The 49ers rose up in OT (at home) against the Seahawks and definitely looked good doing it.  The next two weeks will tell the tale for the wild cards in the NFC with a couple of divisions up for grabs as well as the wild cards in the AFC.  Our Biddle Pool is also still competitive with 3 pools to go.  Wishing everyone a great Christmas holiday and safe travels. 

    Thank you all for another 100% participation this week.  The college games all followed form but Denver flubbed at home against a resurgent Cleveland team on a roll.  Looks like the movement for an 8-game CFP is picking up steam.  The SEC will probably kill it as usual - pure arrogance and an eight game SEC conference schedule stubbornness will block the movement.

12/8/18-12/10/18:  Tonight's game counts in the week's outcome - a Seattle win goes to Ed with The Godmother second; a Minnesota win goes to Mike J. with Ed second.  Overall the Pro results show the "chalk" being correct only 6 out of 14 (43%).  The games were certainly interesting with Miami beating NE (yeah!) starting with 7 seconds on the clock & going for a 69 yard TD which included two laterals just after NE had scored to take the lead.  The Raiders survived a last second FG attempt for the win by Pittsburgh when the kicker slipped on the wet turf and the kick was "blocked".  The Niners survived two opposite halves against Denver scoring 20 points in the first half and zip in the second; they should have kept passing to TE Kittle who had 210 yards in the opening half and 0 in the second.  The final Sunday day game went into OT and Dallas held the ball for the opening 13 minutes and then scored a TD on a deflected pass (lucky Cowboys, as always); they also had a 62 yard FG in that game.  The Giants picking up steam too late to do any playoff good and the Bears showed the Rams who are still the "Monsters of the Midway" in the Sunday night game.  Well, "that's all folks" as Porky Pig would say!

    Another win for Army (3 in a row) to help balance out the won-loss scale currently in Navy's favor.  Navy stayed with the starting QB too long and caught fire too late.  The 10-plus minute time span to measure for a 4th-quarter Army first down (on an Army 4th down) clearly was a massive display of incompetence and laughable irrespective of the final ruling which resulted in a turnover on downs to Navy.  It was an insult to simple surveying not to mention officiating.  Anyway no harm, no foul, as it turned out.
    As we approach the CFP games the most laughable comment I have heard is that adding more teams beyond the 4 semifinalists would dilute the playoff system.  Really 4 out of 132 (or so), or 3% is fair and NCAA BB with 68 out of 330 (or so) or 21% is unfair?  Tell that to the double-digit seeds and other high seeds that have won (or the No. 1 seeds that have lost) - really!  Going to 8 (or 12) teams with a team from each of the 5 major conferences being involved is mandatory, especially with the Eastern bias (pro-SEC especially) and late night West Coast games.  Also, it is time to give the UCFs and other smaller conference teams a fair shot as well. Time to wake up you so-called powers-that-be and give the FB fans a real playoff system - PLEASE!

11/30/18-12/3/18:  Tonight's game decides 2nd place as Zach wins outright; an Eagle win give Lorraine sole possession of 2nd place, a Washington win creates a split between Lorraine and Minga for second.  3rd place has either 3 or 4 players tied depending on who wins the game.  The Sunday night game was weird, basically a "A Tale of Two Cities" or at least two opposite halves of a game with Pitt winning the first and LA winning the second half and the game.  The game ending with three attempts at a winning field goal was especially bizarre with the home team being offsides three times with seconds or no time left on the clock.  The first offside really hurt as the first FG attempt was missed outright which would have pushed the game into OT.  The second kick was blocked (by the offside rusher, however) and the third time was the charm despite another offsides call.  Almost all the games were fairly close (not so the Niner game) with 5 upsets of the favored team out of 14 games.  Green Bay's loss (as a 14 point favorite) cost its long-time coach his job as the head-coach dominos start to fall.  One game (Giants over Bears) went into OT and Indianapolis (with Andrew Luck at QB no less) was shutout.  Of note with 4 games left the Rams clinched their division. 
    I continue to scream about the CFP system which badly needs to be expanded.  The "prima donna" teams, as always, get favorite-son treatment but look at the odds set by Las Vegas for the first 2 games being in double-digits.  Sad, very sad, as competitive conferences get down-graded and the non-competitive ones get a pass, especially the SEC which only plays an 8-game conference schedule, a chicken approach, purposely foisted on the football world and openly protected and bragged about in the face of the 9 game conferences.  Cannot fault ND's season but they should be in a conference like all the others rather than getting a pass with a 12-game non-conference championship game schedule.  The change to a real playoff system needs to come ASAP for fairness.  Despite my ND negative comments throughout the years (since 1963) that's my choice to win it all.
Nothing complimentary to be said about the Pac-12 Conference Championship Game - just plain DULL; time for Commissioner Larry Scott to be replaced ASAP for that display and many other reasons including the no-call on an obvious PI at the end with Utah fighting the clock and field position - horrible officiating all year long for all teams. 
    The bad officiating continued on Saturday as the SEC refs made sure Alabama stayed undefeated by totally ignoring an even worse PI no-call at the end of the SEC Championship game - hope the payoff was worth it guys!  Of course, the Georgia coach's fake punt call in a tie game near the end was a gift to the Tide.  Central Florida's comeback against Memphis was epic led by a backup QB the whole way and the "snow" game in Boise was exciting to watch with BSU winding up with a rare loss at home (to Fresno State).  Northwestern gave it a real hard effort against Ohio State which still led the OSU coach to claim OSU deserved to be in the CFP Final Four - get serious Urban, you have no basis for such a claim.  With both the Big-10 & Pac-12 left out in the cold it is NOW TIME to expand the CFP, TV contracts be damned!  Oklahoma prevailed over Texas to join the group of Four and Clemson had a walk in the park against Pitt proving that most of the ACC was composed of so-so teams, a lot of which were on Notre Dame's schedule.  Since Stanford lost (this year) to ND I cannot bad-mouth the Irish much and usually their schedule is a worthy one.  As for the Big Game it was another tough one (as was last year's game) won in the closing minutes by the Cardinal (9 years in a row).  It was good that the weather was not a factor and the kids on both sides could give it all their best shots, and they did very well.  Unfortunately, my undergraduate alma mater, Rensselaer, lost in the 3rd round of the Division III college football playoffs - well done guys, great effort.

 11/22/18-11/26/18:  Heads up everyone; there is a Friday night at 5:00PM PST game on this week's pool so no last minute Saturday morning picking of this game as the clock we have built in the system will invalidate picking that winner after the fact - not that anyone would try and do so.  Congratulations all on another 100% participation week; let's do it again.
    Check out the Results tab which shows 6 players tied for first with 10 points after 13 weeks. This week's regular winner is Chris with Todd second; tonight's game is a non-factor.  Not sure how the Pro oddsmakers did the rest of the week but Cleveland, Buffalo, both too late, Indianapolis and Minnesota getting into high gear late in the season, that last team hurt Pittsburgh if Baltimore gets hot.  Looks like it will be a wild finish to the NFL season.
    Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving week.  Thursday's Pro games went as predicted with little drama; not so for the colleges on Friday & Saturday.  Washington State's prolific passing attack was shut down by a near blizzard snowstorm at home and their dreams of the college football playoffs or the Rose Bowl went down to their rivals from Seattle as a result.  Then there was the 105 points scored in the wild 54-51 (why play defense?) Big-12  battle between West Va. and Texas.  Saturday was the topper with a 7-overtime game between Texas A&M and LSU which had a very questionable (in regulation) finish with apparently (or not) 1 second left on the clock which allowed A&M to tie the game up and force OT.  Ultimately, with more questionable calls by the zebras, A&M won 74-72.  I watched all of the OT and it was fascinating as well as exhausting to witness - cannot imagine what the poor players endured.  U$C gave it their best shot against the Touchdown Jesus gang but fizzled at the end so the "anointed" ones will no doubt be one of the Select-4 in the playoff; the farce continues as only four teams are apparently worthy of a national championship - get REAL!!  Finally, Michigan more than fizzled against its rival OSU and embarrassed itself in that game.  Oh yes, have never seen  a safety (avoidable for certain) followed by a kickoff return for a TD - my Cardinal were lucky to win against the Baby-Blue Bears 49-42, whew!  Finally all games through Saturday followed the "chalk" 11 for 14 despite the college drama.

11/17/18-11/18/18:  Unbelievable Monday night game with and bonus points on top of that.  54-51 Rams over Chiefs; watched the whole game which I usually do not do.  Fabulous finish and drama. A rare treat that also determined this week's winner.
    Heads up everyone - Week 13 pools are due Thursday morning due to the Thanksgiving pro games; nothing new, always been the practice. 

    Sad day for Alex Smith ending with two broken bones in his leg identical to Joe Theismann's terrible injury 33 years ago to the day.  Always felt the Niners screwed up trading him; a good guy not deserving such a bad outcome yesterday.

    Tonight's game counts very much with a Rams win going to David J. with The Godfather second; a KC win goes to Nathan Detroit, the operator of "The Oldest Established Permanent Floating Crap Game in New York".  David R. and Andy take second in that scenario.  The outcome of the Raider game cost The Godfather big-time; another reason to detest Da Raiders.  Arizona was a train wreck in that game.  Three games went to final seconds field goals and it looks like some teams (Indy & Dallas) are starting to roll.  Some Division leaders are pulling away but the NFC East looks like a track meet to the finish.  Final note - Condoleezza Rice has my vote for Commissioner over the current travesty - but the rumor of being the Browns' future coach was certainly intriguing although untrue.

    Same news as last week; not much improvement on the wildfire front, unfortunately.  Remember the Red Cross is needing help to assist the victims.
    On the small college front my other alma mater, Rensselaer, won its first round NCAA Division 3 game, 38-14.  This is a far cry from 43 straight winless games from 1959-1965 (the team had 2 wins in my freshman year, 1959).  Harvard beat Yale yesterday but had a TD called back because the scoring player flipped the bird to the Elis after crossing the goal line; the coach was not too happy!
       Central Florida continued winning and made the top-10; the Golden Domers wore NY Yankee (yuk) type uniforms (not pretty) and stayed unbeaten.  Pretty sure no upset next week against U$C in their finale as the Spoiled Children lost to their baby-blue uniformed LA neighbors.  Ohio State got lucky 52-51 against Maryland when the Terrapins went for 2 in OT and survived.  Washington State gets no respect after thrashing ASU 69-28, moves to 7th place with 3 other 1-loss teams ahead of them - seriously; obviously the voters were in bed at the 7:30 PST kickoff time.  TIME TO GO TO 8 OR 12 TEAMS FOR THE CFB PLAYOFFS.  Alabama strained themselves against The Citadel (wow - risky game); Georgia took on UMass (likewise) and LSU struggled against Rice.  Let's all bow to the mighty SEC - the system's a joke.  HEADS UP EVERONE, next week has Thursday (Thanksgiving Day) games in the pool so it is a short week.  Only one absentee this week so no 100% participation ribbons this week.  Seven of 12 favorites won this Saturday but 7 points was taken off the table with The Big Game postponed by the foul air to December 2nd.

11/10/18-11/12/18:  Not much improvement on the wildfire front, unfortunately.  Remember the Red Cross is needing help to assist the victims.
    Relative to the NFL tonight's game outcome (if played despite the bad AQI) it only changes the standings below 2nd place, unfortunately despite being a 10-point game for the correct pick.  Minga wins outright via tiebreaker over David R. with 2 more correct picks to break the tie.  Sunday in the NFL saw only 7 of 12 favorites win resulting in more chaos in the standings; even the Browns won - amazing!  Dallas keeps costing me whether I pick them or not, NE goes down big-time despite Brady's clumsy pass-catching skills, and even Buffalo wins in a romp.  Oakland looks to be a contender for the first overall draft pick and Andrew ties a record for consecutive games with 3 TD passes.  REMINDER, Thanksgiving week pools will be due Thursday morning.
    Gruesome weekend in Northern & Southern California with devastating wildfires raging with no end in sight and only windy conditions making it worse and without any rain in the forecasts.  The death toll is rising in the northern "Camp Fire" to a staggering 23 so far with only 20% containment.  Plans to hit The Farm last night for the Senior Night game against OSU were reluctantly cancelled with the AQI nearing 200 at kickoff due the smoke and dropping to 150 by games end - this old man and dear wife could not risk 4 hours outdoors; on TV it looked like many others did the same.    Minor inconvenience and trivial compared to the victims enduring both fires; it is November - time for RAIN!  Also time for more contributions to the Red Cross - again.
    As for football all the top 10 teams won although Oklahoma only beat its rival Oklahoma State when the Cowboys' 2-point conversion for the win failed in the last minute for a 48-47 win - they continue to play "tight" defense in the Big-12!  On the GFSB game board 75% of the favorites won making for half the player being with 10 or so points of each other on Sunday morning.  Despite the smoke the Cardinal won more or less handily and Cal put a defensive beating on the U$C Trojans 15-14 in LA - first win in over a decade by Berkeley over the arrogant "one song" band and team. The Big Game should go down to the wire this Saturday and both teams will have bowl game dates in late December.  The trail of FB coach firings will be picking up in future weeks; yesterday was the Louisville coach's turn. 
    Another 100% participation week; 98+% overall.  Be safe outside everyone.

11/03/18-11/05/18:  No surprises tonight with Tim and Todd splitting first place, the Monday night game notwithstanding. A Dallas win puts them in the 80% correct category.  Thanks also for another 100% participation weekend.  The "chalk" continued to hold for the NFL as well, with only 3 more upsets out of 11 games; total for the weekend was 76% correct by the Las Vegas winner pickers.  Biggest surprise to me was Rams losing a game that featured another hidden cell phone buried at the goal post by Michael Thomas of the Rams; the LA coach was not amused.  The Patriot-GB game was a good one with too many GB injuries having a negative effect.  The highlight to me was seeing a stocky (short also) 102 year-old WW II vet strolling onto the field looking pretty darn fit, God bless him.
   Well, as predicted many, many high point totals and correct college picks by the players; well done and congrats on  participation weekend.  It helped that there were only 3 upsets of the "chalk" out of 13 games.  Some great games this weekend with wild finishes; unfortunately close but no celebration by the Farm boys who didn't start to play until the 2nd half in Seattle down 21-0, only to lose in the final minutes.  Cal gave WSU fits all game only to lose at the end in a valiant effort; I must be losing my mind, second weekend in a row praising Berkeley.  The West Virginia/Texas game was a gem won by the "Country Roads" gang on a 2-point conversion at the end; the Texas folks protesting to the bitter end the "insult" of the upside-down "hook-em horns" gesture by the Mountaineer players.  The referees were besieged by the Texas tribe so badly they issued West Va. a 15-yard unsportsmanship penalty for the gesture - can you believe that; it wasn't even the proverbial one finger salute.  Alabama crushed LSU and now can get back to playing non-conference patsies again; what a joke the SEC is and they belittle all the other conferences - get real guys, what a farce.  The Michigan-Penn State game and Ohio State's troubles are going to make for a great season finale in the Big Ten.  Oklahoma survived a "defensive" struggle as the Big-12 plays defense like they only practice with tackling dummies on one side of the line of scrimmage.  But the weekend's highlight has to be the Division III Heidelberg punter, Austin Baker, who set a NCAA record of 95 yards with over 60 of it in the air; well done Austin - my CFB player of the weekend.  Unfortunately, his team lost 27-0.

10/27/18-10/29/18:   Game over as of Sunday night as the Monday night game is a formality.  Sam wins with Noah second.  As it was picking all the favorites would have gotten you 10 of 12 correct.  49ers gave up the ghost at the end and Indy stomped on Raiders led by Andrew Luck - the week's Thursday night game will be a battle to escape the "Bay Area Cellar".  Giants now at the complete bottom but Eli refusing to be traded; Rams undefeated and survived Green Bay.  Some games coming this weekend will be big for the standings with the Rams at Saints and Packers at Patriots.  Should be fun to watch.  Had 100% participation again this week -  congratulations all.
   A shootout on the Farm that ended badly; what a goofy season for the Cardinal but now hope Wazoo goes all the way now.  Wow, who would have thought that the Bears could hold the Huskies to 10 measly points; well done if I have to admit it grudgingly.  Less than half (5) of the 12 college favorites won resulting in a shakeup in the polls with 7 new teams in the top 25 and notably Wisconsin and Stanford dropping out and Texas out of the top 10.  Looks like the Pac-12 is in self-destruct mode with Oregon, U$C, Colorado also going down to defeat.  Problem is the rest of the country (that is asleep when the West plays its games) consider this just a weak conference with so-so teams instead of a conference that from top to bottom is better than most of the other 4 of the Big-5.  But propaganda from the Eastern-bias press and TV always carries the day as the Heisman votes have proved in the past decade.  Unfortunately our 2017 Bowl results don't help my argument.  At least we had a 4:00 PM kickoff so that's better than after 7 PM.

10/20/18-10/22/18:  There is no mystery tonight as Susan wins either way but 2nd place is up for grabs between Sam (Giants win) and a tie for Dave F./Mike J. (Falcons win).  There was another OT game with Cleveland losing again (agony on the Lake) and best of all Dallas losing with a FG try off the goal post at the end; how sweet it is.  Something has to give between the anthem protesters (supporters of Colin K.) and the NFL before the house of cards collapses; yesterday's raving antics by Eric Reid shows it is not going away.  A good game is getting spoiled due a complete lack of reasonable discourse and communication.  Other than that it looks like the better teams are starting to separate and there is a log jam in the middle.  The bottom teams, most notably the Raiders and Niners are at the bottom with the Giants and Arizona.  A long season ahead for those guys; a few others will join them sooner or later.
    Well the Sportsbook players were hot with the leaders getting 11 of 12 correct on the college picks; going with the "chalk" was the way to go as the oddsmakers hit 100% this week.  The Wazoo-Duck game was the tale of two halves with WSU up 27-0 at half and having to rally to get a final score to beat the Nike-clad gang.  Not sure which WSU team (or Cardinal team) will show up at Stanford Stadium next Saturday but certainly not going to be a walk in the park.  So much for the 7-point spread on the Cal-OSU game as Berkeley wins by 42 points.  The Michigan-MSU game was a bitter confrontational battle starting before kickoff; no love lost there as Michigan is now in charge in the Big Ten as #2 Ohio State gets clocked by Purdue.  Some TV college football announcers should hang up their microphones, Tim Brando being a prime example - lost track of how many inaccurate calls and comments he made during the WSU/Oregon game, simply pathetic. 

10/13/18-10/15/18:  What a heartbreaker for the 49ers after playing so well to fold at the end to GB!  That will be tough to recover from.
     No mystery tonight; Sam wins and Silly Samantha is second only 1 point behind.  The "chalk" was the key to the with 10 of 13 winners matched by Las Vegas.  One of the "upsets" went down-to-the-wire in OT after Miami made a last second FG after both teams messed up opportunities to win in the final minutes.  As it turned out the pool was over before the Sunday night game but that was another down-to-the-wire finish in a high scoring affair between NE & KC.  Can't wait till Dallas plays on a Thursday night as they always go the other way on me - hate them anyway but just cannot get their games picked correctly.  On to next weekend folks.
    We have a log jam at the top as of Sunday morning with 10 players (37%) within 3 points of the leaders; well done so far.  Four (4) top-10 teams went down to defeat, another escaped (ND), and others in the top-25 lost or had a struggle on their hands.  So scoring 6 or 7 correct was quite a feat.  It was stress-free for The Godfather, no game this weekend but happy to see I did well in the Sportsbook after the debacle two weeks ago.  Quite a fight on the field at the Florida-Vanderbilt game by the players with the head coaches screaming at each other and the refs.  The net result was two players ejected; Florida won.  Sportsmanship at its best on display!

10/6/18-10/8/18:  Monday night's game means nothing to the outcome of this week's enterprise with Amelia & Evan tied for first place in points and correct picks and Tim missing out via the tiebreaker with one less correct pick.  It also means The Godfather had a meteoric rise from last to 4th place missing out by 3 points.  There is hope yet!
    Sunday night's game cost the Godmother a win and also went into OT.  The Raiders & Niners played flawlessly BAD and lost in the afternoon games.  The odds makers picked winners correctly 8 out of 13 games.
    Sunday found another OT game settled with ticks on the clock and 3 upsets out of the first 8 games with some startling ones occurring with a couple of favorites barely surviving.  The KC QB, Mahomes finally got picked off on the 160th pass attempt of his career after throwing 14 TDs in the process.  The Packers kicker on the other hand misses 4 (yes 4) FGs and a PAT setting a record in the process for one game - bye, bye!
    It was a forgettable evening at the Farm; the other red team was superior to the befuddled and only occasionally sharp Cardinal.  Quit wearing those awful all-black uniforms - PLEASE!  Cannot believe we stayed in the top-25 of the rankings (barely).  Other top-25 teams bit the dust notably LSU, Auburn, Oklahoma, Michigan State, & Kentucky.  The odds-makers were under 50% on straight picks as well.  On to Sunday, mercifully.

9/29/18-10/01/18:  Tonight's game counts again with Minga winning either way with 2nd place to Susan & Denis with a KC win and to Michelle with a Denver win.  The NFL cannot keep it to 60 minutes with 3 OT games on Sunday; at least there were no ties at the end.  The Colts coach messed that one up big-time at the end; went for a 4th down play instead of kicking a punt or at least trying a long FG.  The Niners were in it but could not hold on at the end; the Raiders prevailed in one of the OT games.  At the end of the day still in last place, again - 2nd time this year.
    Forgettable night in South Bend for the Cardinal; did not play well or were coached well.  However, I have to rebut the ND Coach Kelly's stupid attempt at a put-down on the Jim Rome show Thursday.  He basically said ND has had 80 years of big-time success (he is short at least a couple of decades) and Stanford only 10 years.  Well, we certainly have won our share against the Irish as the all-time series stands 20-13 in their favor (not lop-sided) but 7-3 in Stanford's favor the last 10 games through yesterday.  Guess who coached ND nine of those years.  Kelly has a short memory.  Sorry folks, could not let stupidity win the day.  I also feel compelled to disclose that until 1963 this Catholic non-Irish kid from Brooklyn was a die-hard ND fan until sitting in Stanford Stadium as a grad student I cheered for the Red, not the Green team.  Guess who won on national TV; you guessed it not the TD Jesus gang.  So Mr. Kelly, please shut up!  Congratulations all; perfect participation again - thank you.
    Sorry for the tirade.  Yes, I am in last place again; as I said it was a forgettable football Saturday.  Ohio State's comeback win was devastating to Penn State, especially losing at home playing before a sea of white. 
    Football outcomes are secondary when a critical, life-threatening injury takes place on the field as it has for the Christion Abercrombie, a Tennessee State player now in critical condition from an injury incurred sometime during the game.  Pray for him.

9/22/18-9/24/18:  Monday night counts.  A Tampa Bay win gives it to the leader out of the gate, J.D., with Nathan Detroit second; a Steelers win goes to Kathi with Susan #2. 
    Sunday may have been a disaster for the Niners with Jimmy G.'s ACL injury.  Another Raider loss so the Bay Area strikes out on the weekend.  Both teams going nowhere.  The Raiders were asleep twice on 2 trick plays.  Good news is another Dallas loss though unfortunately Seattle wins that game.  Josh Allen leads Buffalo to a monster upset over the Vikings - he is a real talent.  Jacksonville was hot but lost in a snoozer to the Titans; New England fizzled to the Lions - love that - and the Rams look unstoppable. Another OT game but New Orleans prevents the NFL from having another OT tie.  On to next week.
    Wow; what a finish to a big-time and strange game - the Stanford win over the Ducks was monumental and was simply miraculous! Enough said; on to ND and the Golden Domers of Touchdown Jesus.  Hope they have some honest referees this year unlike at least one year in the past.  Congratulations to J.D. with 10 perfect college picks; can't remember that happening before.
It was a bad day for the military and naval boys; both lost in OT.  The Army game would have "blown" up the Sooners' season.  Navy had not lost to SMU in years but did on a 2-point trick play TD conversion.  As for a blown up season, Virginia Tech goes down to Old Dominion, a 28-point underdog, by a 49-35 score and drops 14 spots in the polls; should have been a bigger drop.  OD had lost by 42 to Liberty and was 0-3 by a combined 108-55 point total.  Wake Forest was crushed by the Irish and its FG kicker was asleep until 6 seconds left on the play clock when he arrived only to badly miss in a 0-0 game at that point.  So much for being into the game - he must have been so engrossed in his warmups he forgot about the real world.

9/15/18-9/17/18:  The RESULTS Tab is current; Ed is tearing it up! 
A pathetic finish for The Godfather; a forgettable performance with a very last place finish.  The Godmother is crowing about coming in 2nd with me last.  Can only go up from here.  With the Bears win that makes 2 in a row for Noah - well done! 
Sunday saw the favored teams win and one game ending in an overtime tie; second time this year.  The Monday night game counts.  A Chicago win goes to Noah with the Godmother second; a Seattle win goes to a 3-way tie between David J., Tim and Ming the Merciful.  As for me no improvement on Sunday.
Dead last in the Pool; how embarrassing, not to mention only having one correct pick-yuk, and having your mate and grandson in first place!  Well at least the Cardinal survived the Davis jinx.  Wild weekend in the colleges with some upsets and big scores including a North Texas fake fair catch on a punt for a 90 yard TD against Arkansas.  UCLA & U$C were and are major busts (not complaining mind you); Big 10 a major wipeout except for THE Ohio State and with Wisconsin losing to BYU (no top 10 this week for the Badgers) and other Big 10ers losing to lesser teams - even the SEC was not immune from ugly losses.  Well, on to the Pros.  Lost our 100% participation this week with two absentees.

9/08/18-9/10/18:  As best as I can tell tonight's 2 Monday night games will lead to these possible outcomes.  An Oakland win gives first place to Dave F. with a 2nd place tie between Michelle and Nathan; a Rams wins gives first place to Noah with 2nd place to Denis (if Detroit wins) and to Ed O. (if the Jets wins).  At least Monday night counts.
Happy to see we had another 100% participation in Week #2.
The Green Bay magic strikes again; down 20-0 in the 2nd half and QB Rodgers on one leg the Packers pull it out in the last 2 minutes or so - against the rival Bears.  Happy times for the "Cheeseheads".  More proof that spreads are misleading as GB was a 10-point favorite.  The dreaded rare OT tie strikes again as Cleveland had its FG blocked with 9 seconds left against the Steelers; so no points awarded for that game.  The 49ers played reasonably well but came up short against Minnesota who looks pretty solid this year with their new QB Cousins (formerly of the Redskins).  At least 2 others in the NFC West lost also with the Rams playing tonight.  Buffalo is atrocious and needs to go with the rookie QB Allen and give him some time to throw.  Good to see Alex Smith's move to Washington went well - always liked that guy and wish him success - a big mistake by Harbaugh back in the day to trade him away.
The phrase Jackie Gleason made famous - "How sweet it is" - fit perfectly Saturday night as the Cardinal almost shutout the Trojan horde (and their rude group of followers) 17-3.  Last year's 2 losses did not sit well with me so this was much better.  Some other games showed the resurgence of the Pac-12 (Colorado over Nebraska & ASU over Michigan State); others did not (UCLA at Oklahoma and Utah barely beating N. Illinois).  Next week a breather for the Cardinal against UC Davis although the memory of the 9/23/05 game still is a nightmare.  Picking favorites did not help much yesterday as 60% went against the chalk straight-up.  It is still early but as always college football has its own gremlins at work so it is always an adventure picking winners despite the oddsmakers help. On to Sunday and the NFL!

09/02/18-09/03/18:  Sunday's game was barely watchable and finalized the outcome of Week #1's pool.  Kathi and Mark R. (aka Sushi) take first and second so Monday's game is academic.  Too bad,  I had hoped for a Monday night game that counted but 26 players have Florida State winning!  The good news is that all 27 players were entered in Week #1.  Let's keep it up all season especially since there will be less reminders and prodding of late comers from now on.
09/01/18:  Saturday had 6 college upsets; one or two were surprising and two were nail-biters to the end, especially Michigan-ND & Washington-Auburn.  In the ND game Christian McCaffery's brother, Dylan, got in at QB and looked pretty good for a RS-Freshman.  Penn State escaped an OT game against Appalachian State (also not on the pool).  I thought it was going to be an all chalk weekend but it was not to be.  How about the 99-81 high school football game in Iowa - unbelievable - 3 points a minute!!
08/31/18:  It was a scary Friday night at Stanford Stadium for the first half but then the offense went to work to turn a losing game into a 21 point win.  All the other games were as predicted although Michigan State had a scare from Utah State (a game that was not on the pool).

08/21/18:  We are off and running at Jamaica - that's a NYC track - just the New Yorker in me.  Deadline is Friday, August 31st at 4PM for your Week 1 picks to be submitted.  We have 27 players (up from last year) and fall was in the air today at my house - just saying.

08/01/18:  31 days to KICKOFF!  We are set with 24 players and potential winners returning from 2017.  So you are all familiar with the program.  The first week's pool (Week 1) will be posted in a few weeks; the Godfather/Commissioner will notify everyone when it's up and ready for your picks.  The 2018 rules and payouts have been updated on the website.  Enjoy the rest of your summer; I am ready for the fall and football. 

01/02/18:  Congratulations to David J. (1st place ) and Evan (2nd) for their Bowl Pool placings; well done especially as the Godfather was tail-end Charlie.  Also, the Dave Biddle winner is Evan with Noah 2nd; again well done.  We also averaged better than 94% weekly participation but that easily could have been higher as one player missed 8 weeks of playing.
As for the Bowl games they were exciting (except for the Sugar Bowl); the most being the overtime Rose Bowl game.  Annoying that Alabama which did not deserve to be in the mix but received a pathetic Clemson performance as a Christmas gift.  The SEC bias prevails again, unfortunately; not that the Pac-12 deserved better this year.  But it is not a fair fight until the SEC and ACC play nine conference games like the other three conferences do.  Well, Sam and I thank you for playing and hopefully we see you all next season; there is only 8 months until kickoff Saturday.  Hope you all enjoyed this past season.  Have a great and HAPPY NEW YEAR.

01/01/18:  In retrospect on the NFL season what can you say about the 49er-Raider reversals of fortune except "amazing".   Yes, the right QB makes all the difference at times and did in this case.  After an 0-9 start for the Niners to finish tied with Oakland is unreal and almost surreal.  Something to look forward to if you root for the red team.  Don't have a dog in the playoff fight and not sure who to root for except for anyone who plays New England.  Some hated teams mercifully absent like Seattle and Dallas.  Some offseason intrigue looms on the Raiders' new coach, the Niners' draft choices, Eli Manning's fate as well as Andrew Luck's return to health (hopefully).  We shall see what 2018 brings.  Last point is the news that the 49ers" Goodwin survived a vicious and unnecessary head shot hit that was totally scary; the kid had enough personal travail in his family's life that nearly being paralyzed was scary and unfair.

12/31/17:  Today is the last day of the year and the regular NFL season. Tomorrow is the first day of 2018 and the conclusion of our NCAA season with our Week 19 Bowl Pool.  That has 25 of 26 players entered and a real battle going on with 7 players within 6 points with 32 points remaining to be won.  Cannot say I am too pleased myself as the Pac-12 was a 1-8 bust including my team (although that was a 2-point battle).  Will be back tomorrow but for now have a safe New Years Eve everyone.
Week 18 winner is David J. with Mike picking up second place.  Check out the RESULTS tab for the latest Week 20 battle standings.

12/25/17:  Merry Christmas to all; hope everyone got treated well by Santa.  Mike and Zack certainly did and split first place; with two games left everyone picked the same two winners so it is all over for Week 17.  The RESULTS tab above is also current for the Dave Biddle pool (Week 20).  Two of Saturday's NCAA games were both great with finishes down to the wire for South Florida and the Army boys.  Less than 24 hours to get your BOWL POOL in and a dozen or so are missing - just sayin!
Well Jimmy G is for real; it was quite a game.  First time in NFL history the score was 44-33, that is amazing trivia.  Next season suddenly looking promising.  Some teams still in the Wild Card running and everyone plays next Sunday to finalize the deal.

12/18/17:  Monday night a bust game again as it does not matter.  Winner is Kathi and 2nd is E.J.'s Grandson.
Another controversial weekend in the Pros.  Pittsburgh "wuz robbed" in Brooklyn vernacular; it was a catch, period!!!  Costly result if it affects home field in the playoffs.  More luck of the Pats is all you can say; simply terrible.  The Raider-Dallas game also a fiasco; using an index card to measure for a first down - really?!  The ending followed suit with the Raider QB fumbling (untouched) out of the end zone instead of going out of bounds on the two or three yard line and preserving a tying FG try.  Well no one ever said Da Raiders had a high IQ (since Plunkett, of course).  The Rams destroyed Seattle and seem to have overcome the loss to the Eagles.
The college games were competitive except for one; let's hope the Bowl Games keep that up.  Merry Christmas to all.

12/11/17:   Once again (not my fault) Monday night a bust-of-a-game; everyone picked NE so Susan is the winner with JD & Noah splitting 2nd place.
Buffalo-Indianapolis was played in a winter wonderland and went into OT to boot with the Eskimos from Lake Erie surviving the frigid conditions.  Raiders stalled at the station but the Niners are on the express train uptown since Jimmy G showed up.  Might as well keep up the good work and sharpen their skills for 2018.  Cleveland had a good lead but could not hold it; the Eagles prevailed in the last few minutes over the Rams but maybe lost their QB.  The last play was something out of Berkeley, 1982 but from scrimmage this time and all that lateraling led to an Eagles finishing TD.  The Giants defense faded in the 4th quarter so no miracle comeback for Eli in the cards.
Check out the RESULTS tab for the latest Week 20 standings.
The Bowl Pool will be up for picking this week.  Use the BOWL POOL tab above as soon as Sam has it ready to go.  Email to follow.

12/10/17:  Five (5) times since 2009 a Stanford football player finishes second in the Heisman; what do you have to do to win especially when you get scheduled to play when the majority of the voters are asleep in their warm beds.  Oh well, cannot be disappointed when the odds are against you.  Proud of you anyway Bryce Love; please do not go Pro yet. 
The Army-Navy game was a great one coming down to the bitter (yes, it was cold) end; great competition and uniforms - love that game, watched it from start to finish.  Navy was the overwhelming favorite in the pool but the Black Knights are on a two game winning streak and the best military team this year hands down.  Tough kids on all sides - good luck to all of them in the years to come.  You have my thanks and cheers.

12/04/17:  Once again Monday night a non-issue in the pool; Noah wins and newly-wed Zack takes second place for this week's payout.  Heard a good one today that the CFP should be called the College Football invitational since Alabama will always get invited.
What a joke!  As for the NFL congrats to Frank Gore now 5th in career rushing yards - well done.  No congrats for Eli Manning as he was unceremoniously benched and his 210 consecutive career starts ended through no fault of his own - bad team with no offensive line.  KC continues to circle the drain which has now made it a 3-way race in the AFC West while the Eagles failing to fly in Seattle still keeps them in the playoffs.  The Raiders survived the Giants (barely) and the Niners have new hope (for next year) with Jimmy G at the helm; looked good the little I managed to catch.  Now they just have to hang on to him.  By the way it is now OK to wish everyone a "Merry Christmas" instead of the "Happy Holidays" nonsense - the political correctness police are off-duty this year.  Just saying.
Check the RESULTS tab for the latest Week 20 standings and remember the BOWL POOL will be out soon.  Teams are picked but waiting for the odds to be posted.

12/03/17:  "Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune or to take arms against a sea of troubles, and by opposing end them."  Well as Hamlet stated it, while he meant it in a different context, the time has come to change the CFP selection system and the playoff makeup.  Eight teams please!  How can it be justified that Alabama (that did not qualify for the SEC conference championship game and lost the week before to an Auburn team embarrassed by Georgia) got in over Ohio State (the Big 10 champ) and then having two major conferences shut out - outrageous indeed.  No justification whatever!  A complete disgrace and justification of SEC bias.  Let's hope Clemson leaves Alabama broken and embarrassed and Georgia also gets crushed by Oklahoma.  Would serve the SEC right and maybe get a new format and CFP Committee.  It is also time for the SEC and ACC to play nine conference games and stop scheduling creampuffs for their non-conference games.
Another "outrageous" result (I am biased, admittedly) was Friday night.  Conference championships should not be played on Friday nights when one team has 6 days of rest and the other has 13 days of rest (the Pac-12 Commissioner is a wimp of a negotiator).  Nevertheless, no excuses are being offered for Stanford losing to U$C except the above and the continuation of pathetic officiating, which hurt both sides.  I will say that it certainly looked like all images had Cameron Scarlett with the nose of the ball on the tip of the white line for a TD.  Oh well, it was a great game and a great season in the end making me anxious for September, 2018 to arrive.
Clemson looks like the class of the 2017 CFP group with Oklahoma right behind; so that's my prediction for the Championship game.

11/27/17:  Once again, the terrible Monday night scheduling makes that game a non-count game for us so Ed takes first and a 3-way tie for 2nd splits the pot.  The Dave Biddle Pool is hot with 5 tied with 10 points and 3 with 8 points.  Check the RESULTS tab.

Not sure anyone wants it in the AFC West with KC continuing to fold, Denver a mess, the LV Raiders up and down, watch out here come the Lightning Bolts.  The Niners finally gave Garoppolo a shot with 67 seconds left (no choice, actually) and if garbage time counts good things are afoot.  In all other respects its "wait till next year" for the Red & Gold. 

Looks like some of the players are bored with their anthem protests and decided on fisticuffs instead; lots of bad blood out there, none of it spilled in the fights however.  I did not track the "chalk" results this week; nothing seemed to work for me, again!


11/26/17:  As the Great Gleason used to crow "How sweet it is!"  But Beano Cook (a well-known Notre Dame proponent) would have said several times in the 4th quarter at Stanford Stadium last night "What the hell is going on?" It was simple; the Touchdown Jesus magic evaporated in 3:36 of the game as the Cardinal scored 3 TDs (2 after turnovers) and shut down the Golden Domers in their shiny
gold helmets.  Brian Kelly was livid as the Irish were bested big-time by the Nerds and the dancing Tree.  Add this to the super news from Seattle where the Huskies took it to Wazzu and sent them off sulking back to Pullman with no Apple Cup (again) which clinched the North Division of the Pac-12 for Stanford which is amazing after a 1-2 start to the season and looking bad in the process; what a recovery especially with Bryce Love on 1 leg for the last 4 or 5 games.  Now off to get our revenge on U$C and the Trojans with their silly white horse of the same name and their incompetent, annoying band that only knows one melody.
On other fronts it was upset Saturday at the top of the charts; Auburn stuck it to Alabama and made it hurt (no guarantees they play for the CFP Championship this year), Ohio State survived  Michigan and an injury to its starting QB inflicted by a cameraman(?), Pittsburgh destroyed Miami (Fla)'s hopes, and the best game on Friday saw Central Florida and South Florida score 3 TDs in the last minutes of a ping-pong match that led to a UCF win and a good shot at a New Year's Day bowl.  That finish was fun to watch.  Lastly, the UCLA-Cal matchup went down to the wire with the Bruins besting the Bears despite UCLA playing with a backup QB in the second half. 
Finally, the NCAA football coaching firings and switches commence in earnest, round and round it goes no one knows where the carousel stops.  In my opinion it is unfortunate that Chip Kelly is back in the Pac-12.  I thought UCLA had more class than to hire someone who left Oregon on probation and frankly has no class of his own.  $24 million down the drain as far as I am concerned but fine with me; let them and U$C go at it for the SoCal market and split the talent pool.

11/20/17:  Try as I might sometimes the Monday night game does not matter to the $$$ winners so regardless of the outcome this evening Kathi and David J. take the 1-2 prizes respectively.  Question of the day is are the Raiders being allowed back across the border after their dismal performance in Mexico.  Not much to say about the game but M. Lynch remains a jerk for his pre-game performance, worse yet doing it in a foreign country.  Miami attempted a replay of "The Play" with multiple laterals (and no knees touching the ground) which wound up with Tampa Bay scoring a TD as the Dolphins fumbled the ball into the end zone - well done!!!  The Cowboys are looking sad without their expunged RB Elliott, the Saints are getting divine help these days as Washington folded up in the final 6 minutes, the NY Football Giants finally won a game and I (who have been faithfully picking them finally did not) and lost out again.  Not sure why I am picking anything at all the last 2 weeks.  The NFL "chalk" was 9 for 12; I will wake up to that ratio being consistent one of these days and use that as a winning formula.
On another note the UCLA folks finally tired of Jim Mora and canned him after another loss to U$C but are considering hiring Chip Kelly - really? Not sure he is NCAA eligible.
This is a short week and pools are due Thursday morning due to the traditional Thanksgiving Day NFL games.

11/19/17:  It was a cold night at the Big Game at Stanford which got colder all the way to the finish.  Sports writers and the talking heads were demanding a return to competitiveness in this the 120th renewal.  Well they got their wish in spades, it was a nail-biter from start to finish.  Bryce Love got his 100+ yards on one ankle but Cal's RB, Laird, got 153 and was unstoppable.  In all other respects the stats and performances were dead even; a great Big Game although a nervous one for Papa Joe.  The battle of the Bands was, as usual, held on two different planets, but I have to admit that the Berkeley Band was excellent at half-time.  Usually it's a ho-hum repeat of marching toy soldiers.  It was the 35th Anniversary of "The Play"; I understand TV played it several times with the usual illegal outcome; not so on the field as replayed by the Stanford Band.  In other notable long-time rivalry games Lehigh beat Lafayette in the 153rd version of its rivalry and Yale bested Harvard in their 135th meeting. 
The Big Game and the U$C vs. UCLA game were both 16 point spreads; shows what Vegas knew.  Same for the Notre Dame romp over Navy which turned into a one TD game.  Elsewhere the chalk was 50/50 for Saturday and only a few upsets in the top-25; as usual, especially in November, the SEC took the day off beating up on Division 1A teams.  No upsets in the top-4 so going into finales (before Conference Championships) the Final Four drama steps up.  Now if only the Huskies can beat Wazoo all will be well in the Godfather's college football world. 
We had 4 players miss this week's pool so remember that it is Thanksgiving week so your picks are due in by 9AM Thursday morning.

11/13/17:  No mystery tonight, it seems the Godmom whupped up on the rest of us players and wins going away with 88 points (or 85) and cannot be caught having a 10 point lead over David J. - there will be some gloating going on around here tonight.  By her own admission "no studying is necessary".  Yikes!  As it was the college chalk was a 50% day Saturday and the Pros went 11 for 12 (92%); the oddsmakers even got the 49er game correct both ways.  Now it's a 3-way race for the #1 draft choice with the Niners, Browns and Giants.  Not sure what the grand prize is.  On another note, Veterans Day seemed to be honored properly by the NFL and the players, thankfully.
The injuries seem to get more horrific.  Two weeks ago it was Zach Miller with a vascular injury in his leg, this week it is the Saints' Daniel Lasco (former Cal Bear) with a spinal injury; your prayers will help.  Marquise Goodwin (Niners) had an 83 yard TD catch and played hours after he and his wife lost their newborn son with birth complications: more prayers needed here also.
Brett Hundley (UCLA) took over at QB for Aaron Rodgers to beat the Bears, Brady continues to win (ugh), the Cowboys finally lose their RB Elliott for 6 games (and he leaves for Europe for some reason - the law after him?) after multiple court appeals and Jerry Jones threats to sue the NFL (go ahead Jerry) and lose to the Falcons, the Rams seem for real as does Jacksonville.  I have never seen such predictable unpredictability if that makes any sense.

11/12/17:  "How sweet it is" as Jackie G. used to say - what a win Friday night against the Dogs at home!  While we saw that game live and watched Bryce Love play on one leg (and a half?) the nation had to watch a NASCAR truck race finish in the East with incompetent drivers crashing into each other preventing the first quarter from being on TV anywhere in the country.  How is a guy supposed to win the Heisman that way.? Larry Scott you are a terrible Commissioner and TV contract negotiator.  Nathan Detroit had to receive texts of the play-by-play back in Louisville from The Godfather.  In the end the #8 ranked Dogs went down and were outplayed from the 2nd quarter on making up for the humiliation of the year before in Seattle.  All we need is  for the Huskies to win the Apple Cup against WSU and we get another shot at U$C - yeah I know we have to beat Berkeley next Saturday as well.
Elsewhere, Miami (Fla) crushed Touchdown Jesus' Irish boys and knocked them out of the CFP; 'Bama prevailed in the last minute against Miss. State just before the game was going into OT as the Bulldogs played unintelligently at the 1:09 mark.  Auburn nailed Georgia to create some interest in the SEC and the CFP situation and Ohio State spanked Michigan State.  Oklahoma's humbling of TCU made it 4 top-10 teams losing plus another 5 in the top-11 to 25 range although 3 lost to top-25 teams.  Topsy-turvy weekend for sure.
The country remembered its veterans and service men & women and the flag was appropriately honored as it should be.
We also had 100% participation this weekend so the competition has intensified, as it should be every week.

11/06/17:  Folks, the Monday night game is not very exciting; worse it is a no-matter game as Silly Samantha pockets the prize with Tim a close second.  The highlights of NFL Sunday includes a fluky finish to Washington and Seattle.  Weird game in the rain with a 2-0 score for a long time, an intercepted 2-point try that almost went back for 2-points the other way and more points scored in the last few minutes than most of the game.  Two teams (Eagles & Rams) scored 51 points in romps; the Niners still hanging in there for the #1 draft choice.  Seems like in some divisions no one wants to take control.  As for the "chalk" it was 16 for 24 with 9 of 11 in the Pros.  Another bad day for America with another nutcase slaughtering innocents at a church service.  This guy's history should have been a big clue.  Say a prayer for the victims and ask God to be with them and their families and friends right now and in the future.

11/05/17:  Nothing good to say about Stanford playing its first football game in the snow and sleet since 1936; hate when we play in Pullman in November.  Yes, David Shaw, this one was all you; horrible play-calling and no imagination.  All on you as you admit.  Holding Luke Falk to 24 points and lose even with the better QB in and Bryce Love healthy again as he proved on a 52 yard TD run was all you could ask of the boys.  You definitely let the boys down and compounded it by punting from mid-field with 5 minutes left.  Enough said!  Yes, there was anguish elsewhere especially in the Big-10.  Ohio State was clocked by Iowa and Penn State was edged on a game ending field goal by Michigan State.  Oklahoma edged Oklahoma State in a 62-52 shootout (no OT in that game to run up the points either); Sooners QB Mayfield throws for 598 yards in that one.  Good old Army team shutout Air Force on the road 21-0; watch out Navy, here come the Black Knights of the Hudson - could this be their year, finally.  Notre Dame had a tough time against Wake Forest and 'Bama the same against LSU but both won anyway. The new rankings Tuesday should be interesting even though the top-4 teams all won.  GREAT NEWS, no gremlins and goblins this week; hooray!

10/30/17:  Looks like we finally beat off the gremlins and had a glitch-free day on the website, thankfully.  Not much mystery to NFL Sunday; the chalk had 9 of 11 picks correct and yet many assumed upsets (like the Godfather and did poorly).  Kathi wins outright with Denis and Noah splitting 2nd place.   SNF game went to the wire, the Browns and Niners continue their race for the #1 Draft pick prize with no end in sight seeing a win any time soon, Raiders seem lost in a "Black Hole" of some kind, looks like Dallas woke up in the rain in DC and unfortunately New England is on a winning streak.  No good developments to report on relative to players (and owners) paying proper respect to the National Anthem so let's end with keeping Zach Miller of the Bears in our prayers.  He suffered an ugly knee/vascular injury during the game and had emergency surgery yesterday. 

10/29/17:  Yes, it is Halloween time as the ghosts and goblins invaded the Godfather's world this weekend.  First, the Godfather messes up and puts the same game on the slate twice only to be rescued belatedly by a very observant Nathan Detroit (grandson) in time to not totally cause chaos.  Next, on Thursday night the team in Orange and Black befuddled, outplayed and was rolling over the team in Red & White for 58 minutes until the Universe righted itself for a 15-14 Red team win in Corvallis; totally undeserved for the Red team.  Finally (hopefully), on Saturday, these ghosts and goblins invaded the Godfather website, turned red into black (as you can plainly see), jammed the gears of sportsbook mechanics until late in the night when the Master himself (Sam) either fixed it or the creatures retired for the night (hopefully for ever).  Fittingly, the College contests followed suit with 7 top-25 teams losing (truthfully two had to lose one way or another), 5 (or 6) of the 12 games were pick upsets (as opposed to point upsets), U$C had to be called out of the half-time locker room period when the officials reversed a non-TD call as the first half clock expired so ASU could kick an extra point, Ohio State (darn it) puled out a thriller at the end over Penn State, Michigan State loses in OT and close games were blowouts and vice-versa, and the outrageous targeting epidemic continued unabated.  In short, it was Halloween weekend in the College Football world alright.

10/23/17:  Definitely an easy picking weekend in the NFL as well as the NCAA; 12 of 13 favorites won on Sunday and the point totals say it all.  Monday is a non-factor as Denis the Menace wins with Silly Samantha 2nd.  Thursday's game had a weird finish with almost 4 downs played with no time on the clock due to penalties in the end zone.  Even the winning score had an offensive PI that was not called as the Oakies won over the Kaycees.  So as you can tell from the SCORE SHEET the Sunday games outcomes had little drama for upsets (12 of 13 followed the "chalk") but Carson Palmer had a bad day with a broken arm and a defensive secondary player wound up doing the place kicking for Dallas against SF.  Unfortunately the Dwight Clark "celebration" ended with another loss for SF; the race to the finish for the first draft choice gets more interesting with Cleveland also losing and still rotating QBs like walnut shells in a shell game.  The Chargers finally win a home game in LA; they can finally unpack and stay a while; the Oakies to Vegas are the next nomads.

10/22/17:  Had my first Saturday to sit around and do nothing but watch college football and not care much who won (yep, also scored poorly in picking winners to boot despite the odds-makers being over 70% correct this week); even watched some of the Wyoming-Boise State game on that awful, sinful, sacrilegious blue fake grass - just gruesome on the eyes.  Wow, did U$C stink it up against ND, also Michigan against PSU (that figured), UCF is for real, Utah fell asleep as ASU cleaned their clock, OK State survived over Texas; most other games  were also close including Oklahoma over KSU with a 22 yard TD run with 7 seconds left  The Berkeley-Arizona game was a good one with the Bears losing in OT going for 2 points for the win.  Glad the Cardinal skips the Wildcats' QB this year and next - he is a good one.  I am getting sick of these "targeting" calls disqualifying players, the majority of whom were not intentionally going for the helmet-to-helmet contact; the whole exercise is out-of-hand and changing the result of some games.  Almost had a two prayers answered in MLB with the hated Yankees getting knocked off in 7 games to fail playing in another World Series but not so for the also despised LA Dodgers (as opposed to my beloved Brooklyn version) squeaking in - go Astros, the 200-year Sicilian curse is on your side.

10/16/17:  First good news of the week: the Northern California fires are getting much closer to containment.  It was a scary and tragic week for many folks but for them it won't be over for a long time.  As for the trivial news:  Aaron Rodgers is out for the season and longer with a broken collarbone; likely a few other injuries finished some other players as well.  The Niners had the right QB on the bench all through this pathetic 2017 odyssey and final woke up - close again however; the Raiders lose on a missed extra point due to a bad snap.  The "chalk" loses again in the NFL by an 8-4 margin straight-up (the oddsmakers are no help).   Kansas City finally loses so every team now has at least one loss with two still having zero wins (guess who one of them is).  Big NFL meeting in New York tomorrow to sort through the mess Colin K. started who now is taking legal action against the league because he is not wanted although he believes he is a super-QB who instead led the Niners down the rabbit-hole; how I do miss Alex Smith who is a winner not a whiner.  Somehow it should be remembered that Colin K. walked away from his contract not the other way around but that seems to be forgotten amid all this controversy.  As for your efforts this week the end result is that Evan takes first tonight outright with either Noah (Tennessee) or Chris (Indy) taking second; Tennessee is now a 7-point favorite which was just posted this morning.

10/15/17:  Jackrabbit 14, Ducks 7: yes, that is correct - a wayward jackrabbit scored more points after getting on the Stanford Stadium field than the actual opposing team, Oregon.  In the Ducks defense (only time all night) they captured the interloper and freed him/her outside the stadium successfully - their only real offense of the night; final score 49-7.  Have to thank Berkeley and ASU for upsets (big-time) over Wazzu and the Dogs from Washington state - big help in the conference race for the Cardinal.  Scary moments when Bryce Love went down early in the second half.  The Arizona QB had another 200-yard plus rushing day; he's a scary athlete - saw some unreal highlights.  Three (3) top-10 teams lose and 6 of the top-25 as the "chalk" blew away this week with 50% upsets in the picks the Godfather contest.  Some other games went down to the wire as well making for an interesting reveal of the rankings later today.

10/09/17:  Tonight's game matters only for 2nd place; Tim wins outright with Noah 2nd (Vikings win) or Godmom 2nd (Bears win).  Other than that the upsets continue with 6 of 12 games outright upsets in the NFL on Sunday.  Lots of season-ending injury damage as well this week (J.J. Watt & Beckham) as the distractions continue on the sidelines.  Hard to believe in coach security if you are 1-20 in two seasons (Browns) but finally Hue Jackson wakes up and plays a real QB (Hogan) in the 2nd half so maybe things will turn around.  49ers can't handle OT for the second week in a row and keep on losing by playing a has-been QB with a promising rookie standing by with a clipboard - didn't they fire the last coach for incompetence (not a question).  Raiders backup is pretty good but they fall anyway; Giants finish the game with only one pass-catcher healthy.  Big Ben Roethlisberger sacked 5 times and picked off 5 times, that's symmetry but not particularly a winning combination.  Another tough week for Jared Goff but he should be accustomed to it by now. 

10/08/17:  What a nail-biter against the Utes on the road and Coach Shaw made it go down to the wire 23-20.  Two-QB controversy; well it could be worse although losing two defensive stars to those awful "targeting" calls in the closing minutes is not going to help against the Ducks.  But, you could be Oklahoma #3, Michigan #7, Louisville #17, Utah, #20 (see above), Florida #21, or West Virginia #23 this morning crying at the breakfast table about upsets; that's a quarter of the top-25 losing.  How about that 7-OT game in Buffalo 71-68 won by W. Michigan and the Arizona QB rushing for 327 yards, a NCAA record for a QB in a game.  Washington State winning over Oregon on the road is big; Navy over Air Force 48-45, both ground-based offenses, is a conundrum - air power against the rules?

10/02/17:  On this very tragic morning after the Las Vegas news writing this blog today seems more than a little trivial and untimely.  We all had to be shaken when we heard or saw the news; beyond belief that anyone could be so cruel and ruthless, not to mention heartless.  The only words of import I could say is that everyone please pray for the injured and deceased victims and their families. 

No matter the outcome of tonight's game the 5-way tie for first goes to Evan by tie-breaker; the rest get 2nd place.

10/01/17:  Well it certainly was a Red-letter day for Love, Bryce that is, and the Cardinal - 301 yards, 25 carries, 12 yards per carry!!!!
Heisman anyone?  Probably not, but it was a daytime, daylight game at least.  Was not at the home game (yes, very unusual for me without medical reasons), instead attended a friend's fine wedding ceremony and reception.  But did stay up late to watch the game "on tape" - xfinity actually, with The Godmother.  "Loved" it! It was an easy picking day in College football - the chalk held in 9 of 10 games and the other was basically a "pick-em" game.  Not true for U$C being upset by Wazzu in the Palouse - that team in Red did what my team in Red could not do a few weeks ago in LA. So the pool is a track meet on Sunday morning with almost everyone in the running.

9/25/17:  EVERYONE AND I MEAN EVERYONE - from Coast to Coast - needs to take a step back and inhale a deep breath.  Enough of the politics in sports and the NFL especially, EVERYONE, including POTUS.  My comments are limited to asking us to (1) listen to Drew Brees'  post-game comments defending free speech and also saying that disrespecting the Flag is unacceptable and (2) follow the lead of West Point graduate,  Army Ranger, Captain Alejandro Villanueva, Bronze Star recipient, 3 tours in Afghanistan, who defied his coach (who is actively criticizing him) for being the lone Pittsburgh Steeler on the field, hand over heart, during the playing of the National Anthem.  As The Godmother said this morning, remember the days we recited the Pledge of Allegiance before the school day started; where have we lost the way?
               It was not a weekend game but it was a 41-39 shootout with the Rams but the Niners still lost indirectly due to a missed extra point leading to a failed 2-point conversion at the end.  Jared Goff could have been wearing the red team's colors except for the 49ers pathetic leadership at the time; worse Alex Smith is still going strong and undefeated in KC - way to pick pro QBs Jimbo.  Shocking loss by the Raiders, not so shocking loss by the NY Giants even if it took a 61 yard FG, and Minnesota wins without Sam Bradford which is why the odds take almost all week to be posted on the Viking games. 
               As it was 7 out of 14 games Sunday were upsets so the "chalk" was no help; it also looks like the pool players did no better especially if Arizona wins tonight, then Minga rolls over everyone with 5 tied for 2nd, otherwise it's Amelia in a tie-breaker over Silly Samantha (her again? and Anthony.  Note that if you want to print out your picks once the Score Sheet is posted on Saturday morning there are instructions as to how to do it at the top of the Score Sheet.  Thanks to all as all 26 players submitted picks this weekend.

9/24/17:  What a difference a week makes; and same with a healthy, athletic QB at the helm.  Painful as it was to see (as a long-time Keller Chryst fan and supporter), his injury via "targeting" (although overturned but the UCLA player repeated it one play later and was ejected for this grievous infraction - more about this later) led to the redshirt freshman K.J, Costello's first plays on the home turf in relief in the 2nd quarter and he was spectacular with 8 straight scoring drives (7 by touchdown, including a running one of his own).
In short the season has been saved with K.J.'s long-awaited performance at QB; more points in 2+ quarters than in the previous 8 quarters by the 1st and 2nd string QB's combined (the Australia trip's Rice game was a "gimme" that I cannot count as competition).
As to the targeting calls that rule has to go as "protective" as its intentions.  Two more calls against the Red team led to one ejection for a head-to-head contact as both players heads were a foot off the ground and the second overturned.  The officials are trigger-happy with that rule.  Anyway, the net result was 10 straight wins over UCLA in football and Stanford passed UCLA in NCAA championships as of the start of the 2017 academic year.  Not greeted warmly by the Blue and Gold fans in attendance.  By the way, as if the readers care, the "new" semi-behaved Stanford band put on a disciplined, classy, and quite humorous, half-time mocking of military style bands in a 100 year throwback demonstration that finally "freed" the caged "Tree".  Made think back to my year on the Farm which was the birth year of the "Band" as we now know it, 1963-64.  I hope you stayed tuned with the above paragraph, but if not here is other news.
               Cal, (without a K) unfortunately for Bear fans, lost to U$C (14th in a row for the Bears) but put up a "helluva" better fight than Stanford did 2 weeks prior.  Take heart Berkeley, the new coach is working magic, and will be showing up to play on both sides of the ball.  As for the other Bay Area team, a 1.5 point spread turned into a 51 point loss, Yikes.  I should have put an Ivy League game on the choices, at least that might have been more competitive.  Playing tough non-conference teams on the road for money is a killer on players outclassed and outmanned and leads to major  injuries and losses, both avoidable. Wake up San Jose State and stay at your level.  It looks like Notre Dame has awaken (or else Michigan State is heading nowhere fast - apparently the case); Florida State is overrated losing to NC State; thank you Arizona State for a one-point win over Oregon, big help there; Tennessee barely edged a Division 1AA team,; Alabama rolled (tide) and Florida squeaked by Kentucky.  "That's all Folks".

9/18/17:  Tonight's game counts for everything BUT First Place which goes to Silly Samantha.  Dave F. and The Godfather (Giants) and JD (Lions) are the second place scenarios.  49ers almost prevailed in Seattle, of all places, and the Raiders humiliated the Jets.  The "Luckless" Colts fell in OT and it was fun to see the Cowboys take it on the chin in Mile High - love it when they lose. Long ride home Jerry, wasn't it.  All in all, unlike the College games this weekend the chalk held in 10 of 13 games in the NFL through Sunday.  It's a long season but the injury bug has hit some teams where it hurts and it's only after 2 games that count.

9/17/17:  Beano Cook from on high would have said at times "What the hell is going on?"  College Saturday produced 6 out of 9 upsets including the most galling of all - The Nerds losing to San Diego State (a good team by the way) and even the lights going out in the 4th quarter couldn't help.  The past 2 games The Nerds went from running on half the cylinders to a complete sputtering jalopy; David, David, please shake things up.  The twin brother on brother matchup (the Holders) was the most interesting part of the game.  The Florida-Tennessee game ending 63 yard pass into the end zone for a TD was spectacular and the highlight of the day.  U$C having to go double overtime against Texas was unexpected after what I witnessed last weekend.  Berkeley undefeated after 3 games (2 real games anyway) is a surprise.  The UCLA-Memphis game was a back and forth battle ending at the end 48-45 Memphis.  Next week's game against the Cardinal should bring an angry group of Bruins to Palo Alto - not sure if the Red team can survive the matchup.  It was supposed to be a banner season even without McCaffery and Solomon Thomas.  Oh well, it looks like some other powerhouses are having fits and starts as well.  Maybe home cooking will help.  Otherwise all I can think of is Laurel and Hardy's famous line "what a fine mess we are in".  Another College game was cancelled this week due to Hurricanes.  They are not fun,  What a stormy September.

9/11/17:  First thing to do today is remember 16 years ago at the Twin Towers and say a silent prayer to the victims, their families and our country; we are blessed to live here and we need to never forget that truth and that day, another one of "infamy". 
               Back to football and the NFL.  The Niners looked pathetic, McCaffery looked decent against tougher competition, the Raiders will be good again thanks to Carr, the Giants needed help against the Cowboys (boo), the kid from Berkeley started against Indy and did very well, Indy not so much without Andrew; as usual the oddsmakers were not perfect.  Nice to read that in Cleveland all the Browns players teamed up with the military and law enforcement to celebrate the National Anthem; that's the American spirit we love.

9/10/17:  There is no joy in this household today as the "good guys" lost to the University of Spoiled Children last night.  All the more galling coming on the 10th Anniversary of the "BIGGEST UPSET EVER" (24-23 over U$C on 10/6/07 as 41 point underdogs).  Yes, it's a long season but right now the best we can hope for is a rematch on "neutral" (almost) turf at that Santa Clara venue in December.  Pac-12 had mixed results at best and Ohio State suffered the same fate as the Cardinal but worse, it happened on their home turf.  No pool college games affected by Irma but it certainly is scary to see on TV.  Send some money where it will help; Mother Nature's been busy sending two of those nasty hurricanes back to back plowing her devastation into the Mainland.  I grew up with those (too many to remember their names - all named for women back then) and they were not fun to endure; all we could do was hunker down and pray.

9/4/17:  Tonight's game has no bearing on 1st and 2nd places with Requa taking 1st and Silly Samantha and JD splitting 2nd.  As you know I am not a UCLA fan but they earn a "how about that" by putting 34 unanswered points on Texas A&M in the final 19 minutes of the game to win 45-44 with less than a minute to go.  This over a SEC team adds to the luster of this win. 
As for Week 2 all the bonus points are all  on NFL games to make up for the Week 1 onslaught of college games.  Should be an interesting season between the actual games to watch and more NFL/Player lawsuits plus the National Anthem protest exhibitions by the Colin K copycats (and you know how I feel about him).  Once again I say I would take Alex Smith in a heartbeat as a real QB.

9/3/17:  Well, we are off and running at the races.  For the most part the results have followed form with 3 games to go this first college weekend.  Only 2 pool upsets and one mild one; none comparing to Howard (led by Cam Newton's brother at QB) over UNLV (not on the pool card) 43-40 with Howard as a 45 point underdog!!  Cal and Stanford off to good starts and Michigan (you know who) gloating already.  Looks like it will be a hell of a season based on first blush.  We have 26 players fully engaged (27 last year) with maybe one or two more possible this week.  One of our best pool pickers cannot play due to NCAA athletic rules (scholarship swimmer at Wyoming) but we have some new additions to make up for one or two other dropouts.  So we are good to go for 2017; The Godfather is all excited. Isn't September the best month?

8/22/17:  WELCOME TO THE 2017 VERSION OF THE GODFATHER'S SPORTSBOOK FOOTBALL POOL.  Only 10 days remaining until Friday, the September 1st NCAA Kickoff Week 1 (I don't count games out of the country a week early even if it is Stanford playing, especially as a 31 point favorite - wow, that's scary).  Looks like another good season on The Farm but the competition in the PAC-12 looks tougher than ever.  Ho hum - surprise Alabama is ranked No. 1 in the country.  As for the Football Pool competitiveness I will keep stirring the pot and waking folks up out of their summer lethargy so we can get as many players as we can.  We had 27 last year and the same signed up so far this year and that was a fun season.  Week 2 starts the official NFL season so the picking gets tougher. 

Speaking of the NFL all I can think of is Laurel and Hardy's famous line "what a fine mess we are in".  Teams moving from city to city like vagabonds and carpet baggers. From no teams in LA now there are two with none in San Diego and St. Louis and the Raiders ready to pack up and travel to the land of glitter, glitz, and gambling (makes no sense to put the odds-makers and bookies practically on the sidelines).  Well, at least the 49ers seem to have been infused with real football executives and coaches and hopefully the quality and talent of the players gets an upgrade as well.  Maybe the ghost of Bill Walsh will start materializing and working his magic.  My only other worry is the health of my personal favorite Andrew Luck and good luck and some offensive line talent is the medicine he needs right now.  So all can say is "let's play ball".  Good Luck to you all and thanks for playing again.  "In bocca al lupo".

01/03/17:          Wow; what an understatement, the Rose Bowl was fantastic! 101 points with a 3-point margin of victory at the bitter end.  Always the Grand-Daddy of all the bowls.  Beano Cook from on high would have said at times "What the hell is going on?"  Yes, it also says that despite the battle Penn State put on overall the Big 10 was greatly overrated this year.  All in all it was an interesting season with the Championship game left to go next Monday.  Hope that compares to the Rose Bowl excitement.
                        As for the Bowl Pool winners it's a tie between David J. and  Andy D. for first, both with 60% correct.  Week 20, otherwise known as The Dave Biddle Memorial, finds the season honors are split between Nathan Detroit and The Godfather who has never had a picking year like this one.  Well folks until next year thanks for playing, it was fun.  We had an average of a 95% weekly participation which was good although we had a bit of a holiday drop-off at the end.  The rewards will be out soon.  God bless and be safe.

01/02/17:          What more can happen to the Raiders?; going to the playoff (finally!) and now starting the 3rd-string QB.  At least their future is bright as opposed to the other team in the Bay Area.  The sad-sack 49ers finally sacked their robot GM and ineffective Coach but  have not yet dumped their leader Jed York and the QB with no brains or talent (by the way Alex Smith is in the playoffs).  Today's article by Tim Kawakami says it all.  The best quote is "The more the 49er try to change, the more things stay deranged."  They couldn't even be bad enough to get the #1 draft choice, adding to their misery.  At least there's hope that the new GM can pick a winner (Joe Montana  and Steve Young where is your successor?).  Well, anyway, yesterday's game settled the NFL playoffs and the New York subway gambler Nathan Detroit picked 15 of 16 games correct to take the prize, with Ed and JD splitting 2nd place.  Today's Bowl games finish our 2016 Football Pool so one more blog to go.  Rose Bowl should be a great game to watch.

01/01/17:          Happy New Year to all.  We can all hope for a better 2017, let's pray.  The CFP games yesterday were anticlimactic and non-competitive so let's hope the championship game is a nail-biter.  Big 10, touted as the best this year fizzling badly although the Michigan-FSU game was exciting at the end.  Glad the Cardinal won but tragedy in losing next year's QB to a likely ACL tear in the first half.  The Bowl Pool is competitive with Monday's games to go tomorrow. 

12/26/16:          The Day after Christmas and all I got was coal in my stocking and a cold; oh well, all in all I did have a good year, I am still here playing The Godfather - thank you Santa!  Not so much for two NFL QBs, ouch - broken legs, never a good time for it but the Raiders had a dream season going.  In the playoffs, finally, but how far can they go without one of the keys that got them there.  As for that other team with the double digit IQ QB he scores on a 2-point conversion to win the game and screw up the #1 draft choice battle; worse yet Cleveland obliged by winning a game - dumb and dumber.  Oh well, how low can we go, as they say.  Did you catch the TD jump pass by a 350# (or so) DL for a TD in the KC win over Denver; it has been showing up all over the internet.
                         This week's pool will be decided by 3PM or so today (Maryland vs. BC) so stay tuned if you are looking good.  Next week's pool is all Pro games, all on Sunday.
                         We seem to be hitting a streak of ties; this weeks winners are Jack/Cami, Dave R. and JD.  Way to go.

12/19/16:          Oh Happy Days, the Monday night game counts big time.  The current 5-way tie for first will be broken as follows:  If Washington wins then Nathan Detroit, the famed New York subway gambler wins with the Godfather and Godmom splitting second; If Cam the Dab wins (Carolina) then we have a four way tie for first (Ed, Sam, Amelia, & Dave R.) with no tie-breaker and no second place winners.  Interesting certainly.  Five (5) players missed playing (first really bad participation week); Obviously, the cold weather games scared them off but this made it easier for the rest of us.  Week 17 deadline is the usual Saturday due to NFL games on Christmas Eve so get your picks in; the BOWL POOL tab is open until 2:00 PM Monday, December 26th, the day after Christmas.  Merry Christmas! 

12/12/16:          Unfortunately, with tonight's game and New England playing, the winner does not affect the outcome.  The New York teams came through for the Brooklyn boy (Army over Navy, the Giants over Cowboys and the Jets beating the Niners).  "How sweet it is!" as bus driver Ralph Kramden liked to say.  Andy and Chris will split 2nd place.  Looks like a horse race for playoff spots in the NFC and AFC with some teams fading and others coming on.  Love the local papers finally really demanding a wholesale change at the 49ers including kicking out Jed York with the rest of them; woeful is too soft a word for the leadership - get rid of the Kaput one also.  A 3rd stringer can do better.  On another front the Dave Biddle Pool under the RESULTS tab above indicates a real battle for prize money will go down to the wire; Dave would be proud.  Finally, the BOWL PICKS (tab above) are due by the morning of December 26th so plan to get your picks in and check all current odds as they have changed since the pool was posted.  Now off to my granddaughter's wedding.

12/10/16:          After 14 straight losses Army beats Navy and The Godfather is the only one that picked the upset.  Growing up somewhat close to West Point I have always had a warm spot for the Cadets and the agony is finally over.  The Mule kicked the Goat in the you-know-what.  It was a fun game to watch and a great scene all game long.  Congratulations Black Knights of the Hudson. 

12/05/16:          Tonight's game counts; an Indy win gives it to Kathi with Silly Samantha second, a Jets win gives it to Zach with Noah 2nd.  Kap is Kaput, I hope,  and with 11 losing games in a row so are the 49ers, Cam is not doing the Dab much lately and losing by 33 points pretty much ended their season much to my delight, Alex Smith still on target with the Chiefs (hear that Niners?), my Giants blew it (getting dicey for the NFC playoffs unless they keep winning), Packers and Broncos hanging in.  With only 4 games left to the regular season not much room for error unless you are Dallas and New England.  Still say Joe Montana a better QB than Brady and Walsh a better coach than Bill B.  No need for the 49ers to even try at this point with a high draft pick virtually guaranteed.  My condolences to Chip Kelly and his Mom on losing his Dad and her Husband last week.  Experiences says one is never prepared for that part of life.

12/04/16:          Despite the slightly shortened week we had only one absentee; good work folks.  Well, the drama is over, the Penn State win over Wisconsin upset did not alter things.  The 4 teams in the mix last week all made the playoffs, in a different, meaningless reordering of seeds which only affected jersey colors on game day.  The Big 10 got the bias this year with 3 teams in the top 6; vastly overrated.  Ohio State was a clear mistake in my opinion; only Conference Champions should be eligible if only 4 teams are in the playoff, Penn State beat Ohio State, was the Big 10 Champ and that's that, period! The travel advantage went to Alabama (surprise).  The Navy loss saved mass confusion in the Bowl picture so the final Bowl Pool should be clear by days end.  It will be posted separately and there will be plenty of time to get your picks in.

11/28/16:          Either way tonight JD is the winner but 2nd place is up for grabs.  Alex and Dave F. split with an Eagle win and Chris takes 2nd alone with a Packer win.  Tomorrow I will post the up-to-date Dave Biddle pool which looks like a tight battle for the prize as best player.  Denver tries a 62 yard FG in OT and loses at the buzzer to KC whose 34 yard FG hits the upright but squirms through for the win, better for Denver to have run a play on 4th down.  Oakland still flying high and SF still not off the ground and still in the running for the #1 draft pick if Cleveland loses.  Looks like the missed PATs have settled down.  It's getting down to crunch time in the NFL but still all kinds of playoff possibilities.  REMEMBER that this week's deadline for picks will be Friday at 6 PM due to the Pac-12 Championship game, Colorado vs. Washington. 

11/27/16:          What a crazy weekend; the CFP Committee is really on the spot now.  Michigan eliminated (with Harbaugh fuming foul play), Ohio State cannot win the Big 10 (lesser teams can), the head ref gets clocked unconscious (accidently) in the ND-U$C game (so does ND by the NCAA - 21 vacated wins), Oregon finishes last in Pac-12 North (new coach coming?), Texas gets a new coach, McCaffery runs wild but not going to New York this year is my guess, and Vanderbilt beats Tennessee to get to a bowl game somewhere.  Tuesday evening will be interesting to say the least for the CFP Committee.  Get ready for East Coast bias running wild.  This week's deadline for picks will be Friday at 6 PM due to the Pac-12 Championship game, Colorado vs. Washington.  We got back to 100% participation this week despite the holiday; Thank You all.

11/21/16:          Looks like Godmum (1st), Denis (2nd) with a Raider win; Ed (1st), Tim (2nd) with a Texan win.  The most significant event of the NFL weekend is a record-setting 12 missed PAT's and an NFL FG streak stopped at 44 with an Adam Vinatieri miss.  Even the 2-point tries had issues.  No slam dunks any longer in the NFL.  Rookie Goff's 1st game a mixed bag statistically and a loss; Brady's homecoming was wet but he left intact and the footballs seemed bouncy not that it helped the home team.  Imagine, the 49ers barely had 10 yards/completion and barely 50% completions, simply pathetic.  Even Eddie D's appearance didn't help, the magic has left the building.  I wonder what Coach Walsh  is thinking as he is looking down on this fiasco of a team and ownership/management.  Nothing good I am sure; the West Coast offense is now off-shore, way off-shore.  Interesting contest for last place with the Niners and Browns. REMEMBER, THIS IS A SHORT WEEK WITH THURSDAY GAMES ON THE DOCKET.  SO 9AM THURSDAY IS THE DEADLINE ON THURSDAY FOR YOUR PICKS TO BE IN!

11/20/16:          Looks like the bleeding stopped a bit this week unless you are a Texas Longhorn losing to Kansas for the first time since 1938 (78 years, even before this old man's time).  Chalk held in the 119th "Big Game" and the 152nd edition of "The Rivalry", (Lehigh over Lafayette, the oldest rivalry) and the 133rd "The Game", (Yale over Harvard after 9 straight losses), but not without 12 frozen Yale male behinds of some not so bright future leaders (politicians likely), mooned the field and delayed the proceedings (not a pretty sight).  More seriously, missed 2-point conversions cost Michigan State beating Ohio State and San Diego State beating Wyoming: Wazoo needs to fight off its rival Huskies for a shot at the Rose Bowl.  On the other side it comes down to a Colorado win for a similar shot at Pasadena. No bowl for ND this year (a new coach on the horizon?), Vanderbilt beat Mississippi saving that coach's job. As far as I am concerned the Big 10 is overrated; we shall see this week as somebody has to lose.  REMEMBER, THIS IS A SHORT WEEK WITH THURSDAY GAMES ON THE DOCKET.  SO 9AM THURSDAY IS THE DEADLINE ON THURSDAY FOR YOUR PICKS TO BE IN!

11/14/16:         The NFL was also a last minute affair with 5 games going down to the wire and a few with bizarre endings including a blocked extra point leading to a 2-point runback and a 25-23 win for Denver over Saints.  As usual the 49ers blew it leading GN Baalke to say it's not Jed York's fault; no kidding it his AND yours - how dumb can you get?!  Nice to see both Brady and Newton lose on the same day; keep on "dabbing", it's very becoming.  As far as Monday nights game goes, although I made it a 10 point game it seems that only 2 players picked the underdog so this week's winner is Killer Kristen with The Godfather and Todd tied for second place.  Not very prescient on that one Mr. Commissioner.  WARNING -- the short week (Thanksgiving is coming up) so be prepared. 

11/13/16:         Participation fell off badly this week after 10 weeks of near perfect number of entries.  Oh well, there is always next week.
On the NCAA front it was a virtual bloodletting; Nos. 2, 3 & 4 went down, as did 8, 9 14, 17 and 25, (the latter was beat by #24 though); not a good week to be a ranked team.  Nathan Detroit was the only one picking USC (read the tea leaves correctly).  Seven players tied for first on Sunday morning  and a batch 3 points behind them.  Only one unbeaten, guess who?  Do your own re-ranking, can't do worse than the CFP Committee.  Some of the endings were thrillers and some of the scores unreal including a 135 point, 3 OT game which was on the pool (Wyoming @ UNLV).  WARNING -- the short week (Thanksgiving is coming up) so be prepared.

11/06/16:          As I suspected tonight's game is immaterial; Joe wins and Silly Samantha second.  First time the Raiders ever did me a favor by following my prediction.  Wow, are they a team, too bad that the Niners are a mess and definitely unfixable with the current leadership from the top to the bottom.  For the most part the "chalk" held Sunday, doesn't seem like anyone got hurt, Newton quit whining for a Sunday. the Browns need help but keep ignoring the talent they do have, LA refuses to start Goff (so far), Frank Gore keeps moving up the rushing chart (dumb 49ers will rue the day they wrote him off), and a KC player tried to flag a ref and got ejected for his attempt.  All in all, a so-so day in the No Fun League.  If you are looking for some hope in SF land you need the Browns to win a few games and the Niners keep losing.  But, the GM must go before they make their first pick in the 2017 Draft; bring back Eddie D., please.  Almost a 2 TD underdog this weekend.  Pathetic!

11/06/16:         Almost 100% participation this week; 1 off - still very well done.  The College Football Playoff (CFP) Committee spoke and Mississippi State failed to listen, Texas A&M was not the #4 team in the country; Washington with a 66-27 whipping of Berkeley (hey, they whipped the Cardinal too) staked their claim in spades, but the Pac 12 is a land-mine to traverse undefeated (as the Farm Boys well know).  Meanwhile Navy got a hard-earned win against ND (not happen often), Baylor bombed out and so did Nebraska (also losing their QB), LSU did a zippo against Alabama (not that the Tide lit it up), U$C is coming on with its Freshman QB (ugh!), Wazzu is for real at this point, Michigan-Ohio State should be a great game in a couple of weeks, and McCaffery is certainly back on track but no Heisman drama this year for him just the drama of does he stay in school next year (oh no, no, no don't go).  Week 11 should tell us more so stay tuned and keep playing.

10/31/16:         100% participation again this week.  My thanks again for keeping up the interest and excitement.  Tonight's game is immaterial; Kathi wins with a 3-way tie for 2nd (Dave R., Alex, and Denis).  For the second week in a row we have an OT tie with the Raiders/Tampa Bay getting under 2 minutes from a second on the same day.  However, despite 23 accepted penalties against them Oakland prevailed despite 2 missed game winning FGs by Janikowski.  On other fronts Newton is back and won but is whining big-time about getting hit and no flags, Hogan on the bench again and Browns lose, Seattle tanking and Andrew has no luck and lost.
Well, the good news for Niner fans is they did not lose this weekend, but then they did not play. 

10/30/16:         What a Bloody Saturday on the college gridirons around the nation.  Was Halloween weekend the jinx?  Three (3) Top-10 teams are no longer undefeated as well as #13 Boise State that lost in the final minute or so on a safety to Wyoming, a team that had never beaten them.  Two in the Big 12 (West Virginia and Baylor) got clocked and  are likely out of the Playoff race, an undefeated Nebraska lost in OT to Wisconsin, and Washington and Clemson barely survived.  Louisville, with one loss, survived with last second heroics to keep their Playoff and Heisman hopes alive.  The bleeding did not extend to Tucson as the Cardinal started the QB that should have been playing all year, woke up, played well, and looked like its old self (at least the last decade self) again.  With the Playoff rankings coming out this Tuesday for the first time this year each game gets more and more crucial for the teams that are delivering so far this season. 

10/24/16:        The good news is that we had 100% participation again this week; the bad news is that tonight's game doesn't matter (Kristen wins and Noah second on the tie-breaker).  Last night's game doesn't count as it was a 6-6 tie after OT.  It was a pathetic display of special teams kicking, both punting and having field goals missing from point blank range.  The Keystone Kops in helmets; what a fiasco!  Sticking with the Pros, the Raiders produced and the 49ers continue to lay eggs now in front of a near empty stadium (deservedly so).  Keep on the same track York and it will be empty by December's games.  Enough said.  Another QB went down so Kevin Hogan finally got to play (how I wish he still had eligibility) for the Browns and ran for a 29 yard TD.  Cam Newton doing great at 1-5 (Super Bowl to the tank in one year).  The Rams sticking with a no-name QB with Goff on the bench.  No unbeaten teams left as Minnesota lost but Brady keeps on ticking (oh darn).
                        No comment on a lost afternoon in Palo Alto (at least it was not a night game) but the head coach was still asleep with his play calling and playing the wrong QB.  Penn State upended a cocky Ohio State team, Cal can score but no defense, Fresno State fired its coach mid-season, and Harbaugh used a "centipede formation" to confuse Wisconsin on 10/1/16; it's on YouTube.  That's all folks!

10/17/16:        Unfortunately tonight's game does not matter; also unfortunately, The Godfather finishes second because Andrew let me down in OT.  Tim B. is the first place finisher.  There was one saving grace for The Godfather as the Cardinal survived Touchdown Jesus in South Bend in a squeaker that went down to the last seconds.  Ohio State stays in the playoff race in OT over Wisconsin, another head coach gets fired (Purdue), Washington State keeps pace in the Pac-12 North with their Apple Cup in-state rivals, BYU beat Miss. State, Arkansas bested Ole Miss, and (lo & behold) Vanderbilt upset Georgia, on the road no less; otherwise the chalk held in the colleges.  As for the Pros Big Ben is out indefinitely, Cam Newton pouts and bolts from a post-game interview, you-know-who (can't stomach the name) fizzles in Buffalo and Dallas looks charmed and poised for a QB controversy.  Picked Oakland and they couldn't stand success against KC (I forgot Andy Reid never loses after a bye week).  Only one player missing this week from the sportsbook.

10/10/16:       Tonight's game decides the winners:  Carolina means Todd (1st) and Kathi (2nd); Tampa Bay means Minga (1st) and Todd (2nd).   With Cam Newton out could be interesting!  Well the Bay Area does have a winning football team this weekend, the Raiders who are doing quite well for themselves; the 49ers and the college boys, not so much unhappily for all sides.  Brady is back and took the Brownies apart (not hard to do), Frank Gore passes Jim Brown for 9th in total yards rushing (in fairness in the "old" days they played quite a few less games in the regular season and playoffs), Jerry Jones seems like a Swami in picking up two hot rookies (who needs Romo), Baltimore fired its offensive coordinator after scoring only 10 points this weekend, Andrew seems back on track but it was against the Bears, how the Lions beat the Eagles is beyond me but the Eagles rookie QB (Wentz) threw his first career Pro interception and the Vikings are still undefeated.  Next week has some interesting games as we head into the middle third of the Pro season.

10/09/16:       Yuk and Yikes again, another revolting weekend for the Cardinal; the problems are visible to everyone with an ounce of football knowledge - fixing it is another problem.  It was brutal sitting in the stadium and watching it - including 2 FG tries hitting the uprights in one game; oh well as Nathan Detroit said last night, "wait till next year" - seems like I've heard that before starting in 1947 on the streets of Brooklyn.  On other fronts the Golden Domer's coach threw another tantrum (how can anyone play for that guy - at least one potential recruit said "no way" and is following the Pied Piper to Ann Arbor in 2017).  The game at North Carolina State was played in a monsoon and then some, wild snaps, fumbles, slips and slides - obviously Touchdown Jesus did not make the trip into the teeth of Hurricane Mathew.  Miami fans are also not happy as a missed PAT at game's end cost them the tie and OT.  The U-fans also trashed the field after a targeting call (an incorrect targeting call in the Stanford game cost us a player).  This rule was a disaster last year all over and is no better at being applied in 2016.  Back to the games; Harbaugh goes for 2 in a 78-0 game, half the games on our "sports book" are upsets and some others with higher odds were also (see Navy over Houston & Oregon State over Berkeley) and some non-upsets were scary for some of the losing coaches at Texas and Oregon.  Finally, LSU at Florida was cancelled by Mathew.  That was Week 6, working on Week 7 as this goes to press.  We missed 100% participation by 1 this week after 3 straight weeks at 100%.

10/03/16:       The Godfather is feeling older today, oldest granddaughter turns 21 today; Happy Birthday Heather.  I love it when the Monday night game counts; a Viking win means Chris C. is first with Dave R. and Jake/Cami each taking second, a Giants win gives Amelia 1st place and Chris C. 2nd place.  As for the Pros 2 more QBs (Newton and Palmer) get knocked out (literally) and the Raiders are really for real and the 49er are anything but.  I promise to stop watching if Kelly starts Mr. Ignorant.  Andrew traveled to London to get his bell almost rung, the Sunday night game was a debacle, Denver had to beat the weather and Tampa Bay, New England gets Brady back next week but gets a goose-egged yesterday at home, the Saints finally win in a thriller, and the LA Rams are tied for first place and the 49ers tied for last.  Did anyone notice that Dallas played in front of a home crowd at Levi Stadium (oops - lots of disgruntled fans obviously gave up their tickets - way to go Baalke & York - doing a great job, both heading to the Hall of Shame).  Sure do miss the old days and real Hall of Famers, Eddie D. and the great Bill Walsh.

10/02/16:       Yuk and Yikes, what a revolting weekend for the Cardinal and Cardinals (Louisville); one loses at the kickoff in front a maddened crowd in Sleepless-town, and the other at the very end to Clemson.  Painful either way.  Some other teams celebrated unlikely endings; the Berkeleyites with an extended goal line stand at the end (nevertheless the classic hapless Pac-12 officials played a role but hard to say if it mattered), Indiana over Michigan State in OT, Tarheels with a 54 yard FG over Fla. State at the buzzer, Tennessee over Georgia with 2 improbable events in the closing minutes (fumble recovered in the end zone and a Hail Mary as the clocked showed 0:00), OK State with a blocked FG returned for TD with a lateral thrown in, and finally 98 points scored between Oklahoma and TCU - coaches please note that there are 2 sides to the game, offense and DEFENSE.  The good news is that we scored 100% participation again - keep it up, the Godfather is loving that devotion.

9/27/16:         Kathi 1st and Todd 2nd; looks like the flying animals win two weeks in a row - Falcons that is.  Happy Birthday  Godfather!

9/26/16:         Week 4 of College was barely over when coaches started getting fired; Wow! 
As for the Pro Game everyone still at work this week, so far.  49ers atrocious, nothing else to say except they did injure the Seattle QB - didn't help; Dallas does not need Romo as far as I can tell, SF blew that draft choice also, Minnesota looking good, Pats keep winning, ugh!  Oh yeah, picking the Pros getting harder but so is the purer game getting to be.  The good news is that everyone played again this week and tonight's game matters as probably the DEBATE (if you want to call it that) also likely to count. 

9/25/16:         I guess they really mean it when they say "It's never over till it's over".  Oh so true at the Rose Bowl last night - still not sure it really happened; be still my heart.  Lots of good games yesterday including some not on the slate because of high odds.  Washington and Arizona went into OT, Duke (20.5 point underdog beat Notre Dame right under the watchful eyes of Touchdown Jesus - nothing is sacred any more - hope it lasts at least through October 15th), and Colorado edges the Ducks at Eugene.  ASU/Cal was a tight one until the end, Tennessee over Florida was interesting, West Virginia edged out BYU, and Wisconsin took Michigan State to the woodshed.  The end result of the day was the Top-10 was unchanged except Wisconsin replaced Michigan State.  There were some romps, one of which was terminated at the half due to lightning.  Sad to see that the protests and demeaning of our Flag have spread to college football.

9/19/16:        The Eagles fly and Cutler stinks it up again and get hurt in the process; nothing changes in Bears-land.  Todd finishes fast and 1st with Alex 2nd; fortunately the typing miscue does not affect this outcome but I will drop the Alabama game from the scoring to be fair.  The Commissioner appreciates especially the 100% participation this week; keep it up.

9/18/16:        The Vikings addition of Sam Bradford paid off over the Packers but they lost RB Adrian Peterson for who knows how long.  The NFL defies imagination much less predictability;  teams win without scoring an offensive TD, see the Giants and Rams.  Follow-up that with New England winning without Brady and down to a 3rd or 4th string QB for the next 2 weeks.  Indy with a great QB is 0-2 for the 3rd year in arrow, the Raiders playing entertaining, gambling and good football and the 49ers having no chance against Cam Newton (do not care for that guy for a host of reasons).  At least the Niners are in 1st place (with the rest of their division).
                    Week 3 in the college game made up for the dullness of College's Week 2.  Although not on the slate, North Dakota State handled Iowa at the buzzer (if you thought the Iowans were mad after the Rose Bowl last year I can only imagine the angst in Iowa City last night).  On the slate Florida State laid an egg big-time to Louisville, Notre Dame lost at South Bend and the earth did not spin off its axis, Mike Riley beats Oregon at Nebraska (could not do it at Oregon State), Cal beats Texas after losing to San Diego State the week before (go figure), and sanity and joy (plus my heartbeat was steady) prevailed on the Farm.  For two decades (mid-70s to mid-90s) The Cardinal won 3 times over U$C, in the last calendar year the Nerds beat the University of Spoiled Children 3 times on the gridiron and again the earth did not spin off its axis.  On to the home of the baby bears next week.  By the way the LSJUMB made fun of SoCal and its mentality and did not get banned; probably not so for the Rice University band (called The MOB) for poking fun at Baylor's Title IX and Ken Stark issues-check it out, has to be on

9/13/16:  49ers played OK and Rams played like Lambs.  Net result is Tim wins and Zach is runner-up.  Almost 100% participation this week.

9/12/16:  Interesting games but it is only the first week so not sure the chalk helped all that much.  Eli won, Andrew lost, Wilson and Griffin got hurt and Brady sat.  One rookie QB earned his keep and another is 3rd string tonight.  Two Monday night games, including the California Rams and 49ers going at it, to determine this week's winners.

09/11/16:  Today is a milestone day for America and its citizens and a little tougher on us New York-born folk who communicated with friends and classmates shortly afterward that survived the actual event in Manhattan.  Let's always remember and "Never Forget".
                  Yesterday was proclaimed to be the worst Saturday schedule in College Football this year and it seemed that way.  But some gems emerged such as the BYU/Utah, Cal/San Diego State and Central Michigan/Oklahoma State endings.  Most bizarre is the latter which was not supposed to have occurred after time ran out.  But the Zebras blew it (as they often do) and made an incorrect ruling that resulted in an untimed down, a 51-yard Hail Mary and lateral for Central Michigan to win a game they lost.  All 10 officials have been suspended for next 2 games.  With the TCU and Oklahoma losses to-date and Baylor's external issues this could affect the National Championship College Playoff makeup.  At any rate the striped shirts affected other games but they got it right against good-old U$C.  Seems like another player got ejected this week for displaying "good sportsmanship and decorum" this time physically against a game official.  Got ejected big-time.  Should be interesting to see whether this is one of those "it happens in threes" next week in Palo Alto.  Those Trojans are a humorless bunch to say the least.

09/06/16:  Minga wins with Tim 2nd.  It came down to the Texas-ND game which had a bizarre 2 point return of a blocked Texas PAT but in the long run Touchdown Jesus did not make the trip from South Bend and ND lost.  It was a bad weekend for the SEC as well with 7 teams losing and 2 near-misses.  We have 27 confirmed players, less than last year but still a good group.  Thanks for playing this year. 

09/04/16:  Finally, the real sports season arrives; sorry baseball fans but the glory days of MLB were ruined (at least spoiled) years ago. It turned out to be a less than chalk weekend picking teams with 2 top five college teams falling and some other in-between surprises.  Most shocking was U$C getting clobbered and disgraced by Alabama, and for me was the pitiful performance by the rest of the Pac-12 (7-5 against non-conference teams and 0-2 against the SEC).  Thankfully, the Cardinal survived a truly upside down game Friday night against K-State with lots of purple-clad fans in the stands.  The 2nd half conjured up memories of pre-Harbaugh in the 21st century's first decade - ugly is a mild description for the offense.  No. 5 did well and had a 97 yard punt return for a TD wiped out by a bad call by the zebras.  Highlights of the weekend however included a 109 yard plus field goal try return for a touchdown by a Houston RB against Oklahoma and a stirring tribute in the Nebraska-Fresno State game.  It seems Nebraska's regular punter was killed in a summer auto accident.  On the first series Nebraska was 3 and out and lined up (on purpose) to punt WITHOUT a punter as a tribute to their late teammate.  The play clock ran out and a five-yard penalty for delay of game was assessed.  Fresno State declined the penalty, also in tribute to a fellow competitor.  Best moment of the season so far.

8/28/16:  Only 4 days until Thursday's NCAA Kickoff (I don't count games out of the country a week early).  At any rate, I will keep stirring the pot and waking folks out of their summer lethargy so we can get as many players as we can.  We had 40  or so last year and that was quite a competition.  Next week the NFL season starts so the picking gets tougher.  Good Luck everyone.

                19 days until the NCAA season starts and you can almost smell fall in the air and soon the leaves will be turning across the USA.  Today the first NFL Pre-season games kickoff.  As for the 49ers they are stuck with also-ran QBs and Jared Goff is playing for the Rams.  Jed York you are no Eddie D., that's certain and unfortunately, you never will be.  Somehow I see another silly season ahead for Santa Clara 49ers.  Other than that all else is in fine shape on this end and excited about the rest of 2016.  "In bocca al lupo".

1/3/15:    Well, as usual the 49ers just made it harder to draft Jared Goff by beating the Rams in OT.  Tomsula looked as if he already had the pink slip in his pocket (it seems he did after all); let's hope Balke got his too - useless pair those two.  The Jets blew their playoff spot by losing to their old coach letting the Steelers to sneak in.  Otherwise, some of the teams already in the playoffs played not to get hurt and not to win which makes picking winners a crap-shoot.  The day marked the return of Peyton Manning in relief so let the QB controversy begin anew.  Tonight's game decides the final pool of the year.  A Minnesota win gives it to Ed, a GB win goes to Andy. 
              Final verdict is Minnesota wins and gets to play Seattle in the Wild Card round of the playoffs - tough break after winning the Division.  The RESULTS tab shows
Veronica and Zach are tied with 12 points each in the Dave Biddle sweepstakes and share the award.  Thank you all for playing and dealing with the medical disruption and the arrival of another daughter for Sam.  See you all next fall.  The awards will be sent out this week.  Have a great, happy and healthy 2016.

12/29/15-1/2/16:    The Pac-12 is 5-2 so far (with UCLA & U$C the only losers-way to go LA teams!).  With Jared Goff leaving Berkeley early let's hope the 49ers don't do something stupid like win a ball game this weekend; one more weekend of incompetence is all I ask then maybe we have a shot. Or they could be stupid again and pass like they did on Aaron Rodgers.  With their brainless leadership anything is possible. 
         TCU QB Boykin ruined a perfectly good bowl matchup with Oregon by getting arrested.  Where do these kids get their brains?
         The Dec. 31st CFP games were nothing short of a disappointment.  The Clemson-Oklahoma game was intriguing for 3 quarters and ended up a 20 point Clemson romp in the Orange Bowl.  Alabama-Michigan State was a ludicrous exhibition of mismatched teams with the Big 10 team an embarrassment to say the least getting crushed 38-0.  [Brought back memories of the 1996 Sun Bowl victory by Stanford over those same Spartans by the exact same score - witnessed that one in person.]  Well, at least the Championship game is shaping up as a contest worth watching.  Let us hope the New Years Day games are more entertaining and exciting football.
         Yes, it was, although none of the games were close so far through the Rose Bowl.  The Rose Bowl score was closer than the game with Stanford's backup defense playing most of the 4th quarter and the officials missing pass interference, if not holding, in the end zone on a bogus interception.  Nonetheless, the better team prevailed and the Heisman runner-up proved the voters were wrong; what a performance by Christian and Hogan as well.  Ohio State took ND to the woodshed and Harbaugh's team embarrassed Florida; Ole Miss followed suit with a rout of OK State.  All in all, a happy, happy New Years Day of football in this family; looking forward to next year - oops it is next year already.  Pac-12 now 6-2; Big 10 (with 14 teams!) 2-2 on New Years Day.
        It seems that losing 35-0 at halftime did not put the Hawkeye fans in a receptive mood for the Stanford Band's antics; so much so that their unmerciful booing forced ESPN to cut off showing their halftime "" parody presentation complete with a "cornfield maze" and a drunken cow.  Funny how being embarrassed and your football team shown to be way over-rated on national TV can create such rude and poor sportsmanship.  Yahoo Sports reports that the Iowans "took it as mean but it was funny."  Likely got the Band in trouble again but for no good reason (as usual); I am a Band lover, which started my year at Stanford so I am a supporter.  Get a sense of humor people.
        Jan. 2nd was weird, especially the TCU-Oregon Alamo Bowl.  Up 31-0 Oregon's starting QB get conked on the head and their #2 QB is ineffective,  Meanwhile, TCU's #2 QB (taking over for the arrested #1 Boykin) wakes up and TCU starts an unreal 3OT comeback win.  This is the turning point of the Bowl Pool as Granddaughter Killer Kristen scores and vaults ahead.  Finally, West Virginia edges ASU 43-42 leaving the Pac-12 with 2 losses on the day and a 6-4 record for the Bowl Season.
        With just Week 18 left, Veronica and Zach are tied with 12 points in the Dave Biddle sweepstakes under the RESULTS tab above.

12/24/15-12/28/15:   Although not a game on the docket, the Raiders seem real and certainly competitive with an OT win Christmas Eve.
Bowl games have been interesting so far; 107 points in the Va Tech game, over the goal post FG "miss" by Indiana kicker (new rule for me), Nebraska steamrolling UCLA at Levi's (did not see that coming) and lucky Washington State playing Miami in an El Paso snowstorm (wonder if the "soft" Floridians suffered frostbite in that game).
        Oh Happy Day!  Cam Newton is finally defeated and his silly, self-centered victory dance is stifled.  A bonus, the Jets beat the Patriots in OT after NE decides to kickoff instead of taking the ball.  Same old, same old, 49ers fold in the second half; way to go York and Balke - you will be lucky if anyone shows up next week besides the airplane with the "Fire York" banner.  Arizona smashes the Green Bay and Pittsburgh is in trouble, playoff-wise.  The final Sunday of the NFL season will settle up the playoff spots and seeds; should be interesting.
        And finally, Monday night matters this week as to who the award winners will be; stay tuned.  In OT Denver wins and we have a 3-way tie for first; V Diaz, T Banyai & D Green.  The RESULTS tab above is current and with 2 weeks left the Dave Biddle race hot -  Zach in the lead.

12/19/15-12/21/15:  This will be short just wanted to let everyone that I am doing well for now and the home nurses are pleased.  Sole job is working to being better than before.  Thanks to Sam for kicking in and taking charge.  May take a while for rewards to be mailed; sorry just so much I can do at one time.  The RESULTS button is up to-date.  Next week two pools are due by Saturday morning.  Look for Sam's instructions.  Merry Christmas everyone.
        Katherine takes first, Noah takes 2nd.  Zach leads the Biddle pool - RESULTS tab is up to-date.

12/8/15:  Before I start this week's commentary I need to let all of you that the Commissioner will be passing the baton for at least two weeks to the Assistant Commissioner, Sam Carlson.  It seems old age has caught up with The Godfather requiring a visit with the Chief Heart Surgeon at San Ramon Regional Hospital.  All will be well, of this I am certain, after all God made Sicilians stubborn for a reason.

12/3/15-12/7/15:  Monday night won't make a difference, the outcome is identical no matter who wins.  Silly Samantha and sister Kristen finish 1 - 2 and Grandpa next to last.  Taking them to Las Vegas when I am feeling better. 
        Wow!  A Hail Mary for a win, not as time ran out, but in extra time (no stoppage time in football?).  61 yards by my view, coming after a "face mask" penalty on a wild rugby play as time ran out.  Result: Packers prevail and eliminate the Lions from the playoffs (at least that's what they said).  Promises to be a wild "elimination" weekend in NCAA Football and maybe the NFL.
        It's coming up ROSES as the Farm Boys took the Spoiled Children out behind the Red Barn and spanked them 41-22, an even bigger margin than the first contest this year.  If McCaffrey doesn't win the Heisman its a shame, but its happened to Stanford players 3 times before in this decade.  I am prejudiced certainly but it is a no brainer.  Thank you Kevin Hogan; gonna miss you.  As for the rest of the Cardinal hopes North Carolina was victimized by a blind line judge calling a phantom offside on an onside kick and Florida is a pathetic offensive team.  So off to Pasadena for the 3rd time in this decade; I'll take it!  Playing the Hawkeyes instead of the Buckeyes. Can't wait until it is 8 teams and not 4.  All the Big 6 Bowl matchups look good; should be an exciting New Years Weekend.
        Can you believe the 49ers prevailed in OT over the Bears? Why do they keep blowing their chance to draft a #1 QB by winning?  Oh well.  Happy for Blaine Gabbert though; nice to see a journeyman come through and prove his worth and what a sweet 71 yard TD pass it was for the win.  Seattle getting scary again and the NFC East is a mess but the Eagles humbled the Pats (yeah!).  Carolina still undefeated and Cam Newton still acting like a juvenile celebrating his TDs.  9 missed PATs today (at least) and one run back for a first ever safety in the NFL; a few critical missed FGs also, guess the snappers, kickers and holders need to go back to the practice field this week. 
        Be back with you all soon; Sam's email will show up on the previous epistles I have issued; be nice, he will be a Papa for the second time sometime this week or so.

11/26/15-11/30/15:  Enjoyed the holiday safely?  How was your turkey?  Two of the Thursday games were turkeys.  The Eagles are grounded (not so smart Mr. Kelly, are you) and Dallas is now basically eliminated for all practical purposes.  Hard to gloat about the latter when I see Tony Romo continue to get beat-up  and battered (no one deserves that).  Lo and behold, Jay Cutler finally wins in Green Bay and looking good doing it.  Check out the 5-way tie in the Dave Biddle race under the RESULTS tab above.  On to Friday. 
        Friday saw TCU surviving Biblical rains to eliminate Baylor in 2 overtimes, Nebraska playing dumbly and handing Iowa the game, and Navy's magical season sunk by Houston even though their QB set the Division 1 record for career touchdowns.  On to Saturday.
        And what a Saturday it was.  Be still my heart.  Touchdown Jesus stayed home in South Bend (sorry again Beano) and the Farm Boys prevailed 38-36 as time ran out and still have a fighting chance at the Final 4.  The Berkeley Boys also won on a buzzer beater 48-46, no defense there either.  No matter, the two Bay Area QBs, Hogan (4 TDs) and Goff (5 TDs), were magnificent and the two teams were clearly inspired.  Ohio State humbled Harbaugh's Boys as did U$C to their LA cousins (sorry QB Rosen, you're not a great one yet).  Iowa vs. Michigan State next week will eliminate one of them as a Final 4 team.  Clemson (No. 1) barely beat South Carolina (a really bad team this year, so bad that their coach, Snooty Spurrier, even quit on them mid-season),  Alabama struggled against another bad team, Auburn, but Oklahoma beat OK State handily (how did they lose to Texas?).   Ole Miss won the Egg Bowl over Mississippi State; don't you love Rivalry Weekend.  It's all coming down to the final weekend for the CFP, as it should. On to Sunday.
        Sunday had more of the same for the 49ers in a valiant effort; came close even with horrible officiating. But why start winning now when they are strong candidates in the Goff sweepstakes (should he leave early).  5 teams with 2 or 3 wins so that's the horse race they need to win by continuing to lose.  Eli Manning played like he was spaced out with picks and fumbles galore and lost to the division leading (say what!) Washington DC Red@#$%s (fill in your own choice of team name).  Raiders win - helps when the coach and QB on the same page.  As of kickoff of the Sunday night game it Ed on top with a NE win and Danielle on top with a Denver win.  Suspense over, Denver and Danielle win (sorry Ed) but Brady/Belichick going down (and no longer undefeated) is so sweet especially to a young QB from Arizona State and in the snow, how fitting).  The scenario for Monday night is a 2-way split for 2nd place between Ed and Dave F. with a Browns win or a 3-way split for 2nd place with those 2 and the Alex/Cami team if the Ravens win.  Nice to have Monday night count at least a little bit.  Final outcome was a Baltimore win and a 3-way tie for second.

11/21/15-11/23/15:  REMINDER - this is a short week as games start Thursday.  Lets all play this week and Happy Thanksgiving.
        Nathan Detroit (bred from New York gambling stock) and Noah take 1st and 2nd this week (and Monday night matters not).
        Well kudos to the Dynamic Duo, otherwise known as York and Balke (they certainly deserve each other); first they drove away the coach that led them to the Super Bowl promised land and followed that gem with destroying a QB (although not high on Colin K.) that was doing the job until this year.  Good going you schmucks.  Looks like Denver found a followup QB (Pac-12 guy from ASU) to Peyton and the Ravens need to find one to replace out-for-the-season Flacco; hate to see that.   Looks like Green Bay woke up and Tampa Bay may have a QB.  Darn, Dallas won.  How could Oakland lose to Detroit; good job Colts.  Except for Carolina and New England (yuck) most divisions (not all) are up for grabs.  Let's see who starts looking (hoping) for Cal's QB, Goff, or some of the other smooth ones including Kevin Hogan.  If he survives his freshman year Luke Falk from Wazzu will be an in-demand QB too.
       Two more top-10 teams fall (Ohio State very hard after 23 straight wins) and three others (including ND again against a hapless offense) escape with nail-biting wins.  The SEC's cupcake games' weekend bites South Carolina and almost sinks Florida.  The U$C-UCLA game is a big deal once again (the winner plays the Cardinal for the Pac-12 title December 5th) and there are no more undefeated Group of Five teams as Houston bites the dust the week before they play Navy which could be the best of them all.  In the Ivy League, in the 132nd version of "The Game", Harvard (the RED team) beat Yale (the BLUE team) for the ninth (9th) straight time and elsewhere historically Lehigh defeated Lafayette in the 151st edition of "The Rivalry".  "The Big Game" is only up to 118 games  but a later start date and a break for WW2 still puts it 8th in longevity among football rivalry
games.  Would love to listen in on the CFP Committee's deliberations this week.  By the way only 4 players broke .500 in Correct Picks last week; looks better so far this week.

11/14/15-11/16/15:  Monday night does not matter; the results are the same.  David J. gets 1st place and Denis O. gets 2nd.
        Oh, what carnage in College Football!  Can hardly describe it, much less discuss it.  But no worry Beano your Irish had an easy day.  Not so for 4 of the top 10 and amid the shattered dreams of future days of never-to-be experienced glory I personally witnessed two fumbled under-the-center exchanges dissipate and disintegrate a magical season on the Farm.  This does not mention that I am in last place on Sunday morning.  Salt in the wounds was not needed.  The new CFP Committee will be hard pressed to be fair to conferences cannibalizing themselves (Pac-12 as of now, could be more) which says that 8 teams with the five conference winners guaranteed entry makes the most sense.  Some fairness is necessary due to uneven schedules and tougher roads to hoe for some teams and conferences especially those that play nine in-conference games every year plus a championship game.  On to Sunday!
        Started the day dead last and not improving as the day goes on.  Neither did Denver (Manning with 4 interceptions before getting benched (unthinkable but not this year), Philadelphia with Mark Sanchez calling the plays (really) makes you wonder the wisdom of giving Chip Kelly a free hand with the franchise, Green Bay playing like Jacksonville (oops, they actually won today), Dallas losing again (how sweet it is), but alas, my NY Football Giants losing at the 0.01 minute mark to the Patriots (darn - make that double darn), Seattle seems lost in the wilderness at times, and oh yes, the 49ers didn't lose (didn't play either).

With the Cowboys continuing their losing streak  (don't you just love that!) the possible outcomes this week are Kara winning first place no matter who wins the Monday night game.  A Chicago win gives Kathi 2nd place outright and a San Diego win results in a 3-way tie for 2nd (Samantha, William and Kathi).  "Who woulda thunk it?" Bench the lost-in-the-wilderness Kaepernick for a lifetime losing QB and the 49ers win!  Wonders will never cease!  And yet the clueless dish-throwing head coach is not sure who to start next week, seriously?.  Oakland loses a tough one and maybe knocked Big Ben out for a few more games.  Mariota carries the Titans to a victory and Cam Newton out-duels Rodgers.  In a classic confrontation Andrew outplays Peyton Manning appearing in likely his last game ever in Indy.  Brother Eli takes on Jameis Winston and the Giants hang on to the lead in the NFC East. The Vikings erupt over a dirty hit (definitely not necessary on a sliding QB) that knocks their QB (Bridgewater) out cold.
     In Heaven Beano Cook is screaming "What the hell's going on?" with another wild and wacky Saturday once again in the NCAA brand of "oval ball" (and it wasn't even Halloween).  Another crazy lateral (only a single one this time) play (blindly flung up into the air) on 4th and 25 in OT (by a Razorback) did in Ole Miss (Arkansas also needed a face mask penalty on an aborted 2 point conversion after the score to get a second try at the 2 points).  I thought "divine intervention" was only a Touchdown Jesus thing.  Nebraska eliminated Michigan State at the buzzer (more or less) on a controversial TD with the receiver running out-of-bounds along the sideline (the call was ruled correct).  TCU bites the dust badly at Oklahoma State, Washington State gets a fifth down (officials messed up again and one was suspended) to beat Arizona State (ASU coach not a happy camper) and LSU gets "Roll-Tide(d) by Alabama's Heisman candidate looking a whole lot better than the current (but no longer) LSU front-runner. 
    The Group of Five undefeated teams are whittled down to one (Houston) as Navy torpedoed Memphis.  The CFP Committee should have fun with all of this Tuesday.  Yes it was also pleasant to see that the Cardinal can play football before the sun rises (or sets) in the Pacific time zone and that Stanford's Heisman guy is back in the running.  In case you missed it, the officials in the Miami-Duke game described below were suspended for 2 games and are committed to purgatory for a host of sins on that fateful play (should have happened 33 years ago too!).

10/29-11/2/15:  It was truly a wild and wacky Halloween weekend in NCAA Football; where do I start?  A Thursday night with a 3 OT game with a lucky chuckin' Oregon QB and a controversial call by the officials, (there were dozens of those all weekend), to an 8 lateral game-ending play by Miami over Duke even wilder (but no Band on the field) than the 1982 "break-my-heart" "The Play" with the same bad calls by the referees as in the no replay available 1982 game [in both games the knee WAS down!], to Michigan's goal line stand as time ran out, to Touchdown Jesus blessing the Golden Domers again, heck, even Harvard got into the last minute act at
Dartmouth.  Some games had no defense at all and in most the odds-makers had no clue as to the spread.  Finally, in a pouring rain the Farm boys survived (barely) the Perils of the Palouse - how I hate that trip to Pullman in the late fall.  Yes, the goblins were certainly out and about all weekend creating mischief. Tuesday the first official CFP rankings come out - we shall see, but it is still early.  Next week's games will tell us more as there are top 10 teams playing each other.
     Speaking of "The Play" the announcer made famous for screaming out the action (Joe Sharkey) said the U$C band was the first band used by the North Koreans to torture Americans.  Yes, they are truly that awful.
     As for the Pros, Jim Tomsula's likening of the 49ers to an Italian family at dinner is an insult to my heritage.  Oh yes, it was like a Tower of Babel as far as the conversation went, but absolutely not a single dish was ever thrown (Sicilians have class after all).  He has no clue and never will. Maybe he, the Yorks, and their likewise clueless GM should buy a new set of dishes, invite their equally clueless QB to a sit-down dinner and start slinging the dishes around.  What would that prove?  Nothing, but it would be a better game than the product they have on the field this year.  Their big move this weekend was to cut the Australian rugby player.  Seriously?
     The rest of the NFL was busy especially the Saints and the Giants with 101 points, 52-49.  the Raiders won and by some mystic NFL math are in the running as a playoff team with the season half over.  Tomorrow night's game matters but is Andrew playing now that his broken ribs have been revealed?  If Cam Newton wins then Melanie and the O'Malley better half (Minga)  tie for 1st, if the Colts win then Denis wins with Melanie and Minga tie for 2nd.  Only 3 absentees this week, that's better folks.
     Finally, no Miracle Mets this year; I am putting my "You gotta believe" gear away for this season.  At least it's not the Yankees.

10/21/15-10/25/15:  Sunday night counted
but Monday night does not; Andy and the Godmum take first and second outright.  I have to say that unless I missed something it was a "ho-hum" NFL Sunday  except the Raiders seem to be revived and the 49ers should be reviled; I can only sum up the 49ers pathetic performance Thursday night simply with "Fire the Yorks and their flunkys".  Never give a kid a new toy to play with that can hurt so many people.  Harbaugh was the bad guy, "yeah right"! 
    On the other side of NFL Draft
it was a great Saturday and the excitement of college football continues.  Two 4 OT games, a blocked field goal attempt returned 78 yards for a winning TD with no time left eliminating another team from the ranks of the unbeaten,  U$C knocking another unbeaten team off the list, some close calls and some not so close, two more head coaches gone.  Most conferences have time for more rising and falling of contenders; let's hope that "bug" and the "Halloween Effect" stays away from the "Farm" boys who travel to the far north this week.  Anyone notice that four "Group of Five" teams are still undefeated and running up big scores: Toledo, Memphis, Houston and Temple which plays ND this weekend (not North Dakota by the way).  Finally, the terrible tragedy at OK State dulled the weekend excitement and  should make everyone more alert to the drunks on Game Day because they are there and are dangerous.
    Yes, it really
is 1969 all over again, think Tom Terrific, Tug McGraw,  Clean Jones and Ron Swoboda.  "Let's go Mets"!

10/15/15-10/19/15:  Once again, Monday night counts; it is either Ed (Giants) or Zach (Eagles).  Andrew can't buy any Luck with coaches calling bone head fake punts (or whatever that play was).  Overtime games must shock Las Vegas but no matter because The Godfather can't even keep up with the grandkids picks.  What has the NFL become with teams (Buffalo) needing passports on an emergency basis just to dig up replacement players for injuries.  Looks like the 49ers are still in it or is Baltimore that bad.  Just cancel the season now and have Green Bay play New England (tough pick).  Well it is a long season, have to keep reminding myself it does not end until the baseball season starts again.  "Let's go Mets",  sorry Cubbies, it is 1969 all over again, I hope.
    Wacky finishes on Saturday; Rutgers comes back from 25 down to beat Indiana (at Indiana) 55-52, LSU fake punts for a winning TD against Florida, and the Michigan flubbed punt costs them the game with 10 seconds left - Ouch!  The officials in this last game had replays overruled multiple times, not sure what they were watching.  They also got a targeting call very wrong and some poor kid gets ejected because he gets pushed down onto an opposing player; way more than three blind mice!  Hard to predict some outcomes (the oddsmakers were way off this week) and some teams score like it is a video game.  Naturally, I am scoring with the tail-end group again this week. 
    Great start to Week 7; attended an offensive domination last night the score of which was not indicative of it completely since UCLA risked their precious true freshman QB in the 4th quarter to score meaningless TDs to try to make the game look respectable.  Not classy Coach Mora!  Neither was the cheap shot on LB Blake Martinez by a Bruin who was called for targeting and ejected.  Most of the time these helmet-to-helmet contacts are accidental or unavoidable, not so this one which was obvious to all especially as it was done by an offensive not defensive player.  Finally, you gotta see the million to one catch by Stanford's Francis Owusu.

10/12/15:  Well, Monday night finally matters.  Hooray!  If it's Pittsburgh, the O'Malley's take first, otherwise it's Amelia #1 and Ed #2.  Exciting game last night, especially for the New York Football Giants.  The Giants' best receiver gets hurt celebrating, the Raiders' Mr. Automatic FG kicker misses FGs, more injuries everywhere, no more coaches fired yet as of today; all in all another unpredictable NFL weekend for most people.  It is notable that since Brady was not suspended the first 4 games the Pats won them all.  I wonder who is going to rise up and challenge them, certainly not Seattle.  The thought of another Super Bowl win by Brady is just plain revolting.
    The players at the top of the SCORE SHEET after the college games need to go to Las Vegas.  With near upsets almost happening the standings are remarkable; not so much for the Commissioner though - dead last!!  Cal gave it a strong fight but 5 INTs do not make a Heisman candidate or a No. 1 draft pick.  Typical Eastern bias though, Utah drops in the rankings although they beat a really good team (did I really say that about Berkeley?)  U$C had no excuse or answer to the Huskies; if the Tommy Trojans keep playing with their usual spoiled selfishness it suits me fine.  Georgia loses Chubb (hope his injury is repairable), TCU gets lucky late, Alabama escaped eventually but Oklahoma gets singed by the Texas Burnt Orange.  Is Michigan for real?  We will know this coming Saturday against Michigan State.  LSU hosted South Carolina (the scheduled Home team) due to the floods and wore road uniforms, had their band learn the Gamecocks' fight song and alma mater, gave all the ticket money to the "visitors" and were just plain classy according to all reports.  Good on you!  Another exciting Saturday; Beano Cook would be proud.

10/4/15:  Can you believe it?  Touchdown Jesus failed in the rain, on the road, (that must have been the reason), and on a two-point conversion no less.  Kiss the National Championship goodbye; now we can all relax from the incessant South Bend self-promotion.  Sorry Beano Cook and Lou Holtz, not really, loved it.  On other fronts Alabama is back, Cal gets its first true test this coming weekend, Ole Miss drops like a rock and the Buckeyes just scrape by, again.  The rankings shake-up was pretty dramatic.  Could you believe those downpours on the East Coast.  The refs in The OK State-K State game messed up a third down for a first down; was no one paying attention.  Oh yes, it was a fine night on the Farm.  Barry Sanders' second 65 yard TD run in 2 weeks was vintage Barry Sanders!
  The NFL gets no easier to predict outcomes except for the 49ers.  Looks like the first coaching casualty is coming tomorrow after only 4 games and "Darn" it's not the 49ers coach; not sure the hot seat is getting warmed up elsewhere - Philadelphia maybe?  Indy slipped by without Andrew but "dem Cowboys" could not without Romo.  Getting tired of meaningless Monday night games?  Me too.  Looks like this week's prize winners are Todd first and Evan second.  Let's crank up the participation a couple of notches this week, OK?

9/28/15:  Some unexpected  on the College front this weekend with Utah stomping the Ducks, U$C rebounding big-time, UCLA romping over Arizona, same for Michigan over BYU, Cal winning after 10 years straight of losses in Seattle, and Texas star-crossed again.  Otherwise all routine though interesting nonetheless.  After all those Pac-12 romps the odds-makers got carried away so no Pac-12 games this weekend.  With the injuries still piling up makes you wonder which team will play 11 walk-ons first.  Could be Notre Dame;  we should find out if they are real this weekend.
     In the NFL add another sidelined QB in Big Ben and a Miami Dolphin wife arrested for assaulting the police.  Does he or she get suspended 4 games by the Commissioner and does the Players Association appeal his/her sentence.  Call it Comedy Central or the National Free-for-all League.  The schedule is doing our enterprise no favors as the Monday night games are too predictable so this week we have a 3-way tie (with 22 correct-wow) as shown on the SCORE SHEET.  With October rolling in let's hope it gets more interesting soon and less criminality.

9/21/15:  How sweet it is; U$C goes down again (better yet at the Coliseum in front of 90,000 "spoiled children" and that stupid band that only knows one song led by an idiot on a horse) and the good guys win and get back into the Top 25.  Respect again!  It was another bad week for QB injuries (4 more down for the count); let's hope Hogan is not among them.  Some more upsets and near upsets including Alabama getting "rolled" over and knocked out of the top 10; time to play another "cupcake" to get back on track.  No 3rd "Hail Mary" for BYU but they tried; they needed a bit more luck like Berkeley had with Texas missing a tying PAT at the end - still no defense in Strawberry Canyon but definitely an offense.  At least 4 more "targeting" calls and ejections on Saturday; terrible rule - very few defenders are actually trying to hit "helmet to helmet".  Nevertheless, let us face it, College Football is still as exciting as ever.
      Tony Romo's black cloud turned into a broken collar bone; hate the Cowboys but injuries cannot be celebrated.  Buffalo gave the Boston Cheaters all they could handle but to no avail.  Apparently Brady is playing angry and offended (more like pouting) and also supporting Trump - tells me a lot about his mental state (and ethics).  Raiders' comeback was well done; the 49ers performance was just burned to a crisp.  Chip Kelly's not as smart as he thinks he is and Pete Carroll is 0-2 and in last place (well deserved for another guy with a suspect past).  Whatever you say picking the outcome of the Pro games, even without worrying about the spread should not be so hard - but it is! Except for my youngest granddaughter, Silly Samantha, 2nd this week after a first place last week.  BTW the "Good Deal" seems to know his football - first prize this week.  For the rest of us it's still a long season, plenty of time to sharpen our skills.

9/14/15:  The NFL returned and not sure the odds-makers did any better than I did.  Dallas lucked out again with a phony pass interference call helping them to a comeback win, the Raiders are still the Raiders, Brady did not get his comeuppance; oh well!  Lots of injuries though which must be playing havoc with the Fantasy leagues.  As for the injuries it is obvious that the NCAA is "targeting" the "targeting" rule; 10 players penalized and ejected.  Some of those calls were horrific from both ends; some horrible by the officials and some horrible hits.  But replays all saying to eject the hitter, I did not see it that way.

    As for the college Saturday there were plenty of lop-sided games although some of the underdogs bit back; Auburn was lucky, Arkansas was not, and Cal Poly scared Arizona State into the 4th quarter (21-21 into the 4th).  Then again we have the "Touchdown Jesus" effect with Notre Dame winning on an almost "Hail Mary" with 12 seconds left and BYU doing it again with a second "Hail Mary" in two weeks.  UCLA had better be ready for this weekend because things do happen in threes.  As for me I was just happy to see a team that showed lots of life Saturday night and a bevy of true Freshman with speed and talent.  Will need it down south this Saturday against U$C.

9/06/15:  What a crazy college football weekend or as Beano Cook would say as he looked down from College Football Heaven,
"What the hell's going on?"  I would love to start this with an expletive but consider it deleted in the interest of propriety.  The Gods of Football can certainly be cruel.  The Cardinal slept through a very winnable game (traveling East does it every time), Nebraska loses on a "Hail Mary" thrown by a backup QB from BYU, Penn State loses to Temple for the first time since I was a month old, the officials can't set the ball in play on time in Hawaii, horrible weather shortens three games in the Midwest and South, the Kansas State band outdoes, by a mile, the Band with the Dollies and the Tree (who are a lot more creative than that K-State display was) and are threatened with extinction - in short, it was a typical wild opening 2015 weekend to College Football. 
    The Pros had their own form of drama; Tim Tebow gets cut after seemingly making the Eagles roster, and the NFL is dealt a death blow by a judge who forgot what the issue in front of him was all about in the first place.  Come on, how did the issue get to be that after you commit the crime you have to be told that there could be consequences; "lack of notice" - seriously?  Clearly, the inmates are running the NFL asylum.  Hate to say this but my prediction is the Raiders have a better season than the 49ers; their QB is far superior and their coach is better by far.  At least Jim Plunkett will be happy and if he's happy, I am happy.

It has been a long hiatus since the last throes of the 2014 Football Season but here we are again.
What's new?.  Plenty.  Harbaugh is back at Michigan as a coach and the 49ers have a stooge as a replacement.  Ohio State is the unanimous #1 going into the 2015 season.  We have a scandal at Baylor, lots of coaches on the hot seat in college and in the pros, the SEC still considers itself the best conference (overrated), college players are transferring all over the map, pro players are being suspended again this year for hot tempers and DUIs.  On top of all of that Brady is still in limbo (darn - if he gets away with his obstruction of the process it is a shame, but so is how the NFL has handled the whole affair - a pox on both their houses).  Remember the first week's pool starts on a Thursday night, September 3rd, so be timely.
Looking forward to a great year.

1/3/15:  The final games of the Bowl Pool played out and MadDog Maddie blew past the field with Mike J. second (via tie-breaker) and Kara third.  That finish by Kara gave her 12 points and The Dave Biddle Pool all to herself and the Grand Prize for the season.  Six others tied for second with 10 points; a very competitive performance this year; Dave would be proud.
    Strange how the playoffs finally worked out; I had wanted the true Rose Bowl to be Oregon-Ohio State to keep up the Pac-12/Big 10 tradition but this kind of worked out better, especially with the South and the SEC shut out.
    It was a great 2014 Football Pool season and thank you all for playing and making this one the best ever.  Sam and I hope to see you all and more back for next year.  I plan on one final blog for the year and also posting some 2014 Football Pool Statistics after the College Football Playoff Championship Game next week.  Happy New Year to all.

1/2/15:  Wow! "How sweet it is", finally an SEC-Free College Football Championship game; we had to wait nine years, but to see them obliterated this Bowl Season (so far a 2-5 record) tells me that there will be less "we are the best conference" nonsense next season.  Despite this pathetic overall SEC performance they still blame the outcome on poor play calling, etc. and not better players and coaches on the other teams.  As far as I am concerned this is payback for only playing 8 conference games and weak (to put it mildly) non-conference games.
    Although Florida State is an ACC school they follow the delusional mantra of the SEC.  Quote Jameis Winston: "We beat ourselves, we were never stopped at all."  Really; all I saw was a rout created by better and smarter players than him that were prepared by playing in what is really the best and most competitive conference this year, the Pac-12.  It's been a great Bowl Season; just wished  Stanford could have played on New Years Day considering how very well we played our last three games.  The phrase "Wait till next year" has been in my brain and blood since Jackie got the real Dodgers on a roll in 1947.
    We have a very competitive finish to the Bowl Pool and the Dave Biddle Pool; too many combinations and permutations to contemplate so for the current leaders follow your picks to check on your chances.  I will post the results of today's games as they come in this afternoon.  Good Luck to all and Happy New Year; should be a great one - looking forward to it.
Back for another blog tomorrow with final results and more commentary (don't you just love it!).

12/28/14:  Week 18 and the NFL portion of the Pool is history; Susan finally hits paydirt with the Broadway shark, Nathan Detroit, "placing", with William and Kathi tied for "show".  Quite a horse race.  Speaking of horse races check out
The Dave Biddle Pool under the RESULTS tab above; 6 players now tied for first with 10 points and only the Bowl Pool left to score points. It's still anyone's to take in the Bowl Pool but only 32 of 38 entered so the odds have improved.  With the 49ers and the New York Football Giants out there's only Indianapolis and Andrew for me to root for.  It's a sad day to see Jim Harbaugh gone due to idiots in the front office who know zilch about football.  What he did at Stanford and the 49ers speaks for itself; he is solely responsible for it to be fun to sit in Section 214, Row U, Seats 14-17 at Stanford Stadium the past 8 years.  Thank You and Good Luck Jimmy, even if your team will be wearing Maize and Blue.

12/23/14:  The Dave Biddle Pool has 4 players with 10 points; Todd, Sam, Kara and Dave R.  Check it out under the RESULTS tab above.  You can't win if you don't play; let's pick up the participation percentage.  Two more pools to go; one due (BOWL POOL) Friday AM and one due (WEEK 18) on Sunday AM.  That's it then folks until next August so don't miss out.  Rough night for Peyton but at least he gets to play in the Playoffs unlike the local teams.  Can't wait for the Harbaugh soap opera to end. 

12/22/14:  No mystery today; Ed and Joe H. split the prize no matter the outcome of the 2 remaining games.  Forget about trading Harbaugh to the Raiders; a better trade is Derek Carr for Colin K.  The rookie is a Pro, not so much for the other guy.
HEADS UP!; the Bowl Pool is due by Friday morning, 12/26, the day after Christmas.  Merry Christmas to all.

12/16/14:  This week there are 2 pools posted; the BOWL POOL and the Week 17 pool.  The BOWL POOL has a 12/25/14 PM deadline.  On another note the Dave Biddle Pool is now quite the contest; check it out under RESULTS above.  Finally, the 49ers soap opera is a silly example of a dysfunctional organization that has never been the same without Eddie D. and Bill Walsh.  Trash a coach with a winning record (well above winning at that), always a good practice!  Well, as always, there's always "wait 'till next year" to look forward to.  The Harbaugh sweepstakes should be interesting to watch but regretfully so at that.  Just The Godfather's opinion but I do not see the 49ers being better off with Harbaugh gone; thank God he righted the Stanford ship before he left.

12/14/14:  How about those Cowboys; well that win puts Nathan Detroit, whose roots emanate from New York (of course), in the drivers seat if the Saints can pull off a victory.  If it's "Da Bears" then its Evan who wins the prize.  On another note no surprise that everyone picked Navy over Army, but at least it was a game.  For the "Black Knights" it's "wait 'til next year" again.

12/8/14:  In a hotly contested race the retired Requa wins out over Joe H. who bests Jose and Sam for second in a tie-breaker.  What a weekend but like many others the College Playoff Committee got it right although I would have loved the traditional Pac-12/Big 10 matchup in the Rose Bowl.  If you are looking forward to the Bowl Pool it should get posted early next week.  Check out the Dave Biddle Pool standings under RESULTS above; Beecher in the lead with others in hot pursuit.

12/1/14:  It's December and Christmas time is officially on us; I don't count Black Friday - that just spoils Thanksgiving week.
At any rate this week's pool is over with Ed 1st, Dave F., who picked against his own school 2nd, followed by Nathan Detroit and The Ghost of William K. tied for third.  NEXT WEEK THERE IS A FRIDAY NIGHT GAME ON THE POOL - be aware and awake folks.  6PM PST Kickoff, no excuses; remember we have a time stamp available.  On a happier note (though still grim) that photo of the boy and the cop in Portland hugging was PRICELESS; hope you saw it and read about it.  There is still hope; let's pray Christmas still has some magic left to still change the world.

11/30/14:  What a crazy college football weekend or as Beano Cook would say as he looked down from College Football Heaven, "What the hell's going on?" Upsets and near upsets and routs where low spreads were predicted by Las Vegas.  Alabama finally wears out Auburn, Florida State survives 4 INTs by a "Heisman" quality QB [hardly in my mind]. Ole Miss spanks its rival and sends them home whimpering, ND loses by 5 TDs to a team (U$C) that got blasted by UCLA the week before, UCLA gets crushed by Stanford [yea! - where were you all season Mr. Hogan?], Baylor barely beats a bad team, Ohio State has trouble from Michigan, and Georgia stumbles to Georgia Tech.  I am sure I missed something; oh yes, I picked cal over BYU and what did I get for being so magnanimous, zippo.  I also see Mr. Freitas loves the color of money more than blue and gold.  No words can describe the 49er fiasco Thursday and the pathetic performance of Colin K.  As the infighting begins, all I can say is that the "run" is over and any QB is better; oh yes that reference to "run" was unintended but he is a better runner than a passer.  Those bullets are uncatchable except for Richard Sherman; I love those Stanford guys on Seattle sticking it to their old coach who treated them badly on the Farm.  Oh well, there is always Andrew to root for.  NEXT WEEK THERE IS A FRIDAY NIGHT GAME ON THE POOL - be aware and awake folks.

11/24/14:  What a week for The Godfather with the typo issue below, the game venue and date change for Buffalo vs. the Jets and the short week this week needing an early submittal of the Thanksgiving Week pool.  Thanks to Jose's sharp eyes we avoided another typo issue of unknown origin; darn computers.  Anyway the Winners this week, in a four-way tie for first requiring the tie-breaker are the Alex-Cami combo in first with 19 winners and Kara and The Godfather tied for second/third place with 18 winners.  Dave Requa's 17 winners comes in 4th meaning empty-handed this week.  There is a full complement of 16 Pro games this week starting on THURSDAY so ALL pools are due by 9AM THURSDAY, no exceptions.  As for the Virginia/Virginia Tech issue mentioned below it fortunately had no effect on the above result or the Dave Biddle Pool only anxiety for The Commissioner.  Todd leads the Biddle Pool with JD in hot pursuit; check out the RESULTS tab above for the full standings.

11/22/14:  No angst this week, 38-17 over Berkeley.  The Commissioner is also aware of a typo on the ENTER PICKS form made by these "smart computer programs" that anticipate what you are typing but this time the computer was wrong and I did not catch it.  Miami (Fla.) is playing Virginia today, not Virginia Tech.  I will make sure no one gets an unfair advantage in the final standings but the vast majority picked Miami over
Virginia Tech.  Usually I catch those as I am making out the form but this one slipped through.  My apologies.

11/18/14:  Angst, angst and more angst; my season is now basically down the tubes although it certainly can get worse, hopefully not.  I'll skip the monologue but simply remind everyone that NEXT WEEK, Thanksgiving week, the pool is due on THURSDAY morning because there are Thursday and Friday games on the pool.  As far as this week is concerned let's get the participation back at 100%.  This week's winners are Jeff, Sam, and Peggy (via tiebreaker); sorry Lorraine.

11/11/14:  The real Veteran's Day (Armistice Day, 11/11 to us old folks) finds a new "Final 4" in the CFP standings and after the Alabama-Mississippi State game Saturday that might change it again.  Another good College weekend on tap again.  The final placements for this week is Clan O'Malley and three (Godmother, Chris and Sam) tied for 2nd.  Players please wake-up on time this Saturday; better yet on Friday. 

11/10/14:  Monday night counts; a Philly win gets Clan O'Malley the prize, a Carolina win sends it to Sam.  Great College football weekend with Notre Dame, Michigan State, Kansas State and others going by the wayside; unfortunately Alabama survived due to an LSU meltdown.  The Pros were entertaining except for Sunday night and it looks like injuries are going, once again, to play a big factor in who makes the playoff.  Only bad news is we had a new low in players this week.

11/04/14:  Lorraine, Tim and the Alex/Cami combo take the prizes with Todd and Nathan Detroit tied close behind (Nathan Detroit losing 3 points due to his Stanford loyalty).  The College weekend was certainly a wild one with Mississippi losing to Auburn on a last second goal-line fumble, Mississippi State-Arkansas going down to the wire not to mention the same for TCU and West Virginia.  The turning point of the Pro slate was Denver getting whipped by New England and we won't mention the bumbling Niners' ending.  This week has some great college games on tap so make sure you all pick and play.  There are four crucial tilts on tap that will definitely affect the College Football Playoff outcome.  Beecher leads the Biddle Pool with 10 points at the halfway point.                      

10/28/14:  How about them Cowboys, beaten by a 3rd string QB; well done.  Check out the Dave Biddle standings with JD and Todd in the lead.  Finally, totally disgusted with the SEC bias; 4 of the top six teams in the first Playoff Poll, really!!  Even Notre Dame was disrespected; wait until Touchdown Jesus digests that one.  We need upsets starting this weekend; PLEASE!

10/27/14:  As I suspected Monday night's game matters not; the order of finish is Chris C,  Sam and Peggy.  One of the Mississippi's goes down to defeat otherwise the Pac12 had some great games and close finishes.  The Arizona finish over the Eagles had an 80 yard pass play (mostly in the air) thrown by a former Raider QB (naturally, another great Davis clan decision). 

Love the Notre Dame coach's recent crybaby antics on the ending of The FSU game; hell of a nerve after all those bad, wrong, obviously incompetent calls he got against other teams, including mine in 2012 and 2014 that changed the game result.  With all those Touchdown Jesus calls in his favor with the "luck of the Irish" on his side Brian Kelly needs to grow up and pay attention to his players cheating on tests and failing their academic responsibilities and  getting kicked out of school for same. yet being reinstated after the season.  Hopefully someone else knocks them off their pedestal so he quits whining about one game.  If I am whining I am sorry but so be it; someday God will play fair as it relates to the South Benders.

10/20/14: Kara wins this week, Clan O'Malley second and  Dave Requa gets third in a recount.  What a weekend!  At least Touchdown Jesus did not make the trip to FSU; but the Cardinal offense stayed home from Tempe as well.  Missouri scores on four different types of returns; Cal is for real in a loss and the Big 12 is in disarray.  One of these weeks the SEC teams will actually have to play each other; how are they going to put a spin on that outcome.  Peyton destroys the 49ers, Dallas (ugh) keeps winning and Seattle loses again (yeah!).  Fell short of 100% participation again.

10/13/14:  Another Monday night: finish!  49ers win it for Danielle and "NO PICKEM" Tanner (second) and a tie between Nathan Detroit and Melanie for third. The Mississippi teams hang in there; the Raiders don't.  Some biased SEC commentator predicts 4 SEC teams in the playoff; can you believe that?  How about them Cowboys?  Thanks for bringing Seattle down to the pack.
Five no-shows again.  Personal wake-up calls cost extra.

10/6/14:  NFL Sunday was pretty vanilla and as I predicted the Monday night game doesn't affect the results after weeks of being the decider.  Dave J., Ed and Noah take the prizes this week.  Next week in College looks like we could have some repeats of Week 6 as the season rolls along.  Bad news was we had 5 no-shows; maybe the Retreat was to blame - hopefully!

10/4/14:  Oh My God, or as Beano Cook said as he looked down from College Football Heaven,
"What the hell's going on?"  Upsets, upsets and more upsets and finally more upsets.  The "College Football Playoffs" thrown into a spiral of confusion and conference championship races all up for grabs.  Too many upsets to list especially since one was most painful.  What's with the State of Mississippi becoming the College Football Capital of the World?  A day of last minute and last second touchdowns and missed field goals.  The Commissioner and Godfather can hardly wait to see whether the trend continues on NFL Sunday and Monday; stay tuned.  One can only imagine what the Halloween month of October has planned for us game-pickers!

9/27/14:  Sounds like a broken record; another Monday night game as the decider.  This is likely to end next week (not a good Monday night game) but let's enjoy it for now.  A New England win gets Money Mike a win with Sam second and a four-some for third.  A KC win gives it to Andrew with Susan and Mike Jaeger tied for second.  Frankly though I need to check for tie-breakers so don't celebrate yet.  Otherwise it was a nail-biter of a weekend with Stanford almost giving it away to Washington, Florida State finally wearing out NC State, Texas A&M going into OT, Cal overcoming Colorado with both teams scoring in the 50s and the 49ers "shutting out" the Eagles (sort of).  Some great games this weekend to spice up the selection difficulty.  Good Luck. 

9/23/14:  Another Monday night photo finish but the "Godmama's" pick of the Jets failed her.  Well it's another week with a chance to win and also to return to 100% participation.  Again the College slate was not very attractive so all the premium points are assigned to the Pro games.  As we are now officially in Autumn and approach October the College competition will start heating up as the conference seasons begin in earnest.  Check out the "Results" button above for the Biddle standings.

9/22/14:  Must be doing something right; another Monday night finish to the pool.  If "Da Bears" win its Todd, Danielle, and Jose in that order.  If the Jets win its the "Godmama", Chris and a three-some in 3rd.  All this after a weekend that saw Clemson let Florida State off the hook big time, the refs steal one for Oregon over Wazzu, Cal giving up three TDs in four minutes to lose on a classic "Hail Mary", LSU getting clocked at home, the 49ers playing a bad half again to lose (they are in big trouble", and a superb comeback by Peyton with less than a minute to go to force OT only to not touch the ball again and lose to Seattle.  Yes Beano, "What the hell's going on."

9/17/14:  A little late this week with the Commissioner's Corner but who can blame me after watching the 49ers commit 16 penalties and Colin K. play like a high school QB.  Then comes Monday night and the Colts coach takes the ball out of the hands of one of the smartest and best QBs in the game forcing an exhausted defense to stay on the field and guess what happens?  Correct, the Colts lose.  This week you will note that there are no premium point games on the College slate; first time ever.  So happy Pro picking because that's where the action is.  JD leads the Dave Biddle Cumulative Total Pool with a maximum point total of six (6).  If you are being a critical observer please note that it's the top five (5) finishers (including ties) in point totals each week with no tie-breaker for number correct; "just saying".  Good Luck and let's do 100% again this week.

9/15/14:  Once again the results come down to the last game on Monday night; except that I am out of the running I have to pat myself on the back for another down-to-the-wire finish.  So if Andrew Luck (Colts) wins its Noah and JD (again) in first with Kristen in 3rd  (via tiebreaker) or if its the Eagles it's William with Noah and JD in 2nd place.  Crazy weekend on both the College and Pro fronts with upsets and funny starts and surprise finishes.  The Texas captains all deserve demotion (or worse) for the coin toss decision that gave UCLA the ball in both the start of each half; what do you expect from "Longhorn lovers" and people that revere "burnt orange".  Best part is that we are now up to 38 players so I will adjust the rewards accordingly; we also had 100% participation (with a little prodding required) for the first time this week.

9/09/14:  Went to bed a loser and woke up a winner with 2:25 left on the clock.  I love it when it comes down to the final game on the pool to determine the winner.  Even tying with JD is OK; $Mike came in 3rd only because of a wake-up call.  64% correct is not sterling but I will take it.  Jose and Kara picked up Dave Biddle points for 4th and 5th place.  Kind of a ho-hum week of games this 3rd week but the action starts to pick up as we get closer to October.  Good luck all.

9/07/14:  Yesterday on the Farm could only be summarized by Beano Cook's famous quote "What the hell's going on?".  Ready to score eight separate times and come away with 10 points.  Awful performance in and around the Red Zone.  Enough of that.  Bring on the Cadets.  I finally confirmed we have 36 players and so the prizes have been adjusted to suit but we have a first, second and third place every week. 

9/03/14:  Dave Requa (Louisville) scored 22 correct picks and all the big point picks to take top prize and the 6 also-rans in 2nd place split the 2nd and 3rd place prizes.  Now it gets tougher with the Pros and better College games including U$C at Stanford, Michigan at Touchdown Jesus and Michigan State at the Ducks.  I am pretty confident we have 37 confirmed players so I am going with 3 prizes per week.  We will see how it goes before too long.  Best of luck this week to all; remember the Friday night deadline.
9/01/14:  Week 1 is almost in the books and despite some ugly College games there were a couple of nail-biters.  Unfortunately there were no upsets that changed the Playoff picture except for Texas A&M beating South Carolina, badly.  It was fun on the Farm Saturday especially seeing the next great running backs and tight ends on the field, all young guys and one a true Freshman.  Sorry Davis people, no upset this year and no help from the refs like last time.
This week we get the Pros and some great College games to pick from.
As for this week it comes down to Monday night and a clear winner (Dave Requa) if Louisville wins and six (6) ties for second or if Miami (Fla.) wins then Andrew and Peggy tie for first.  It looks like we have about 35 players at least so I might split the winnings three ways; we'll see as soon as we can confirm the number of entries.  More to come.

08/16/14:  Two weeks from today and we are off again on the 2014 odyssey know as "The Football Season", the best sports season of them all since the turnoff Major League Baseball has never lived down known as "The Strike of 1994".  This football season started officially yesterday when self-righteous Notre Dame announced its latest academic scandal causing the late Beano Cook, a well-known Fighting Irish lover, to exclaim once more "What the hell is going on?"   August 30th also marks the official start of the 2014 "" Football Pool.  The college season will be completed with the first ever "College Football Playoff" for Division 1 schools.  The NFL finishes with Super Bowl 50 [note no Roman numerals].   

Once again Sam has set us up again with the website and we can contemplate once more that we have dedicated another year to the memory of Dave Biddle who will once again be mocking us for some of our bad picks.  [The rules are under "RULES" above and also reprinted below.]  Remember, as usual, we are shooting for a 5 PM Friday night cutoff for pool entries as there may be Friday night games on the docket.  (This first week has no Friday games on the pool.)  The first pool is officially ready; just go to "ENTER PICKS" above.   So, thanks to all who have signed up again, and good Luck; more from the Commissioner as we go along.  So, I ask you, are you ready for some football? Yes, yes, yes.  Let's Go Red!

The Godfather and Commissioner


posted Aug 3, 2014, 9:11 PM by Sam Carlson   [ updated Sep 5, 2015, 10:42 PM by Joe Covello ]

Commissioner's Week #20 Post

posted Aug 21, 2013, 2:55 PM by Sam Carlson   [ updated Jan 7, 2014, 9:50 AM by Joe Covello ]

01/07/14:  What a way for the BCS era to go out; a bunch of exciting plays and points in the 4th quarter and a winning touchdown drive with 1:19 left on the clock.  That come from behind win for FSU also made The Godmother the Dave Biddle Pool winner; yes, James she did it again.  Worse, she consistently outpicked The Godfather once again this season.  Thank you all for playing and see you next year with the new NCAA National Football Championship setup and with the 49ers as Super Bowl champs, hopefully.  HAPPY NEW YEAR.
01/05/14:  That was close; the game-winning field goal was almost blocked as the 49ers survived another Ice Bowl game on the frozen tundra.  Unfortunately the other red-clad team in the Bay Area fell short in another slugfest in better weather.  I also loved the game that Andrew and the Colts played yesterday which also came down to the wire.  The bowl games were exciting for the most part and not without upsets.  With one game to go it will either be Evan with Andrew second if Florida State wins or Dave J. with Mike J. second if Auburn prevails. I  hope everone had a great Christmas and New Years holiday. 
12/30/13:  It was nice to see so many combinations of playoff teams possible on the final regular season NFL Sunday but it was also amazing how so many teams let the playoffs slip out of their hands.  There were some strange plays as well; what looked like a pass that was actually a fumble, a field goal that should not have been allowed, an improper start of a play clock that almost cost a game, and who knows how many others.  Then we have Aaron Rodgers who gets off the rehab table to pull Green Bay out of the also-ran category and Tony Romo's replacement does a Tony Romo with a last minute interception - sorry James,  Then there is Black Monday - let the firings begin.  As for the final NFL Pool we have a four-way tie for first with 87.5% correct picks.  Naturally The Godmother is one of them and also leads the Bowl Pool as of this morning as well as being tied for the Dave Biddle Pool lead with Andy.  If she wins those things it is going to be a long off-season in this household for The Godfather.

12/24/13:  Too bad; I tried but the final game on this week's pool makes no difference - Kathi and JD tie for first place.  So anyway I say "Go Beavers".  What a finish to the 49er game - improbable way to escape possibly losing the last game at Candlestick.  Memories galore; just ask Carolyn for her memory of the "'Stick".  So a couple of games this weekend affect the playoffs.  Dallas and the Eagles and Green Bay and the Bears fight each other for a spot with New Orleans and Arizona having a wild card shot in the NFC.  In the AFC its Baltimore, Miami and Pittsburgh in games that count.  As far as the Dave Biddle Pool is concerned check that out as we have two pools left to score points.  And finally remember that THE BOWL POOL IS POSTED AND DUE ON FRIDAY MORNING the DECEMBER 27th.  Merry Christmas; it's Christmas Eve - hang your stockings with care.

12/17/13:  Poor Army - losing 12 straight to Navy, in the snow no less.  The NFL was crazy with wild finishes and a 61 yard field goal  for the winner.  The Heisman was a yawn with over 100 voters boycotting the winner.  Texas gets a new coach and I pray they leave my guy alone.  The Dave Biddle Pool gets tighter so make sure you play - we had 5 no shows this week.  Two more weeks of the Pros and THE BOWL POOL IS POSTED AND DUE ON FRIDAY DECEMBER 27th.

12/10/13:   As Beano Cook used to exclaim "What the hell is going on".  Auburn clocks Missouri after besting 'Bama the week before, Michigan State humbles the overconfident "The Ohio State" and leaps over Stanford to create a #4 vs. #5 Rose Bowl matchup and Oklahoma surprises OK State.  Then we have games in the snow and cold all over the NFL which were hardly precision personified but awfully entertaining.  The upshot is Peggy  blasts the pack with 22 correct and 91 points setting the scoring record for the year so far.  As for th Dave Biddle Memorial Andy leads with 12 points and 3 others are chasing him with 10 points.   We  have 3 more weekends to go plus the Bowl Pool to go so make sure you don't fall asleep at the wheel and forget to play over the holidays. THE BOWL POOL IS POSTED AND DUE ON FRIDAY DECEMBER 27th.

12/3/13:  Talk about smoke clearing and I thought last weekend was wild in college football.  Auburn carried miracles to a new level over Alabama, Ohio State survived a miracle, and Duke gets into the ACC title game as a 29 point underdog.  It seems everyone else held serve.  The Monday night game again determined the winners and with the Saints flop against Seattle the Alex/Cami team prevailed over a cast of thousands for second place.  The refs messed up in several games this weekend, most notably in the Giants/Redskins game. Finally, the Dave Biddle Pool is turning into a close horse race with lots of contenders with five weeks to go. 

11/27/13:  After the smoke cleared Danielle gets first in a tiebreaker (14 correct) with Andrew (13 correct).  Not exactly setting the world on fire at less than 60%.  Others had more correct but finished back in the pack.  The tie game mattered as if Green Bay had pulled it out the William wins with a 4-way tie for second.  The Dave Biddle Pool is still a tight race.  REMEMBER the Pool starts THURSDAY this week so get your picks in early by 9 AM THURSDAY.

11/25/13:  It's Monday night and the MNF game counts once again.  3rd quarter and the 49ers  showed up and it looks like the tattooed wonder CK seems to be on target tonite.  That Sunday night game had a horrible ending: an anticlimax after watching a game of two opposite halfs.  Now Saturday was all sweetness as Melanie called the Big Smash.  Adding Arizona's upset of the Ducks to the mix was adding cream on top; Baylor's loss was the cherry on top.  This weekend has some good games all around, both college and pro.  REMEMBER the Pool starts THURSDAY this week so get your picks in early by 9 AM THURSDAY.

11/19/13:  What a finish; yes it was pass interference but no guarantees Brady wins.  Let's face it he was not going to catch such a bad pass.  Good going Kara and Lorraine (yes, that was the mystery player).  Thanks Larry and Todd for the stimulating dialog; better luck next week.  And thanks for the 100% participation this week.  Remember that Thanksgiving week we have Thursday games so heads up everyone.  We will get the pool posted as soon as possible but the short week happens every year.
11/18/13:  What a revolting development Saturday night was.  Enough said; how to give away a game.  Still can't believe it.  No Rose Bowl this year.  Bring on Berkeley to take our frustrations out on (I hope).  The 49ers did not relieve any of my frustration (as if they could) but played "give-away" as well.  Once again Monday night matters.  Beecher is already mouthing off but the tea leaves are saying Carolina has a defense and Boston only has Brady.  As far as the BCS goes no games of consequence this weekend; Florida State favored by 56 points!!!!!! That would take a miracle exceeding the Auburn-Georgia Hail Mary deflected pass still-can't-believe-it ending.  But the weekend NFL games seem interesting and will affect the playoffs.  The Midwest tornadoes were frightening; and I thought the windstorms a few weeks ago were scary. I hope this is not the beginning of Mother Nature's revenge.  I am sure global warming will get blamed for this weekend's tornadoes as well as the typhoon.  Seriously though, put the Red Cross on your Christmas list.

11/11/13:  Monday night finally mattered and an non-descript game at best finishes 22-19.  Mike J. wins by a point over a foursome by getting only 60% correct; the crystal ball was definitely broken this week.  In games that really mattererd the Cardinal defeathered the Ducks and Alabama declawed the Tigers.  The possibilty of Alabama-FSU and Stanford-Ohio State post-season contests looms large.  If only Coach Shaw called two more running plays against Utah who knows what the possibilities would be.  Dream on old man.  As for the 49ers forget it, not this year, not with CK at QB.  Some good games this weekend as the NCAA winds down and the NFL winds up.  As for our season the Dave Biddle Cumulative Pool is really heating up; check out the standings under the results button above-it's a horse race with The Real Deal in the lead.  One player short of 100% participation this week; getting better.
11/4/13:  Once again the Monday night game has no effect on the week's results; Sam wins and Susan is second (with the professional New York City gambler and crap game operator, Nathan Detroit, a close third). At least it came down to the Sunday night game to be the decider with a magnificent comeback by Andrew's team.  At one point on Saturday we had a dozen or more tied for first and then finally for second.  This past week's games were a bit vanilla but still tough to prognosticate particularly with the NFL with upsets and near upsets.  This week's best college game is on a Thursday night so it's not on the pool.  LSU-Alabama should be entertaining and there are some close games, odds-wise, sprinkled throughout the 25 games.  We had good participation with only 2 no-shows.

10/28/13:  Well again no mystery (the Monday night game is irrelevant); now it's Andy we need to put the evil eye on as he tries to tie Godmama with 3 in a row next week.  Larry comes in second although he has more correct picks.  Some strange NFL games this weekend but the Lions/Cowboys game was the most exciting as a game and a soap opera.  As for the Saturday games my team is making the games too interesting for my taste but "a win is a win" is the key, style points are for the SEC, ACC and Big 12 (actually 10).  I am looking forward to a stress-free weekend off while contemplating the Thursday night game next week against the "Ducks".  The Florida-Georgia game is the best of this coming weekend's college games.  As for the NFL it is kind of vanilla this coming weekend.  We had 29 players this weekend; Lorraine must have been still celebrating her Birthday Friday.  This next weekend marks the halfway point of the season for Godfathersportsbook.  Check the RESULTS tab above; it is a close battle with 3 players with 8 points and 5 more right behind with 6 points.

10/22/13:  Andrew 39, Peyton 33.  Monday night's game determined this week's winners.  A New York Giant win resulted in a tie between Melanie and Andy.  Not to many interesting games this week but now with the BCS rankings out starting this week the NCAA Football season gets down to brass tacks.  As for the NFL you have to study the injury lists before you check the standings; they are dropping like flies and key players at that.

10/20/13:  Another escape on The Farm although the Cardinal was clearly the better team with the one-handed catch by Whitfield being a generational highlight catch.  This morning we have a logjam at the top w's teamwith Andrew in the lead with 9 players in 2nd by 3 points; literally anyone's game to win.  Saturday was sweet as the SEC, Eastern media bias was exposed.  The SEC started the weekend with 8 teams in the top-25 and 5 of them were upset in conference and still 6 remained in the top-25 despite the upset outcomes; no bias there.  Even the substandard ACC has 4 teams ranked (boy is Clemson over-rated); the Pac-12 only 3 teams.  No bias there.  I guess staying up late to watch football is not in the cards for those Eastern dudes.  If the SEC keeps feasting on itself like the other conferences do maybe reality will set in after all these years.  Looking forward to Luck vs. Manning tonight.

10/16/13:  Now recovered from jet lag and a cross-country trip from New York we can contemplate that Grandmama's 3 week winning streak has ended; serves her right for trying to hide behind a new moniker.  Hard to compete with JD getting 21 out of 25 correct; good going.  Some really big games this weekend will define both the college and NFL seasons.  What happened to our 100% participation week; can't send out reminders every week but will give it another shot on Friday.

10/13/13:  "What a revolting development" this weekend was in the world of football.  My dream of a national championship burst like a bubble on some poor QB play a bad play calling from the 6 yard line; made worse by the fact that I couldn't even see the game from a few thousand miles away since it was on the Pac-12 network. Ranked teams bled all over the gridiron across the nation.  Enough of that.  i was shocked tonight to realize that I left the Washington-Dallas game off of the pool (such a rivalry and I missed it completely - sorry James!)  Never fear, this week we have some MYSTERY.  If San Diego wins we have JD winning with a three-way tie for second (Andy, Dave R. and Mike R.); if Indianapolis wins then we have a four-way tie for first with JD winning the tie-breaker and Chris C. winning the tie-breaker for scond.  More tomorrow after the results are in.

10/7/13:  As Beano Cook would say "What the hell is going on?"  The Godmama is on a three week winning streak; unprecedented and never been done before.  She has it in the bag by the end of the Sunday night game.  She is absolutely gloating and blithely deflected James' accusation of being on PEDs; she claims that she makes her picks in 5 minutes without consulting anything or anyone.  How can you beat that?  Speaking of beatings Las Vegas took a $100,000,000 hit on the last bizarre play of the Ohio State-Northwestern game; no crying in this quarter.  Certainly not after the replay official got the 4th down call near the end of the Stanford-Washington game right.  What part of the ball hitting the ground does a Husky Dog not understand?  There were lots of exciting games last weekend on the college front notably Georgia-Tennessee and ASU-Notre Dame.  But the Denver-Dallas game was unreal; 51-48 in a NFL game is crazy but at least the good guys won and "America's Team" embarrassed themselves again; "how sweet it is".  BTW, let's get back to 100% participation this week.
9/30/13:  There is some mystery this week.  If Miami wins then Nathan Detroit, the operator of "the oldest established floating crap game in New York" wins.  If the Saints win then he and Godmama split the prize; she is sure putting The Godfather to shame.  There were some good games this weekend especially the SEC battle between LSU and Georgia which came down to the wire.  ASU sent U$C down the road in a painful way [Tommy the Trojan limped away and Kiffin (their despicable coach) was sent away for good].  I wonder how much damage ASU will do to the "fighting irish" this Saturday.  Go Devils!  Oops, I remember a band that was banished for life from South Bend for staging a "battle" between a Cardinal and a Devil (simply no sense of humor in the Touchdown Jesus camp).  This week's college games are a little tamer but maybe Northwestern can outsmart the Buckeyes.  The Pro games are getting tougher to prognosticate; too bad that Texas blew it against Seattle [the 49ers needed that one] and the Raiders could not hold on against the DCers (I am not an RG3 fan).  Well, it's a long season.  To all, better Luck against Nathan Detroit and the Godmama this week.

9/22/13:  No mystery this week.  Godmama takes the prize and the Monday night game is of no consequence to the Week #4 outcome at any level.  She certainly smoked The Godfather this week.  Speaking of being smoked Andrew and the Colts made the 49ers look like semi-pros; the only real QB at Candlestick today was wearing a white uniform not red.  Where is Alex Smith now when we need him; oh that's right, he is undefeated at Kansas City.  The college weekend followed the chalk for the most part with a few almost upsets and some that could have gone either way with a host of blowouts with mismatches all over the country.  Money is not enough of a reason for scheduling some of these games.  In the Miami game they finally had to start a running clock in the 3rd quarter to keep the bloodshed down; in all my years of college football I never heard of that happening.  I guess they wanted to avoid breaking the highest score ever -Georgia Tech 222, Cumberland 0.  This week the Saturday games start to get more interesting and difficult [six players had 9 out of 10 correct].  Final comment is that we had 6 no-shows this week; you cannot win if you do not play.
9/17/13:  Saturday left a lot of possibilities that all dried up by Sunday night.  JD was the winner by the end of the 49er debacle.  It was tight with 6 players within 6 points.  On another note Johnny Football turned the Tide of negative publicity but not the Tide from Alabama.  UCLA looks tough, U$C woke up a bit, Stanford played sleepy, and Ohio State looked like a scoring machine.  As for the 49ers, they may be in trouble if Andrew gets some O-Line protection this week and it looks like the Raiders have a QB but Denver has the better (best) one around.
9/10/13:  This week went down to the wire with too many combinations left based on the outcomes of the two Monday night games. Chris took first with 4 others tied for second place.  College-wise the SEC is taking some hits; lovely to see.  U$C really bombed Saturday night-oh how sweet it is.  Combined with Notre Dame not going undefeated this year it's a great start to the 2013 season.  Too bad San Jose State wants to end the longest non-conference series it and Stanford has going but its all about money and pride I guess; not enough money and too much pride.  The NFL season looks interesting with the ageless Manning flinging for 7 touchdowns, RG3 being outplayed by an old Michael Vick, and Andrew leading another come from behind win.  If Dallas had lost to the New York Football Giants all would be good in the NFL world and with my pool results as well.  Well it's a long season and Saturday and Sunday games will make for fun weekends.  There are no Friday games in this week's pool but don't wait past 9:00 AM Saturday morning to put your picks in.

9/2/13:  It was a wild week and we have a winner basically decided by the Clemson and Colorado wins. [That 10 pointer really cost me, for one.]  Monday's game winner is academic as Mr. (Ahoy) Matey took the big prize and Mike Jaeger just beat The Godfather out.  Week one always has a high score and now with the Pros and closer NCAA games the going gets tougher.  We have 28 or 29 players [still trying to figure that out].  I would like one or two more recruits for an even 30 so ask around.  We had some new folks and lost some old folks - did not expect the latter.  Now the real fun begins so here's to a great season; I for one are trying to keep my perspective on my team's chances.  Thanks for playing; it makes The Godfather happy and that's a good thing.
8/22/13 :  Welcome Football Fans and Players:
Once again It has been a long drought between the Super Bowl and NCAA Kickoff Weekend but here we are again.   Once again Sam has set us up again with the website and we can contemplate once more that we have dedicated another year to the memory of Dave Biddle who will once again be mocking us for some of our bad picks.  Remember, as usual, we are shooting for a 5 PM Friday night cutoff for pool entries as there will usually be Friday night games on the docket.  The first pool will be posted by Monday, August 26th.  So, thanks to all who have signed up again, and good Luck; more from the Commissioner as we go along.  So, I ask you, are you ready for some football? Yes, yes, yes.
The Godfather and Commissioner


posted Aug 28, 2011, 9:01 AM by Sam Carlson   [ updated Aug 22, 2013, 8:55 AM by Joe Covello ]

Make sure to pay a visit to "The Godfather" before the season starts!  This is an offer you can't refuse!

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