Pick ‘em Prodigy?

Rookie season not too shabby.

Aficionados of this blog may recall my introductory NFL missive a couple of years ago. Some say Chick Flick Season was my best work. Last year I stunned friends and family when I proclaimed my intentions to play Pick‘em. Even Mr. Fixit was incredulous until I handed him $20 and requested login credentials.

So how did it go? I was in first place in week two. Anyone who plays this game knows that it is a long season so one can’t get too excited in the second week, but I did anyway. It’s fun to win but even more fun to surprise my opponents.

As we head into the playoffs, I sit in 8th place in a field of 17. I am ahead of my son, new son-in-law, and brother-in-law among others. My twin brothers and Mr. Fixit are a few notches above me. There is only one other woman, and she has set a high bar but is within reach. A prodigy? Nah. But not too shabby for my first year – my goal was to finish in the top 10 and that seems possible. 

Here’s the thing about Pick‘em, you can’t bluff your way through it. You must pick the winners and this season was nuts for last minute upsets and shakeups. It isn’t over until it’s over. Take the record setting comeback by the Vikings, who I picked, in week 15. And LA’s newly anointed GB, Baker Mayfield in week 14, even if he struggled a bit in subsequent games.

I approached the whole thing a little like I do life. Do my research, pay attention, cheer for the underdog, and don’t take it all too seriously.

Weather is a factor. LA at Green Bay in December, tough odds. Changes the strategy – the passing game becomes a running game. You know the drill. 

Injuries are a factor, although several second and third string players made a name for themselves this year. I’m a big fan of “get it done” Taylor Heinicke who temporarily secured the lead QB spot out of sheer determination. Perhaps they would be in the playoffs if the Commanders had stuck with him. 

Home field advantage is a huge factor, especially for the legacy teams. Some teams peaked mid-season and struggled to hold their ranking while others found their rhythm just in time for a wildcard bid.

One thing is clear, those who play Fantasy Football fare better in Pick‘em because they have a front row seat to injuries and know the offensive and defensive strengths and weaknesses. The $20 question is, will this closet football fan delve into Fantasy or be content with Pick‘em? Time will tell!

Footnote – as this blog comes to press, a huge shout out to Damar Hamlin and his medical teams. The NFL has much to celebrate this season, regardless of who wins and loses.

The opportunities for your next Montana adventure are unlimited and Cherry Creek Guest House is ready to serve as your home away.

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