WILD CARD WEEKEND

Playoffs?! That's right, you go right ahead and talk to me about playoffs!

We've gone down that 17-week road to make it to this point, and now it when the real fun begins. Twelve players go in, one comes out with all the honor, glory, and fat cash that comes with being crowned 1-On-1 Super Bowl XIII Champion!

Each postseason, the four most successful players of the regular season get to take this week off. This year, that means that JPP's Missing Fingers, Mike C, Turf Toe, and Rabid Ferrets will each get to sit back and see who they'll get to face in the Divisional round.

So here's what we got in store for this year's Wild Card round:

AFC 3rd Seed Why Not Zoidberg? vs. AFC 6th Seed Secretly Victorious:
This is the second year in a row in which Why Not Zoidberg? appears in this exact same spot, and after losing this one last year, he's looking for a little redemption. This time around he's meeting Secretly Victorious, an opponent whom he's had a lot of success against of late. After losing his first two matches against her back in 2013, he went on a five-match winning streak over her which lasted up until...last week. These two ended their season going head-to-head, and it was Secretly Victorious who catapulted herself into the postseason by getting the win. Misleading statistic of the day: In a combined five playoff appearances, neither player has ever won a Wild Card match (they've each lost one, and had a first-round bye the other three times).

AFC 4rd Seed StuB vs. AFC 5th Seed Brenda's Bulldogs:
If seeding we're set up differently, then Brenda's Bulldogs would have been the #3 seed -- after all, she put up a very big three-and-a-half more wins than StuB this season, while StuB posted the lowest win total and the lowest pick total of anyone in the postseason. All told, Brenda's Bulldogs finished up seven spots higher than StuB in the Power Rankings. But we shouldn't let any of this make it seem like there is a forgone conclusion here -- keep in mind that these two shared a division for several seasons, and that StuB has come out on top in 60% of their past meetings. So, now it's time to see if winning a division counts for more than a better win/loss record.

NFC 3rd Seed Boardwalkers vs. NFC 6th Seed Jeff B:
If you look back at the playoff preview chart in Week 13, you'll see Boardwalkers comfortably on top of the NFC, enjoying his second week in the #1 spot. Unfortunately for him, a couple of slip-ups sent him down out of the first-round bye spots and into action this week. And while if you look back at that same time, you'll find Jeff B neck-and-neck with Turf Toe, but since that time he went 1-4 down the stretch and just managed to stay above the floor line for the playoffs. So that brings us to where we are now -- with two players with only two head-to-head meetings in their history who split that series.

NFC 4rd Seed Shucky Duckies vs. NFC 5th Seed Beep Bops:
Our last Wild Card match is another one featuring a lower-ranked player who has had past success against the higher-ranked one. Shucky Duckies had a very good season, and has gotten hot down the stretch winning his final three matches this season. Meanwhile, Beep Bops was neck-and-neck with Boardwalkers but since that time he went 1-4 down the stretch and just managed to stay above the floor line for the playoffs (wait...why does this all sound so familiar?). But, unlike the above match, Beep Bops has a perfect record here -- he's 2-0 historically against Shucky Duckies.

Ok, that's it for the early preview. If you're one of these eight players, then make sure you get those picks submitted no later than 12 noon Eastern on Saturday. Also, keep in mind that the higher-seeded player picks two consecutive numbers for the second tiebreaker (the Miami/Pittsburgh game), so as to prevent the possibility of a tie as noted here -- good luck all!



All right, the picks are in, so let's take a look at who needs what to have happen in order to move on to the money rounds!

The Raiders/Texans game is a difference in all four matches this week, and the Giants/Packers game is a difference in three of them as well. That means that one match will be decided on Saturday -- if the Raiders come out on top, then Shucky Duckies will get his fourth-straight win and move on to the Divisionals; while if the Texans win, then Beep Bops will have turned things around and he'll be the one seeing action next week.

The other three matches have too many moving parts to easily break down. You can look at the chart below and see who needs what -- at least one (and maybe two) matches will be a clean sweep with someone winning outright, while at least one (and maybe two) will be coming down to Giants/Packers score total.

Check back after the 4:00 Saturday game, and good luck everyone!



WILD CARD WEEKEND RESULTS

Saturday Games: While Houston celebrates winning the honor of being able to go one-and-done this year, Beep Bops moves on and will be looking to do better than the Texans will be expected to do.

Three matches coming down to tomorrow's Giants-Packers game, some by winner and some by score total. Check back after the game for all the latest.



Sunday Games: A high-scoring win by the Packers destroys all goodness and light from the world, and sends Why Not Zoidberg?, Brenda's Bulldogs, and Jeff B into the Divisional Championship round.

That means next week's matches will be:

--JPP's Missing Fingers vs. Brenda's Bulldogs
--Mike C vs. Why Not Zoidberg?
--Turf Toe vs. Jeff B
--Rabid Ferrets vs. Beep Bops

Congratulations to everyone who is moving on -- making it to this point means you're definitely winning some cash. Of course, no one want to have it end there, so get a jump on getting your Divisional Championship picks submitted before the deadline of noon on Saturday.

Have a great week everyone!



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DIVISIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP WEEKEND PREVIEW

Ok, ok...time to crawl out of the Blanket Fort of Sadness following the Giants' tragic, inexplicable, horrific loss last weekend. So now we're less than 24 hours away from kickoff -- making this the latest we've ever put up a playoff preview. That means one thing -- this is going to be short.

So, here's what we've got in store this weekend:

AFC 1st Seed JPP's Missing Fingers vs. AFC 5th Seed Brenda's Bulldogs:
Brenda's Bulldogs is on a nice 6-1 streak at the moment, but she certainly has her work cut out for herself here. JPP's Missing Fingers was definitely the hottest player this season, putting up a league-best 12-3-1 record, but more importantly, he's beaten Brenda's Bulldogs in their last four meetings.

AFC 2nd Seed Mike C vs. AFC 3rd Seed Why Not Zoidberg?:
Amazingly, Why Not Zoidberg? was the only division-winning player to make it through the Wild Card round. Snapping his three-match losing streak has put him in position to try and knock the 2016 Player of the Year, Mike C, out of the postseason.

NFC 1st Seed Turf Toe vs. NFC 6th Seed Jeff B:
These two fought hard in the NFC East all season, and although Turf Toe got the season sweep this year, they're an even 4-4 against one another all-time.

NFC 2nd Seed Rabid Ferrets vs. NFC 5th Seed Beep Bops:
Rabid Ferrets finished the season three wins ahead of Beep Bops, but that doesn't mean anything once we hit the playoffs. Beep Bops got a win over Rabid Ferrets' in his 2014 rookie season, and that was the last time they met.

Ok, like I said, short and sweet. If you're on that list of players, then make sure you have your picks submitted no later than 12 noon Eastern on Saturday. Also, keep in mind that the higher-seeded player picks two consecutive numbers for the second tiebreaker (the Kansas City/Pittsburgh game), so as to prevent the possibility of a tie as noted here -- good luck all!

NOTE: The KC/PIT game has been moved to 8:30 on Sunday, making it the final game of the weekend. However, since most players already have their picks in, we're not going to mess around with changing how tiebreakers are applied. Even though it will be played chronoligicaly first, GB/DAL will still be the main tiebreaker. If needed, we'll still go to the KC/PIT score to break any final ties.



All right, the picks are in and we have several different ways things can go. Both the Mike C/Why Not Zoidberg? and Turf Toe/Jeff B matches will be determined by the winner of the Chiefs/Steelers game. If Pittsburgh wins, then Why Not Zoidberg? and Jeff B will be moving on; while if it's Kansas City, then Mike C and Turf Toe will see Conference Championship action next week.

The JPP's Missing Fingers/Brenda's Bulldogs match is the more complicated one this week -- in addition to the Chiefs/Steelers game, they also have picked differently in the Seattle/Atlanta game as well. If they split, then it will be determined by the GB/DAL final score with JPP's Missing Fingers looking for it to stay at 52 or under, and Brenda's Bulldogs hoping the offenses push the score to 53 or better.

Finally, the Rabid Ferrets/Beep Bops match will definitely be coming down to total score. They picked all four games the same way, leaving this one riding on the Packers/Cowboys game -- Rabid Ferrets will be cheering on every point scored, hoping the total cracks 50, while Beep Bops is looking for for lots of missed field goals and long drives ending in turnovers, which would help keep the score to no more than 49.

Ok, that's it for this all-important week's preview -- good luck to everyone remaining, and enjoy the year's final full weekend of football!



DIVISIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP WEEKEND RESULTS

Saturday Games: Brenda's Bulldogs' pick of Seattle didn't work out, putting her down a pick against JPP's Missing Fingers. Still, she's not out of it yet -- she's just going to have to root extra-hard for the Steelers tomorrow.

Other than that, no results from this day -- check back tomorrow hours to see who moves on!



Packers/Cowboys: An odd situation here -- this was supposed to be the final game of the week, meaning it would be the first tiebreaker. However, an ice storm pushed back the Steelers/Chiefs game until after this one. However, we already had our picks in, so the total score for one this was kept as the first tiebreaker.

And a tiebreaker it was -- since Rabid Ferrets and Beep Bops picked all four games the same way, this came down to total score. And in the end, it was Rabid Ferrets' high score pick that got the job done!



Steelers/Chiefs: The three remaining matches are wrapped up by this one -- first up are Why Not Zoidberg? and Jeff B who rode a Steelers' victory straight into next week. Then, that Steelers win evened up the Brenda's Bulldogs/JPP's MIssing Fingers match, sending them back to the GB/DAL total score, where Brenda's Bulldogs had the higher score pick and thus the win!

Congratulations to those who are moving on! The Conference Championships matches will be:
For the AFC title, it's Brenda's Bulldogs vs. Why Not Zoidberg?
For the NFC title, we have Jeff B vs. Rabid Ferrets

And congratulations are definitely due to those who made it this far before dropping out off -- you get $30 just for making it to this point, plus any other prizes you picked up along the way, which means that nearly all of you will be turning some sort of profit on this season.

We'll be sending out notices about squaring up the finances after next Sunday's matches, so be on the lookout for that, and have a great week everyone!



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CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEW

Down to the final four now -- a win this week is your ticket to 1-On-1 Super Bowl glory! Let's see what we've got in store for the season's penultimate matches:

AFC 3rd Seed Why Not Zoidberg? vs. AFC 5th Seed Brenda's Bulldogs:
If we were to find a word to describe how Why Not Zoidberg? has been playing over the past season and a half, "streaky" would come to mind. Since the middle of last year, he's lost three, won four, lost three, won two, lost three, won eight, lost three, and has now won two playoff matches to get to this point. Now it's time to see if he can keep the streak going for another two weeks. In the three previous times Why Not Zoidberg? has made the postseason, he's only gotten this far once -- however, he made the most it by getting the win that sent him into 1-On-1 Super Bowl XI. He came up short in that one, and now he's looking to get the job done this time.

With this postseason appearance, Brenda's Bulldogs ends the longest playoff drought in the league. She came into the league in 2009 and made the postseason twice in her first three years, but hasn't been back since. Now she's making the most of one of her best seasons ever, and is looking to get her first title. She made it this far in both her previous playoff runs and got to the 1-On-1 Super Bowl as a rookie -- now she's looking to finish the season on a high note as well.

So at least one of these two players will be making their second Super Bowl appearance in the hopes of their first title, while the other will fall off at this point...again. Who will it be? Tough to call -- Why Not Zoidberg? has the edge in head-to-head meetings, having won both of their previous matches against one another, but postseason matches play much differently than regular season ones. With only two games to pick, it's far more likely that an accurate score pick will be the difference-maker. And while Why Not Zoidberg? is the higher-seeded player, it was Brenda's Bulldogs who put up the better record this year. All in all, this one is anyone's match to win.

NFC 2nd Seed Rabid Ferrets vs. NFC 6th Seed Jeff B:
Would you care to take a guess how many players made it to the postseason their first four years in the league? That would be quite the accomplishment, so you know it's not many. The answer is a whopping two players -- Evil Squad Of Evil (who actually did it his first five years), and Jeff B, who is looking to make it further than he ever has before. In his first two seasons, he made it to the Conference Championships before being knocked out, and last year he faltered on Wild Card Weekend. Over these past four years, he's amassed one of the best win percentages in the league, winning nearly 70% of his matches.

Making the playoffs eight out of 12 seasons? Not too shabby -- nine is the most anyone has done. Making it to three 1-On-1 Super Bowls? That's a record. Two Super Bowl losses? Well, not the sort of record anyone wants, but that's the most Super Bowls anyone has lost. Now he's looking for his first NFC Championship win since 2011 in the hopes that the league has back-to-back years in which a two-time champion is crowned.

So, how do these two stack up against one another? They've met up four times before -- the first two times, Jeff B put up the win; while Rabid Ferrets got the most recent two. Those recent ones include a meeting earlier this season, as well as a postseason victory last year. So now it comes down to this -- they've each shown they're capable of beating the other, so it comes down to who can pick these two games better.



All right, nothing left but to get those picks in. The pick submission page is ready for the final four to get their choices in, so please make sure to do so by 8:00 pm Saturday evening. Enjoy everyone!



The picks are in, and we have two possible matchups for 1-On-1 Super Bowl XIII. We're going to know our final pair early, because both matches are going to be decided by the Falcons/Packers game.

If Green Bay wins, then Brenda's Bulldogs and Jeff B will move on; and if Atlanta comes out on top, then it'll be Why Not Zoidberg? vs. Rabid Ferrets.

A simple dividing line -- now we just have to wait until about 6:00 Sunday to see how things shake out. Good luck!



CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS

GB/ATL: This is the only one that mattered for us, and only one team showed up. The Falcons brutalized the Packers, giving us our players for the 1-On-1 Super Bowl in two weeks time.

So congratulations to Why Not Zoidberg? and Rabid Ferrets, who will be both making return trips to the big dance.

We definitely have to also send out congratulation to both Brenda's Bulldogs and Jeff B for making it this far. A loss this week is still worth $75, so even before any other bonuses are thrown in, they've both still turned a profit on the season.

We'll update the chart with the late game results later, but for our purposes, this week is closed. Check back in about a week for the 1-On-1 Super Bowl XIII preview!



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1-ON-1 POOL SUPER BOWL XIII PREVIEW

Here we go -- title time! We've got AFC Champion Why Not Zoidberg? taking on NFC Champion Rabid Ferrets in the contect to decide who comes away with the title, the glory, and a fat stack of cash. Let's take a look at how these two stack up:

Head to head, there's very little to go on here. In their seven years in the league together, they've met exactly once -- a 12-11 Why Not Zoidberg? win back in Week 14 of the 2011 season. And they've both definitely had their share of playoff success -- Why Not Zoidberg? going 5-3 in postseason play, while Rabid Ferrets has set the record for playoff appearances, going 15-6 overall.

In a manner of speaking, this is going to be a contest to see who can be the least-successful Super Bowl player ever. If Why Not Zoidberg? wins, then Rabid Ferrets will be 1-and-3 in Super Bowls; while if Rabid Ferrets comes out on top, then Why Not Zoidberg? will be 0-2 in this spot. Of course, even a loss here means you've won a nice amount of cash, so whoever comes up short has that to fall back on.

So now it's time to see who comes out on top here. Since we're getting this posted much later than usual, the picks are already in, and we have a simple dividing line: Why Not Zoidberg? will be champ if Atlanta comes out on top, while Rabid Ferrets will pick up a second title if New England picks up their fifth.

So that should do it for this preview -- check back after the game to see how this season wraps up!



For much of the game, it looked like this one was going to go Why Not Zoidberg?'s way. But as that now-famous 28-3 blown lead spelled heartbreak for the Falcons and a huge comeback for the Patriots, it also means we can now say...

CONGRATULATIONS TO RABID FERRETS, your 2016 1-On-1 Pool Super Bowl Champion!

It was an 11-year drought between titles, but Rabid Ferrets joins a very exclusive club. Last year, Fighting Sporks became the first player to become a two-time champion -- now Rabid Ferrets makes it two years in a row that a player picks up their second title.

All right, another successful season in the books! And since (as has become a rather unfortunate trend) we're not getting around to writing this final update until six months after the game, players can look for their 2017 invite any day now. Thanks for another great season, everyone!

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Playoffs


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