First thing's first -- we say goodbye to those leaving us (Blockheads and 9Aviles) and we welcome in the 2016 rookie class. Greetings go out to our two newest players, Mean Machine and Eighteen. Welcome aboard!
The layout of the league isn't very different from last year -- we didn't have to do any shuffling around to accommodate the new players -- so here's how things will look this season:
I ask everyone to poke around and see if you come across any glitches or bad links anywhere on the site. And you'd like any customized colors, graphics, or whatnot on your player page, or if you'd like a name change, then by all means let me know.
Next up is the copy-and-paste-from-last-year portion. As a service to the newcomers (and a refresher to the vets), here's a quick primer on the buttons you'll find at the bottom of this page:
Match-Ups & Results - Shows you who is going to be playing against whom, in both real NFL games and our 1-On-1 Matches. All 17 weeks are covered, so you can see past, present and future match-ups.
Submit Picks - Where you go to get your picks in. Picks for Thursday games are due in by noon that Thursday, and Sunday games are due in by noon that Saturday.
Weekly Standings - Shows how each player is doing. Contains a breakdown of all players by division and conference, plus their records. Also shows Power Rankings and a history of the season's Players of the Week.
Rules & Info (FAQ) - Pretty much every little thing you could possibly want to know about the NFL 1-On-1 Pool.
1-On-1 Pool History - Want to relive the previous seasons? Here's where you can do it.
1-On-1 Pool Facebook page - If you're on facebook, you can use this to talk crap to other players, as well as keep abreast of pool developments. It's a closed group, but simply use the link to request membership and it'll be approved quickly.
The other important link is for the Subscription Page. If you still need to pay your entry fee, this is place where you can do it (sooner would be better than later, please).
Previously, when you won your division you received a $25 bonus. All well and good, but when it came down to it, there was no real difference between being the the #1 seed and the #2 seed. In the real world, the #1 seed has home-field advantage throughout the playoffs -- but there's nothing here that reflects that kind of advantage. So, we've restructed the payouts to double the bonus money for the top seed in each conference. You can check this portion of the FAQ for a full breakdown of the prize money.
All right, time to take a look at what we have in store this week!
We begin with our sole AFC divisional contest, this one taking place in the West where last season's middle pairing, Lyle Alzado and Mary L, will look to make a stronger case for the division title this year. Not that coming in second stopped Mary L from making a lot of postseason noise, mind you. She took #6 seed Wild Card spot all the way to the AFC Championship match. She correctly picked nine out of ten playoff games last year, so she's really on quite a roll. But there's one thing couldn't do last season, and that was defeat Lyle Alzado. In their two head-to-head meetings, Mary L was soundly defeated -- and that's a record that Lyle Alzado is going to do her best to keep going.
In the NFC South we have Ragesters coming off of what was far and away the best regular-season performance in the pool's history. To put things into perspective, five players ended last year at 11-5, an impressive record that will pretty much always get you a playoff spot. Ragesters was three wins better than all of them -- and two of those wins came via his opponent this week, Beep Bops. Entering his third season in the league, Beep Bops will be looking to get his first non-7-9 finish. He'll have his work cut out for him here, and he suffered some pretty bad losses (and still no wins) in his four matches against Ragesters the past two years. Still -- new season, and everyone is on equal footing for this week at least!
Over in the NFC East we have one of our longest-running rivalries -- currently it's Hyena who holds the slight advantage over Bad Mice with an overall 9-8-1 record. Will Bad Mice be able to bring this series back to .500 here? Either way, both these players are in serious need of a reveral of fortune here. They've been the #3 and #4 players in the division for three-straight seasons now -- will this be the season we see a turnaround from one (or both) of them and they make a run towards regaining the division crown?
Finally, we have our first rookie divisional match in the NFC West where Eighteen will make his debut via trial by fire. He'll be taking on last year's divisional champ Evil Squad of Evil, who will be looking to put up the same sort of quick start he dd last year which made all the difference in the playoff race.
Ok, that'll do it for this preview. Make sure you have your Thursday Night Football pick submitted by noon on Thursday. For the rookies, and as a refresher to everyone else, if you don't have your pick in on time, then you default to the away team (Carolina over Denver, is this case) and you become ineligible to win that week's Player of the Week bonus.
Good luck, and woohoo!! for the return of football!
We have one specialty match on tap -- a Monday Night Madness Match of the Week. Both Vlad M and the defending-champion Fighting Sporks find themselves in perfect agreement regarding the winners of all 16 games, so their match is already coming down to the Rams-49ers total score. If it happenes to be 44, then the match will end in a tie -- Vlad M is looking for the over, while Fighting Sporks needs the under to secure a win.
That's it for this season's opening preview. Check back during the day tomorrow to see who hammers home the first wins of the season -- good luck all!
Also worth a mention is Lyle Alzado, who is a perfect 10-for-10 so far. Nicely done!
Check the updated pick chart to see how all this is coming together.
Lyle Alzado is still rolling, 14-of-14 now, with just the MNF double-header left. Someone alert the Steelers and 49ers -- things look good for those guys.
Well, there's no question who gets the Week 1 Player of the Week award -- Lyle Alzado has set the pool record for "Most Accurate Picks Ever" by going a perfect 16-of-16 on the week! It's a shame the Rams didn't kick a garbage-time field goal, which would have pushed the point total to her exact score pick as well. Still, exceptionally well done!