About a year ago, I received a message on Facebook from Alex asking me if I would be interested in becoming a writer, or contributor in some facet, for a sports website that he and Bruno had in the works. I eagerly jumped at the opportunity and looked forward to contributing in whatever ways I could. A couple months went by and Alex kept me in the loop as to how the progress on the development of the website was going, and when approximately we would be ready to launch. I anxiously brainstormed some ideas that I thought would be great articles and potential big debates that could catch any sports fan’s eyes and along with the help of everyone else, I’d say we came up with a pretty damn good first year.
Without knowing hardly anyone involved with this project personally, there did come a little bit of trepidation on my part as well though wondering a bit, “What if they all think I don’t know shit?” And then of course a bigger nightmare as I get turned into Milton from the movie Office Space and I continue to write articles that never get published and eventually I’m put in charge of rubbing the shoulders of each SBS staff writer as they sit in their cubicles feverishly trying to meet their deadlines. But then I stopped, I took a breath, and said to myself “Relax. SBS doesn’t even have cubicles.” Whew.
This past August we decided to come up with an NFL Staff Picks section where we could flex our muscles a bit and show our readers who knows their stuff (or who has the most luck) by picking who we thought would win each game every week. This was it, this was my chance. As an undersized, thin, awkwardly athletic kid, growing up I didn’t have too many trophies that didn’t say the word “Participant” on them, so I decided to take my talents to picking winners instead of being one. It sounds sad, but it’s not all bad.
I got off to a hot start but spent the first few weeks looking up to Antoine as he carried the pace for the site. I remained in striking distance however, and by Week 5 I surpassed him. Fortunate to have a few members of the staff get off to some rocky starts, it was shaping up to be a two-man race around the midway point of the season. The amount of 80’s movie themed montages that came to my mind during this season was incredible, and quite unnecessary, as we battled down the stretch.
Heading into the final few weeks of the season, I just needed to avoid any sort of meltdown week and I would be ok. It was grind time. I couldn’t sleep, I didn’t shower, I drank a ton of soda pop. I was all over the place. Wound up, tense, anxious. This is how those people that work out at 3:00 in the morning must feel I told myself, this is that “runner’s high” or jolt people get. I of course didn’t take this madness to those lengths, I was not about to hit the gym over this, that’d be just silly. I eventually just took a shower.
At the end of Week 17, after the final whistle had blown on the 2015 NFL Regular Season, we had our first champion. The inaugural SBS Staff Picks season had ended and the title was won by–me. The sub-six-foot kid from Clinton Township, Michigan stood alone atop the leaderboard. Overtaken with emotion, it’s taken me until now to put my feelings to print, and looking back over the past three months of this season, I can’t help but dedicate this title to my hometown. We may just be a Charter Township of under 100,000 people, but we are Michigan’s most populous township and don’t you forget it! It’s like Vince Lombardi always said, “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.” It’s been one heck of a ride, and I enjoyed looking back at how I became a champion of the first SBS Staff Picks competition. Shout out to our sister city in Yasu, Shiga in Japan!*
Final Regular Season Standings
1. Ryan (168-88)
2. Antoine (163-93)
3. Bruno (160-96)
3. Joe (160-96)
5. Sandy (153-103)
6. Alex (152-104)
7. Roger (151-105)
8. Patrick (150-106)
8. Michael (150-106)
10. Bryce (146-110)
11. Nick (144-112)
12. Mike (143-113)
13. Treasure (142-114)
* All “facts” in regards to Clinton Township, Michigan are according to Wikipedia and therefore you can take it with a grain of salt.
Be sure to check out the ScoreBoredSports NFL Playoff Staff Picks: Divisional Round page to see who myself and the SBS team picked to win the AFC and NFC Wild Card games this weekend.