June 22, 2015

The 11th Annual chicobangs Memorial SpoFi CFL Pick 'Em: It's late June, which means the temperature has just nudged above freezing in Edmonton, which means that the snowbank covering Frank's Sporting Supply And Live Bait Shop has melted JUST enough to dig out the front door, which means that FINALLY Jake Ireland can walk in, pick up a fresh crate of regulation footballs, charge them on his Tim Horton's double-double card, allowing us to FINALLY end this run-on sentence and get the CFL season underway. Take a breath and make your picks inside.

posted by DrJohnEvans to fantasy at 09:40 PM - 20 comments

THE PICK 'EM - What we do

Kings and queens, prime ministers, Arctic ice; all these things come and go with the ages. But Canadian football is forever. Well, except in Ottawa, where it's a bit intermittent. And in the States... well, let's not dwell too much on that. In any case, we honour this eternal tradition in two ways: one, making sure we put back the "u" in "honour" when autocorrect takes it away, and two, picking the outcome of every game on the CFL schedule.

THE SEASON - When we do it

The season kicks off this Thursday night and runs for 20 weeks through the summer. There are generally four games per week, mostly running from Thursday to Sunday.

If you're in Canada, you'll find the games on TSN. If you're in the States, the occasional game is available on the NFL Network, and in the past all games appeared on ESPN3, but they don't seem to have released a confirmed broadcast sked yet. And if you're somewhere else, you'll have to resort to SiriusXM on the satellite radio dial (which is a two-way switch with one of the options crossed out).

THE RULES - How we do it

Here's how she works. You pick who you think will win, and by how much. You then get points based on the result:

  • Picked the winner? You get 1 point.
  • Picked the winner, and a spread within the Margin of Error? You get 2 points.
  • Picked the winner, and you nailed the spread right on? You get 3 points.
  • Didn't pick the winner, but nailed the spread right on? You get 1 point.

What's the Margin of Error?

It's a window around the spread that's defined as

spread - round(0.3 * spread) <= Margin of Error <= spread + round(0.3 * spread)

So you can get rewarded for being close to the spread even if you're not spot-on. The bigger the spread, the bigger the margin of error, so you don't have to be as accurate when predicting a blowout as you would when predicting a close game. Here are some examples:

Actual Spread Margin Starts at Margin Ends at

So if you picked Toronto by 15, here's how you'd fare given certain outcomes:

OutcomeYour score
Toronto by 202 points (winner + spread within MoE)
Toronto by 101 point (winner only)
Toronto by 153 points (winner + nailed spread)
Hamilton by 151 point (nailed spread only)
Hamilton by 430 points (and deservedly so)

Any questions?

THE GAMES, WEEK ONE - Where we start

In lieu of attempting to sum up each team's status in a single sentence, for this opening week I'm just linking to season preview pages for each of 'em.

All times are EDT.

Ottawa Redblacks (Preview) @ Montreal Alouettes (Preview) - Thursday, June 25, 7:30pm

Hamilton Tiger-Cats (Preview) @ Calgary Stampeders (Preview) - Friday, June 26, 9:00pm

Edmonton Eskimos (Preview) "@" Toronto Argonauts (Preview) - Saturday, June 27, 5:00pm - NOTE: GAME NOT ACTUALLY IN TORONTO BUT IN NORTHERN ALBERTA I KNOW WTF

Winnipeg Blue Bombers (Preview) @ Saskatchewan Roughriders (Preview) - Saturday, June 27, 8:00pm

Good luck!

posted by DrJohnEvans at 09:41 PM on June 22, 2015

And away we go !!!

Montreal by 14

Calgary by 3

Edmonton by 6

Saskatchewan by 5

posted by ic23b at 11:37 PM on June 22, 2015

Alouettes by12.

Calgary by 8.

Edmonton by 18.

Saskatchewan by 11.

posted by owlhouse at 01:30 AM on June 23, 2015

Montreal by 12
Calgary by 16
Toronto by 18
Winnipeg by 6

posted by bender at 08:46 AM on June 23, 2015

Montreal by 17

Hamilton by 4

Edmonton by 11

Saskatchewan by 12

posted by jjzucal at 10:07 AM on June 23, 2015

Montreal by 15

Calgary by 6

Edmonton by 12

Saskatchewan by 4

posted by goddam at 10:43 AM on June 23, 2015

Montreal by 18

Calgary by 5

Edmonton by 9

Saskatchewan by 16

posted by tommybiden at 11:11 AM on June 23, 2015

Montreal by 10

Calgary by 10

Edmonton by 7

Winnipeg by 3

posted by cixelsyd at 11:24 AM on June 23, 2015

Montreal by 14
Calgary by 21
Edmonton by 12
Saskatchewan by 3

posted by DrJohnEvans at 01:56 PM on June 23, 2015

Montreal by 3

Calgary by 15

Edmonton by 10

Winnipeg by 5

posted by rumple at 03:07 PM on June 23, 2015

In the words of Donald Rumsfeld, "...as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know."* One thing I know I do not know is a lot about the CFL. I know this because I often have embarrassed myself in the past few years of the Dr. John Classic. I will not let these unknown things that I know prevent me from trying once again to prove my ignorance. To paraphrase an old saying, "It is better to be thought a fool than to take to the keyboard and remove all doubt." Here goes:

Ottawa at Montreal: The colour-confused team from the Capitol City should be better than last years 2-win club. This will not be one of the games they win. Montreal found a QB last year, have improved in other areas, and look to challenge for the top of the East. Allouettes by 9.

Hamilton at Calgary: Is it deja vu all over again? Didn't we see this matchup in last year's Grey Cup? There's nothing to be feared more than a hungry Tiger Cat, and the Cats have just missed feasting on the Cup. Trouble is that Stampeders look to be as loaded as they were last season. I will go with the home team in this, but it will be close. Calgary by 4.

Edmonton at Toronto: Fort McMurray is between Edmonton and Wood Buffalo National Park. This has absolutely nothing to do with my prediction other than to recall the phrase "don't take any wooden nickels". I guess wood buffaloes are the Canadian equivalent of wooden nickels. Back to the game. Argonauts are without someone to handle the rudder with Ricky Ray recovering from shoulder surgery. The defence (please note the use of 'c' in place of 's') was also suspect last year, and might not have been improved. Edmonton last year was my "contrarian" team. If I picked them to win, they lost, and the converse was true. Eskimos promise to be better by a bit than last year, and with the injuries to Toronto they should prevail. Edmonton by 12.

Winnipeg at Saskatchewan: Bombers were Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde last season. To help the situation they have tried to improve the offensive line as well as give Drew Willy some security and continuity. Roughriders too had their problems late in the season, but these were the result of injury to a key player. This has been addressed by the signing of a proven backup QB. This early in the season picking a winner between these two is more a guess than any sort of prediction. The coin flip came down for the Bombers. Winnipeg by 5.

*Then Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld in a press conference on Feb 12, 2002.

posted by Howard_T at 10:14 PM on June 23, 2015

Montreal by 15

Calgary by 8

Toronto by 4

Saskatchewan by 10

posted by Reever at 11:31 PM on June 23, 2015

I'll give this a go this year. Tom Clements is still the QB for the Hamilton TigerCats, right? How 'bout that Warren Moon fella for Edmonton, or Flutie in Montreal? Oh well, here goes nothing.

Montreal by 22

Hamilton by 1

Toronto by 6

Winnipeg by 17

posted by jagsnumberone at 02:38 AM on June 24, 2015

Another futile attempt begins. Maybe one of these days I'll familiarize myself with CFL scoring and actually have a justification for my margin choices.

Montreal by 17
Hamilton by 6
Toronto by 10
Saskatchewan by 20.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 12:28 PM on June 24, 2015

monti by 5

cal by 4

edi by 4

sask by 6

Com'on Argos!

posted by argoal at 12:56 PM on June 24, 2015

Got this from DirectTV guide: ESPN2 will show games June 29-30, July 2-3, 9-10 and 30-31. Guess I'm too lazy to go to the CFL website.

jagsnumberone, you bring back memories from the early ESPN days. It's when I became an Argos' fan; even though I'm in New Jersey, I used to listen to games on CFRB (AM) or CFRX (shortwave). Now I get only Ti-Cat games on CHML-AM.

posted by jjzucal at 01:17 PM on June 25, 2015

Montreal by 10

Calgary by 13

Edmonton by 4

Winnipeg by 8

Tonight's game will be on Watch ESPN.

posted by rcade at 06:42 PM on June 25, 2015

OK, so I'm about 20 minutes late. I promise, ultimately it will make zero difference in the season's outcome.

Montreal by 13

Calgary by 3

Toronto by 4

Saskatchewan by 11

posted by tahoemoj at 07:44 PM on June 25, 2015

Montreal by 7 Calgary by 3 Edmonton by 6 Saskatchewan by 4

posted by JPR at 10:57 AM on June 26, 2015

This is the first year I'm making picks based on actual information. I've also picked a team to root for, the Redblacks, because I like it when there's nowhere to go but up.

So far I'm 0 for 2. Information is overrated.

posted by rcade at 01:21 PM on June 27, 2015

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