June 20, 2016

The 12th Annual chicobangs Memorial SpoFi CFL Pick 'Em: It's that time of year again, when Earth tilts its northern hemisphere towards the sun, allowing the majestic country of Canada just a tiny bit of sunlight and - dare we say it? - warmth. Emerging from our igloos, we locals are delighted to find that the tundra has thawed just enough to stick a goalpost in 'er. Find the nearest two-four, brush off Frank's beaverskin, and voila! Canadian football!

posted by DrJohnEvans to fantasy at 08:59 PM - 21 comments

THE PICK 'EM - What we do

Maybe you're a Canadian hockey fan. Or maybe you're a Pacers fan. Or maybe you live somewhere like Drufus, Newfoundland, and your rabbit ears pick up only Icelandic public-access television. Whatever the reason, you haven't seen a meaningful sports game in ages, which means that the CFL's 2016 season is ripe for your picking. Literally. We pick games. We pick each and every single professional Canadian football game that will be played, in Canada, on 110-yard-long fields, with 25-yard end zones*, from now until the end of time. So why not join us?

* Some restrictions apply. THANKS TFC.

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 CFL has a long-term deal with some random network called ESPN. 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.

Hamilton Tiger-Cats (Preview) @ Toronto Argonauts (Preview) - Thursday, June 23, 7:30pm

Montreal Alouettes (Preview) @ Winnipeg Blue Bombers (Preview) - Friday, June 24, 8:30pm

Ottawa Redblacks (Preview) @ Edmonton Eskimos (Preview) - Saturday, June 25, 7:00pm

Calgary Stampeders (Preview) @ B.C. Lions (Preview) - Saturday, June 25, 10:00pm

Good luck!

posted by DrJohnEvans at 08:59 PM on June 20, 2016

Hamilton by 9

Winnipeg by 4

Edmonton by 7

Calgary by 14

posted by cixelsyd at 10:13 PM on June 20, 2016

It's nice to say that I'm the returning champ. So, I'll probably finish last this year/lol. (Too bad we can't have a CFL football or something similar for a prize-like keeping track of our picks and running this isn't enough work already.)

So here it goes... The Jaguars by 17, wait, what? wrong league.

The Ti-Cats by 11 Blue Bombers by 10 Eskimos by 17 Stampeders by 6

Good luck everyone. And oh yeah, take off, eh, you hosers!!

posted by jagsnumberone at 01:04 AM on June 21, 2016

I do not know yet how I did with the NBA pick'ems even though the Cavilers were victorious, I do not know how I fared in the NHL pick'ems when I picked the Sharks but wanted the Penguins to win. But I will choose my CFL picks well and if righteousness prevails I will see the Roughriders ascend to the pinnacle of glory along with my own triumphant victory in the CFL pick'em challenge. Now that I have thrown down the gauntlet I will make my picks.

Hamilton by 4

Montreal by 10

Ottawa by 23

Calgary by 14

Good luck all because you are going to need it.

posted by ic23b at 01:17 AM on June 21, 2016

Yes! There is a prize this year, courtesy of rcade and Sportsfilter!


Wilson has been the official game ball of the CFL since 1995. Hand crafted in Ada, Ohio the CFL game ball has an exclusive Wilson CFL pattern for top performance and double laces for added texture and control. Every CFL game ball is personally inspected by DrJohnEvans and must pass the same specifications as those used on the field.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 11:02 AM on June 21, 2016

Toronto by 8

Winnipeg by 4

Edmonton by 7

Calgary by 9

As last year was my first year taking an interest in the CFL, I am still fairly new to the ins and outs of the league. But I can only assume that Saskatchewan was relegated based on last year's performance?

posted by tahoemoj at 12:23 PM on June 21, 2016

Last year was my first too. I adopted the Redblacks because they had the emptiest bandwagon and they nearly won it all. The CFL is becoming the start to the football season for me.

posted by rcade at 01:49 PM on June 21, 2016

CFL Equipment faq

posted by cixelsyd at 02:39 PM on June 21, 2016

Drufus, Newfoundland

Is that anywhere near Dildo, Come By Chance, or Conception Bay?

Toronto by 9

Montreal by 2

Ottawa by 3

B.C. by 5

posted by tommybiden at 04:01 PM on June 21, 2016

Hand crafted in Ada, Ohio ...

Canadian footballs ... ARE AMERICAN?

posted by rcade at 04:47 PM on June 21, 2016

Hamilton Tiger-Cats by 4
Montreal Alouettes by 2
Ottawa Redblacks by 11
Calgary Stampeders by 7

posted by bender at 05:25 PM on June 21, 2016

Canadian footballs ... ARE AMERICAN?

Pigs up here have very thick hair, and therefore large pores, to cope with the cold in winter eh. Use of their skin would produce an end product with significant and unacceptable fluctuations in air pressure.

posted by cixelsyd at 07:04 PM on June 21, 2016

Toronto Argonauts by 4

Montreal Alouettes by 7

Edmonton Eskimos by 1

Calgary Stampeders by 11

posted by MrFrisby at 09:26 PM on June 22, 2016

Toronto by 6

Winnipeg by 4

Edmonton by 10

Calgary by 12

posted by Reever at 10:51 PM on June 22, 2016

Hamilton by 6

Winnipeg by 4

Calgary by 4

Edmonton by 3.

posted by JPR at 10:52 PM on June 22, 2016

With all of the things going on in sports - Copa America, the Euros, NBA, NHL, MLS, and MLB - the CFL season sort of snuck up on all of us on the south side of the border. I am really happy that the Chico Bangs has served to remind me that it is time once again to test my profound lack of knowledge about all things football - Canadian style that is. I will spend the tail end of July and most of August touring Nova Scotia with my wife, learning about my dad's birthplace of Westport, meeting some cousins that might still be around the area, and making sure there were no ancestors that were hanged as horse thieves. Added benefit will be the ability to watch a few of the games on TSN whenever we are not sampling the wines of the Annapolis Valley or some of the microbrews that are available. Bring it on, guys, game on!

Hamilton at Toronto: Tiger Cats' secondary is dealing with some injuries, but Ricky Ray might still be chipping off some rust after his injury last year. Rust will not be an issue. Toronto by 10.

Montreal at Winnipeg: Alouettes bring what they believe to be a stout defense to oppose the Blue Bombers. The Bombers' Andrew Harris might not play due to injury. This brings to mind the RAF's WW2 leader Bomber Harris who believed that Germany cold be bombed into submission. It still took a lot of infantry, armor, and artillery to do the job. Bombers won't fly. Montreal by 16.

Ottawa at Edmonton: I spent most of last season underrating Ottawa, and it cost me in the standings. Now they travel to the Grey Cup winners who have had to replace their coaching staff. Last I looked, a coach has yet to take a snap during a game. It's all up to the players. Edmonton by 17.

Calgary at BC: Stampeders had a fine season last year, while BC sort of "got along". Stampeders might have lost some of their offensive prowess while BC has tried to make improvements. Both of these teams could challenge for the top. This one is an early season coin flip. BC by 5.

posted by Howard_T at 12:44 AM on June 23, 2016

Welcome back everyone! Lets get it on for the new CFL braggin' rights.


winni by 4

edy by 5

cal by 4

posted by argoal at 10:51 AM on June 23, 2016

Lets get it on for the new CFL braggin' rights.

And a game ball! See above.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 02:01 PM on June 23, 2016

Toronto by 4
Winnipeg by 18
Edmonton by 10
Calgary by 9

posted by DrJohnEvans at 02:02 PM on June 23, 2016

Toronto by 8

Winnipeg by 10

Ottawa by 8

Calgary by 15

posted by rcade at 07:21 PM on June 23, 2016

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