So I’ve had the chance to play basketball with Michael Jordan in my life. Now I’m getting the chance to play flag football with Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders. If I play baseball with Albert Pujols my life is complete!
Some may say I’m lucky. Some may say I know my football. Some may think I’m just persistent. I like to think it’s a little of all three. Let me tell you my story about participating and winning the 2010 Buffalo Wild Wings NFL Pickem contest. First off, I’m about as big of a BWW fan that you will find. Any excuse to go there and get my #5 mango habenero and I’m going to capitalize. So when I got the email from BWW that they were holding an NFL Pickem contest each and every week of the NFL contest – I was all about it. This meant I had to visit Buffalo Wild Wings once a week (prior to the first NFL game) and use the little blue machine to make my picks. Easy. I work in East Peoria and literally 2 minutes from the EP BWW.
The second issue was convincing the wife that I should go to BWW for lunch once a week. I mean, a lunch combo, drink and tip is gonna run ya $10. That’s $170 when it’s all said and done. Then came in the fact that each week, the winner of every facility, won a $25 gift card to BWW. Now I was certainly in. I knew I could win a few weeks and basically eat for “free” at Buffalo Wild Wings in a round about way.
So I started going each and every week. Getting 9-10-11 of 17 games each week for the most part. These were not picks against the spread, just straight up winners of the games. Unfortunately, I kept coming up a bit short. Anywhere from 5-10 players competed each week at the EP facility. I kept getting second. The really frustrating thing was over at the North Peoria facility – only 2 or 3 players were competing and every week I would have beaten them. But I chose convenience and stayed with the East Peoria facility. Finally, week 5 or so I broke through and went on a crazy streak winning 7 or 8 total week. In the end I think I got back $200 in BWW gift cards! So goal accomplished and ate for free all season.
The other bigger part of this contest was each weekly winner of the entire nation would win a trip to play in a flag football game with Jerry Rice, Deion Sanders and Mike and Mike. Winning a week across the nation usually meant you would have to go perfect or close to it. I never did this. But about week 12 I started to notice that I was in the top 10 or so in the entire nation for the whole season. I did some looking and didn’t see ANY mention of a prize for the overall national winner – so I didn’t think much of it. Just kept plugging along.
Week 17 came along and I was ranked 4th in the nation and 1 game behind the leader. Again, I didn’t really stress about it because I really didn’t think there was a prize. If you know the NFL – you know week 17 is by far the hardest week to pick the winners. Some teams bench players and rest up so it’s very unpredictable. I made my picks with very little thought. Luckily enough, I got 14 games right that last week. Won the local facility but then logged in to see…
#1 RANK in the NATION
I had jumped the others and won straight up. 174-82 was my total record for the year. Next best had 173. There were a total of 35,490 in the National Contest. See the pictures below.
So great. Woopeee. I won the nation. I started scouring the website and saw no mention of the overall winner winning anything. So I chalked it up to a “this is cool” thing and moved on.
Come a week later I get an email from Jennifer with Premier Global Sports that read…
You are the Overall Grand Prize Winner in the Buffalo Wild Wings Pick Em’ Challenge. As a Grand Prize Winner you have won a trip for you and a guest to Los Angeles, CA from February 11 to February 13, 2011 to include the following:
– Round-trip coach air transportation for two (2) from a major airport nearest the winner’s home to Los Angeles International Airport
– Roundtrip airport transfers in Los Angeles
– Two (2) nights hotel accommodations (one room, double occupancy) at Sponsor-specified hotel
– Grand Prize Winner to play in a private fantasy flag football game on February 12, 2011 at the Rose Bowl with Deion Sanders, Jerry Rice, Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg
– Two (2) Sponsor-specified gift bags.
- My dad is going along with me. Should be an awesome experience for us!!!
- First time I’ve ever been to the Rose Bowl Stadium.
- There is an autograph session so I’m scrambling to get a Deion Sanders jersey and a Jerry Rice jersey to get signed. What do I have Mike & Mike sign?
- Do I have to get in “shape” for this game? Probably not. I think it’s more of a clinic. Not sure.
- We are staying at the Hilton at Universal City in Los Angeles. Looks awesome!
- In the fine print it says the sponsored “gift bag” is valued at $3400. What the heck? Lifetime Buffalo Wild Wings lunches? HA!
So somehow all the local news, radio and papers have got ahold of this thing and ran stories on it. If any of you know me – I’m not much for being in the public spotlight 🙂 So all of this stuff is kinda overkill in my opinion. But it’s a local story so they are running with it. Here are some of the links:
Newspaper: PJ Star Article
News Station: Article and Video
Below is the embedded video that Jim Mattson of WHOI did on the story.
So that’s my exciting story for the year. Coincidentally, this year I’ve been focusing a lot more on my sports betting blog and sending out daily free picks to people. Maybe all of the research and hard work has paid off? Sign up if you care to follow my picks. Or maybe I just got downright lucky! Regardless of how it happened – it did happen. I’ll be sure to have a follow up post with pictures and a summary from the trip after it happens.