Game on

So you think you know the big daddies of pro football? Think you can turn that knowledge into a nice windfall for a charity of your choice?

If the answers are yes, or even if you just like to goof around, our charity underdog pool, which starts next week, could be just the thing for you.

Veteran readers of this blog know the drill, but here's the gist of it:

Each week, you will pick an underdog team on the upcoming weekend’s NFL schedule that you think is going to win its game outright – that is, straight up, without the benefit of any point spread. If you pick correctly, you win the number of points that your underdog team was favored to lose by. The player with the most points at the end of the season is the winner of the pool, and gets to designate the lion’s share of the entry fee pot to a charity of his or her choosing. The second place finisher will also get to designate a small portion of the pool to his or her charity. If more than 20 players play, the third place finisher will also get to designate a small portion of the pool to his or her charity. Each charity must be a Section 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to food, shelter, medicine, education in a school, or animal welfare.

The final standings from the last time we did this are here. The winner had 70 points on the season. Can you top that over 21 weeks? 

The complete official rules for this year are here. They're not materially different from last year's, except that the universe of eligible charities has been expanded to include organizations that foster athletic competition. If you're intrigued, please read them and make sure you understand them. If you do and you want to play, send me a note to that effect to I'll get right back to you with instructions on where your entry fee should go. If you've already sent an email expressing interest for this year, check your email inbox for the instructions; if they're not there, please give a holler.

If it goes the way it has in the past, this should be fun, and some noble causes will benefit. 'Dogs rule!


  1. There was an old William Safire “On Language” NYT column where he pointed out that “The Lion’s Share” is one of those misunderstood terms, because it means 100%

    1. Safire was a cranky old grouch, but I will revise that language going forward.

    2. Come on, you know the jackals, wild dogs, hyenas and vultures feasted while the lion slept it off.


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