Since Devyn's lead is looking insurmountable with two games left we'll check the scores at the end of this one. If it doesn't look like the second place challenger can catch up if Devyn picks down the middle in the final game, we'll give everybody a day off on Wednesday. (Be sure to enter here though, as 22's and 100's are still possible, winning a bonus prize or instant jersey respectively.)
Part of the reason for calling it a game early (if we do) is to give you a chance to prepare for February. Before we get to the prediction form, let me clue you in on two new features for the February Contest
The format for the February contest will remain essentially the same. It's basic but everybody gets it and despite the eventual blowout ending I've enjoyed the back and forth in the middle parts of this month. However one of the things that struck me is that it's a little unfair if somebody has to miss a game for legitimate reasons. Participating (and reading) often should give you a better chance, but people who can't follow every game should have some shot. This is doubly true since there are only 11 games on the February schedule and thus less time to make up for missing one. To help cure this I'm introducing the DOUBLE DOWN. Here's how it works:
--There will be no double offers by me during February.
--ONCE during the month you may Double Down on your prediction, meaning your score for that game will be doubled. You do this by putting "DOUBLE DOWN" in your prediction.
--You can still only have 11 total games' worth of point potential for the month and the Double Down counts as 2. That means if you use your Double Down you must also skip one game. The game you skip is entirely up to you but if you haven't skipped it by the last game of the month that game will automatically get skipped.
--I will mark a "D" by your name on the scoreboard if you have used your Double Down. I will mark an "X" if you have skipped a game. That way we all can keep track of who's used them.
--Of course you are free to not double any games and just play all 11 normally. But this way if you have to miss a game there's a way to make it up.
I hope this adds some fairness without undue complexity.
Now...here's the other feature. And let me warn you that right about now we need to cue the "Imperial March" music from Star Wars and you should be hearing heavy breathing coming from behind you.
In February we are going to have an enemy among us. It's Dan from our sister site BrightSideoftheSun. He asked me what he had to do to win a jersey. In a fit of bravado I asked him if he thought he could take all of Blazer Nation. He said he'd give it a try. So he'll be predicting all the games right alongside you. If he wins the contest he will get a Phoenix jersey...which will make me incredibly sick to look at, let alone to pay for, so you guys better back me up and REPRESENT. (Dan is the only one who can win a non-Blazer jersey, so we won't be having other fans flooding the site and taking over the contest or anything.) If Dan doesn't win, he's agreed to write one sentence describing what's good about the Blazers for EACH PERSON that ranks above him. I guess we never specified which site that would go on, but since I'm risking hard-earned dollars and the pride of Blazer Nation, I'd say it'd have to go on both our sites.
But before we get to all of that, we do have at least one more game in the January Contest to predict. So everybody warm up for next month right here. Just copy the form below into the comments section, fill out the missing numbers, and you're in. Remember a score of 22 or 100 gets you prizes. (Dan, by the way, will not be eligible for either of those bonuses next month.)
Update: To avoid confusion in the comments I've moved the prediction thread one post above...