Imagine that you are the president of the United States and the country is bracing itself for the outbreak of an unusual epidemic expected to kill 600 people. Your top advisors have prepared two alternative programs to combat the disease, and have estimated, to the best of their ability, the likely consequences of adopting each program.
*If Program A is adopted, 200 people will be saved.
*If Program B is adopted, there is a one-third probability that all 600 will be saved, and a two-thirds probability that none will be saved.
Choose between these two, and then consider the next two programs the advisors prepared:
*If Program C is adopted, 400 people will die.
*If Program D is adopted, there is a one-third probability that nobody will die, and a two-thirds probability that 600 people will die.
Again, which do you choose?
When presented with the two scenarios, I picked A and D. A because you have to take the certain lives saved, and D because you have to take the chance on saving everyone since 400 deaths are far too many.
As it turns out, I'm an idiot, because the two questions are exactly the same. They're just framed with different words. A and C produce the exact same outcome, and ditto for B and D. Essentially, I chose two opposite answers to the same question because of the difference between the words "saved" and "die." Thank God I'm not the president.
Roughly 72% of people make the same mistake I did. This reduces my confidence in both myself and the human race. On the other hand, I posed this same scenario to my girlfriend, and it turns out she's both a) smart and b) heartless. She chose B in the first scenario, meaning she'd rather gamble 600 lives for a 33% chance of saving everyone. Human lives are nothing but abstractions to her. She thinks babies should have full time jobs. Then, when I finished explaining options C and D, she responded with mild annoyance. "You just told me the same thing."
Okay, we're almost to Pick Six, but first let's check out the Hot Potato standings and choose our HP for the Wake Forest game. I'll probably write a little preview post in the AM, so you can make your guess now or later.
Jill, sYU, Mr. Intrigue, and Jonny all nailed it. Carrie had 10, so she maintains her lead, but folks are looming.
The Hot Potato for the Wake Forest game is:
Also, for a one point bonus, tell me your favorite joke or riddle in the comments. If it's a riddle, don't tell the answer until later.
Let's get to it. It's Championship Week in the NFL (I pick Packers and Jets for an all-green Super Bowl), and our six contestants are all fired up. Without further ado, the latest installment of:
VOLUME THREE, WEEK THREE
The Friday Pick Six is an original SCSD! game where six people make six predictions for six weeks. Along with their picks, they're allowed and encouraged to submit a 'sound-off' on any topic, sports or otherwise. When it's all done, the winner earns great honor among the people, while the two losers are exiled in shame and the three middle finishers go to purgatory, with the chance rescue their good name up to three times. To learn more about the rules, and about the current contestants, read below:
-Volume Two champion and intros to the new class
THE HALL OF ANGELS: OLD CHAMPIONS
Let's check out the updated standings after Week Two:
1. Monty: 11
2. Marc: 9
2. Dylan & Patrick: 9
4. Swetha & Sabreena: 7
5. Nick E.: 5
6. Spike: 3
Monty came roaring all the way from third place with some great picks, including a near-perfect guess on Singler's free throws. That earned him 5 points and the lead. Marc and the father/son team of Dylan & Patrick stayed close with 5 points of their own, while Swetha & Sabreena are crouched like tigers in the tall grass. Nick moved up from last, which is about all that can be said, while Spike is entering desperation territory in his last chance to win Pick Six. He had a miserable week, netting only 1 point, and his future looks bleak. But they don't call him 'Spike' because he quits on the job.*
*Nobody knows why they call him Spike.
Jim took the week off from docket duty to convalesce after a nasty horse-riding accident in Bulgaria, so this one is all mine:
1. Second to last chance to pick football. Packers or Bears?
2. Jets or Steelers?
3. Two college hoops games: Nova-Cuse, Texas-Kansas. Pick which road underdog (Texas or Nova) gets closer to the upset (or wins by more, should that happen).
4. How many threes will Duke hit against Wake?
5. Knicks at Spurs, Friday night! Will Stoudemire get 30?
6. Spike and I will play a scrabble game sometime this weekend. Who will win, and what will be the final margin? For bonus points, who will play the Q?
We begin with our new leader, the man named after Colin Montgomerie:
1. Against my own better judgement, I'm going to pick the Packers. The Bears are good, and they're getting closer, but I sort of like the Packers better. Plus - I'm starting to get that sick feeling that Benny and the Steelers are going to win the whole thing again, and it'll piss me off more if they beat the Packers in the Super Bowl than
if they beat the Bears, and I'm starting to get the feeling that this year is going to be one of those years when things that piss me off are going to happen. Like UConn or anyone from the Big Ten winning the NCAA tournament. Bastards.
2. Oddly, given my above reasoning, I'm going to pick Rex Ryan on this one.
3. Well... Kansas is probably not going to lose at Allen Fieldhouse. Texas has lost to Pittsburgh this year, which isn't even a basketball team. On the other hand, I don't really want to be rooting for Villanova - but I guess I'm going to have to.
4. I almost forgot to answer the Duke 3-point question, because I assumed everyone knows they will make all of the three point shots that anyone takes on any team this week. But this was just a question about the Wake game, so that's irrelevant I suppose. 11.
5. Um - last time the Spurs lost in MSG it was the result of bad defense. It was also the last time they lost. There is no way Popovich lets them play bad defense again tonight, so... no, I don't think Stoudemire will drop 30.
6. Spike is going to win by 32, but Shane will play the Q.
Hello sports fans! Welcome back to the wonderful world of the Pick Six! Hopefully everyone had a fantastic MLK day. Back when I was young I only thought of it as a day off, now that I'm so mature in my old age I realize how important it is. I watched the "I Have a Dream" speech in its entirety and I felt the tears welling towards the end as all the emotion built towards a fantastic climax.
My preaching is done, serious time is over. Now it's time to talk about extremely important things: sports. Why won't the Jets die? Seriously, take your stinky feet and jump off a cliff. When Jabba the Hutt waddled down the field to celebrate the game ending touchdown I puked. I puked everywhere. On my couch, on my feet, and all over my friends. I ran past them one at a time puking directly into their faces. You know how sports players run into tunnels and high five fans on the way. That's what I did, but with puke. I puked and ran into the tunnel. Puke, puke, puke. If the Jets win again I don't know what I'm going to do. Probably morph into Godzilla and pretend my friends are Japan. They should tie me down for the game.
1. We've got permastoner Jay Cutler vs. Awesome Mutton Chops Aaron Rodgers. I'm indifferent towards the Bears. I like the Packers, and I like the Packers chances. Hopefully Starks can replicate his success against whoever they played in the first week of the playoffs and dominate the Bears. Let's go Packers!
2. You all know my feelings on the Jets. However, I don't like the Steelers either. I'm sick of them, they annoy me. Boring, plodding, and led by captain creeper Ben Roethlisberger. He may never have been convicted of anything, but it's pretty ridiculous. Let me pull Ben aside for a second. "Bro, you're an NFL QB, you ride a motorcycle (poorly), you've won superbowls and you're worth millions of dollars. Why are you in shitty nightclubs in redneck world trying to hook up with some undoubtedly gross girls? Go to Vegas, find some grosser girls, have fun, the end. Stop being a sleaze bag creep. It's awful. Don't punch me." There, I've talked some sense into that young man, may he go on to be a wonderful person. I hate the Steelers less than the Jets, therefore the Steelers will win!
3. This is a difficult one. Kenpom predicts nearly identical outcomes for the games. I must go with my gut. I think both road teams will lose, but Villanova will be closer than Texas.
4. I'm feeling very confident that Duke is just going to murder Wake. Miles Plumlee will wield a scythe and bring death upon the Demon Deacons. Our shooters have been slumping a bit lately, and i think they'll break out of it against Wake. I'm going with 10 three pointers.
5. Stoudemire will not get 30 or more. Spurs can play some defense. I don't know anything about the NBA so I asked my friends cat to answer this question. He went "mrahh beeooww boop." Thanks cat.
6. I'm going to relate Spike's Pick Six ability to every other facet in his life. Therefore Shane will crush Spike, by 35. And Spike will play the Q out of spite. Hopefully neither of you play those stupid scrabble words. Nothing enrages me more than playing scrabble with my aunt and plays words like "Xi and pfle. (I should've challenged the second one!)" It was with utter glee and triumph when, on vacation in Myrtle Beach in November, (stupid idea) I played all seven of my letters in one turn, and used the triple word score. After playing it I promptly tore off my shirt and strutted around the room like Hulk Hogan.
So there it is, another entry in my march towards victory. Now I'm off to the student health centers so they can examine my various ailments. Getting old blows, I should have ended everything at 22. That was my peak, it's all downhill from here.
So after a nice long winter break, I'm back at college. This means I don't get to talk to my dad quite as often, and is usually via email and phone. When I saw an e-mail with the subject "Grounded." I was pretty confused. Frankly, I didn't know my dad knew how to put a subject in an email, so many of them come up with no subject. I figured it would be a good idea to give him a call.
CB: Hey dad, whats up?
D: Don't give me any of that Hey Dad shit, you are so grounded. TWO WEEKS DYLAN.
CB: Hey, calm down dude, whats up? What are you talking about?
D: I'll tell you why dammit. When we were talking about week two, you said you liked the Jets
CB: Yea, you told me to get my head out of my ass if I remember correctly. Then I said I really had a strong feeling, and you said you had a great joke to make and you wouldn't take no for an answer.
D: Don't give me that, that cost us a shot at the lead. Everyone was picking the Pats, Seth would have thought we were geniuses!
CB: Dad, look lets get this straight. If were going to play in this contest together, you got to get his name right...
D: Yea, thats another thing. Why didn't you tell me the guys name is not Seth Curry. I've been calling him Seth for weeks, you could have pointed that out don't ya think?
CB: Dad I told you like 150 time...
D: It's right there on the top of his blog in big letters "I am not Seth Curry"! Now I feel like an idiot, whats his name will never let me write a guest post or read anything I've written. He thinks I'm an idiot.
CB: No dad, really (snicker...) I'm sure Shane has a very positive view of you. You do well picking, he knows that...
D: So anyway you're grounded. No going out at college for two weeks. You just stay home in your apartment and study. Do you hear me?
At this point, we got to some common ground and decided to communicate our picks better. I don't know how the S girls do it.
1) In the annals of NFL history (must resist cheap joke here) there is probably no bigger match up than Packers/Bears. Why we bet Ol’ Jim McMahon is rolling over in his grave in anticipation of this classic battle. Wait, he’s not dead? With all the crazy stuff he did, Brigham Young didn’t already strike him down with lightning? Well I’ll be...Anyway, the Pack is back baby! Cutler personally is responsible for 4 turnovers and da Bears go home...
2) We have picked against the Jets twice now and have been even more embarrassed than Coach Ryan’s wife and that big dude playing with her feet in those videos but the third time is the charm. J-E-T-S, JETS, JETS, JETS, go down quicker than a hundred dollar hook…(must resist cheap joke here again!) The Jets lose, Theeeee Jets Lose!
3) Nova will give Cuse a scare but its still too early for Syracuse to collapse like a cheap dome stadium (you hearing us, Minnesota?!) Texas comes up way short so Nova is the underdog that is closer…
4) Tri-fectas baby! Awesome Baa-bee!! We can hear Dickie V in our brains, rattling around like a UNC grad on your porch waiting for you to pay for the pizza.. Well all those Dukies are PTPer’s baa-bee and they will be hitting from way downtown. Duke makes 8 from behind the 3 point arc!
5) No, Amar’e is kept under 30 but just barel’e…
6) It seems like Spike cannot manage to win anything (see previous Pick 6, Hot Potato, Bowl Challenge, NCAA Tiddle-Winks Championship or Randy Winn…) so the winner here is easy to pick, Seth Curry in a walk. The thing we don’t know is if Spike knows the difference between MUZJIKS and BEZIQUE (7 letter words worth 77 points without any letter or wordmultipliers) We doubt it, Seth wins by 52 and plays the Q too!
1. Our love (well frankly, only one of us feels this way) for Aaron Rodgers has already been mentioned once in this space, but here we go again. He is awesome. Friggin' awesome. He completely picked apart the Falcons last week and looks damn near unbeatable. In fact, the only scary part about how good Rodgers looks (both on and off the field--seriously, he's kinda dreamy) is that now everyone's picking him. But it would be kind of poetic for Green Bay to get to the Super Bowl in Favre's last season. OH NO! DID WE JUST JINX IT? PACKERS.
2. We've picked against the Jets two straight weeks and been put to shame each game. Combine that with the fact that the Jets finally won in Heinz Field for the first time in franchise history this year, and we'd have to be pretty stupid to pick Pittsburgh. Well, whaddya know. STEELERS.
3. The Jayhawks have been getting so goddamn lucky, especially at home, but they keep finding themselves in nailbiters. And Syracuse's zone is just a terrible matchup for Nova's dribble-drive offense. Unless Kris Joseph doesn't play, this one's pretty clear. Hook 'em. TEXAS.
4. Duke has hit 7, 5, 11, 6, 8 and 8 threes in the first six games of 2011. And since our new motto is to take the under (based on Swetha's pretty solid hot potato showing and our insanely bad 7-of-9 FT pick for Singler last week), we're going with SEVEN.
5. This is easily my favorite Amare moment of the year and since it has nothing to do with him scoring, that doesn't bode very well. Besides, the Knicks beat up on the Spurs last time these two teams met, and you've gotta believe Duncan and Co. are going to clamp down on defense this time around. NO.
6. Since Shane is a writer, maybe he has a better vocabulary? By the way, there have been some very random Pick Six categories---this one takes the cake. But it does give us the opportunity to show off this awesome game of Scrabble, which, incredibly, prominently features the letter Q. SHANE will win by 15 POINTS and SPIKE will play the Q.
1. As my fantasy QB this season, I have a lot of respect for Aaron Rodgers. I had a fantasy conversation with him the other day, and he said he was really worried about playing in Solder Field. He mentioned that both his completion percentage and QB rating are significantly lower outside (71.4% to 64.6% and 115.2 to 98.5). So then I said don't worry about it Aaron, when it's under 40 degrees outside you have a passer rating of 123.6. Then he thanked me for having so much faith as a fantasy owner, playing him in weeks when he said he'd be out (although I didn't mention that this is because our retarded league rules don't let me change my lineups the day of OH MY GOD IT MAKES ME SO MAD). Then we went and got fantasy ice cream and talked about philosophy. He has some fascinating views on Kant. What? Sorry. PACKERS
2. FORGIVE ME, REX RYAN, FOR I HAVE SINNED AGAINST YOU! Despite using an email address with "Jets" in it since the fourth grade, and despite the fact that as a child I once spent almost an entire year wearing a Wayne Chrebet jersey, last week I tried to hedge my emotions and pick the Pats. Never again, Rex. From now on we shall triumph or parish together. In all that is holy, I will never again doubt my J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS.
3. Goin back to my old pal KenPom for this one. Pomeroy has Kansas as a 78% favorite, while Syracuse is only a 72% favorite. Also, Kansas plays a much faster tempo than Syracuse (71.3 to 67.0) and they're more efficient than Syracuse. However, I just have to go with my gut on this one, Rex Ryan style. TEXAS
4. Hoo boy, Wake is bad this year. Like really, really bad. KenPom has them listed as the 234th best team in Division I, edging out Liberty and just below Wagner. Some of their lowlights include a 66-64 home loss to 242nd ranked Presbyterian, an 89-79 home loss to to 288th ranked Stetson, and an 83-74 home loss to 249th ranked Winthrop. This is going to be a real, real bad game for them. I say Duke hits 12 THREE POINTERS.
5. I love Amar'''''''e, but the Spurs' defense is way too solid. NO
6. I thought the pick six couldn't get any more self-aggrandizing than the infamous Hillsborough Football series, but I guess I was wrong. SPIKE will win BY 22 and will use the Q.
Pack, jets, nova, 16, yes, me by 29 you get the q
See you tomorrow morning for some thoughts on the impending Wake beat down. Here's a special sneak preview of that post:
"I hope nobody gets injured."
Hopefully I'll also have an update on the big scrabble game. Spike is in my crosshairs. Here's his before and after picture:
Make your hot potato picks below, and have a great championship weekend.