It’s hard to believe that it’s been 30 yeals since I first started this game in high school. We originally just picked the games and compared how we did against each other. It has evolved into a complex multi-layered scoring system.
At first there were only a handful of guys playing. And to be honest, I don’t remember who most of them were. There are two people playing this season that were in the group from 1986. Brian Wesche played the first two seasons, and rejoined in the 1991 season. Jim Rex, was one of my teachers in High School and he played along too. After I graduated, he didn’t play again until this past season when Facebook made it easier for us to keep in contact.
In 1986 I kept track of all the scores and picks on handwritten pieces of paper. It was time consuming and tedious. The scoring and standings were also written out by hand. Sometimes I wish I’d kept some of those old scoring sheets to show on the website. Most of the people playing in the first few seasons I saw on a regular basis, but as the years went on, it became necessary for me to make weekly phone calls to many players to get their picks.
By 1990, I had a home computer that was fast enough to allow me to build a program to keep track of the games and picks. Obviously, it also was capable of doing all my score keeping as well. Phone calls were still necessary to get the picks and all the picks still needed to be entered, by hand, into the computer. Over the years some pretty ingenious methods were used to make that process easier. I won’t bore you with details on that.
Over the years players came and went, but I never really allowed more than 30 guys to play at a time because it was so time consuming to do all the calls and enter picks into the program. I think I rewrote the program at least 4 or 5 times to accommodate for a new computer system or to incorporate a scoring feature.
It was in 1999 that the internet and I really got to know each other. Web development was the next logical step in making my game simpler to manage. So I developed my first website. Unfortunately, my inexperience, and the limitations of HTML in the early days, meant that the web page was very basic. The web pages to list the games and the standings, had to be typed out by hand.
In 2001, my wife and I welcomed our first daughter. Life got a lot busier. If the game was to continue, I had to make the website do most of the work for me. So I sat down and figured out how to program a website that would allow players to login and enter their picks without any help from me. One of the main problems that I had early on is the reliability of the site. Also, there was no reminder system built into the site to email players that they hadn’t entered their picks yet that week. This meant that toward the end of each week phone calls or emails went out to everyone who’d forgotten.
Our two younger daughters were born in 2002 and 2006. With three little girls, I didn’t have a much time to work on the website, so the game was played stayed pretty much the same until 2009. The site was working well enough for me to feel comfortable expanding the number of people allowed to play. But I still wanted to have people playing against other people they knew, and keep the league fairly small. The only thing that made sense was to allow more than one LEAGUE each season.
The site maintained two extra leagues in 2010, a group of people that were long-time players, a league of ONLY 21 Sundays former Champions and an extra league of newcomers and co-workers.
Now, in 2015, there will be at least 5 leagues running. As more players are added to the site, more leagues will be created.
I am excited that we have reached 30 seasons. I hope we have a whole lot more ahead of us!
In 1958, the Detroit Lions traded their six-time All-Pro, three-time champion quarterback, Bobby Layne to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Layne, upset over being unceremoniously traded was rumored to have stated the Lions wouldn't win for 50 years.
For my argument, I will need to suspend time for the first 5 years after Layne was traded. Fast forward to November 22, 1963. Every American remembers this date. Dallas, Oswald, Deeley Plaza, Zapruder - JFK.
Oh wait, no that's not what I am talking about. Nope, that may have been the most famous, most infamous thing the happened that day. But it's not the ONLY thing that happened.
November 22, 1963 is the day that William Clay Ford, Sr. bought out his partners and became the sole owner the Detroit Lions for $6 million.
So, on November 22, 2013, Ford celebrated the 50th Anniversary of his ownership. On March 9, 2014 Ford passed away from old age.
So in essence Ford owned the team for just over 50 years.
Bobby Layne never stated in WHICH 50 years the Lions wouldn't win. Layne's career ended in 1962 when he retired.
Could the curse have been suspended until after Layne's career? Could the curse have had the reset switch flipped when the Lions were sold the same day that JFK was killed?
Only time will tell.