Welcome to the first-ever (first annual?) playoff prediction contest between two blogging colossi: Center Holds It versus Who Ate All the Cupcakes.
Before getting to my picks, a review of the ground rules, prizes, punishments, and where you – yes YOU! – come in, seems appropriate. First, the rules for participation:
– Participating pundits will call every playoff game, specifically the result and final score. One point will be awarded for making the correct call (e.g. win, loss, and, in the first round, tie) and an additional point will be awarded for every entirely correct final score. (Games that end with PKs gets at the “entirely correct” clarification: a game that goes to PKs officially ends as a tie. So, in that case, “result” denotes winner of the game. If, by some miracle, a pundit guesses PKs, tie, and the ultimate winner, they’ll pick up the second point…slim reward for such top-notch prognosticatin’. We’ll call this rule subject to negotiation till the end of the first half of the first round.)
– The pundit who compiled the most points when MLS Cup ends will be the winner. All other pundits will be considered losers – and rightly so. They will be required to pay rewards and suffer punishments.
– For the two-leg first round series, predictions will be made one game at a time as opposed to making the call for the entire round. Predictions for each successive round will be game-by-game.
– Predictions will be made 6 hours before kick off.
Each losing pundit will purchase and send to the winner a six-pack sample of the finest available beers from his/her home region. In my case, that’s the Northwestern Oregon/Southwestern Washington area (Pyramid…mmm; sadly, Pike Place beers won’t make the cut).
The losing pundit(s) will:
– Be required to purchase and post a photograph of him/her wearing a shirt dumping on his/her abilities to see into the future. Ideally, this photograph will be taken in a public place – otherwise, what’s the point? We’ll be hitting up all y’all to write the slogan (more on this later)*
– Drink a fifth of MD 20/20; the specific flavor will be losing pundit’s choice. And, again, the best available photographic evidence will be produced to demonstrate compliance.
PICK THAT SLOGAN!*
Having drained our combined creative capacities simply to create this contest, we would like to solicit readers/visitors for the slogan that will grace the loser’s (losers’) t-shirt. So, drop your ideas into the comments field and keep ‘em free of anything that could get the wearer in real trouble (e.g. overt racism and sexism won’t fly). Otherwise, let it fly!
(NOTE: It occurs to me that I can’t speak “Team Cupcakes” with regard to producing photographic evidence of compliance. In case they have anonymity to protect, I’m content to take their word for it. All the same, I’m an exhibitionist under the correct circumstances and this is one of them: if I lose, expect photos.)
Now…on to my picks for the Game 1 of the Major League Conference semifinals….listed in the order in which the games will be played, home team first.
Chicago Fire 1-0 DC United
Red Bull New York 2-2 New England Revolution
FC Dallas 0-1 Houston Dynamo
Kansas City Wizards 2-1 Chivas USA
Curiously, or perhaps not so curiously, I’m feeling the sickly sweet tickle of fruity, fortified wine on the palate…(translation: what the hell have I just got myself into?). I’m going to be watching these games with a little more intensity than usual.