Predict Rams Schedule, Get $100K

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Predict Rams Schedule, Get $100K

Postby dmiles2186 » Tue Apr 15, 2014 8:30 am

http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/10783 ... g-schedule

EARTH CITY, Mo. -- It's not quite Warren Buffett and his billion dollar prize for a perfect NCAA tournament bracket, but the St. Louis Rams are offering a lucrative reward for a guessing game of their own.

The Rams announced Monday that any person who can guess their 2014 schedule with 100 percent accuracy will win $100,000. To win the prize, the participant must correctly hit on all facets of the schedule, including each week's opponent, location, the exact date of the game and the date of the bye week.

[+] EnlargeFisher
AP Photo/G. Newman LowranceThe Rams are offering a $100,000 prize to anyone who can accurately predict the schedule for coach Jeff Fisher's team.

In other words, it's not as simple as just guessing which team the Rams will play in a given week.

With so many moving parts, like predicting which games might fall on a Thursday or Monday night, the contest has better odds than something as extensive as the NCAA tournament, but still figures to offer longshot odds, at best.

In the even more unlikely event that more than one person accurately predicts the schedule, the Rams will hold a trivia contest as a tiebreaker. The contest is limited to those 18 or older with a limit of one entry per person. Those that want to participate can enter at the team's website, stlouisrams.com/guessourgames.

The Buffalo Bills created a contest of their own, with a prize of season tickets for life if a fan correctly guesses the team's schedule. The entry that correctly predicts the most games will win 2014 season tickets.

Although the NFL has yet to reveal when it will announce this year's regular-season schedule, it's expected to come sometime next week. The Rams set a deadline of April 21 at 5:59 p.m. ET for entries.

"In anticipation of the Rams 2014 regular season schedule release, we are excited to offer fans the unique opportunity to win $100,000," Rams vice president of marketing Brian Killingsworth said in a statement. "We challenge our fans to accurately predict all 17 weeks of the team's regular season schedule and win the cash prize."
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Re: Predict Rams Schedule, Get $100K

Postby JesusNEVERexisted » Tue Apr 15, 2014 12:10 pm

So you have to predict all opponents, home & away, and even the day of the week? No need to predict scores right?

LOL...dumb contest.
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Re: Predict Rams Schedule, Get $100K

Postby glen a richter » Tue Apr 15, 2014 12:17 pm

That's no piece of cake. What if you pick everything accurately and then the last game is moved for flex time? Is it when the game is played or when it's originally scheduled to be played?
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Re: Predict Rams Schedule, Get $100K

Postby JesusNEVERexisted » Tue Apr 15, 2014 1:48 pm

Are they doing this to generate interest for a Rams team that could suck again?
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Re: Predict Rams Schedule, Get $100K

Postby dmiles2186 » Tue Apr 15, 2014 2:16 pm

glen a richter wrote:That's no piece of cake. What if you pick everything accurately and then the last game is moved for flex time? Is it when the game is played or when it's originally scheduled to be played?


My take on it is that it's how it is announced. I went ahead and did it, why not? But the possibilities are so crazy, there's almost no way anyone can get this right on.
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Re: Predict Rams Schedule, Get $100K

Postby dmiles2186 » Tue Apr 15, 2014 2:16 pm

JesusNEVERexisted wrote:Are they doing this to generate interest for a Rams team that could suck again?


Depending how the draft goes, I think the Rams can put up a decent run this year.
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Re: Predict Rams Schedule, Get $100K

Postby dmiles2186 » Tue Apr 15, 2014 2:52 pm

So Slate says this is so difficult, way harder than predicting the billion dollar bracket, that the Rams should award 135 trillion buckaroos if someone nails this.

http://www.slate.com/articles/sports/sp ... e_who.html


The NFL’s St. Louis Rams have announced they’ll hand over $100,000 to anyone who guesses the team’s exact schedule: whom the Rams will play each week and where the game will be played; whether it’s a Sunday, Thursday, or Monday game; and when St. Louis’ bye week will fall. Each NFL team plays 16 games in the regular season, and we already know the Rams’ 16 opponents—they’re predetermined based on the division St. Louis plays in, the team’s record from the previous season, and the NFL’s annual rotations of cross-division and cross-conference opponents. We also already know which opponents St. Louis will face at home, and which it will face on the road. Given those known parameters, this guessing game couldn’t possibly be as hard as Warren Buffett’s Billion Dollar Bracket Challenge, right?

Wrong. Picking the Rams’ schedule is much, much harder. If the Billion Dollar Bracket Challenge was impossible, then this is … really impossible.

If you’re guessing blindly, you have a (1/2)^63 chance of picking 63 NCAA tournament games correctly—that’s roughly 1 in 9.2 quintillion. Mathematician Jeff Bergen, though, estimates the odds of constructing a perfect bracket as closer to 1 in 128 billion, since you have a much-better-than-50-50 chance of picking a bunch of specific games (such as the ones between No. 1 and No. 16 seeds).

When picking a bracket, you can eliminate certain possibilities, such as a 16 beating a 1, based on probabilistic history. With the Rams’ schedule, every time you pick one game, your choices narrow. If you set St. Louis to play Seattle at home in Week 2, you know the Rams have seven home games remaining and that they will play the Seahawks just once more (in Seattle).

Using this methodology, I’ve put together a list of assumptions, and the resulting odds. Most of these assumptions are flexible. They are meant to narrow the odds to a reasonable ballpark (or football stadium). If you disagree with my assumptions, or think they can be refined, let me know in the comments and I’ll update the story with your thoughts.

Predicting division opponents

We know the Rams play each of their three division opponents (the Cardinals, 49ers, and Seahawks) twice each. We also know they will play a divisional rival in Week 17—the final game of the season. We’ll make the additional assumption that they won’t play the same opponent in back-to-back weeks.

Chance of predicting the Rams’ Week 17 opponent and location: 1/3*1/2 = 1/6

Chance of predicting the correct week for the other meeting between the Rams and their Week 17 opponent: 1/15

Chance of picking the two dates on which the Rams play their second division opponent: If we ignore the assumption that you can’t play a team in back-to-back weeks, the chance is 1/(15*14) = 1/210. The first meeting can be guessed correctly 1/15 of the time and—because one more game has been knocked off the schedule—the second game can be guessed correctly 1/14 of the time. If we do make our assumption of no back-to-back games, our chance (via Monte Carlo simulation) improves to approximately 1/105.

Chance of picking the two dates on which the Rams play their third division opponent: If we ignore the assumption that you can’t play a team in back-to-back weeks, the chance is 1/(13*12) = 1/156. If we do make our no-back-to-back assumption, our chance improves to approximately 1/100.

Predicting other opponents

The Rams have 10 other opponents and one bye week. The bye week occurs between Week 4 and Week 12. (For our purposes, we will assume all bye weeks are equally likely, though this has not necessarily been true in recent seasons.)

Chance of picking the bye week: 1/9

Chance of picking the weeks for the remaining 10 opponents: 1/10! = 1/3,628,800. Explanation: When there are 10 weeks and 10 opponents remaining, you can think of there being a 1/10 chance of picking each week correctly. If you get that right, it’s now 1/9, and after that 1/8, etc. When multiplied together, the result is 1/10!



Predicting Monday/Thursday games

We know the last game of the season always takes place on a Sunday. We know each team must play at least one Thursday night game, and we will assume the Rams play exactly one Thursday night game.

No Monday night games are guaranteed. Last year eight teams appeared in two Monday night games, 18 appeared in one, and six never appeared.

Chance of picking the date of the Rams’ one Thursday night game: 1/15. (It would be 1/16, but we’ve already guessed the date of the Rams’ bye week.)

Determining the number of possible combinations for Monday night games is tricky, and depends on our assumption of the number of Monday games the Rams will play.

If the Rams were to play two Monday night games, and you knew in advance that they were going to play two Monday night games, there would be (15*14)/2 = 120 possible ways to place two Monday Night Football appearances on the schedule. (This ignores the added probability of the first Monday night of the season, which features two games. It also ignores the fact that the Rams would not appear on Monday night in consecutive weeks.) The chance, then, of picking the two weeks they would have a Monday night game would be 1/120.

If the Rams were to play one Monday night game, and you knew they were going to play one Monday night game, there would be 15 possible games that could be on Monday, meaning your chance of a correct guess is 1/15.

And if the Rams were to play no Monday night games, and you knew they were going to play no Monday night games, you would have nothing to guess.

So picking the correct combination of Rams’ Monday night games (if any) depends on how many Monday night games you think the Rams will have.

We will guess that the chance of the Rams appearing in two Monday night games is 20 percent, the chance of them appearing once is 50 percent, and the chance of them appearing in no Monday night games at all is 30 percent. These guesses are based on the Rams’ poor record in recent years and relative lack of national popularity.

If you assumed those chances were correct, then you’d be best served to guess that the Rams would not play a single Monday night game. In that case, you’d be right (if your assumption were right) 30 percent of the time. If you guessed they would play exactly one Monday night game, and that it was in Week 7, your chance of being correct would be much lower.

For our purposes, though, we will assume you guess randomly between zero, one, and two Monday night games at a rate of 30 percent, 50 percent, and 20 percent. If these were the correct percentages (again, that’s an assumption), the chance you’d predict the correct Monday night schedule would be:

(30%)*(1/1)+(50%)*(1/15)+(20%)*(1/120) = 67/200

Predicting everything

The probabilities above, based on many assumptions, account for everything the Rams require to win the $100,000 (location, date, and opponent). If we multiply all those chances together, we get … 1 out of 16,294,782,089,552,200.

This is about 560 times easier than picking a perfect NCAA bracket blindly, but up to 135,000 times harder than picking the perfect bracket with some skill.

Yes, we could make additional assumptions could be made to cut down the odds even more. If the Rams do play on Monday night, it’s more likely to be against a top team like the Cowboys or Seahawks than a lowly finisher like the Raiders. Some other factors, such as making sure the Rams do not play more than three games in a row at home, would limit the number of options as well.

But even with some more guesswork, it’s close to impossible that anyone will predict the Rams’ 2014 schedule. So don’t insult us with that $100,000 offer, St. Louis. To make it worth anyone’s while to complete the exercise, you should pony up a lot more than $1 billion—135,000 times more. What do you say, Rams? Make things interesting and offer $135 trillion. Do that, and maybe I’ll consider giving this contest a shot.
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Re: Predict Rams Schedule, Get $100K

Postby STLADOGG » Tue Apr 15, 2014 5:42 pm

Good idea. Poor execution.
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Re: Predict Rams Schedule, Get $100K

Postby cprice12 » Wed Apr 16, 2014 12:50 am

$100k is a shitty, shitty prize for this contest. Don't get me wrong, it's free to do, so that's cool...but the odds are so astronomical that the prize should be a lot more. $100k is laughable.
What they should do is give away $100k to the person or persons who get the closest...so someone is guaranteed to win. Getting it perfect is about impossible. NOBODY is going to win this thing. Not now, not ever.
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Re: Predict Rams Schedule, Get $100K

Postby glen a richter » Wed Apr 16, 2014 2:14 pm

After taking about 5 minutes to study the exact details of how the NFL schedule is determined, here we go:

Sept 7th 4:00 Cardinals H
Sept 14th 4:00 49ers H
Sept 21 8:00 Eagles A
Sept 28 1:00 Redskins A
Oct 5 4:00 Seahawks H
Oct 13 (MNF) Broncos H
BYE WEEK
Oct 26 4:00 Cardinals A
Nov 2 8:00 Chargers A
Nov 9 4:00 Giants H
Nov 16 1:00 Bucs A
Nov 23 4:00 Raiders H
Nov 30 4:00 Cowboys H
Dec 4 1:00 (Thursday) 49ers A
Dec 14 1:00 Chiefs A
Dec 21 4:00 Vikings H
Dec 28 1:00 Seahawks A

If nothing else, I know I have the opponents right and the home/away right based on this http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/eye-on-foo ... -opponents
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Re: Predict Rams Schedule, Get $100K

Postby JesusNEVERexisted » Thu Apr 17, 2014 3:33 am

dmiles2186 wrote:
JesusNEVERexisted wrote:Are they doing this to generate interest for a Rams team that could suck again?


Depending how the draft goes, I think the Rams can put up a decent run this year.


But they basically play in the toughest division in the league with the champion Seattle Seahawks and the very tough 49ers.
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Re: Predict Rams Schedule, Get $100K

Postby JesusNEVERexisted » Thu Apr 17, 2014 3:36 am

cprice12 wrote:$100k is a shitty, shitty prize for this contest. Don't get me wrong, it's free to do, so that's cool...but the odds are so astronomical that the prize should be a lot more. $100k is laughable.
What they should do is give away $100k to the person or persons who get the closest...so someone is guaranteed to win. Getting it perfect is about impossible. NOBODY is going to win this thing. Not now, not ever.


Agreed! No one will win but IF by some miracle they did they should get 25% ownership of the Rams or something!

Still think it's a dumb contest to generate interest for a team some people are losing interest in.
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Re: Predict Rams Schedule, Get $100K

Postby dmiles2186 » Thu Apr 17, 2014 6:51 am

JesusNEVERexisted wrote:
cprice12 wrote:$100k is a shitty, shitty prize for this contest. Don't get me wrong, it's free to do, so that's cool...but the odds are so astronomical that the prize should be a lot more. $100k is laughable.
What they should do is give away $100k to the person or persons who get the closest...so someone is guaranteed to win. Getting it perfect is about impossible. NOBODY is going to win this thing. Not now, not ever.


Agreed! No one will win but IF by some miracle they did they should get 25% ownership of the Rams or something!

Still think it's a dumb contest to generate interest for a team some people are losing interest in.


It isn't about generating interest locally, it's about getting name recognition across the country. NFL teams don't rely on regional support like MLB, NHL, and NBA teams do. Because their games are always broadcast on national TV, they have a chance to expand their brand nationally. Kroenke talked about this when he bought the team and he's still trying to fix the mistakes made by the front office and ownership at the end of Frontiere's ownership.

Personally, I think that there is a huge Rams fan base around St. Louis that's waiting to see any faint hint of hope. A decade of suckitude turns a lot of people off, but in their heyday, this team was as popular as any in St. Louis.

But to your point, it may be a cheap way to drum up interest, but nevertheless, the Rams' name was across all sorts of websites the other day. Free publicity.
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Re: Predict Rams Schedule, Get $100K

Postby cardsfan04 » Thu Apr 17, 2014 7:17 am

I think there's a solid fanbase here too. It gets ripped on a lot, but I don't think the criticisms are fair. The team is just now coming on its 20th year in St. Louis (is that this year or next year?), and has been AWFUL for a good amount of that. Lots of other fanbases have generations to build on, but the Rams don't really have that. Add in how bad they've been and I think the attendance issues that they've had are understandable. But, if this team can put together a stretch in which they are competitive for awhile, or at least not awful, I think the fanbase can be strong here.
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Re: Predict Rams Schedule, Get $100K

Postby dmiles2186 » Thu Apr 17, 2014 7:28 am

cardsfan04 wrote:I think there's a solid fanbase here too. It gets ripped on a lot, but I don't think the criticisms are fair. The team is just now coming on its 20th year in St. Louis (is that this year or next year?), and has been AWFUL for a good amount of that. Lots of other fanbases have generations to build on, but the Rams don't really have that. Add in how bad they've been and I think the attendance issues that they've had are understandable. But, if this team can put together a stretch in which they are competitive for awhile, or at least not awful, I think the fanbase can be strong here.


I agree, totally. You look and in the region you've got left over (football) Cardinals fans, Bears fans (has had generations to take root in fans), Chiefs fans, and (at least for me in Illinois) Colts fans. The Colts are a new thing, but with Peyton, they had a run of success that won them a ton of fans. It's just going to take time for the Rams to take root in the region and then if they can get some sustained success, that will gain more widespread fandom.
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Re: Predict Rams Schedule, Get $100K

Postby dmiles2186 » Tue Apr 22, 2014 1:57 pm

The rumor is that the NFL schedule will be released tomorrow or Thursday. So I'll be 100K richer in the next few days.
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Re: Predict Rams Schedule, Get $100K

Postby cardsfan04 » Tue Apr 22, 2014 2:18 pm

Damn, they closed the contest. I assume that just means they hit an entry cap or something, but I hadn't made mine yet. There goes my 3 cents of equity!!!
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Re: Predict Rams Schedule, Get $100K

Postby glen a richter » Wed Apr 23, 2014 7:16 pm

The only one I was even remotely close on was the last game of the season. Right team, right venue, wrong time.
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Re: Predict Rams Schedule, Get $100K

Postby dmiles2186 » Thu Apr 24, 2014 12:32 pm

I got excited because I thought I had picked @Seattle as the last game. Then I remembered I thought, "Nah, that's what they do every year." So I changed it to @San Fran and that's the story of how I got none of them right.
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Re: Predict Rams Schedule, Get $100K

Postby glen a richter » Fri Apr 25, 2014 3:28 pm

I also forgot about the time difference so everything I put down as 1 or 4 or 8 should have been an hour earlier. Not that it actually matters, and anyway those would be the start times in New York.
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