Cheddar Bay 2015. Join here.

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Geez, it’s the seventh year of this, the most phenomenal and best reality football competition in the world™.

Consider the term pioneered by the inventor of the Cheddar Bay Reality Football Pickstravaganza:  “Reality Football.”

It is a deliberate and apt juxtaposition to fantasy football and is at the core of what makes Cheddar only the most phenomenal and best reality football competition in the world™.  Parsing Frowns:

Reality football is a chess match every week. Fantasy football is spinning a roulette wheel once at the beginning of the season, with a few even more meaningless roulette spins as the season wears on, depending on how crappy your first spin went (“Do I start Roy Helu or Deion Branch at flex this week?” /chews own face off). One is no more “wagering” than the other, yet the NFL itself relentlessly promotes fantasy — which requires exponentially less skill and analytical ability than the alternative — because the NFL wants you to be stupid so it can control you.

A dormitory destroyed by the shockwave of a nearby explosion is seen in the northeastern China's Tianjin municipality, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015. Huge explosions in the warehouse district sent up massive fireballs that turned the night sky into day in the Chinese port city of Tianjin, officials and witnesses said Thursday. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

Workers dormitory destroyed in Tianjin, Aug. 2015.

In an increasingly dangerous world facing serious issues of interconnected complexity, your conscience will protest against playing a frivolous boys game.  Reality football understands that when a dormitory-based workforce with neither full health nor unemployment insurance devalues their currency to make their manufacturing exports even cheaper that this is in no way fair trade and benefits only the one percent of an obese consumerist culture while simultaneously dismantling the core of any middle class society:  its manufacturing workforce and the meaningful widespread prosperity that only manufacturing jobs provide.  Fantasy football wants to discuss descriptors for Rosie O’Donnell or earnestly believes you in need of racial instruction from behind its latte preparation counter .

Man up and play reality football.

Man up, put some money on the table, and do work against worthy competitors.

How it works, condensed version.

Pick six football games against the spread each weekend.  One pick is an ‘all-play’ game where everyone makes a pick on the same game.  One pick is your ‘money pick’ and worth three times more than the other picks.  Your moneypick is supported by an essay which is posted in the weekly Cheddar Bay post.  You pay $100 $105 to enter the contest which goes into a kitty.  The kitty is paid out 50% to the winner, 20% to second place, and 30% to the best weekly player from weeks 11 through 18.

Full rules for 2015 are published here.

To register, click this button:

Enter your Cheddar handle:

The first week is the college-only slate that starts on Thursday, September 3.  The points earned in the first week are discounted 50% to allow players to ease into the action and also to encourage stragglers to enter the contest late.

At once, competitive and collaborative.

There is an inspired symbiotic elegance in the Cheddar concept and it is this:  the struggle of matching wits against the smartest football handicappers on the web simultaneously empowers one to win against your favorite Costa Rican bookmaker.

New Mexico head coach Bob Davie puts his headset on during the NCAA football game against Pittsburgh on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

Will you be profiting from taking the right side of the Lobos’ match-ups?

Cheddar enthusiasts profit annually from early insights on undervalued teams; past examples include Stanford, Auburn, UTSA.  And who would know early #Maction  tendencies better — Vegas cappers or Cheddar’s on-site correspondents?  I guarantee one guy is going to have the skinny Colorado State’s new QB, another will be ahead of Mel Kiper projecting stardom for some FIU WR, and someone is going to climb on-board Jets early having spied an indication that Ryan Fitzpatrick will successfully game plan his way to a piggyback ride on the NFL’s best defense.


If there’s value at UTEP, Cheddar will find it.

I know these things will happen because they happen every year.  Is there another Howard Schnellenberger ready to mail in his final year at a sun drenched “growth college?”  You know there is because there always is one.1  Cheddar will help you find him early.  Or do you prefer backing a hard scrabble, offensive lineman turned coach who learned his craft from Andy Reid in the 80s and been paying dues for decades before getting the head gig at his alma mater?  Cheddar will bring him to your attention too.

Hobnob with local celebrities.


Rumor has it that the A of A to Z will be bringing his game here.

Cheddar is proud to count among its number Native American rights activists awareness advocates change agents,2 San Antonio bon-vivants, Nashville’s IT couple,3 prolific twitter content creators, a bonafide Vegas degenerate, Grantland writers, SBNation bloggers, the better majority of the Cleveland Bar, and several members of the local sports media who prefer to keep it on the down-low but really shouldn’t because their Cheddar performances demonstrate that they actually know their business.  I.e., I don’t think Grossi or MKC would fare too well.  Joe Banner though… I suspect he might could hang with us… interesting… someone shoot him an invite.  Just don’t show him this.4


I wonder….

You’ll find us a welcoming and fun community and all of us have had great weeks and horrible weeks.  So get over any fear of embarrassment and don’t get too twisted up at the prospect of writing a weekly essay either.  Once you’ve got your pick, it’s easier to find the words and sentences than you might expect.

Alrighty, get those registrations in and I’ll keep you updated via email on newsworthy contest happenings.  Looking forward to another great year.

  1. **cough** Bob Davie **cough** [back]
  2. I think awareness advocate is more Pete’s message than a civil rights one, no?  Or maybe change agent? [back]
  3. The fairer half of which says, “Few things make me happy like Cheddar Bay has, over the past few years.“ [back]
  4. Haha, this was a pretty good allegory for the Banner Plan:  “… a figurative keelhauling of Browns fans.  You have been harnessed and thrown over the bow of the smokey oil slick of a 18th century whaling ship that is 2013 Berea.  You will be pulled up from the stern after a long salt-water immersion-waterboarding and scoured by the thousands of barnicles on the vessel’s hull under water level.  You will emerge in 2018 proven worthy and absolved of past misdeeds.  If you aren’t dismembered or drowned by the process.” [back]
  • Jeff

    I’m wading birds in. First time in the Cheddar pool. Truth be told I did sign up a few weeks ago and I finally have enough nerve to get started. So here are my picks…

    Atlanta Falcons
    Bowling Green
    And the essay pick……

    The most underrated team in the country BGSU…for you non-college football fans That stands for Bowling Green State University, the baddest birds in the state of Ohio! BGSU is lead by their fearless and and hairless leader, Matt Johnson. When MJ has the ball in his hands, I can not help but to get excited. MJ may be vertically challenged for a D-1 QB, but he has a ridiculous arm and inspired legs (that look longer than they are). He can really motor. He inspires his mates with every snap. He is the real deal and the reason that I have chosen BGSU to stomp out the boiler makers.

  • The Iron Sheik

    Miami Florida

    After watching that debacle last week and losing our starting qb to a helicopter move it is going to be a very long season. Now we don’t have a leader at qb and johnnie football is no leader especially in the pro ranks. And on the other hand you have mariota and I know it’s early but he looked fantastic from how he controled the game to how he commanded respect from his team. So you have someone you can rally behind and actually have a chance to succeed with. And with that said Tennessee you found your golden unicorn I just wish the browns found something.

  • PJD19

    I’m getting in the game.

  • Its Only Money

    I was thinking about cutting back on my football picking pools this season, but instead I have added one. Go figure, I’m a degenerate. I am back, and hopefully better than ever, for another round of Cheddar Bay goodness.

  • Back for another and, hopefully, much more successful year.

  • RDGinCLE

    Artist formerly known as Art Brosef, checking in.

  • GRRustlers

    Obviously in…currently changing out all my Idaho gear for Illinois gear.

  • thatsfine

    Absolutely in. Now I need to figure out which middling FBS conference to zero in on this year… Mountain West, C-USA, or AAC…. it’s like deciding which type of instant ramen noodles to eat.
    I second that people continue posting all their picks in the comments as well as the form. I enjoy scrolling through comments and reading the rationale (or lack thereof) for everyone’s picks. Glad you’re on the mend, Mike! Better times ahead.

  • Jonathan MacDonald

    I’m back for more disappointment. I’ve been working on a Random Essay Generator …. perhaps this is my year.

  • Capitalgg

    In. In. In. In. 21 percentile finish here I come.

  • jdoepke

    Mike – I like the new form for entering picks. Are we still going to be able to see a thread of everyone’s picks? Part of the fun (and financial gain for us degenerates) of this is seeing others’ picks and picking which hot streaks to ride and who to fade at all costs…

    • yes i think so. in my minds eye, i think every uses the thread as in past years (ie, write essay here and submit picks as long as youre here) and the form is the bookkeeping.


    I’m in.

  • CleveLandThatILove

    Always a yes! Thanks for doing it again, Mike – glad you’re doing OK 🙂 Good luck, everybody!

  • In of course. You’re right in the footnote, Mike. I’m firmly in the “Keep Chief Wahoo” camp.

  • Petefranklin

    Jets are another good bet tonight, Bowles probably wants to get the NY media off his ass for the Geno thing and last weeks debacles.

    • Jets -2 is a cover. Annnd we’re off.

      • Petefranklin

        I posted kc a little late as the pickem was gone already

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  • jdoepke

    I’m in

  • One half of Nashville’s “IT” couple, reporting for duty. #kittypryde #playingforlobsterclaws #itsokaytohashtagincomments #right?



  • Petefranklin

    Vegas degenerate,check.
    BTW kc is a great bet this weekend, just make sure that it’s under three points!

  • oxr

    I’m in, obviously.

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