Hopefully this is easy. Here are the rules:
1. Pick one team from this weekend's games that you expect to advance (i.e., to win their game this week.) You can pick with your head, based on research, with your gut (stop self-deprecating now!) or any other criterion.
2. Root for your team. A lot rides on their success. Read on... (Here is how I've been rooting for mine):
3. If your team wins, your obligation becomes to lose the number of pounds associated with the highest digit of their winning score, before Super Bowl Sunday.
Example, WHEN the Ravens beat the Pilgrims (not the Colts, for they were stolen and moved to Indianapolis on the Mayflower!) 26 to 17, I will be obliged to lose six pounds for the team (6 is the highest digit of 26) before the Ravens are eliminated. If I predict two of the four games this weekend correctly (see step four), my weight loss obligation lessens by two, to four pounds.
4. Choose the outcomes of all of this weekend's games. For each correct outcome you forecast, SUBTRACT one pound from your weight loss obligation.
5. If your team loses, you get a new team from those that have a first-round bye. This is the only week with a replacement team element. However, you also only get ONE WEEK to lose the lower digit of your team's score, after the prediction subtraction!
6. If your team wins this week, they are your team again next week. If your team loses this week, you choose a fresh team for next week. In either case, next weekend's score of your team replaces this week's score in terms of weight loss obligation (and again, less a prediction-based subtraction), only if the obligation is larger. In my hypothetical, the Ravens play in Denver next week and win 29 to 23, now I'm obligated not for six lbs but for 9 lbs.
7. Except for this weekend's wild card round, once your team is eliminated, your obligation to lose the pounds by Super Bowl Sunday, survives. However, you can lower it by continuing to make correct guesses. That way, everybody still plays and the total to lose is not too daunting.
8. As with all Spark games of my invention, I am judge, jury and executioner. And I will be merciless. And my bias toward all footballs purple may have me lose this little game quickly.
Post below with your team for this weekend's games, the basis of your prognostication, etc. And tell us if you are hoping for a score of 10 to 3, obligating you to one measly pound, or if you are a glutton for punishment and will accept a 19 to 13 win, wherein you need to lose nine pounds by Super Bowl Sunday!
Ravens are my team (duh!). Also forecasting wins this weekend by Houston, Green Bay and Seattle.