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September 17, 2019

9/3/2019 7:33:00 AM
Pigskin Pick'em returns Thursday
by River News Staff

Autumn is upon us. That means it's once again time for a group of area football know-it-alls to dust off their crystal balls and dartboards.

The pro football season kicks off Thursday, and the Northwoods River News is bringing back its annual Pigskin Pick'em Board.

Nine VIPs are participating this year, all playing for the right to be called the Northwoods' brightest pigskin prognosticator. They are also playing for a good cause. The winner of the season-long competition will receive $450 to present to the charity of his or her choice.

Participating this year are River News sports editor Jeremy Mayo, Rod Ankrom of Calvary Baptist Church, Todd Johnson of First Weber Realty, Brandon Karaba of Peoples State Bank, Ben Meyer of WXPR Radio, Rhinelander High School activities director Brian Paulson, Lauren Sackett of the Rhinelander Area Chamber of Commerce, Matt Steingraber of the YMCA of the Northwoods and the infamous Shadow - the Pick'em board's resident mystery guest.

The Pigskin Pick'em board debuts this Thursday in the sports pages of the River News with picks for the first week of the pro football season and continues all the way until the big game in February when the two players with the most points will go head-to-head predicting the outcome. Whoever gets the prediction right, with a score closest to the actual final score of the game, will be this year's champion.

See below for a closer look at this year's panel.

Jeremy Mayo

Charity of Choice: The Rhinelander Athletic Booster Club

Favorite NFL Team: Green Bay Packers

Picking strategy: Since I didn't win last year, I'm going to revert back to the tried and true method of the dartboard.

Super Bowl LIV Champion: See, "Shoutouts & Callouts," Page 19

Top Board Rival: Ben Meyer - For some reason he thinks he knows more about football than I do.

Rod Ankrom

Charity of Choice: Special Olympics Rhinelander 2-05

Favorite NFL Team: Minnesota Vikings

Picking strategy: Careful in-depth analysis - look for the upset special - and, if all else fails, throw a dart against the wall.

Super Bowl LIV Champion: Minnesota Vikings.

Top Board Rival: I have no particular individual I want to beat - but when the dust settles, I would love to beat everyone!

Todd Johnson

Charity of Choice: Hodag Diamond Club

Favorite NFL Team: Green Bay Packers

Picking strategy: You need to be consistent with your picks and avoid second- guessing your decisions.

Super Bowl LIV Champion: Probably not a wise pick but I have to pick the Packers to win the Super Bowl.

Top Board Rival: I see Jeremy often, especially during the baseball season, so beating him and being able to remind him of this would be satisfying. It would also be satisfying to keep Brian Paulson in the rear view mirror.

Brandon Karaba

Charity of Choice: Oneida County Humane Society

Favorite NFL Team: Green Bay Packers

Picking strategy: Channel my inner "who would Jeremy Mayo pick," and go from there.

Super Bowl LIV Champion: Green Bay Packers

Top Board Rival: Brian Paulson - who doesn't love beating someone from Antigo.

Ben Meyer

Charity of Choice: Tri-County Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault

Favorite NFL Team: Green Bay Packers

Picking strategy: Probably just which team's logo I like best. Or which has the shiniest colors.

Super Bowl LIV Champion: New England Patriots 

Top Board Rival: Jeremy Mayo. I can't seem to shut him up on the air during Hodag broadcasts, so maybe putting him in his place by beating him at Pick 'Em will help. Nothing else has worked.

Brian Paulson

Charity of Choice: American Cancer Society

Favorite NFL Team: Whoever Brett Favre plays for!

Picking strategy: Don't pick with my heart. Get caught up with the teams I want to win.

Super Bowl LIV Champion: Kansas City Chiefs 

Top Board Rival: Goal is to defeat Jeremy.

Lauren Sackett

Charity of Choice: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Favorite NFL Team: Chicago Bears

Picking strategy: To try to pick the winner.

Super Bowl LIV Champion: Da Bears.

Top Board Rival: If I beat anyone I will be happy. I just don't want to be last.

Matt Steingraber

Charity of Choice: YMCA if the Northwoods

Favorite NFL Team: Green Bay Packers

Picking strategy: I go with my gut. I try to listen to the "experts"and make the best picks I can.

Super Bowl LIV Champion: L.A. Rams

Top Board Rival: Brian Paulson ... We are both avid football and sports fans. We don't get in to many disagreements but it would be nice to hold this over his head for the next year and have a little friendly competition!

The Shadow

Charity of Choice: Undisclosed

Favorite NFL Team: Green Bay Packers

Picking strategy: Magic 8 Ball

Super Bowl LIV Champion: Kansas City Chiefs

Top Board Rival: Todd Johnson for reasons that can't be disclosed.

Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, September 5, 2019
Article comment by: Marilyn Tucker

Why did you quit letting all of us pick - I really enjoyed following all the teams during the NFL season

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