Beat The Experts pick ‘em contest is back for 2016 season |

Beat The Experts pick ‘em contest is back for 2016 season

Kate Wood, middle, shakes hands with Brian O'Brien, right, after winning The Union's 2015 Beat The Experts Football Pick 'Em grand prize raffle. Wood won a 55-inch LED Smart TV with Wi-Fi valued at $1,199 courtesy of Beam Easy Living Center in Grass Valley. Wood, of Grass Valley, beat the experts five times during the 10 week season and had a 2.8 percent chance of winning. The Union Sports Editor Walter Ford, left, and O'Brien were the self-proclaimed experts.
Laura Mahaffy/ | The Union

It’s time to kickoff another season of The Union’s Beat the Experts football pick ‘em contest, and I for one can’t wait to redeem myself after a subpar season in 2015.

I didn’t really live up to the title of “expert” last season, going 38-22 overall. My fellow expert Brian O’Brien was 40-20 overall. A down season for us both.

Like last season, and the season before, we will run the pick ‘em contest for 10 weeks, in which contestants will pick winners for 13 games spanning high school, college and pro football.

The contestant who picks the most winners each week will win a weekly prize, and will also be entered into the end of the year drawing for a 55-inch LED Smart TV with Wi-Fi, so graciously provided by Beam “Easy Living” Center.

Contestants that simply beat the experts’ picks in any given week will also be entered into the end of the year drawing for the TV.

Participants can find a printed entry form in Tuesday’s issue of The Union on the back of the sports section. Participants can also play online at A new slate of games to pick from will be released every Tuesday until the conclusion of the contest.

This year I will be sprinkling in some lesser known teams, including some Sierra College games, to see who really knows their stuff. For some of the more obscure games, please feel free to email me at and I will give you as much info as I have on the game to help with your decision.

A little about the “experts”

I, along with Brian O’Brien, return as the experts to beat. Just beat O’Brien and myself and you get into the drawing. Last season, O’Brien and I went a combined 78-42 (our worst combined record since the game returned in 2013). But we remain well above .500 overall with a three-year combined record of 261-119. So, it won’t be easy.

A few rules

One entry per person per week. Contest kicks off Tuesday. All entries must be submitted by 5 p.m. Friday each week. Print entries can be submitted to The Union located at 464 Sutton Way in Grass Valley or at Beam “Easy Living” Center located at 422 Henderson St. in Grass Valley.

All print entry forms must be completed correctly, with the sponsor’s name written next to the team chosen to win. Contestants must be at least 13 years old. Rules and regulations can be found on the entry forms and online.

It’s free and a lot of fun — check it out and test your football acumen, you just might win a giant TV.

To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email

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