The first annual NFL Survivor Pool concluded at the end of December with a spectacular finale. The competition, which started in late September, consisted of students choosing one NFL team they thought would win that week. If the student’s team won its game, the student would survive and advance to the following week. The only catch was that participants could not pick the same team twice in the season.
First place went to Freshman Alexander Binder. Three teams of students tied for second place: Sophomores Justin Webster and Harrison Lavery, juniors Nathan Borshell and Diego Bass, and senior Patrick Oh. In the faculty bracket, Mandarin teacher Michael Mikita took first place, with gead football coach Drew Casani and theology teacher John Ahearn taking second place and third place, respectively. All winners received an Amazon Gift Card.
Lavery stated, “At the beginning I picked who I liked, but as [the competition]went on, I started looking at bets and stats to choose.”
Webster, using a different method, said, “We were aggressive from the very beginning, betting against the worst teams in the NFL, rather than choosing the good teams. I didn’t try to save the better teams like the Chiefs for later in the season, since you can only pick them once.”
Along with different strategies came different mentalities. Binder and Webster were in it to win it from the start, while Lavery took a more laid-back approach: “When I first started, I had a more ‘let’s see how it goes’ attitude, but my seriousness progressed as the season went on.”
As the competition progressed, it gained more traction and popularity among students. Students actively tracked their favorite teams and talked with the students that were still in the competition.
Binder said, “I learned about the competition through my friends and the email. I purposely tried to beat my friends, rather than win for myself.”
Players seemed to enjoy the competition immensely, as Binder, Lavery and Webster all said, “I would definitely do it again.” Although the 2020-2021 season was the first time that Loyola put on this competition, the consensus was that it was highly competitive and a fun way to win prizes away from campus. Hopefully, Loyola Student Activities will continue to sponsor more fun events like this in the future.
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