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Armchair QB season ends with thrilling finish in Super Bowl LVII

Well, football fans, the twenty-fourth, and final week of the 2022-23 football season has come and gone and the final whistle has been blown (unless you count the spring USFL season) until the leaves start blowing around in the wind next fall. But, before we bid a concluding farewell to an incredible season on the gridiron, we made sure to continue our long-standing tradition of challenging our knowledgeable ‘super fans’ by giving them the daunting task of picking the NFL champion. Both the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles were worthy conference champions and were looking to end the year under a stream of confetti and lift the Lombardi Trophy as the last team standing. For the second straight year, fans were treated to a game that will go down in history as one of its finest!

When fans look back at this game in years to come, they will remember Super Bowl LVII as one the best championship games in recent history. The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Philadelphia Eagles, 38-35, at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, which gave the Chiefs their second title in four years and their sixth all-time (if you count their three Super Bowl rings, along with their three titles in the pre AFL-NFL merger).

The game was a roller-coaster of emotions on both sides, as the Eagles raced out to a 24-14 lead at halftime, before Kansas City came back and scored on all four of their offensive possessions in the second half, including the game-winning field goal from 27 yards with eight seconds remaining in the game. It’s safe to say that both teams left it all on the line, and players on both sides probably made some fans along the way.

Of course, while football fans may remember some of the questionable calls or the oft-maligned turf conditions more than the score itself, other casual fans will remember the pre-game ceremonies, the halftime show, or the commercials more. Better yet, hopefully, you watched the game with family and friends and ate your fair share of great food. After all, the Super Bowl isn’t just about the game itself; each moment is part of creating a big show!

Now to the regularly scheduled Tri-City Record Armchair Quarterback competition of the 2022-23 season, when the final whistle blew and the confetti was released, just two of our panelists, RoxAnn Rodney-Isbrecht and Rodney Lynch, correctly picked Kansas City over Philadelphia and will head into the offseason on a high note. This result doesn’t come as good news for the remaining four panelists, as these two have been on top of the standings for most of the year.

Because there is a tie between the two panelists, we now must go to the dreaded tiebreaker scenario to determine our top two finishers in the final weekly contest of the season. Of course our tiebreaker game this week was the Super Bowl which finished with 73 total points. Neither of our panelists came within eighteen points of the final number, but thanks to her projection of 55 total points, RoxAnn will finish on the top step of the podium for the sixth time this year, while Rodney (who projected 49 total points) will have to settle for runner-up honors.

Our four remaining panelists: Bill Whitney, Tim Hildebrand, Taylor Prestidge and Greg Krell, all picked the Eagles over the Chiefs, and after the first half had to feel like they were in the driver’s seat to finish the year with a victory. However, the game flipped on its head in the second half, and those four had to feel sick to their stomach when that field goal went through the uprights in the final seconds sending them to losing efforts in their final picks.

Once again, because we have a tie between the four panelists, we must go back to the dreaded tiebreaker scenario to determine our remaining four positions to conclude the week. None of our four gurus came within fifteen points of the final number, but thanks to a projection of 58 total points, Bill will conclude our weekly podium with a third-place finish. He was followed by Tim (who projected 55 total points) in fourth place, Greg (who projected 51 total points) in fifth place, and Taylor (who projected 45 total points) will finish as our weekly ‘cellar dweller’ in sixth place.

In case you are new to our newspaper or need a quick refresher on how this contest worked, let’s take a moment to bring you up-to-speed. Each fall, our newspaper enlists the help of six local football fanatics, who could be deemed ‘super fans’, really. Every week our six-member panel was given a list of pre-selected games from the local high school, collegiate and professional ranks, and was given the daunting task of selecting the winners from each game.

Weekly records were kept from the beginning of the high school season right on through Super Bowl Sunday, with each week’s edition of the paper reporting on the progress of each participant. Now that the football season has concluded, the panelist who had the best overall record has earned the right to wear the 2022-23 Tri-City Record Armchair Quarterback hat.

In the event there were multiple panelists that had the same weekly or season-long record, their place in the weekly or overall standings was determined by a weekly ‘tiebreaker’ game. In addition to trying to correctly pick the winners of each week’s games, they also predicted a total score from a specially selected game, which was usually a game that stood out on a local or national level. The AQB who predicted closest to the actual number of points scored by both teams received the higher position in the standings.

In the season-long race for the hat, RoxAnn has been officially crowned our champion for the second consecutive season, as she finished with an overall record of 147-64-1 over the course of 212 total games. Finishing as our runner-up this year was Rodney, who finished seven games back of the lead, with an overall record of 140-71-1. In the race for third place, both Bill and Tim finished with matching overall records of 137-74-1, and usually, the determining factor for the overall standings is weekly victories; however, both won four times. Our judge (yours truly) has determined that both panelists will share third place, followed by Taylor in fifth place, with an overall record of 133-78-1, and Greg in sixth place, with an overall record of 128-83-1.

And so that brings us to the conclusion of the Tri-City Record’s Armchair Quarterback contest for this year. On behalf of our panelists and everyone associated with our newspaper, thank you for being avid advocates of this weekly tradition and for taking the time to make this column your reading material over the past several months. The 2023 high school football season starts the week of August 21 and we will see you then! Until we meet again…

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