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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

90

#90. I was one of ESPN’s 3Play contest winners.

For those of you who missed the series of contests a couple of summers ago, they worked like this:

At some point in the day, you had to log in to ESPN’s site and click on the ‘3Play’ button. You’d then be assigned three sports figures — individuals, teams, tennis doubles partners, whatever — for the next day. Each ‘figure’ would be able to score points for you in a variety of ways; I think there were three per figure. So a baseball player might score by getting runs, home runs and walks, or RBI, walks and hits. No two contestants would have exactly the same combination of figures and scoring chances. So essentially, it was a lottery, where you neither picked your own numbers, nor chose exactly which ticket type you wanted to scratch off. Pretty limiting, now that I think about it.

But damn it all if I didn’t just win the thing one day! (In other words, limiting, schimiting.) I don’t remember exactly who my figures were that day — I do recall that I had Bobby Higginson of the Detroit Tigers (an unlikely hero, but he had two home runs that day, which was huge) and the Portugese national soccer team. (Sorry, Euro types — I meant ‘football squad‘.) The third member of my little pack escapes me, but he/she/it/they must have kicked ass, too, because collectively, they outkicked all the other ass-kickers in the whole game. Yay!

And what did I win for my unparalleled prowess at logging in and clicking on a link? Why, cold hard cash, of course! Obviously. See, if I spend oodles of hours and six months of haggling, bargaining, worrying and projecting to beat nine other actual people in an ESPN fantasy league, then I deserve a T-shirt for my troubles. But, if I follow a bookmark to their site and click a link — just once! — then I obviously merit five figures in legal tender for my troubles. Well, duh.

Still, who’s to argue? That’s money we’re talking about, folks. And even after Uncle Sam got his greedy paws on half of it, and we squirrelled some away for a rainy day, we were still able to upgrade our sorry excuses for a living room couch and television. Which rocked, because both pieces really needed upgrading. One was an old lady hand-me-down, and the other was a somewhat-used discounted floor model missing some of its parts. One developed annoying wavy lines, and the other sported mysterious gray blotches. Both were on their last legs, and so my wife and I put our winnings to good use in getting the hell rid of them and finding suitable replacements.

The contest ran for the whole summer, if I remember correctly. There were mechanisms for winners to earn bonuses and for money to accumulate — I think a couple of people won upwards of thirty grand or so, though my prize was nowhere near that. Still, it was free dough, and much appreciated. The contest is long gone, but we’ve still got our nifty couches and TV. And now that we own a house, and all of the monetary requirements that entails, we’ll probably have to keep our 3Play stuff until it gets blotchy and wavy and crappily old, too. Unless we can win another contest before that, that is. Anybody want to pay me for clicking on something? Really, I’ve proven my ability; I can do it again. Just give me a chance — and a shot at big money — and I’m there, dude. Just say the word.

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