It would take some doing, but if Jarhead manages to lose the Las Vegas Hilton SuperContest in the 17th and final week, he will, as Ricky said to Luci, have a whole lot of splainin to do.
Ask Dave Zenor, a Gold Sheet contributor and perennial Hilton entrant who took a comfortable lead into the last week one year in the '90s, needed only a couple wins to clinch all the marbles, got skunked and finished out of the big money.
He's still splainin' years later and the story has become part of Sin City sports gambling lore.
As Murphy's Law decrees: Anything that can go wrong will.
Jarhead, a nickname common to members of the United States Marine Corps, has ruled the SuperContest roost since Week 8.
He takes 54 1/2 points and a 2 1/2 game cushion over SID into Week 17.
The two players each took Washington plus 2 1/2 over the New York Giants on Saturday as one of their five weekly NFL selections, reducing the affair to a four-game competition.
The Redskins also are the week's top consensus play by a 102-30 margin.
Overall, entrants preferred seven favorites and nine underdogs on the Saturday-Sunday New Year's card.
Jarhead used New England, while SID took Tennessee in their only head-to-head confrontation.
Minnesota, Seattle and San Francisco round out Jarhead's picks.
SID's remaining plays include Chicago, Pittsburgh and Miami.
The leader has a 3 1/2-game advantage over Sportsbookside.com 2, Tony Soprano 2 and Win Big, each with 51 points.
Sportsbookside.com 2 has Washington and St. Louis minus 2 against Jarhead's Vikings; the player's other selections are Pittsburgh, Detroit and Cleveland.
Tony Soprano 2 and Jarhead both tabbed the Patriots, but their other games differ.
Soprano's four additional choices were Buffalo, Atlanta, Oakland and Arizona.
Win Big and Jarhead have San Francisco as a common pick.
Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Atlanta fill out Win Big's card.
The SuperContest originally drew 416 participants who paid $1,500 each.
They have made pro picks weekly for 17 weeks.
The consensus is 121-111-5, not including games on which opinions evenly were divided.
Best bets are 11-5.
Twenty places will cash and, aside from the five pacesetters, 25 players have between 47 1/2 and 50 1/2 points.
First will pay $249,600, second $99,840, third $49,920 and fourth $31, 200.
Fifth through 10th is worth $21,840 and 11th through 20th $6,240.
A $10,000 aggregate bonus awaits any entrant(s) with more than 67 percent winners.
Another aggregate $10,000 will go to the winner of a three-week mini-contest that wraps Sunday along with the main event.
The Raven currently leads that competition with a perfect 10-0 record.
The Steelers, Saints, Raiders, Seahawks and Chargers are Raven's Week 17 picks.
Six players are tied in the mini-contest at 9-1.
Remaining consensus selections, all Sunday games, are Buffalo, 46-27 over Baltimore; Chicago, 71-33 over Green Bay; Pittsburgh, 68-40 over Cincinnati; Dallas, 44-25 over Detroit; Houston, 58-26 over Cleveland; Indianapolis, 30-28 over Miami; Kansas City, 71-32 over Jacksonville; St. Louis, 63-35 over Minnesota; New Orleans, 55-30; Oakland, 48-22 over the New York Jets; Philadelphia, 57-38 over Atlanta; Seattle, 67-19 over Tampa Bay; New England, 59-33 over Tennessee; San Francisco, 50-20 over Denver; and Arizona, 41-12 over San Diego.
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