Scott Hardie | July 22, 2007
We will begin in just five days. Here is the line-up for Friday, July 27th:

Mike Eberhart vs. Denise Sawicki
Dave Mitzman vs. Matthew Preston
Steve West vs. Amy Austin
Elliot Farney vs. Russ Wilhelm
Jerry Mathis vs. Scott Horowitz
Steve Dunn vs. Aaron Shurtleff
Lori Lancaster vs. Mihai Rusu
JoJo Woods vs. Wendy Eberhart
Kenneth Woods vs. Tony Peters
Justin Hampson vs. Mike Rothstein

If Joy Dunn guesses all five remaining goos (she has 23 hours to begin), she will compete against Justin, and Mike Rothstein will get a bracket to himself.

I see some very interesting matchups in that list, given some of the friendly rivalries that already exist around here. It's sad and exciting at the same time to know that some of the top players won't last beyond the first day of the tournament, since they will eliminate each other. For spectators like me, that will lead to an anticlimactic ending, but the whole thing is designed to give the less-experienced players at the bottom a fairer chance of winning versus the veteran players at the top. No matter where you are on the list, you only have to defeat five people to win instead of all twenty, and only some of those five are going to be game veterans. I hope that those of you who have played for a long time without winning are excited about your improved chances this time.

Each day of the tournament will be based on time: Once you activate the goo for yourself, a timer will count the number of minutes and seconds until you guess correctly. Thus, you don't have to start right away at midnight; you can wait until morning or afternoon or even ten o'clock at night, whatever time is most convenient for you. Whoever guesses in less time, you or your opponent, will advance. Failure to guess correctly by the following midnight will eliminate you. A player alone in his/her bracket still has to guess correctly to advance.

All five goos will be merely Expert difficulty (no Master goos), so I don't expect many incorrect guesses unless the pressure to hurry causes players to guess prematurely. My advice to you is to take as much time as you need, since a slow correct guess may be worth little, but a quick incorrect guess is worth nothing.

Any comments before we begin? Any observations about the match-ups? Personally, I haven't been this excited about the GOO competition in ages, maybe ever, since that's not my favorite part of the game – but a bracketed tournament has gotten me stoked to see what happens. Good luck to all.

Steve West | July 22, 2007
Ummm... what keeps a player from looking at the goo on someone else's computer or work computer (my case), researching all they want and then logging onto the site at home in the evening to answer in 20 seconds?

Amy Austin | July 22, 2007
Wow -- and I thought I was f#@&ed *before* you asked that question! (I mean, uh... good question, Steve -- I hadn't even thought of that! Really.)

Edit: Re-reading this, it looks like I knew what Steve was talking about before he mentioned it -- I didn't. I only meant that I think I'm in trouble to be pitted against him... but flattered, too, I suppose. The pairings seem to be pretty equally matched in level of ability, I think.

Lori Lancaster | July 22, 2007
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Amy Austin | July 22, 2007
I was figuring that would probably be Scott's response, preemptive or no.

Justin Woods | July 22, 2007
Ok, so will you list incorrect guesses so that the opponent knows if he/she has to guess based on there time?

Scott Hardie | July 22, 2007
Steve: It's not based on cookies or javascript. It's based on user accounts. The database records that the user account "Steve West" activated the goo at X time, then later that same account guessed correctly at Y time, regardless of what computer where.

Lori: Great suggestion, and no, I hadn't thought of that. I had planned for how the site would treat players who were not in the tournament (let them guess like normal without the activation step), but it hadn't occurred to me that the page is open to visitors who aren't logged in. I'll seal that up. Thanks for saying.

To me, the gaping security gap in this process is friends helping friends. In the general round, they have disincentive to help one another because they're each trying to get to the end without the other. But in the tournament, they each face other opponents and that disincentive is gone, not to mention they could strike a deal to share the prize if they help each other get to the final two. Obviously, anybody found doing this is out, but it's pretty hard to find anybody doing this. I'll do what I can to look out for it, and I urge everyone to play with honor and fairness.

Scott Hardie | July 22, 2007
Kenneth: Yes, incorrect guesses will be listed as always, as will pending guesses. (If a player guesses correctly with a variant spelling, the time between their guess and my marking it correct does not count against the timer, of course.)

I had planned to display the times of players who had guessed correctly so far, but maybe I should withhold that data because a) it affects how their opponents play and b) many people will wait until the end of the night to guess?

Scott Hardie | July 22, 2007
Re-reading my answer to Lori, I wonder if I shouldn't revise my plan for non-tournament players. Is anybody fearful that a cheating player could create a ghost account and login as that to test their guess before guessing with their real account? Technically players have always been able to do so (not just in this tournament), but I do monitor for ghost accounts and I have caught several in the past, both for the goo game and the Oscars contest. I would like to think we could trust each other that much that the tournament wouldn't provide extra incentive for a ghost account beyond normal play.

My other reason for letting non-tournament players guess at these five goos is because I got grief in an old scoring system years ago that only let some players guess at some goos. They couldn't even try the other goos, it wrecked their streaks, and it discouraged them from the game, so ever since then I have avoided rules that prevent some players from guessing (other than requestors of course). It may be that on Friday more than half the current player body is in the tournament, but that will change over the weekend, and on the final couple of days we'll have most of the player body not in the tournament. Do you want to know that goos are being played on the site but you can't see them or guess them until they expire?

Amy Austin | July 22, 2007
...so ever since then I have avoided rules that prevent some players from guessing (other than requestors of course).

If I remember correctly, you made it so that requesting a goo doesn't wreck the streak, right? Did you also recently make it to where those goos still contribute to the overall score, or am I imagining that?

Also -- on the goo archive page... and anywhere else it would be relevant (TC archives, etc.), I would like to request a "check all" box for dates & categories. I remember asking for the boxes to be unchecked as a default, instead of all checked (this was for TC discussion archive dates, I believe) -- but it would be nice to be able to do all or none (or one, rather), instead of having to manually check all boxes (just as annoying as *unchecking* all boxes). This is particularly important with regard to goo category, since there are at least 30 categories to check... and if you're only trying to narrow down all goos to a bracket of time, you have to check all boxes.

The reason for both points is because I thought I remembered Russ Wilhelm's request not having any impact on his streak, but also advancing him a point. I couldn't remember what other point he would have had against him, aside from the one current goo and his request, but my not-so-quick "check all" in 2007 goo search gave me the answer: Klaus Nomi.

(You might also want to know that when pulling up a list of archived goos, the formatting isn't consistent -- some of them appear "smooshed" to the left... the bios, clue, trivia, etc...)

Scott Hardie | July 22, 2007
I'll add a check-all button soon. I used to have one on there, but it merely inverted all selections. So, if you checked five down the list and said "screw this" and clicked check-all, you would wind up with all boxes checked except those five. It was a nuisance.

Requesting a goo means that you can't guess that goo. It does not break your streak to miss that goo, but it also means you cannot get a point. If you request two goos in the round (as Lori has), your maximum score will be 48 instead of 50, not to mention everyone else will gain a slight lead on your Userrank. Thus, requesting a goo is fun but comes at this statistical price. One player requested that I cancel his already-granted request (his goo was still a few days away from publication) so that he could still go after all 50 points; I acquisced and I'll grant his request again someday.

So Amy, now that you've pointed this out about Russ, I'm curious too. He missed Klaus Nomi, he requested Otto Fredrerick Rohwedder, and he has not yet guessed at Journalism & Opinion (1049). Shouldn't his current score be 48 instead of 47? I checked, and somehow he managed to guess at his own Rohwedder goo, even though the site is not supposed to let you do that. You shouldn't see the guess form if it's your own goo, and even if you somehow saw the form, the site should reject your guess when you submit it. I know all of this was tested, but somewhere along the way it changed – I just logged in as Lori (sorry to borrow your account old friend) and sure enough, I see the "guess form" link right there on goo 1049. I'll fix it now and delete Russ's correct guess, and also scan for other such guesses that might have slipped through the system. Thanks for speaking up.

Scott Hardie | July 22, 2007
Fyi, I found six such guesses, in case you wonder why your all-time score changed: Two from Russ, one from Mike, one from Lori, one from Dave, and one way back in the day from Edward Tegge.

And curiously, one of those six guesses wasn't even spelled correctly. :-)

Lori Lancaster | July 22, 2007
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Justin Woods | July 22, 2007
Scott, so the players that are not in the tournament can only login after the goo expires and then they can guess? I agree that players should be able to only look or guess after they expire... Only a opinion of mine but if you don't qualify in the tournament you should not be able to guess at those goo's!!! This just makes your job difficult trying to keep honest people honest.

Aaron Shurtleff | July 23, 2007
I guess I need to put some form of smack in here to get things started..

Thank GOD I'm facing off against Steve Dunn! I thought I'd get paired with someone who was good at the GOO game, and was getting nervous. Now that I know I'm up against a schlub, I can relax this week for the inevitable victory on Friday. Is there a bracket format somewhere, so I can start to prepare for whoever I will face after I totally destroy and devastate and embarrass Steve Dunn?

In other news, still haven't lined up a computer to use this weekend... but I haven't given up yet. I have some mysterious mystery plans. I WILL win round XXX!

Amy Austin | July 23, 2007
LOL ;-D

Steve Dunn | July 24, 2007
Oh, I'm ready for you, Aaron Shurtleff. You better be a fast typer, 'cause I'm bringing the SPEED on Friday!! I'll be carbo-loading all week, eating lots of fish ("brain food" you know).

FEAR ME!!!

Scott: not to give you homework or anything, but this would be infinitely cooler with a graphical bracket showing our avatars as they progress through the rounds. (Or are you planning to set the matchups manually each week?)

All: here's an easy way to prevent cheating. DON'T CHEAT!!! If you're cheating on the frickin' Goo Game, I say, take your hundred bucks and enjoy it, because you've got bigger problems than money can solve.

Lori Lancaster | July 24, 2007
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Scott Hardie | July 25, 2007
Steve & Lori, I like your idea for the photo-based brackets... But what would the Elliot vs. Russ bracket look like? (Maybe it's about time for those guys to send in photos already. Elliot? Russ? How about it?)

The tournament chart is built. It is mostly dynamic, and by that I mean that it is programmed for all likely scenarios, but not really weird scenarios like if the two players in a bracket guess correctly in an equal number of minutes & seconds. If something odd like that happens, I'll step in and manually write-in a particular line on the chart instead of letting the code figure it out.

Lori, can I write something about Sailor Moon sucking without logging in as you? (j/k)

Kenneth, or Justin, I see your point, but after consideration, I'm going to let non-tournament players guess at the next five goos like normal. They can't win, but I don't want to force them not to play for fun if they want – it affects userrank, it affects consecutive-guess streaks, it affects runner-up status, and more. So, just to reiterate, if you are a tournament player you have to activate the goo and then you can see it and guess, and if you are a non-tournament player you just see the goo automatically and can guess, and if you are a site visitor you can't even see the goo at all.

Also, Justin, welcome to TC. We're glad to have you!

Justin Woods | July 25, 2007
Scott, not to start any trouble but who am I playing in the brackets after the second round? , you show single and then single again. I thought it would be timed brackets after the first round, first best time against second best time and so on. Thanks for welcoming me to TC and I prefer Justin.

Scott Hardie | July 25, 2007
There were a few days where we wound up with an odd number of competitors. Rather than have a bracket containing three people (unfair chances), the odd player out will get to be alone in their bracket on those days. This player will still have to guess that day's goo correctly in order to advance, but they will have all day to do it.

In other words, the basic tournament rules of "fastest player in the bracket to guess right advances" and "guessing wrong elimintes you" still apply to a bracket with only one person in it.

Lori Lancaster | July 25, 2007
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Amy Austin | July 25, 2007
How can he not know, Lori -- the exposure provided by you alone makes it easy to recognize! ;-D

As for the bracketing, I would shout "unfair advantage", except that being bracketed by rank puts the most "seasoned" players against each other and gives a new player the handicap that they probably need to advance. I'm just pissed that I will have to go up against Russ or Elliot... *IF* I can beat Steve -- to me, this looks like a most difficult round... these guys always beat me with the speed of their guesses! ;-P

Lori Lancaster | July 25, 2007
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Denise Sawicki | July 25, 2007
Ha, it will be a wholesale slaughter for me in the first round, Mike will get it in 0.5 seconds and I will get it in 5 hours if at all. I guess this is not the kind of smack talk you are looking for however. I guess by posting this I am being a little too predictable.

Justin Woods | July 25, 2007
Lori, I would rather be in the top brackets competing. Knowing that I, a lower rank user could beat one of the top ten ranked user would be sad wouldn't it!!

Lori Lancaster | July 25, 2007
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Justin Woods | July 26, 2007
Sorry Lori you now give me three reason to defeat you, your last goo request and you like Sailor Moon!!!

Amy Austin | July 26, 2007
Let me just clarify something here... being a higher-ranked player *doesn't* mean that you are better than all other players below you -- it only means that you've been playing long enough and well enough to get to your current rank. When I said that lower-ranked players "need" an advantage, I simply meant that those who haven't been playing for long might need more time than those for whom it is old hat because they have well-developed goo strategies by now. (Yes, there is some strategy involved.) In addition, I don't think it really takes more than a round to season a player. I hope that this takes down any notion that anyone might have that any of the top-ranked players thinks they are so shit-hot that they can't be beaten by a newcomer. One has only to look at the increasing gains on rank made by fairly new arrivals (Russ Wilhelm, Jerry Mathis, Elliot Farney) to see that this is true -- I myself have been "threatened" by the presence of these players since their very first rounds of participation, when it was made clear that their guesses were made with consistent accuracy *and* speed. This is why I'm not very thrilled to pair off against these swift players -- the only upside to it is that they will at least be forced to eliminate one of themselves before I or anyone else may meet up with one of them... which will happen sooner or later. The same is true for those players in the bottom brackets, who should be damn happy that they only have to ultimately pair off against *one* of the top-bracket players... this obviously won't be the case in future rounds as their user rank increases and new players potentially join in.

I say "enjoy it while you can", Justin -- because you have already clearly demonstrated that you are a player of substantial skill and one who will likely *not* be in the lower brackets in future rounds... unless Lori starts orchestrating ALL the goos in the game, in which case, none of us stands a chance. ;-)

Justin Woods | July 26, 2007
Thanx Amy, for the vote of confidence I will try my best... I never did take it that the wrong way I have been on here for awhile now, I hope that I am seasoned enough player to challenge you and those top players, all in all this is to be competitive right!!!

Amy Austin | July 26, 2007
Sure, Justin -- I know you've been here for a couple of rounds already... I should probably also mention that I wasn't here all that much before Russ, Jerry, & Elliot -- I think at least one or two of them started mid-round a little after me... like *three years* ago (I can't believe it's really been that long!) -- there just haven't been a whole lot of new joiners that have come that far since. (I take that back... Chris McKinnon and Aaron Shurtleff have come pretty far pretty fast. And where did Megan Baxter go this round -- she was here before me and is an awesome player, too.) I can't even believe that it's already been more than a year ago that I introduced my friend Tony Peters to the game (I think this is his second full round?)-- time really flies sometimes.

Lori Lancaster | July 26, 2007
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Amy Austin | July 26, 2007
***groan*** Thanks, Lori -- I can't wait. ;-P

Lori Lancaster | July 26, 2007
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Amy Austin | July 26, 2007
Oh, c'mon, Lori... punish away! (Just not with a backlog of severe difficulty level goos... ;-D)

(I took your character quiz, didn't I!)

Lori Lancaster | July 26, 2007
[hidden by author request]

Scott Hardie | July 26, 2007
I should mention that Lori did not ask for the current Journalism & Opinion (1049) goo to be this difficult. I noticed an opportunity to make it this hard and took it. I do have a pending backlog of seven requests from Lori that will be hard when the time comes for them, but she does request easier goos like Ron Popeil and Daniel Radcliffe to balance them out.

Amy, I won't count you out just yet. For a long time, you were renowned for guessing each goo within the first few minutes after midnight. I remember using your quickness as evidence that your unemployment at the time was not helping your game performance. Then again, your first opponent is Steve West, who deserves to be mentioned as one of the top players we've been discussing; he is the current champion after all, and has won or come close to winning every round since he started. No pressure, Amy. ;-)

Megan Baxter and Chris McKinnon have been absent since last round. I don't know what happened to them, but I miss them. Another recent up-and-comer is Mike Rothstein, who I think found the game via Steve Dunn's message forum. And of course there's Justin's wife JoJo, facing Mike's sister Wendy, who I believe is dating Justin Hampson, all of whom have performed very well recently as newcomers. (Wendy joined the game with scattered guesses a few years back but didn't play consistently until recently.) All are welcome.

Most of the tournament board is connected, in fact. The players are related (Mike-Wendy and Russ-JoJo-Justin) or friends (Dave-Scott and Amy-Tony) or dating (Wendy-Justin) or coworkers (Mike-Russ-Jerry-Justin) or online acquaintances away from the site (Steve-Mike) or at least know each other in person (Denise-Matthew-Lori and Matthew-Dave). Honestly, I'm guessing at some of these connections, but I've verified the ones I can. By my count, the only ones not connected are Steve West who frequently uses the rest of this site, Aaron who knows a bunch of other site users offline, and poor Mihai who lives on the other side of the planet and isn't going to know anybody offline any time soon. Then there's Elliot, who remains an enigma – we've exchanged a few emails about the goo game and he's nice, but that's the extent of my contact with him, and everybody else's as far as I know.

Lori Lancaster | July 26, 2007
[hidden by author request]

Amy Austin | July 26, 2007
...Steve West, who deserves to be mentioned as one of the top players we've been discussing...

Oh, I wasn't discounting Steve... 1) I said that I was dreading facing Russ or Elliot *IF* I could beat Steve, and 2) I was lumping him in with all the other players *above* me in rank. (Certainly not that he doesn't merit mentioning... just that I was addressing the pairing of general "new" players with "old".)

Sadly, I'm not so Johnny-on-the-spot with my guesses anymore, just because I'm no longer *compelled* to look at each goo right as it's published at midnight -- I just get around to it at my leisure. Perhaps if I had known how this round was really going to be played out, I would have continued this manner of immediate guessing as an intimidation strategy... but I'm just not feeling it, and I'm not too fond of the timed approach, even with my history of immediate guessing. I happen to also have a history, in timed events (such as test-taking), of using my limits to the max -- not even necessarily because I need to, but because I feel more better about it. (And because -- without going to go into the scope of any psychological conditions -- I feel *compelled*, actually.) So yes, timing the guesses *does*, in fact, put pressure on me. (But thanks anyway. ;-))

Steve West | July 26, 2007
I wasn't the least offended. And I admit to being a little intimidated by you Darth (skilled player that you are). I've been whining to my wife since the brackets came out, "It's gonna blow dead bear to lose in the first round". But I also was looking ahead and equally dreading facing the Russ/Elliot winner. I hate timed events - I don't work well under pressure. What I dread most is looking at the goo shortly after midnight and realize I'm not going to get it in the fifteen minutes I usually give and then go to bed because of work in the morning, and then having to wait seven hours to look at it again. If I don't get it in the short span after I activate it, seppuku is not out of the question.

Steve Dunn | July 26, 2007
I just noticed that Justin Hampson is in the Goo Tournament. That guy is a pitcher for the Padres. He's possibly the only Goo player who could also be a Goo.

Lori Lancaster | July 26, 2007
[hidden by author request]

Steve West | July 26, 2007
Yeah, sometimes being a samurai's a bitch. But I get great warrior discounts at my local Benihana steakhouse!

Amy Austin | July 27, 2007
LMAO...

Yeah, dead bear it will blow indeed, Samurai Steve. Based on your feeling being just like mine, I'd say it'll be a genuine toss-up between us... and made all the harder by the urge to check and see if the other one has gotten it yet. Dead bear indeed.

Scott Hardie | July 27, 2007
You know what would make it blow more? If I didn't let you see how other players had performed until after you activated the goo. Yes sir, that sure would be mean of me.

Scott Hardie | July 27, 2007
For the record, in the unlikely event that all players wipe themselves out by missing the same goo (could happen on Tuesday I guess), then we'll extend the tournament another day with those same players.

Amy Austin | July 27, 2007
ummm... sorry, Steve -- please don't commit seppuku... ;-(

Scott Hardie | July 27, 2007
I'm just glad my chart works. The code on that thing was a bitch. :-)

Well done, Amy, and Steve too for that matter.

Who will be next?

Amy Austin | July 27, 2007
Shit! Glad I wasn't up against Steve Dunn on that one... looks like Aaron's got his work cut out for him!

(Sorry, Justin :-( ... better luck next round.)

Scott Hardie | July 27, 2007
What Amy said (both topics). I hope this doesn't discourage you in any further play, Justin – you're good.

Justin Woods | July 27, 2007
Thanks Scott and Amy and sorry Lori, that I wont be able to defeat you but the wife should do fine doing that for me, but unlike me she is a Sailor Moon fan!!! I think next round I will change the way I play...

Steve Dunn | July 27, 2007
Thanks Amy.

However...

Isn't it true that players who haven't activated the goo cannot see the times of the players who are done? If so, I think we should discourage "table talk" about times on TC. It's disadvantageous (significantly, I think) if your opponent knows your time before activating the goo.

Having said that, type fast, Aaron. Type very fast.

Amy Austin | July 27, 2007
Your time is still unknown, Steve -- the only thing known is that you were faster than I was... time also unknown. Sorry if you think I hurt your advantage.

Denise Sawicki | July 27, 2007
I am sure I was far too slow but at least I was faster than my prediction :P

Steve Dunn | July 27, 2007
It's not a big deal in this instance, Amy, but since this is a new game format I thought it was worth pointing out that there are competitive issues implicated in discussing times during a pending round. Even something as vague as "looks like Aaron's got his work cut out for him" is considerably more information than he would have had otherwise. Equally vague comments in the next round will contain even more information, since by then we'll all know everyone else's times from the first round.

Also, you've got to remember who you're dealing with. In a game of ping-pong against a retarded kid in a wheelchair, I'm the type of guy who would slaughter the kid 21-0 and dance around while taunting him. Let's just say I have a bit of a competitive streak.

I'm just throwing it out there. I don't think you would appreciate it if I hinted about your time to your opponent, either. I don't think I'm being unreasonable.

Scott Hardie | July 27, 2007
If you'd like, I can suppress the "correct guesses" list until after the user has entered their guess, thereby making the two time-trials blind. Plus I'm worried about people waiting until the end of the night to begin so that their opponents don't see their score – Amy can attest to how risky it is to wait until the literal last minute, but it also makes me nervous if a pending guess comes in at the last minute and thus there's a question of who will advance after the next goo has already been published.

I'm off to work now. I normally never look at this site from the office, but today I'll try to make an exception a couple of times so that I can approve any pending guesses (no promises, since I have meetings all day). I'll be home around 7pm to approve pending guesses then if I don't do so sooner. Good luck to remaining players.

Tony Peters | July 27, 2007
well damn I feel almost ashamed of my time....definitely went down the wrong track for a while....

Amy Austin | July 27, 2007
I wasn't suggesting that you were being unreasonable, Steve -- just didn't think I was giving anything important away. Aaron doesn't know what time he has to beat to advance... he only knows he has to be fast, which I'm pretty sure he already knew. I already apologized, and as an extremely competitive person myself (who can honestly say that if the roles were reversed in this instance, I would still be saying the same thing) -- point taken... I won't comment on your future plays.

And by the way... I *so* wanted to talk some smack to all the remaining players last night (something to the effect of "that's right, bitches -- you're playing *me* next!"), but 1) I already felt too badly about Steve's elimination, and 2) I don't dare dish out anything that I can't take (yes, I can dish out *MUCH* better than I can take, sadly). In your above illustration, however, I might be able to act in a similar manner... but only if I thought that said ping-pong opponent was too retarded to care or have his feelings hurt by it -- I may be competitive, but I'm not *brutal*!

Steve Dunn | July 27, 2007
Look, the real point here is that I am BRINGING THE PAIN ON AARON SHURTLEFF!!!!

(If he beats me now, after all this yapping, it's really going to suck).

Amy Austin | July 27, 2007
Yeah, tell me about it... because now I suppose I get to feel partially responsible if he does!

(Did I already mention that I don't really like this new egalitarian playoff system???)

Steve Dunn | July 27, 2007
I like it for the exact same reason you don't like it - it makes you more beatable!

Amy Austin | July 27, 2007
Heheheh. Heh. ;-)

Russ Wilhelm | July 28, 2007
So Amy, it looks like it's you and me again. It's been a while. While I'm flattered that you have reservations based on my speed, I have my doubts. Tenacity is what gets me through, and that doesn't mix well with speed. But we'll see how it plays out. Good luck to you.

Oh yeah, speaking of luck that's played no small role in my game as well.

And since I haven't been paying more than a glancing attention here(Thanks Lori for keeping me occupiedwith that last one).
The only reason I entered guesses on goos I requested was the fact that I could. I figured there had to be reason for that capability.

And beware of those up and comers, they will surprise you. Elliott has been playing for several years prior to arrival, but didn't pour it on until recently (not sure if anyone else heard the "boom" as he shot by).

Amy Austin | July 28, 2007
Ummm... yeah -- I did. And quite frankly, I was rooting for you. ;-)

About the guessing... that was more of an observation that I tucked away as a "hm" factor for contributing goos -- I admit to never contributing because I'm too greedy for my overall score -- that just happened on your watch, so to speak. Not a finger-pointing thing, as I would have done exactly the same thing if the guess form were available to me, too -- and obviously, so did three or four other players... innocently (albeit quietly!), I'm sure. I just wanted to confirm what I had only recently noticed... while the subject was being brought up -- that's why I hadn't mentioned it sooner. (I noticed the night you got the point for it, but didn't want to "point & cry"... especially if it was a legitimate change in policy that I had just failed to notice before then.)

Amy Austin | July 28, 2007
Anyone else besides me wondering where the hell Mike, Dave, Scott Ho, Aaron, Mihai, Wendy, & Justin H. all are at this, the last hour of the first round???

Steve Dunn | July 28, 2007
Yes, I am wondering.

BRING THE FUNK, AARON SHURTLEFF!!!!!

Dave Mitzman | July 28, 2007
Mister Preston, hated to do it to you but adios muchacho :)
Mike or Denise, it's go time! Mandelbaum Mandelbaum Mandelbaum!!!

Oh, and Miss Amy, I've been here the entire time! Ok, truthfully I almost forgot. I'm running on fumes. I was in Vegas from last friday till wednesday. I landed at 1am Thursday morning, woke up for work at 6:30am, then went to see The SImpsons at midnight on Thursday. Now I'm here ready to collapse.

Amy Austin | July 28, 2007
Ah, good -- a handicap. ;-) (Call me ignorant (or just not Jewish), but... "Mandelbaum"???)

EDIT: My good friend, Google, tells me that I wasn't enough of a regular Seinfeld fan.

Amy Austin | July 28, 2007
WHERE'S AARON??? (Aaron, I can't believe you're just going to let this "schlub" mow you down like this...)

Amy Austin | July 28, 2007
Well, that was interesting. Aaron, I'm so disappointed... and I can't wait to hear what Steve Dunn has to say about this.

Steve Dunn | July 28, 2007
I don't know what to say. He just didn't show up?

Scott Hardie | July 28, 2007
Wendy and Justin stopped playing shortly before the end of the round, so I could see if they didn't notice the upcoming tournament (it's why I put up the white announcement message so early). And I don't know what Mihai's schedule is like. But the two non-guessers who really surprised me were Aaron and Mike. I wonder what kept them away.

Lori Lancaster | July 28, 2007
[hidden by author request]

Denise Sawicki | July 28, 2007
I'm actually kinda bummed that I won by default and now have to stress about this during the weekend... Yeah, I'm weird. Ahem, can't excatly do it from my home computer, that would be the height of foolishness, I have dial-up :P

Dave Mitzman | July 28, 2007
27 minutes and 42 seconds for today's goo amy? I'm disappointed in your timing!

Denise Sawicki | July 28, 2007
Well good job Dave, congrats, I was on the wrong track for the longest time :-)

Jerry Mathis | July 28, 2007
Mike is on vacation in South Dakota or somewhere.

And I'd like to state for the record that I'm an idiot! Classic example of trying to beat the clock without really paying attention to your answer.

Congrats to everyone still in the game. Could we see a new winner this year? You never know.

Steve Dunn | July 28, 2007
Here's a piece of advice for everyone. Refrain from GUI.

And I don't mean Graphical User Interface.

I mean Gooing Under the Influence!

Amy Austin | July 28, 2007
27 minutes and 42 seconds for today's goo amy? I'm disappointed in your timing!

And I'd like to state for the record that I'm an idiot! Classic example of trying to beat the clock without really paying attention...

Yeah, Dave, you aren't the only one. I went to bed pretty disappointed with myself, too. I will *try* not to let it happen again, but as Jerry pointed out -- I succumbed to the pressure of the clock, and it really fucked with my normal search strategies... I totally did not play that one out the way I usually would have. At this stage, I can't say any more, other than "I can't believe I still advanced" and "sorry" to Steve Dunn (and "sorry... but thanks" to Russ!). Maybe "GUI" would have been the thing for me to do to keep my wits about me last night. Ah, well... at least I have another chance -- amazing.

Not too pleased with having Dave as my opponent for the next category, either. I have to think that "Sports" will give him the edge on this one, regardless of any pressure-induced fuck-ups on my part.

Dave Mitzman | July 28, 2007
Well we shall see. I'm finally well rested. I'm surprised last night that I got the first round answer in under 2 minutes. I was really running on fumes. Now I'm caught up and will definitely be around tomorrow to put in some good effort. Amy, you's goin' down!

Amy Austin | July 28, 2007
No smack-talk here, Dave. Just a smack-down. ;-)

(I have already stated why I usually refrain from such comments, but I also know how much Dave loves this type of high art form.) Be warned though, Dave... I'm all for pre-guess talk, but please... get all the trash out of your system now, because any taunting me after the fact will *seriously* piss me off -- and I consider you a friend, dude.)

Having said that... I hope you eat Astro-turf tonight. ;-D

Dave Mitzman | July 28, 2007
Oooooooooooooh dip. You didn't just go there. That being said, may the best man win, so I will.


P.S. it's been a long time since i talked smack, and damn it, it feels good. It almost feels as good as shooting up smack, but I wouldn't know anything about that...

Amy Austin | July 28, 2007
I did, and technically, yes, you are a man... so I forgive you for your seriously flawed thinking.

Amy Austin | July 28, 2007
Gotta' also confess... I'm a little bit scared of JoJo if I somehow miraculously manage to beat Dave on this one -- she's pretty darn fast, too, that one.

Dave Mitzman | July 28, 2007
On this round of the tourney she was nearly a minute slower. Every second makes a difference.

Scott Hardie | July 28, 2007
Congrats to everyone who has advanced so far. And I commend those who have played well and still not advanced.

What day of the week is best for you to play a tournament like this? I figured that starting on a Saturday next round would be best, but if that many of you can't play at home, maybe I should start it on a weekday instead.

Another question: Does the week-long break between the final goo of the round and the beginning of the tournament affect the game for you? I worry that people forget to come back for the tournament. The alternative would be to shorten the online time for each of the final six goos by another day, so that they all expired on the same day and you only had one day to guess the final goo. Better or worse?

Glad to have you back, Dave.

Tony Peters | July 28, 2007
yes well I searched for a while got lost forgot to submit my answer went to my parents, the liquor store returned home worked on my bike and then saw that I hadn't actually posted my guess....so i know I'm out even if I get it right which I doubt

Steve West | July 28, 2007
Perhaps it's because the Tour de France is going on (but I don't watch it) or because I'm an eliminated player (which sucks!), but it occured to me that I would really favor the scoring system of the aformentioned sucky French bike tourney. If we're going to do a timed tournament then I would prefer a cumulative score instead of a single elimination score. Really, what distinguishes a good player in this game? The speed with which they guess or that they can determine the celebrity correctly? It's a combination of both as far as I'm concerned (It really sucks to be eliminated). Just throwing this notion out there for future rounds that we do a tournament in which after the first day, for example, Steve Dunn would be in first place because he answered correctly fastest. JoJo Woods would be in second place 13 seconds behind the leader, and so on and so on... The only players actually eliminated on any given day would be those who guess incorrectly or not at all (the alternative being that the score for those players on that day is 24 hours added to their cumulative time). Steve would wear the leader's figurative yellow jersey until the end of the second day of the tournament in which the second day's times are added to the first day's time and a new leader is established (or not).

Preset a finite number of days the tournament will last (does not need to be based on the number of players participating) and whoever has the best cumulative time for all days wins. Did I mention how much it sucks being eliminated?

The variety of categories would add to the sense of accomplishment that a competition like the decathlon does. It's the overall (big picture) strength of the competitor that counts most and not any individual (small picture) event that determines the outcome. Amy referenced her dread of the Sports category when facing Dave thinking it may be to his advantage. It might be. Good for Dave if it is and anyone else for whom it might be a strength. But one player's strong category may be matched against another player's strength the next day. Cumulative works for me. Just one opinion from a bitter eliminated player.

Amy Austin | July 28, 2007
I think that's an excellent suggestion, Steve... and I agree -- even as someone who has not *yet* been eliminated (*this* round) -- that it does indeed suck (I was convinced last night that I was, and it was enough to snowball my already down mood), and especially when you can look at the goos following and know that you would have held your own (as I have done in prior rounds, too). A cumulative scoring would surely compensate for the order of categories that may be detrimental to the chances of select players and preserve both the sense of accomplishment among the tourney players and the sense that "the best man" really did win, because they earned it by more than just luck -- a decathlon is a good model here!

I'm down with that idea, Steve. ;-)

Tony Peters | July 28, 2007
so what 7 days of timed goo's, shortest elapsed time over the 7 days

Scott Hardie | July 28, 2007
Interesting idea, Steve. I would love to find a scoring system that didn't suck for someone, but I'm still searching after nine years. :-)  In the contest that you describe, what happens to someone who takes an hour to guess one time? Don't they effectively eliminate themselves because there will be some players who can guess all tournament goos in under five minutes? It sounds to me like this system helps the people who are eliminated because they screwed up one goo or just weren't quick enough one time (which I agree is good), but still doesn't help the people whose one "screw up" is to take so long that they can't recover. Or is that your intention? In other words, it helps a few more people than the current system, but not many. Have I misunderstood?

I'm not saying no, just giving a first reaction. I like the decathlon part, because I agree that it's better to face a variety of categories than be eliminated in one.

I don't know if people have the stamina for this (including me), but I'd love to see a phased tournament. In the first phase, each competitor would face each of the other competitors once, and when their times were combined, the half who scored fastest would advance to the second phase. Repeat until only one player remains. But that would take a lot of goos; they could appear simultaneously to save time, but that's still a lot of goos for me to make. :-)

To me, recognizing the celebrity is the only real achievement in the game, and the one that we should be testing players on, not time. As long as you can do it within 24 hours, your time shouldn't matter. But, while it was most fair, the system where I kept putting up insanely difficult goos day after day was no fun, and you Steve proved last round that it could go on and on indefinitely. Steve Dunn and I brainstormed about alternatives, and we agreed that some kind of random factor would be great to keep the game under control, but most players despise randomness. The timed tournament that we have right now is certainly similar to having some kind of random-elimination factor (it's random whether each goo will take you 2 minutes or 10 minutes), but it's technically something that the player controls and so it's a lot more fair than pure luck.

After nine years, I've kind of given up on finding a perfect scoring system, which means I'm willing to live with one like the timed tournament even though it has a few minor flaws. But if there's one constant in the goo game, it's that no scoring system will stick around for more than a few rounds, so the restless search for the perfect scoring system is sure to continue.

Scott Hardie | July 28, 2007
I hope this statement doesn't bother anybody who has done so, but the other thing that surprises me in this tournament is how many incorrect guesses there have been so far. I really didn't expect so many players to eliminate themselves that way. Maybe I'm wrong about the difficulty of the goos (imagine that!), but if not, it must be the pressure of the clock. Comment from anybody who has guessed incorrectly?

Tony Peters | July 28, 2007
well today's question was very difficult for me but I'm not a Christian so I'm sure that's my excuse (well at least the excuse I'm sticking to after I found out the answer anyway)

Scott Hardie | July 28, 2007
Tony, no offense, I have temporarily hidden your comment. One person hasn't seen the goo yet.

I almost said something similar, so don't feel bad. :-)

Tony Peters | July 28, 2007
gotcha sorry wasn't thinking about that....it really threw me I was so not looking anywhere near the actual answer

Amy Austin | July 28, 2007
Just out of curiosity here... if Scott Ho doesn't submit a correct answer for the latest goo, will both JoJo and Mike get to advance again without competition, or since there will be an even number of players, will they be paired with each other?

Justin Woods | July 28, 2007
I think the timed scoring is a great idea, but but the idea of having the brackets i don't like, I think I am on the same page as Steve when I say it should be the fastest move on and the slowest gets knocked off. As far as this round and me being knocked off in the first round really sucks, I don't think the difficulty level is that bad, but I do say that if look for the goo that is pictured and it can't be found by that name you should use a different picture, sorry Scott just an opinion of mine, other than that every thing is good with me...

Good luck to the final players!!!

Amy Austin | July 28, 2007
Justin -- Historically, Scott has stated that this isn't intended to be a "Google game" and, in fact, has made special efforts many times to thwart the Googling of images to confirm the answer.

Scott Hardie | July 28, 2007
If Scott doesn't guess correctly by midnight, JoJo and Mike will each play tomorrow without competition. I didn't prefer that system at first, since that kind of semi-"bye" day is unfair to one's competitors, and ideally I should seek to reduce them if I can, right? At first, I had planned to compress the list each day so that the first two faced each other in a bracket, then the next two and so on, without regard to who came from where on the chart prior. (If that had been the case, then today JoJo and Tony would have faced off while Mike got to play alone.)

What stopped me from doing it that way are that A) in principle, each ????? represents the outcome of the previous fork, not simply any player to advance, B) the players can't psyche themselves up for future opponents, C) the chart would have been even more insane to program, and most of all, D) the tournament could end in fewer than five days. However, now that there have turned out to be many more incorrect guesses than I expected, it's possible the tournament can end in fewer days after all, since it's possible we could get to Monday and two of three could guess wrong. If that happens, should I make the lone correct player play in their own bracket on Tuesday just to complete the tournament? Doesn't make sense, since if all players are eliminated in a day then we redo that day ad infinitum until there's a player that survives it, so inevitably that lone player must win. If we get a winner on Monday, I'll just announce it and let Tuesday's goo publish anyway as a free bonus goo at the end of the round, open to all.

If this whole thing gives you a headache, imagine how I feel.

Scott Hardie | July 28, 2007
To me, if a goo's source image can't be found by their name, then it's perfect. :-)   Of course, that's really hard to pull off. In the case of Emily Yoffe, I began reading her articles right after Lori submitted the request (good reading; thanks for turning me on to her, Lori). When it came time to make the goo, I disliked all of the photos returned by search engines, so I went back to the articles and found a better one. Then I realized that most players only look for photos in the search results and rarely go deeper, so I had an opportunity to make this goo really tough – I threw out my original goo of her (go to Recent Goos and click her "alternate version" link to see it), and I re-distorted the photo until it gave virtually no information about the celebrity at all, including gender. Was this evil of me? Sure it was, but I'm not one to pass up a great goo when one occurs to me.

Scott Hardie | July 28, 2007
By my calculations, we now have a 75% chance of this tournament's winner being someone who has never won before. I regret my earlier tradition of rooting for the highest-scoring player who had never won before, so officially I'm not rooting for anybody here; I just find that statistic interesting. Depending on the outcome of Dave/Amy vs. Scott/JoJo, the chance will become either 50% or 100% before the tournament is over.

Lori Lancaster | July 28, 2007
[hidden by author request]

Amy Austin | July 28, 2007
Thanks, Lori! ;-)

Depending on the outcome of Dave/Amy vs. Scott/JoJo, the chance will become either 50% or 100% before the tournament is over.

Scott, wouldn't that remain 50% at best, as either Dave or myself (both previous winners) will face either Scott or JoJo (not previous winners)? Never mind... I guess you're figuring on the improbable possibility that both Dave and I will eliminate ourselves, and Scott will face off with JoJo for the title. If he ever shows up here, that is.

Steve West | July 28, 2007
Mike Rothstein still alive in his own corner of the bracket. Therefore it's up to 66.6%

Amy Austin | July 28, 2007
Oops... sorry -- you're right, Steve.

Scott Hardie | July 29, 2007
Well, I didn't factor in possibilities of self-elimination along the way, because that's manifestly hard to predict. It's the last day that determines the winner, so I figure there are four outcomes at the end:

25% - Dave or Amy faces Mike and Dave/Amy wins
25% - Dave or Amy faces Mike and Mike wins
25% - Scott or JoJo faces Mike and Scott/JoJo wins
25% - Scott or JoJo faces Mike and Mike wins

Statistically speaking, each of these outcomes is equally likely, if you don't count player skill. In the first outcome we have a repeat winner, but in the other three outcomes we have a new winner. It's pretty good odds if you're Mike, but we knew that already. :-)

Amy Austin | July 29, 2007
(sigh)

I wanna' be like Mike.

Steve Dunn | July 29, 2007
Scott, in answer to your question, for me it was the pressure of the clock. I felt like I needed to be very fast, so I was sloppy and went with a guess I wasn't really sure about.

The fact that I was drunk did NOT help. (I knew I should have waited for morning, but as stated above, my judgment wasn't quite what it needed to be).

I got the wrong answer, then looked back at the goo, figured out the angle, and found the right answer within a minute. Basically, I got the right answer within 3 or 4 minutes, but I'd already guessed wrong after 2 minutes! It's very frustrating, but I have no one to blame but myself. (Though, in my heart of hearts, I blame Aaron Shurtleff, too).

CONGRATS to all who survive!! Good luck and enjoy your victory this time. Steve Dunn is coming strong in the next round!!

Lori Lancaster | July 29, 2007
[hidden by author request]

Mike Eberhart | July 29, 2007
Yeah, everyone wants to be like me. Unfortunately, I just got home from vacation and missed the whole tournament. I'll be back next round, unless I'm on vacation again when the elimination rounds starts.

Amy Austin | July 29, 2007
Haha... I meant Mike Rothstein, but you were definitely missed here, Mike. ;-)

Steve Dunn | July 29, 2007
Dear lord, I think I got this goo in 20 seconds. AAAAAUUUUGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!!!

Dave Mitzman | July 29, 2007
BOOM! 25 seconds :)
Sorry Amy, i bid thee adieu

Amy Austin | July 29, 2007
Thanks for respecting my earlier request, Dave -- not like I expected you to beat me or anything.

Dave Mitzman | July 29, 2007
hehe. sorry, had to be done and that's all i will say. i don't think it was really smack-talk, just a friendly post-elimination farewell).

i specifically crawled out of bed just to get the goo so i wouldn't have to wait until morning (or afternoon because lord knows what time i'd get up, get my stuff done, and finally sit down to look at the goo).

Dave Mitzman | July 29, 2007
But really if that upset you , my apologies. not out to upset or anger anyone. if i do happen to play Horowitz in the next round ( I have a real strong feeling he'll know this one, he's quite knowledgeable on this specific topic, just has to beat that 57 seconds), then the trash talking is really on. It's just a lack of any sort of mutual respect between us. hehehe.

Tony Peters | July 29, 2007
damn I wish I had made it this far I answered that one from memory and knowing the spelling already

Lori Lancaster | July 29, 2007
[hidden by author request]

Tony Peters | July 29, 2007
it took me all of the time to type the name. I think maybe 15 seconds

Dave Mitzman | July 29, 2007
I'm looking forward to tomorrow's round. I'm hoping it's Horowitz but I have no idea if he'll make it to guess. He just moved and won't have internet till middle of the week (got me how he guessed on the other goos so far).

Dave Mitzman | July 29, 2007
And FYI, that means I'm terrified to face JoJo because she answers so damn fast.

Lori Lancaster | July 29, 2007
[hidden by author request]

Dave Mitzman | July 29, 2007
Internet cafes do not exist in NYC. I honestly think I've seen maybe one or two and they were both in neighborhoods I wouldn't normally venture.

Dave Mitzman | July 30, 2007
Nobody else up for some smack talk or some general chatter? It's been quiet for nearly 12 hours.

Justin Woods | July 30, 2007
Ok, just because it was my wife in the finals I am not stating this, but this was an unfair goo for the women especially since it was timed. I think if your going to use sports as a category you should make it difficult for everyone not something guys just saw on the news or read in the papers a couple of months ago, I mean honestly how many of the women read the sports section or watch Sports Center. Sorry to all the guys out there but, I think the women got screwed on this one.

Dave Mitzman | July 30, 2007
I don't think so. There are plenty of women who are big sports fans. Just because your wife didn't know it doesn't mean it's unfair to all women. Of the two women in contention, JoJo got it in 57 seconds (only 5 seconds slower than Horowitz) and Amy got it in 2 minutes 32 seconds. I wouldn't consider those times exactly slow for a goo that's of "expert" difficulty.

Amy Austin | July 30, 2007
I wouldn't either... if it were truly "expert" difficulty -- but it wasn't. And yeah, I think being up on sports was Definitely an advantage here... I had no clue beyond what was given.

Dave Mitzman | July 30, 2007
Well being up on any category is an advantage. If an anime goo comes up that Lori doesn't request, we can be damn sure she'll have a leg up on the rest of us. It's a consequence of just not having knowledge in a specific area. You can't say "it's unfair towards women because it's a sports goo". That's a load of bull. There is nothing stopping women from watching ESPN or reading the sports page in the paper.

Amy Austin | July 30, 2007
Yeah, but to me, "expert" difficulty level means that it would be a fairly obscure name to everyone... one that you have to dig a little for, not one that would just pop into recognition because you read the sports page. It's obvious from the male responses that the name was already easily known to them, and not one that they had to struggle any to recall.

Dave Mitzman | July 30, 2007
I know I got this one right. Not sure on the clocking though because I had a typo in the name :)
I'll find out tomorrow if Horowitz bests me. I'm pooped and going to sleep.

Dave Mitzman | July 30, 2007
I agree there Amy. I knew the name because news from Boston (especially involving the Sox) is news here too. Besides, it was pretty big baseball news.

Amy Austin | July 30, 2007
Thank you.

Scott Hardie | July 30, 2007
Nobody has mentioned the obvious yet about that Sports goo: I simply misjudged the difficulty, as I sometimes do. I thought Matsuzaka WAS fairly obscure to everyone, until everybody started guessing him right, or at least all the guys did. I wish this didn't happen at all, let alone regularly. If JoJo is upset at having lost at a male-oriented goo, she has my assurance that I didn't think anybody would have a particular advantage with it (except maybe Red Sox fans, which leaves out Aaron), and I regret not being able to predict that better.

Let's set aside any perceived sexism for answers to an academic question: Are there any categories that women know significantly better than men, ie. the opposite of Sports? I can't think of any. I remember a classic Literature goo from 2000 that three women guessed correctly and three men guessed wrong, and the men complained was too obscure leading to jokes about whether they read (boy did THAT go over well). I can't imagine anybody calling J.K. Rowling obscure in 2007, but seven years ago it was debatable. This hasn't stopped the men from performing well in other Literature goos since, though.

Looking over this round, I see individual goos where women may have an edge because of the pop culture information directed at them (Enya, Knut, Anne Geddes, Andrew Martinez, Perez Hilton, R. Kelly, Emily Yoffe), but just as many goos that the men can claim (Dale Earnhardt, Asia Carrera, Ben Roethlisberger, Leeroy Jenkins, Mary Carey, John Belushi, Joss Whedon, and now Matsuzaka). But in preparing each round, if I carefully counted and tweaked all such goos in an effort to establish a perfect balance, I think I'd go crazy.

Russ Wilhelm | July 30, 2007
I would have to disagree with the "cause you're a man, you know sports" comment as well. Although I loved my high school football days, I can't stand watching sports. It bores me, and I don't keep up with it. So I should be at a disadvantage on sports goos. But on the other hand it removes any preconceived notions as to who a sports goo might be, so there may be a slight advantage there. It's worked so far...

And true, I wouldn't think that any of the goos in these rounds have been "Expert" goos, but then I don't know what Scott uses to weigh them. After all, there is also the "Master" ranking.

Scott Horowitz | July 30, 2007
1 comment I'd like to make about using timing is that it isn't really fair. for example: the matsuzaka goo, I knew without even reading the clue, but because I looked on my cell phone (moved this weekend, so i didn't have internet, did the others at friend's places), it took me longer than it would have been had I been on a broadband connection. So, someone with broadband has a better chance of winning a bracket than someone with dialup. I think there should be a round up with the timing. Well, I got knocked out today, but 3rd place or 2nd if Mike doesn't get this goo, is not bad. Personally, when it's down like this, I would have done a round robin, top 2 advance to next round, but that's just me.

-Scott

Dave Mitzman | July 30, 2007
Well it looks like i didn't get away with an easy victory today :)
It's go time now, I'm on my game. At 1 minute 6 seconds for today's, I'm feeling pretty confident but I won't let that go to my head. Who knows what tomorrow's goo brings.

Scott Hardie | July 31, 2007
Dave, good luck. If you win, you'll be a three-time winner, which is a rare feat in this game.

Mike, if you're reading this, good luck to you too. If you win, you'll have done it exactly one year after joining the game, and that's not easy to do.

You've both won prizes; it's a question of how much and who gets bragging rights as the winner. I look forward to the outcome.

I will consider Scott Horowitz's round-robin suggestion. Any other comments or suggestions about the timed-tournament format now that we've been through it once?

Dave Mitzman | July 31, 2007
I think the round robin is a pretty good idea too. I'm also thinking that maybe you should bring back some sort of penalty system (a la the towers that would get toppled when you got a goo wrong).

Dave Mitzman | July 31, 2007
And thank you Scott for the wish of good luck. 1 minute and 8 seconds tonight :)
Hopefully Mike won't beat me on that!

Mike Eberhart | July 31, 2007
I actually think this format is good. However, I think you need to have it as a double-elimination. You have your winners bracket, but if you lose, you move to the loser's bracket. This is usually tougher to get out of, but it gives you more than one shot at winning. This is how's it's done in all the softball tournaments that I've played in. It would at least make the elimination round last a little longer. Just my opinion.

Dave Mitzman | July 31, 2007
I do like that idea too Mike. I was thinking about a double-elimination style before but hadn't really made up my mind yet. Now damnit, will Mike Rothstein guess already so we can end this round and decide a winner (hopefully me!).

Scott Hardie | July 31, 2007
Fyi, once both finalists have guessed, the site will show their times but it will not formally declare a winner by itself. I must manually write that on the page. I'll check the site at ~8am est, and if there isn't a winner yet, I probably won't check again until ~6pm est. I'm just mentioning this in case you wonder why it's clear who won and yet there isn't any announcement yet. :-)

If you haven't noticed, the new round will begin very soon, August 11. The last break was too long and that had a detrimental effect on participation: Some players took a while to realize that the game had resumed, and Megan & Chris never did come back (though I don't know for sure why). I can't say that every break between rounds will be this short, but hey, why should we wait around? I'll see you back here in two weeks.

PS. Sounds like several votes for double-elimination. I'll continue to consider. Please keep letting me know what you think.

Scott Horowitz | July 31, 2007
How about we make the game easier for me to win??? This is by far the best I've done in the game, and I want to win... had to lose to Mitzman, I might as well go jump off the 19th floor in my building.

Steve Dunn | July 31, 2007
Dang Mitzman, you're fast!

I can't figure out today's goo at all, so at least I know I wouldn't have won even if I hadn't made my foolish drunken blunder in round 2. 1 minute, 8 seconds is hard to beat.

Dave Mitzman | July 31, 2007
well i'm not celebrating until mike guesses and either beats me or doesn't. 1 minute 8 seconds is fast but I bet this goo could be found more quickly.

Mike Rothstein | July 31, 2007
Damm.

And you're right Dave, it could have been found more quickly. Congrats.

Dave Mitzman | July 31, 2007
Congrats to you too mike. Second place is certainly not easy to do (especially in this game).

Mike Rothstein | July 31, 2007
FWIW, double elimination seems reasonable, but I like the Tour de France idea. With one freebie - whether it's a wrong answer or one you simply take an hour to get, your worst gets dropped. Plus, I get a free pass into the finals. Obviously.

Steve Dunn | July 31, 2007
Based on history, I think Mike Rothstein usually guesses the goos after work. So I suppose we'll all have to wait!

But dude, 68 seconds is tough to beat no matter what. Did you have a good idea of the answer as soon as you saw the goo, or did you run a super-efficient Google search? I knew Dice-K instantly, but lucked out with a fast search on The Turk.

By the way, Scott, a question. Would you have accepted "Dice-K" as a correct answer? I looked up the correct spelling, but if I'd still been in the competition I probably would have been tempted to use his nickname for speed.

Steve Dunn | July 31, 2007
Based on history, I think Mike Rothstein usually guesses the goos after work. So I suppose we'll all have to wait!

Uhhh, ooops. That's what I get for going to lunch and not refreshing the page...

Scott Horowitz | July 31, 2007
No 3rd place prize ;)

Scott Hardie | August 1, 2007
Dave and Mike, congratulations to you both. Dave, I am amazed by your speed. :-) If either of you don't get my email later tonight, just let me know.

The Player Awards page has been updated. Mike may have claimed second place, but we had seven Runners Up, including three first-timers. Congrats! It doesn't come with a prize, but it shows that you played hard and played well.

Steve: I would have accepted "Dice-K," but I would have preferred the actual name he plays by. If a nickname comes in like that and is just too vague, I disallow (cancel) the guess and ask the player to guess over. But that tends to indicate that they were very close and so I rarely bother.

Mike: I like the "freebie" suggestion. That could cancel out the effect of a Sports category or whatever happens to be a player's weakness, and could grant the player one off night. It would mean that the chart couldn't be pre-filled in advance, however – no question marks, no nothing. Let me think about it some more. Thanks for the input.

Scott Hardie | August 1, 2007
What if we keep the daily timed/bracketed tournament as it is, but each day there are three goos instead of one? I would combine your best two times to obtain your score for the day, which lets you miss one goo, or just do poorly on it, without affecting your score. Miss two of the three and you're out. Lowest combined score in the bracket advances. Just an idea.

Steve Dunn | August 1, 2007
Whatever the rules are, hear me now and believe me later... VICTORY WILL BE MINE!!!!

Mike Eberhart | August 1, 2007
I still vote for the double-elimination loser's bracket. Having 3 goos to guess in one day is a little much. I like the double elimination because if you win out, you will face the winner of the loser's bracket. The person in that slot has to beat you two times in a row to become champion. Whereas if you're in the loser's bracket, you have to win more times to advance into the finals. Of course, this may not work, because while the two brackets can be going at the same time, the winner's bracket will finish first and have to wait for the loser's bracket to finish up. Just an option....

Scott Horowitz | August 1, 2007
How about we throw all the money in the air, and whatever g0d wants, he keeps?

Steve Dunn | August 1, 2007
If we're voting, I also like the losers bracket idea.

Scott Horowitz | August 1, 2007
I think we should have a prize for the person who does the absolute worst in the game. Have a "goo hall of shame?"

Aaron Shurtleff | August 2, 2007
Sorry guys. Diarrhea and lack of internet led to my missing the entire tournament. :(

And the saddest thing is that I had read an article about the Turk not three weeks ago, and I'm reasonably sure I would have put in a great time. :(

Which is easy to say now, but it's totally true, unfortunately. Blessit probably would have got me, though.

Denise Sawicki | August 2, 2007
I won a prize for "worst bowler" one time. Haha... but it takes more effort to be a bad bowler than a bad goo player :) You don't even have to show up to be a bad goo player. Anyway, I gotta vote against the "three goos a day" idea. One goo a day is more than enough for me already :)

Amy Austin | August 2, 2007
Too bad, Aaron... I know I'm at least as disappointed as Steve in your absence -- hope everything's coming out all right now, though! ;-7

Ditto on that, Denise... so far, the double elimination, "Tour de France" and the "freebie" (one I was going to suggest) are ideas I like best, but I am also reminded of my suggestions (and Russ's) for improving upon the grid system. I liked the grid and think that it can be easily modified and handicapped to accommodate different levels of playership.

Aaron Shurtleff | August 2, 2007
Yeah! Steve was so broken up at my absence, he went on a drunken bender and messed up the rest of the tournament. I lose, but I still win! ;)

Everything coming out right was never the trouble, but I appreciate the thought!

I like both ideas, the mulligan and the loser's bracket. Of course, I thought the timed GOO idea was the best idea ever. :D

Amy Austin | August 2, 2007
Okay, maybe I should have said "slowly"... (which is, IMO, "right"). ;-P


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