Aaron Soroka has had many fine accomplishments in life. He once drove 23 straight hours from Reno to Minneapolis. He hooked up with a girl Brock Lesnar was after. He found a way to make a mustache look even creepier than the one worn by John Waters. But these accomplishments pale in comparison to the one he achieved tonight. Aaron Soroka is your 2012 Wockey Champion!
Ferris State, the plucky underdogs from Big Rapids, Michigan gave Boston College a much tougher time than anyone thought they could. But in the end, the superiority of the now five-time NCAA hockey champion was too much as the Eagles won 4-1. BC was far and away the pool’s favorite to win the title. 54 brackets correctly guessed the winner. For a pool whose participants hadn't predicted a correct champion for the first three years of its existence, that’s usually the kiss of death. But this year, all five money winners and 26 of the top 27 place-winners had BC as their champ. Congratulations to all of the winners and especially to Aaron Now let’s get to the important numbers.
For being the 2012 Wockey Champion by scoring 55 total points, Aaron Soroka receives $801.00 and the coveted Jewett Trophy. On top of that, just in time for the grilling season, he’ll receive this fanciful barbeque set that is sure to let all who he cooks for know that the coals aren’t the only thing hot about Aaron. Also, that sentence just received the “Most Awkward and Misleading Wockey Blog Sentence of the Year” Award. Thank you. Thank you very much.
Scoring 50 points apiece, we had a three-way tie for 2nd place between Charlie Lentz, Erich Manwarren, and Glenn Perez. After none of them signed the waiver allowing me to stage a Hunger Games–style fight to the death for the remaining money, I had to turn to the first tiebreaker—total goals scored in the Frozen Four.
In case you missed the “Price is Right rules don’t apply” message from an earlier blog post, it’s closest to the final number, not closest to without going over.
For accurately picking that 16 goals would be scored in the final three games, Charlie Lentz finishes in 2nd place and wins $320.40.
Erich Manwarren and Glenn Perez guessed 13 and 19 goals, respectively, for Frozen Four goals meaning that for the first time in Wockey history, we had to go to the second tiebreaker—total goals scored in the tournament! This one involves bigger numbers and consequently much more work for my feeble brain. However, after consulting a very scientific calculator, it was determined that Glenn’s guess of 82 goals was closer than Erich’s guess of 90 to the actual number of goals scored in the tournament—78. Therefore, Glenn Perez finishes third winning $240.30 and Erich Manwarren finishes fourth and takes home $160.20.
For fifth place, we actually had a five-way tie between Wockeyites who scored 47 points. This came down to Dave DelSonno, Everett Klosterman, Larry Robertson, Scott Schulte, and Erik Pederson. If Minnesota would have beaten BC in the semis, Erik would’ve been guaranteed the title of Wockey Champion. Of course, that didn’t happen, but a nice consolation prize is fifth place, which Erik receives as a result of correctly guessing 16 goals would be scored in the Frozen Four. For this, Erik receives $80.10 as well as the titles of “First Former College Hockey Player to Ever Win Money Playing the Wockey Pool” (Erik played for Army) as well as “First Player to Ever Enter Five Brackets and Win Money for Placing While Also Finishing in Third-To-Last Place”. It’s a good thing I didn’t promise trophies to everyone, or the engraver would be seriously pissed at me for that one.
As always though, the winner is me. No, for the fifth straight year I didn’t win any actual money. My prize is that this pool keeps growing, That I keep receiving acknowledgments that you are entertained and having fun. That we have a website! That the pot keeps getting bigger, the prizes keep getting weirder, and that the influence keeps spreading wider. During the bracket entry period, Chris Long, longtime friend and Wockey participant posted on our Facebook page that he had actually received an invitation from an unconnected friend in Duluth to enter the pool. In other words, Wockey went viral. Sure, we didn’t reach our goal of 300 participants this year. But we continue to grow at an exciting pace. And once we reflect on how the website works and tighten things up for next year, it’ll just get even better.
So thank you, my fellow Wockey Wonks. Thank you for continuing to attract your friends, your family, your co-workers, and your unsuspecting small children to be a part of this Wockey Pool, even if they don’t realize they’ve just established themselves as losers for the rest of their lives. I’m proud of how this thing has grown, and I only suspect that it will continue to get bigger—and better—in the future.
So as we close another season of Wockey Madness, let me share with you a quote that I believe encompasses the ultimate goal of the Wockey Pool:
"We don't want to go back to tomorrow, we want to go forward" - J. Danforth Quayle
Please. Continue to do your part to help us go forward to yesterday's tomorrow.
Until next year, my friends.