University City

Participants in 49ers NFL Pick’em Contest have different strategies

UNC Charlotte student Jake Mandalke will most likely be watching the Super Bowl with his three roommates in their Belk Hall apartment.

As a fan of Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos, the 19-year old from Waxhaw has a special interest in the game’s outcome.

But Mandalke will also pay close attention to other aspects, such as how long the national anthem will last, if Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman will receive an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, and what color sports drink will be poured over the winning team’s coach.

If Mandalke can predict the answers to those questions and others like them, he just might be crowned champion of UNCC Recreational Service’s first NFL Pick’em Super Bowl Contest. In the fall semester, he was one of 15 weekly winners during the department’s regular season NFL Pick’em Contest.

“I really like the concept (of the Super Bowl contest),” Mandalke said. “There’s a lot of really cool picks. I’m excited there’s one more week and hope I will have bragging rights over my roommates again.”

As far as Ryan Holt, assistant director for intramural sports, can tell, this is the 16th year Recreational Services has conducted an NFL Pick’em contest as an official intramural activity. Weekly winners and overall winners are crowned in men’s and women’s divisions.

Each winner receives a “Beast Mode” T-shirt and secures his or her place on intramural’s Wall of Fame. This year, 326 different people participated, entering a total of 2,102 weekly submissions.

“Some of the people that play are your hard-core fantasy football players that analyze teams and home road records,” Holt said. “Some people that play pick off their mascots or who has the cutest quarterback, or something like that. Sometimes the people that put the most thought into it don’t do as well as those that pick off their favorite colors.”

The contest is open to students, faculty and staff. Mandalke, a sophomore, has taken part in the NFL Pick’em Contest for the last two years.

He admits that his selections are not the most scientific. Mandalke’s first rule is that he always picks in favor of the Broncos and Colts, Manning’s original team. Then he selects teams based on which NFL cities he has visited, which represents seven teams.

Alice Patterson, a 46-year old Concord resident, works in the university’s budget office and has played the NFL Pick’em Contest for eight years. She was a weekly winner during her first year but didn’t win again until this season.

In years past, Patterson made her selections by reading up on professional prognosticators’ picks on websites like ESPN and USA Today. This year, she winged it.

“This year, I didn’t look at any analysts’ predictions, and I did pretty well,” Patterson said. “I just didn’t take it as seriously this year. I wanted to see how I could do on my own. I did better, but it’s only because of luck.”

On a hunch that the Super Bowl will be a low-scoring game, Patterson thinks Seattle will be victorious. Mandalke disagrees, predicting his beloved Broncos will win 35-21.

49ers women a few points from undefeated record

Charlotte’s women’s basketball team is three points from being undefeated in Conference USA play. Charlotte was 4-2 (10-9 overall) after a 58-53 win at Rice on Jan. 25.

The 49ers’ two league losses were to Texas-San Antonio, 61-60, and to Tulane (La.), 78-76 in overtime.

Through 19 games, senior guard Ny Hammonds and redshirt junior Gabby Tyler were leading the team in scoring, each averaging 12.2 points.

Two 49ers win at Hokie Invitational meet

Two 49ers captured titles at the Hokie Invitational indoor track and field meet on Jan. 24-25 at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va..

Sophomore Anthony Campbell won the men’s triple jump and redshirt junior Joann Blakney won the women’s long jump.