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The annual family ritual gets under way – but without three of us right now because of teething problems with our ISP. We (at least my long suffering brother – g’day Al) kept a manual Excel chart of the 20 or so rounds with weekly and cumulative results. Each Friday we’d email our picks to him and he would diligently do the data entry. Interstate interaction grew pretty intense throughout the AFL season. Last year we abandoned the spreadsheet and let the AFL website host a “private competition” for us. Advantage – my bro was let off all the hack work, and, as long as folk signed up and sent their entries in, it hummed along. Disadvantage – the manual method included more tippers simply because Al used to chase up strays and goad them to put their entries in, making judicious allowances for latecomers and mis-entries. Last year was clinical, clean and lean – for not all, especially the Luddites among us, signed up. We also lost the banter and interaction on the way through. Trying it again this year – but at the opening of the season I can’t even log on to the site to see who’s signed up and who they’ve picked. What’s more I haven’t even been able to enter my household picks! Even worse, I picked the exact winning margin for the first game!

So I’m proposing to my patient and understanding family that we run a hybrid this year. I’ll do a spreadsheet and enter picks as well as using the AFL site (if and when I can get into it). If someone sends me a weekly screenshot of the results on the site – we can run them side by side.
“Never say die ’til a dead horse kicks you” is one of the memorable sayings my grandmother brought out from the old country!

[Edit: internet problem fixed and we’ve been able lodge our picks. So notionally we’re giving everyone a 3 game handicap!]

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