The Payoff and Postmortem of Trade Bit 2016

This post coincides with tonight’s episode of Terrible Hockey Cast.

Our terrible hockey podcast had been existing publicly in its own unknown corner of a crowded market for half a year, like the stick and puck podcast wino it is, when we decided to resort to the cheap conceit of a longterm bet with stakes affecting show hosts no one cares about. For the six weeks leading up to the NHL 2015–16 trade deadline, we dedicated a segment of each weekly show to looking at 3 trade rumors and making claims about their validity, each seemingly as wild as the amount of alcohol in our respective systems. Each of the 3 regular show hosts registered their 3 theories each of those weeks, with any guests consolidated into their own 4th contender. The loser must purchase the cheapest authentic NHL jersey they can find by season’s end, and have it displayed in the PCD studios for all to be disgusted by.

It’s now a couple of days after that deadline limped across the finish line with a whimper and a moan. The numbers have been crunched, the crew that has bothered to show up for tonight’s episode has been informed, and we have discussed the mess before us. Let’s bury it.

How did this shit work?

Poorly. We’re flying by the seat of our pants here. Here are the rules we sort of agreed to while only some of us were half paying attention:

  • A full point was awarded for a fully accurate statement. ie, “Boston keeps Eriksson” or “Weise will be traded.”
  • Half a point was awarded for being half correct. ie, “Ladd traded to Florida.”
  • You still only get a full point if you agree with a trade rumor as presented. ie, “McGinn to Anaheim.” This is because our starting point are the rumors themselves, merely being drunk and agreeing with words spoken to you should not net you more than one point, even if the rumor is complex.
  • If you’re flat wrong, it’s a negative point.
  • In the event that a verbose son of a bitch keeps rattling off claims, each claim is calculated and summed together for that week’s claim value.

So. Who’s headed to the minors? Why?

Look at this shit, my god.

Chris kicked our asses.

It’s pretty damn apparent that most of us simply either aren’t good at reading the NHL trade rumor tea leaves or make some pretty financially dire drunk decisions for the sake of comedy.

These rules result in some very simple strategic realities that becomes very apparent as I stare at this data now:

  • You shouldn’t make any complex claims unless you’re sure as shit about your first one.
  • Your safest bet is to just say “no” to whatever the rumor is. Of course, that makes for boring radio. And that’s why everyone who isn’t the well-researched Chris didn’t wind up with positive points when the trade season was buried.

Ultimately, this whole loose system we sort of stumbled out into existence was poorly thought out and barely defined and full of plenty of flaws. But one thing is abundantly clear: even allowing for some margin for error in my calculations of every contender’s results, Chris would have fucking won anyway.

The Payoff Proposition

During tonight’s episode, it was proposed and accepted that the losers just pool money to buy that shitty authentic jersey of the winner’s choosing — to account for any margin of error (and to ensure the Ultimate Loser [Russ & David] didn’t feel fucked over), and because the winner kicked our ass so mightily.

That’s Chris, you see. Chris won. Like, unbelievably so. Next year will be different, I swear.

Depending how much liquor the rest of us drink.

Shawn, Wednesday February 2nd, 2016