For the second consecutive year, Ottumwa Courier sports writer Scott Jackson has bragging rights in the southwest corner of the Courier newsroom, as Jackson held on to retain the Fearless Football Forecast trophy.
Jackson picked correctly in 70 percent of the prep, college and NFL football games this season to earn the victory.
“It feels good,” said Jackson. “I’d like to thank all my fans for sticking with me, especially after week two, when I only got four out of 10 games right. My hat is off to my competitors. Picking football games is a brutal business — but for me, business is good.”
Unlike the 2011 season — when Jackson ran away with an easy victory — the season was contested to the very end. Courier sports editor James Grob was within one game of tying Jackson heading into the final week of picks. Jackson managed to hit eight of 10 games right in the final week, while Grob settled for seven of 10. Grob finished second, picking 68 percent of his games correctly.
“Congratulations to Scott,” said a teary-eyed Grob. “I’m just going to try to pick up the pieces now and move on with my life. You work so hard for something, you do your best, and you come up just a little bit short. I’m not going to lie to you, it hurts. But I’ll learn from my mistakes and give it another shot next year.”
Fearless Forecast newcomer Andy Heintz finished third this year, his first in the competition. Heintz picked correctly 64 percent of the time.
“I’m just happy to be here, hope I can help the ball club,” said Heintz. “I’m just going to give it my best shot and — good Lord willing — things will work out.”