The Odds

Jonathan Willis
April 06 2009 09:39AM

odds

Let’s assume the Oilers can win out their remaining three games (1 against Los Angeles, 2 against Calgary). How much help would they need from their opposition?

Let’s take a quick glance at the standings and the attainable playoff spots:

7. Anaheim – 2GR, 88 PTS 8. Nashville – 3GR, 86 PTS -- 9. St. Louis – 3GR, 86 PTS 10. Minnesota – 3GR, 83 PTS 11. Edmonton – 3GR, 83 PTS

And here are the remaining schedules of those teams:

  • Anaheim: vs. Stars, @ Coyotes
  • Nashville: vs. Chicago, @ Detroit, @ Minnesota
  • St. Louis: @ Coyotes, vs. Blue Jackets, @ Avalanche
  • Minnesota: vs. Stars, vs. Predators, @ Blue Jackets

Finally, here are the NHL tie-breakers:

1. Greater number of wins. 2. Winner of the season series, or in the event of a three (or more) way tie, best record in games against the tied teams. 3. Goal differential.

With that in mind then, any two of these events would eliminate the Oilers from the playoffs, even if they were to win every last one of their remaining games:

1. Anaheim wins or loses in overtime to Dallas or Phoenix. They only need one point, since they have the tie-breaker with Edmonton.

2. Nashville records three points; they won the season series with Edmonton so they need only one win and an overtime loss to be unreachable.

3. St. Louis records four points, in whatever manner. The Oilers own the tie-breaker (wins) if they win out.

4. Minnesota wins out; they own the tie-breaker with Edmonton.

Keep in mind that this is the best case scenario; each of those four teams would have to do considerably less if the Oilers don’t go 3-0 to close off the season.

Sports Club Stats does an excellent breakdown of the probabilities. Even if the Oilers win every game from here on out, they only give them a 21% chance of making the playoffs. If they lose even one point, finishing 2-0-1, those chances drop from 21% to 4%.

Both of those are unlikely finishes, though. Based on their season to date, the Oilers have a 2.8% chance of making the playoffs. Put another way, we can be 97.2% sure that they won’t make the playoffs. It’s over.

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#1 Sick and tired
April 06 2009, 09:55AM
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That should mean there's a 97.2% chance we'll have a coaching change in the off season. I like those odds.

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#2 Chris
April 06 2009, 09:57AM
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At least Calagary is falling apart... (Not sour grapes: just wanting two wins from them)

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#3 Jonathan Willis
April 06 2009, 10:04AM
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Chris wrote:

At least Calagary is falling apart… (Not sour grapes: just wanting two wins from them)

I don't know; I'm hoping for a top-ten draft pick this June. Some losses would help.

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#4 Amber McCormick
April 06 2009, 10:08AM
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JW always has a way of explaining things so that I can understand.

2.8% is better than no%

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#5 Ogden Brother
April 06 2009, 10:22AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Chris wrote: At least Calagary is falling apart… (Not sour grapes: just wanting two wins from them) I don’t know; I’m hoping for a top-ten draft pick this June. Some losses would help.

Van game put a serious hitch in that. I'd like to get fall to the 7th pick (or trade up to get there) giving us a shot at one of Schenn/Cowan/MPS. After that, theirs not really anyone that stands out, and fits with what we need.

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#6 Archaeologuy
April 06 2009, 10:37AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

I don’t know; I’m hoping for a top-ten draft pick this June. Some losses would help.

dont count on it, all the Oil had to do a couple years ago was lose their final game against a superior team and they would have had a lottery pick, they won instead. Sure we got Gagner who should be a solid NHLer but...

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#7 namflashback
April 06 2009, 10:41AM
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JW, that is all analytically correct -- but the reality will be more tragic than that.

Only one of the above 4 events will occur, ANA is running hot and have an easy couple of games to go so #1 will occur.

Nashville will falter, so will St. Louis, and Minnesota.

It will be sitting there for the Oilers to take, and it will be Calgary who puts the final nail in. OTL on Saturday night. It will be St.Louis in by one point over Edmonton, with Edmonton finishing in 9th.

Why? Because it is tragic and slightly humourous. And the devil has a sense of humour. And because Kevin Lowe sold his soul to the devil to get that 06 SCF run -- and is now condemned (along with Oiler fans) to be teased then have the rug pulled out from under us in the most tortuous ways.

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#8 Slats90
April 06 2009, 10:41AM
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If Nashville gets 3 OTL's to get their 3 points then based on the 1st tiebreaker they wouldn't get it over the Oil due to the Oil will have more wins than Nash, 40 to 39.

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#9 Wanye Gretz
April 06 2009, 10:47AM
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2.8% chance!!!

I read you loud and clear JW. Demand non-refundable playoff tickets in advance from a pleasantly suprised scalper outside RX1 tomorrow.

*runs to ATM to empty chequing account*

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#10 Hockey Gods
April 06 2009, 10:49AM
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To quote the great Jim Carrey:

So you're sayin theres a chance!

Later on...

Wait a minute, what about all that one-in-a-million talk?

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#11 Jon K
April 06 2009, 11:05AM
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The funny thing is that if you did this writeup prior to the Canucks game, Sports Club Stats was boasting a hefty 0.8% chance for the Oil's playoff hopes.

It's been over since the Oil went 0-3 stretch against Minnie, Anaheim, and SJ.

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#12 I'm a Scientist!
April 06 2009, 11:41AM
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*pulls out a novelty over-sized umbrella and opens it up because JW is raining on his parade*

Party Pooper...

*sniffle*

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#13 442Junkie
April 06 2009, 11:50AM
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I'm a Scientist! wrote:

*pulls out a novelty over-sized umbrella and opens it up because JW is raining on his parade* Party Pooper… *sniffle*

If it was a novelty item wouldn't it be undersized?

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#14 I'm a Scientist!
April 06 2009, 12:05PM
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For interests sake, I visited my super computer and had it spit out some other things that have the exact same odds as the oilers getting in the playoffs.

- I will win another Nobel prize - the Canadian Olympic team will earn the most gold medals of any country during the 2010 olympics - jeanshorts will reveal that he is ACTUALLY Mayor Mandel - The war in Iraq will be over before Christmas 2011. - I will not eat any chocolate bunnies in the next 24 hours - Amber will have a romantic dinner with deepoil. - All of Edmonton's potholes will be filled before July - Chuck Norris is gay - Richard Simmons is straight

So, with all those facts considered, I have HIGH hopes that we will make the playoffs... HIIIIIGH hopes! I also have high hopes the Britney will swing by my house tonight after the concert and make it burn when i pee... siiigh.

*gets a dreamy look in his eyes while watching butterflies and cupids dance around his head*

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#15 I'm a Scientist!
April 06 2009, 12:06PM
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442Junkie wrote:

If it was a novelty item wouldn’t it be undersized?

hmmm. Nope.

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#16 Wanye Gretz
April 06 2009, 12:19PM
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All this talk of 2% has given me a craving for a glass of milk.

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#17 Peter Pan
April 06 2009, 12:29PM
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I'm a Scientist! wrote:

I also have high hopes the Britney will swing by my house tonight after the concert and make it burn when i pee… siiigh. blockquote> LEAVE BRITNEY ALONE!!!
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#18 Robin Brownlee
April 06 2009, 12:44PM
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Peter Pan wrote:

I’m a Scientist! wrote: I also have high hopes the Britney will swing by my house tonight after the concert and make it burn when i pee… siiigh. blockquote> LEAVE BRITNEY ALONE!!!

That's possible. Use the hand that's not holding the magazine and light it on fire . . .

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#19 DK0
April 06 2009, 12:50PM
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I dont know man.... That kid goes full speed and headbutts the black dudes nuts and I think he has a chance.

Oilers on the other hand are that little kid vs a brick wall. Maybe we'll get really lucky and meteor will strike down the wall for us. There is better chance of that then winning the lottery.

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#20 Robin Brownlee
April 06 2009, 01:01PM
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Let's assume the Oilers can win out in their remaining three games . . .

Let's assume the GQ photographer is on his way to my house to take the May cover shot right now . . .

Let's assume my Novel Prize was sent, but Fed-Ex somehow buggered up the delivery and some tenured Ivy League egghead with oval patches on the elbows of his blazer got it by mistake . . .

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#21 Robin Brownlee
April 06 2009, 01:04PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Let’s assume the Oilers can win out in their remaining three games . . . Let’s assume the GQ photographer is on his way to my house to take the May cover shot right now . . . Let’s assume my Novel Prize was sent, but Fed-Ex somehow buggered up the delivery and some tenured Ivy League egghead with oval patches on the elbows of his blazer got it by mistake . . .

See, I can't even spell Nobel, how am I going to win one? Jackass (pokes self in eye with "participants" medallion from high school journalism contest).

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#22 I'm a Scientist!
April 06 2009, 01:09PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Let’s assume my Novel Prize was sent, but Fed-Ex somehow buggered up the delivery and some tenured Ivy League egghead with oval patches on the elbows of his blazer got it by mistake . . .

*runs to check his Nobel prize to ensure it is HIS name engraved on the plaque*

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#23 The Menace
April 06 2009, 01:13PM
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I'm a Scientist! wrote:

442Junkie wrote: If it was a novelty item wouldn’t it be undersized? hmmm. Nope.

I have to agree with 442 - if it was oversized, that isn't a novelty. That's just a big umbrella.

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#24 I'm a Scientist!
April 06 2009, 01:18PM
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@ The Menace: Look, it is MY umbrella... if i say it is over-sized AND novelty, that is what it bloody well is... geesh.

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#25 oilerdago
April 06 2009, 01:24PM
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Hey JW: Are you saying it's over? Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?

Oops. Wrong movie.

While it was nice that we got a win Saturday, I fall in the boat that it really messes up the draft position. There are some solid future players in this draft, but it would have been nice to finish up closer to #7 and have a shot at an even better pick.

What's that old line about we're so bad we don't even know how to lose right?

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#26 Antony Ta
April 06 2009, 01:27PM
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Those are some pretty bad odds but the Oilers have been playing better since San Jose I hope that at least for the rest of the season, even if its only 3 games, that we can watch some of this brand of hockey.

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#27 chartley
April 06 2009, 01:35PM
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Germans bombing pearl habour?

Exactly what movie are you talking about?

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#28 Deep Oil
April 06 2009, 01:36PM
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JW - you are very negative today.... another website is giving the oilers a 4% chance of making the playoffs....

www.playoffstatus.com

This people must be glass half full in comparison to JW

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#29 Phil
April 06 2009, 01:36PM
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Antony Ta wrote:

Those are some pretty bad odds but the Oilers have been playing better since San Jose I hope that at least for the rest of the season, even if its only 3 games, that we can watch some of this brand of hockey.

Playing better since MacT decided in the last 3 games of the entire f*ckin' year he should rethink his philosophies and change the system the team plays.

The man is too stubborn and it's costed the team points.

We'll never know if the season could've been salvaged with a new HC or if Mac himself decided to switch things up.

F*cking retarded if you ask me...

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#30 Victoria
April 06 2009, 01:38PM
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Wanye Gretz wrote:

All this talk of 2% has given me a craving for a glass of milk.

And that gives me a craving for cookies.

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#31 BGH
April 06 2009, 01:56PM
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@ chartley: chartley wrote:

Germans bombing pearl habour? Exactly what movie are you talking about?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MsmybQKpmTw&feature=PlayList&p=417D16A4BF418BC7&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=6

Animal House

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#32 BGH
April 06 2009, 02:04PM
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BGH wrote:

@ chartley: chartley wrote: Germans bombing pearl habour? Exactly what movie are you talking about? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MsmybQKpmTw&feature=PlayList&p=417D16A4BF418BC7&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=6 Animal House

Apologize, I didn't watch all of it at first as I am at work and didn't realize someone had added in the mascot.

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#33 BarryS
April 06 2009, 02:26PM
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You don't think some of the lazy players we have are suddenly worried they might be trade bait to New York Islanders or Tampa Bay for a good draft choice and decided to follow the system for once. Seemed a lot of two man fore checking going on and five man back checking going on as well. Or perhaps outright release.

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#34 Amber McCormick
April 06 2009, 02:27PM
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@ I'm a Scientist!: A romantic dinner with Deepoil? It would never happen. Deepoil would, inevitably, slip something in my drink and I would wake up in Stony Plain wondering "where are my shoes". Just trust me. I don't want to say how I know this- girls talk.

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#35 Colin-FMNF
April 06 2009, 02:31PM
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Wanye Gretz wrote:

All this talk of 2% has given me a craving for a glass of milk.

But how do you get a glass of 2.8% ?

*mixes 66% of a glass worth of 3.75% and 34% worth of 1%.*

Tastes like failure.

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#36 Dennis
April 06 2009, 02:49PM
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Nsh is in trouble with that remaining sked because the Hawks are a tough club and Det owes them a loss and Min's a good road squad.

Stl's got two softies remaining at Phx and Col and the Ducks are hosting Dal and visiting Phx so the smart money's on Ana in 7th and Stl in 8th.

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#37 JB
April 06 2009, 02:53PM
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St. Louis will earn the right to have their asses handed to them in the first round. The Oilers will soon begin contemplating what 5'9 165 lb forward they can burn a draft pick on. Lowe and MacTavish will have a "Mad Men" season-end interview with Katz, and Tambo will begin polishing his resume, wondering how the hell he ended up here in the first place. I love the offseason.

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#38 David S
April 06 2009, 03:01PM
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Chip and a chair Willis.

Chip and a chair.

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#39 Archaeologuy
April 06 2009, 03:02PM
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The Menace wrote:

I’m a Scientist! wrote: 442Junkie wrote: If it was a novelty item wouldn’t it be undersized? hmmm. Nope. I have to agree with 442 - if it was oversized, that isn’t a novelty. That’s just a big umbrella.

I have to side with my co-Nobel prize winning associate when I say that novelty sized does not unequivically require the item to be small. Consider novelty boxing gloves, sombreros, or the novelty ten gallon hat.

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#40 Jonathan Willis
April 06 2009, 03:11PM
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@ David S:

"The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but that's the way to bet." -Grantland Rice

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#41 Hockey Gods
April 06 2009, 03:13PM
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Deep Oil wrote:

JW - you are very negative today…. another website is giving the oilers a 4% chance of making the playoffs….

Look we haven't even played a game yet and our odds doubled already. The always optimistic deepoil gives us even more hope.

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#42 Jonathan Willis
April 06 2009, 03:22PM
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Deep Oil wrote:

JW - you are very negative today…. another website is giving the oilers a 4% chance of making the playoffs…. http://www.playoffstatus.com This people must be glass half full in comparison to JW

Actually, I'm pretty sure that site is using the same numbers, but interpreting them badly. My link says the Oilers have a (negligible - less than 1%) shot at 7th, and a 2.8% shot at 8th. Your link rounds 2.8% to 3%, counts <1% as 1% and uses some bad math to get to 4%.

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#43 The Menace
April 06 2009, 03:26PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

The Menace wrote: I’m a Scientist! wrote: 442Junkie wrote: If it was a novelty item wouldn’t it be undersized? hmmm. Nope. I have to agree with 442 - if it was oversized, that isn’t a novelty. That’s just a big umbrella. I have to side with my co-Nobel prize winning associate when I say that novelty sized does not unequivically require the item to be small. Consider novelty boxing gloves, sombreros, or the novelty ten gallon hat.

I'm not saying your umbrella can't be large - but where is the novelty? oversized umbrellas can be found on every patio in the city. You wouldn't win one of Brownlee's Novel Prizes for that.

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#44 I'm a Scientist!
April 06 2009, 03:48PM
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@ Archaeologuy: *slips Arch a crisp 10 dollar bill*

@ The Menace: I didn't say how big... there is a LOT of rain falling on my parade... this is a big ass umbrella. Like huge...like Dustin Penner could stay dry under it. I just hope the wind doesn't pick up.

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#45 David S
April 06 2009, 03:55PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

@ David S: “The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but that’s the way to bet.” -Grantland Rice

Well played sir.

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#46 Jack "FMNF" Bauer
April 06 2009, 03:59PM
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Amber McCormick wrote:

@ I’m a Scientist!: A romantic dinner with Deepoil? It would never happen. Deepoil would, inevitably, slip something in my drink and I would wake up in Stony Plain wondering “where are my shoes”. Just trust me. I don’t want to say how I know this- girls talk.

Deep Oil does seem like the type of scum that would roofie a girl doesnt it?

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#47 Deep Oil
April 06 2009, 04:24PM
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Is it true that Jack 24 Bauer is starting up a rogue ON Police Force..... using the Twitter Police as a model...

http://mengto.tumblr.com/post/93057483/twitter-cops-protecting-the-world-from-useless?disqus_reply=7879137#comment-7879137

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#48 volfman
April 06 2009, 04:42PM
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not sure if this has been written yet but nashville's gonna have a tough time with chicago and detroit. Biggest competion is st'louis with the av's and coyote's. Minny's not gonna win out. Go Yote's and Av's PLEASE!!!!!!!

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#49 Deep Oil
April 06 2009, 04:44PM
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@ I'm a Scientist!:

You want awkard - here is a very disturbing video....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_RaAUcsD_mY

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#50 volfman
April 06 2009, 04:46PM
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Of course if EDM does'nt win out all bet's are off. *keeps looking for four leaf clover*

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