It's time. Today the nominees to win a free ticket to see the Chargers play the Giants in New York are announced, discussed and argued over in the comments. Tomorrow I choose several of my favorites and a vote happens. Consider today the 4th quarter. If you've written a FanPost already, you can cheer yourself on, add to the bribe or simply further state your case in the comments. If you haven't written a FanPost but want to be included as part of this, you can state your case in the comments...but it's going to have to be impressive to be considered for tomorrow's vote. For the rest of you, the ones who cannot or don't care to travel to northern New Jersey to watch this game in person....you're the judge, jury and executioner. Tell me in the comments who you like, who you hate, and why. After the jump, your nominees along with their stats and my reactions.
AnthonyV - Anthony was our first contestant, which should've worked to his advantage. My biggest drawback with Anthony was that he joined BFTB the day the FanPost was written. There was no way to prove he wasn't a Giants fan from Queens. However, if during the duration of the contest he stuck around BFTB and made some comments or threw up a couple of FanShots, I was willing to buy it. Anthony hurt himself by doing nothing in the two weeks since putting in for the ticket. It'll take something really special for me to include him in the vote.
GABOLT - Here's who Anthony should've been taking notes from. I was originally skeptical because GABOLT joined the same day as his FanPost, but then he proved himself to be a through-and-through Chargers fan. In the last two weeks he's posted 4 comments on 3 different stories and even posted a second FanPost for a chance at the ticket. Read either of those and you'll guess that GABOLT's reason for not joining until the day of his first FanPost probably had more to do with his lack of understanding with technology than any kind of trickery. I admire that he took that leap and love that he's been commenting since. We may have helped nudge him into the information age. A strong contender to be a part of tomorrow's vote.
shaaners - Somewhere in between the first two guys. Shaaners joined the day before posting his FanPost and then responded to my skepticism about his Chargers fan-dom in the comments. Since then he has voted on our polls, but has not commented. In his FanPost he said his unwillingness to comment was because "I have no business writing about football here, you guys are waaay too good at it, esp. interpreting stats. I hate stats. I’m all heart, baby." I respect that, but one of my bigger fears is that the winner of this ticket will disappear from BFTB afterwards. However, shaaners deserves some cred for throwing a picture of himself up on his profile page and not looking like a serial killer. At least now it would be more difficult for him to hide after the game.
Figboot - Or, as I have been calling him, "Graph Man". I would actually probably prefer it if he changed his username to that. Just kidding, I don't care. Now, as far as trying to get the most out of the blog with this ticket....Graph Man is a compelling choice. Imagine if he put funny graphs in the comments of stories? Of open threads during games? I have been dying to find an Axion-like talent (from Gaslamp Ball) to jazz up the commenting section. Could this be it? He came through with a picture of himself in a Padres jersey (proving he's a fan) in Yankees Stadium (proving he'd have no problems traveling). He voted on one of our BFTB's polls but has yet to comment on any stories (oh no!) and he does not belong to any other SB Nation blogs. He really should be a part of Gaslamp Ball. He came through with a second FanPost, even making sure to include "Electric Boogaloo" and another funny graph. Points for that. On one hand I think Figboot is one of the strongest candidates and on the other I worry about him disappearing afterwards (although he did promise a full photo/video report of the game on BFTB). It'll be up to the readers though, because I cannot keep him out of tomorrow's vote without something catastrophic happening in the comments below.
Clip Show - I knew this would happen. One of the regulars would stand up and, like a good family, everyone would jump on his bandwagon. A BFTB member since September 2008, Clip Show is a frequent commenter here and at other SB Nation blogs as well. There's no risk of him disappearing. However, if I make an ass of myself at the game...maybe I'd want the guy next to me to disappear. Decisions, decisions. His FanPost was well-organized (I'm a little bit OCD, so this was a big plus for me) and answered every question that I had. He even offered what I believe was our first bribe, using his connections to get us both in to meet Chargers and Giants players. There was also a high demand in the comments section to see photos of Clip Show's early 90s Chargers parka in action. Probably the front-runner right now (getting 4 Recs was huge) and will definitely be included in the vote. Anything he does in the comments will be to campaign for votes tomorrow.
Buck Melanoma - Lucky for Buck, he joined Bolts From The Blue two weeks before this contest started. That erased any doubts of whether he was a Chargers fan or not. He's been commenting regularly since joining and added a second FanPost in his quest to win this contest. In my opinion, he should've probably stuck with the one. Not just for the illegible font on the graphs, which was bad, but because he's getting closer and closer to the type of fan that I don't particularly care for. The type of fan that always calls the Broncos "the Donkeys", the Raiders "the Faders" and Eli Manning "She-Li". Also, if I understood his graphs right he called Eli Manning a "bitch" while predicting the Chargers will sack him 10 times and intercept him 5 times. I'm all for being a fan, but there's fans who ignore facts and stats for nicknames and crazy predictions. Is Buck one of those? Maybe, but in his comments he's been well thought-out and researched without much in the way of name-calling. Maybe he thought I'd pick the most die-hard fan and that was the way he went about it. All I know is that I'd rather not be sitting next to the same guys that make me cringe when they call in to sports radio shows. Knowledge is power. Right now, I'm on the fence about Buck being included in the voting. Prove something to me in the comments, Buck.
NY#1BOLTFAN - Whew, that's a lot of writing in one big paragraph, isn't it? Okay, I'll start by pointing out that he joined after the contest started and lives in NY so I was suspicious. He did post an intimidating picture of himself wearing a Chargers powder blue Tomlinson jersey though, and his story was convincing enough. There wasn't much in the way of a bribe, but he did a good job of stating his case without going over-the-top. However, since joining BFTB and posting that FanPost, NY#1BOLTFAN has yet to comment or even vote on any of our polls. He might be a part of the vote, because I really liked his background story, but he's going to have to make me want to include him by doing something in the comments below.
So there you have it. Seven candidates opting for a chance to see the Chargers playing the Giants in November for free. How many will be a part of the vote? I have no idea. Five? Four? Three? You guys can help me decide that. This comments section should be a make-or-break for these candidates and it's an opportunity to jump into the competition if you haven't already. Mostly though, it will be a place for our readers to name their favorites and tell me who should be a part of tomorrow's vote.
Do you have any thoughts about Bolts From The Blue? Any tips you want to send our way? Whenever you have something to say, don't hesitate to e-mail me directly.