The WDAY NFL “Experts” Competition Getting Nasty

Hear all the WDAY NFL "Experts" on my programIt started out as fun.  I called us the WDAY Cast of Characters (this includes Jeff Kolpack from the Forum…he’s also on WDAY and he’s definitely a character).  We’d pick three or four NFL games every week with the winner getting dinner bought at the Fargo-Moorhead restaurant of his/her choosing.  Now, just three weeks into the National Football League season, and acting no different than the athletes we’re talking about, it’s getting intense, heated and downright nasty.

Benny “The Hitman” Ziegler, Tracy”Sly Dog” Briggs, Jay “Goldfinger” Thomas, Erik “Happy Legs” Matson, Larry “Snuggie” Nelson, Jeff “Smack Attack” Kolpack and yours truly, Christopher “Streak” Gabriel, are starting to throw down and quite frankly, it’s not a pretty sight.

I got a nasty email from Kolpack suggesting if he lost to any of us, he’d never be the same; Ben is the quiet assassin; Tracy tried to dupe everyone into believing she knows nothing about sports; Jay’s got “people” showing up at WDAY throwing piles of team stats onto his desk while a security guard stands outside his office door seemingly all day and night; Erik is the picture of intense, Finnish focus…he’s slipped right back into his glory days of yesteryear, when Minnesota high school football knew him as Happy Legs; Larry is a raging inferno who prefers you look in another direction when speaking to him.  And me – I’m just a humble Bears fan trying to keep the peace…and keep Kolpack safe in the WDAY hallways.  For some reason, people are angling for him.

  • After Week 3, Happy Legs sits atop your leader board at 10-3.  The Finn Philosopher of Football smiles, acknowledges his position and moves on. 
  • Jay, at 9-4, can barely contain his bitterness.  He believes he should be 13-0.  Just the other day, he said something on the order of “I’m 31 points away from being undefeated.”
  • JK and I are 8-5.  I like my position; Jeff is seeking therapy.
  • Tracy, Ben and Larry are hanging in at 7-6.  Tracy is hiding something from all of us, Ben says little and Larry is a cannon waiting to go off.

The WDAY NFL Experts

It’s a long season that promises to have many twists and turns.  Who’s your money on?  Need a bit more of an insider’s look at the players? 

Tracy’s a woman which means she’s inherently crafty.  And as mentioned earlier, cleary she’s hiding something from all of us.  We’ve been on to her weekend trips to Harrah’s Race and Sports book in Las Vegas for quite some time now.

Kolpack concerns me, too.  Many around WDAY always ask “Why’s Jeff so angry?”  Jeff’s never angry; that’s just his sportswriter, “I’m not a fan” game face.

Erik – he doesn’t say much.  He’s very quiet.  Too quiet.  What you need to know about Happy Legs:  He’s always watching.  He’s always listening.  He’s always taking notes.

Jay likes to come at you hard, intent on intimidating you with his picks.  Then he says something like “Man, how long do you think Bud Grant’s gonna coach this team?”  Misdirection… classic.

Benny… he’s our boss.  He jokes, we laugh.  He’s serious, we’re serious.  He makes a pick, we make the same one.  That’s the boss-employee relationship.  That, too, is a calculated plan on his part.  Genius.

And Larry.  Snuggie.  Never mess with a man who has bonded with a Snuggie.  He’ll crush you.Listen to CG Weekdays 9 to Noon

As the new one in town, I’m just trying to get along in a world of purple, Favremania and Chicago-envy.  Oh don’t kid yourselves – they’ve all got it.  I see little threatening notes taped up to my wall saying things like “If your Bears win this week, the Soldier Field poster gets it!” 

We make our weekly picks on my program every Friday morning at about 9:20 a.m. Central time.  Then on Monday, we’ll review the games and updated standings.  970 WDAY is where it all happens.  And as you begin, or continue, following this heated battle weigh in with your choice for WDAY NFL Expert Champion. 

Call my program at 293-9000 or 800-279-9329, email me at or feel free to leave a comment here.

And obviously, at the end of the day it’s all in fun… at least that’s what we’re saying publicly.

Filed Under: Christopher GabrielFargoMediaNorth DakotaradioSportsWDAY

About the Author: Christopher serves up sports on 940 ESPN in Fresno with a good deal of pop culture, films, music and the quirky side of life mixed in. Distinguished guests and contributors from across the nation and around the world regularly join the program. He tackles the most complex stories to ones slightly off the radar delivering depth and humor with a thoughtful perspective. When he was in Fargo, the city not the movie, the program was nominated for Best Radio Show in the region in 2012, 2013 and 2014 by readers of The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. As a writer, Christopher's work has been been published by the Chicago Sun-Times, Sun-Times Network publications, Reuters, USA Volleyball and Team USA, the Official Website of the U.S. Olympic Committee.

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  1. Terri says:

    I’m in Tracy’s corner on this one. Us “crafty” women have to stick together. (??? Crafty? Inherently? Really?) Also, like Tracy, I know little to nothing about football. I’m rooting for the underdog here!

    But the real question here is, why are you called “The Streak”? Is there something you’re not telling us?
    .-= Terri´s last blog ..It’s ‘International Be Silly & Stick Your Tongue Out’ Day! =-.


    Christopher Gabriel Reply:

    You’re suggesting I’m holding out on you? 🙂

    The Streak is short for what the nickname was back in my basketball days: The Greek Streak. I can assure you, it WAS for basketball. It was not a commentary on my behavior at sporting events as a fan….at least that I remember.


  2. Tracy says:

    First, Terri, thank you for your support. I truly am the underdog here. I’m the first to admit there was a time when I followed football more closely. I even won a big pool one year (and no, it was not based upon team color or other stuff you think women base their picks upon. I actually did some research and went on hunch, too). And my college boyfriend ended up playing pro-football in Canada so I was even forced to follow the CFL and the NFL. How’s that for dedication? Heaven forbid. But that’s ancient history. Now, I’m a middle-aged mom of two just trying to keep up with these fine men who actually care about the NFL. Most Sundays, I’m either playing with my daughters, doing laundry or catching up on missed episodes of “What Not to Wear” on TiVO. Honestly, I’m a fish out of water. But appreciate support from fine people like Terri. I’ll do my best, I promise. It doesn’t mean I actually have to watch all of the games does it? I might miss “What not to wear.”


  3. Andy Heller says:

    Very good! The truth has come out. I knew that the picture being presented was not the real picture. Something just wasn’t right. I’d like to know more of the truth.


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