Everything you wanted to know about us but didn't bother to ask

 

Who are you guys?

We are the Gehlke Brothers, Glenn and Sean. We are easy to tell apart: Sean (at right in the above photo) is the defending Gehlke Bros. Football Picks champion and current custodian of the coveted Surfy Trophy, not to mention the only one in the family with his own commemorative brick at Levi's Stadium. Glenn (the fellow on the left) maintains this cutting-edge website and the witty comments that grace the @nawful feed on Twitter.

Why are you doing this?

Sometime in the mid-'80s — we can't recall the exact year — we began a friendly competition to see who could predict the most winners of each week's NFL games with the goal of having the most correct picks by the end of the season. The winning Bro received bragging rights until the next season's competition. As the years have rolled along, the competition has become more intense, with a perpetual trophy now going to the victor and weekly updates posted on the internet. Other than that the contest has always been for fun only.

How does it work?

We follow the NFL's regular season games. Every week, the Bros make their predictions as to the winners. All picks are "straight-up," meaning we count only wins and losses and not point spreads. All picks for Sunday and Monday games are registered on Sunday morning prior to the scheduled kickoff of the day's first game. In the event of Thursday, Saturday or other stupid midweek games, the picks for those games are usually made and posted Thursday.

The majority of picks are done via email or a live telephone call on game day. As a courtesy, the player who is behind in any given week generally gets to announce his pick for each game after his opponent. Theoretically, this prevents the leader from changing his picks at the last minute in an effort to avoid a split that could help his opponent's cause. We try to be fair, however, even when we don't follow this practice (which seems to be often.) Our simple motto always has been: "Pick the winners." The more you can manage that, the better your chances of winning the trophy.

At the end of Week 17 we add up the total number of correct predictions to determine the winner. Then the Bros shake hands, a trophy is presented and the winner consoles the loser or does his best "in your face" dance — occasionally both. If the contest is tied at the end of the regular season, the playoffs and Super Bowl (affectionately referred to around here as the "Stupor Bore") are used as a tie-breaker. That has happened only twice in the history of the Gehlke Bros. competition.

Explain the charts you use on the weekly updates and how they work.

A few years ago we adopted the multi-colored grid format for our picks that we still use in a somewhat updated form. Under each of our handsome mugs you will find our season-to-date record, followed beneath it by our record for any given week. The teams we predict as winners are listed in yellow. If we are correct, the team name turns green. If we're wrong... ah well, we just leave it yellow. (But we're rarely wrong, of course.) The winners are also boldfaced in the schedule column. The colorful icon in the upper left corner indicates which Bro is in the lead for the season, and by how many games over second place. In the pre-2015 grids Sean is represented by a nuclear blast, Glenn by smiley faces, and Ben by stars. (More on Ben in a moment.)

In past years we used a different format. If you are looking at the archives and need guidance, here is how to interpret the older symbols:

= Glenn's picks; = Sean's picks; = Ben's picks

Other symbols were also used in the old weekly postings:

= Games in which Glenn and Sean chose opposing teams. These were the pivotal games in the season.

= Splits won by Glenn; = Splits won by Sean

What is this perpetual trophy I keep hearing about? What does it look like?

The perpetual trophy, also known affectionately as "The Surfy," was added to the contest in 1993. It has spent much of its existence dwelling in Sean's house, where it resides once again after he recaptured it at the end of the 2017 season. The Surfy is so named because the platform on which the little gold statuette stands resembles a surf board.

What's this "NawFuL" you keep referring to, and how come you write it so funny?

Ignoring its Shakespearean roots, we use "NawFuL" for anything and everything having to do with the National Football League. It can be a term of endearment or a pejorative, depending on your mood. For example, on a day when you're bummed because your Stupor Bore team lost after a 25-point lead, you could say, "What a NawFuL game!" which sounds a lot like "The NFL is awful." Or perhaps you are elated because you were rooting for the team that erased that 25-point deficit to win in an epic comeback and you exclaim, "That was just NawFuL!" meaning the "NFL is full of awe." Either way, NawFuL is a truly excellent term that deserves a home among the legions of devoted football fans.

Hey, you guys are pretty cool and this thing sounds like a lot of fun. Can I get involved?

Sure. You can follow us on Twitter. You can also take a gander at our weekly picks and attempt to parlay them into big bucks with your bookie. (We're above such petty pastimes as sports betting, of course.) We have longstanding and as yet unfulfilled plans to eventually create an interactive feature that will allow visitors to the site to match wits with us for a chance to win pretty cool prizes. (OK, they'll probably be lame prizes, but at least you'll have a chance to win something.)

Why don't you have a Facebook fan page? Come on, dudes, it's the 21st century!

You're right, and we're considering starting one. But we're so busy keeping track of losing football teams and preparing our picks that we'd scarcely have time to update it. Heck, we barely have time to update the site you are now enjoying. But we've got Twitter. That's something, right?

Who is Ben?

Ben is Glenn's 24-year-old son, affectionately known here at Gehlke Bros. Football as "King Chaos" (formerly "The Chaos Kid") for his often unconventional approach at picking the winners. Unconventional or not, his method managed to make him the overall picks champ in 2010, the first and only time he has accomplished that feat since he began making his own predictions in 1998. His prognosticating skills are improving, so look for him to be a big threat in the coming seasons.

Can you recommend a winning pick for this year's Stupor Bore? I'm going to Vegas and would like to lay odds on a dark horse so I can cash in big time this February.

Cleveland Browns! (We used to recommend the Detroit Lions, but they aren't the patsies they once were. If you're going to take a dark horse, make sure it's the darkest one so your payoff will be sweeter in the unlikely event it wins. Yes, we know Browns are not horses. So what? We make this prediction every year, and the odds say one day it will pay off big time, so why not risk a couple hundred bucks?) No, seriously, take the Raiders; considering that they will be moving to Vegas soon, betting on them seems a natural fit. ...But if you win, we want half.

Why don't you link to other football fan sites?

Because they all suck. OK, real answer: We tried that a few years ago, but it's too much work keeping up with dead links. Besides, once you're here why would you want to go anywhere else?

I've had enough of this Q&A stuff. How do I get out of here?

To quote the Eagles (the musical group, not the football team): "You can check out anytime you like, but you can't ever leave!" (Well, you can hit the back button on your browser.)

Celebrating our 21st season online with the spinning gif-ball!