Dick Bonneville
by on August 22, 2011
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<font color=#00294A size=3>It was December of 1989. I was fresh out of college and interviewing for my first ever job in Advertising. After a long 15 minutes of fidgeting in the waiting area, I was met by a twenty-something Media Planner who, as it turned out, had more on his mind than his daily tasks and interviewing an entry level candidate. After exchanging pleasantries and a brief description of the duties, the conversation took a turn. First, we discussed the joys of college life, then on to music and finally....sports. While my interviewer was stealthy in his approach, it became abundantly clear to me that one condition of my future employment would be assuming the duties of commissioner of the upcoming NCAA Tournament Pool. To me, it seemed a small price to pay, and a lifetime love affair with <b>the office pool</b> was born. In those days, there was no software to help me with this herculean task. In fact, personal computing was still in the developmental stage, and anyone endeavoring to run a pool was in for a lot of work and a lot of pestering from enthusiastic pool participants. I won't bore you with the details of the slow evolution from hand-tallying on paper to complete on-line pool hosting, but I will tell you exactly what has changed and why it is the best time ever to step up and manage your office pools. GEOGRAPHY Then At the time, the office pool was aptly named. Due to the manual nature of the task (hand collecting, distribution of results, etc.), this was truly an office-only event. Outside participation was limited to close friends of office mates who took full responsibility for collecting pool entry fees and picks. Now Today, participation in any office pool is limited only by who's invited. Automated email invites can (and do) go anywhere in the world. At TheOfficePool.com for example, there are pools with participants from Alaska, Canada, the US, and Guam among others, and that's just one pool. It's clear that today's pools are "office pools" in name only. TIMELINESS Then In the earlier days of the office pool, even the best pool manager needed up to a day or two to manually calculate and rank players in their NFL Weekly or NCAA Bracket pools. Results were posted by the manager's cubicle/office, and players had to come from their respective cubicles/offices to see how they stacked up against the competition. Now Players can not only see how they stack up in real time from any computer, but they can run scenarios to see how the results will change. Most people know how things will turn out long before the Vince Lombardi trophy is hoisted or the nets are cut down. SCOPE Then Due to the labor intensive nature of pool hosting, pools were, essentially, limited to NFL Weekly Pick em and NCAA Bracket Pools. Football Squares Pools and Oscar Pools were limited to those guests at your party. Now Today it is easy to host pools of all kinds on-line, and therefore there are many more pool types. NFL Survivor Pools, Oscar Pools, American Idol Pools, So You Think You Can Dance Pools, MLB 13-Run Pools, etc. There are new pools popping up all the time, and an entirely new base of players. COMMUNICATION Then Results were only conveyed by posted rankings. Any "Smack Talk" was done by phone or not at all. Now Players can post on message boards, chat with other players, post videos, photos and polls for members of their pools. The office pool has become a social networking community where fans with common interest can share opinions and information and even talk a little "smack " with other players in their pool. Players no longer check the rankings an move on. It is a full interactive experience. It has been (roughly) 22 years of hosting, competing and loving The Office Pool, and it's been a great ride. New pool types are showing up all the time, and as long as there are sporting events, awards shows and reality TV, the office pool will continue to thrive and grow. Good Luck to all in the upcoming in your NFL Weekly Pools, NFL Survivor Football Pools and NFL 40 Plus Pools!</font>
Posted in: Office Pools, Sports
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