In the Charlotte Bobcats’ bumpy six-year history, I have heard this comment from a whole lot of disgruntled sports fans: “I wouldn’t go to a Bobcats’ game if you gave me free tickets.”
I’m sure that is true for some. But I now know there are a whole lot of people who are dying to go to a Bobcats game if you give them free tickets -- especially good ones like the two I just gave away. (The tickets to give away came courtesy of a buddy who lives in Gastonia, owns his own business, hits a wicked forehand, buys great Bobcats season tickets and couldn't use these particular ones).
I got close to 1,000 entries in a “Two Free Bobcats Tickets” contest we didn’t publicize much and only allowed people to enter for a period of about 30 hours.
Of those nearly 1,000 entries, only one person had the exact right answer to all three questions I asked. His name: Jeff Johnston. He lives in Charlotte and works at Wells Fargo. He has won two free floor-level seats to the Charlotte-Toronto home game March 29. He says he plans to take his nine-year-old daughter Adrianna to the game.
To review, I asked readers three questions through this blog and in my newspaper column Friday. Those questions were:
1) How many points will Cleveland’s LeBron James and Milwaukee’s Brandon Jennings score combined in their games against Charlotte this past weekend? The answer turned out to be 41 (22 for James, 19 for Jennings), and this eliminated about 98 percent of the entries. Almost everyone guessed too high, which was understandable given that the two average a combined 47.6 points.
However, exactly 20 readers got that question right, hitting "41" on the nose.
Noted Johnston: "I figured my best chance would be to guess something below the median here. With LeBron in the equation, I guessed that people would choose higher numbers more often than lower ones."
Now a guy who uses the word "median" like that you might guess is in a "math-intensive" job at Wells Fargo (he is) and was a physics major in college (he was).
2) The first tiebreaker: What would the Bobcats’ record be against Cleveland and Milwaukee this weekend? This one turned out to be easy. The correct answer was 1-1, and 18 of 20 entries were still alive after that one. "The Bobcats have been around .500 all year," Johnson said, "and so I just went with the highest probability here."
3) That brought us to the second and final tiebreaker: How many assists would the Bobcats’ Raymond Felton have combined in those two games?
The answer was 10 -- Felton had six in the Cleveland win but only four against Milwaukee in Charlotte's loss. I had a number of people who were so close – guessing either nine or 11 total assists for Felton. But Johnston had the single perfect entry.
"Felton averages just a shade above five assists," said Johnson, who described both himself and his daughter as big Bobcat fans. "So on this one, I just went with the most likely number."
Thanks to all who entered, including those who wrote funny notes with their entries and/or said they read this blog or my newspaper column regularly. I really appreciate it -- nothing makes a writer feel better than that. We’ll do another contest again some time.