Tuesday, December 05, 2017

2017-18 College Bowl Pool Sheets

Ok, everybody! You've all mostly been patient. I apologize that it took me a couple of extra days this year. I've been quite busy with the _real_ job. This season's college football bowl pool files are now ready!

Some noteworthy items:

  • Since we again aren't waiting until after the Army-Navy game, and we don't know Army and Navy's final records, I've simply listed what each of those two teams may have for final records. That's simpler than leaving those cells unprotected, allowing you to edit them, and then dealing with the possibility that you do that AFTER picks are entered and thereby cause the picks for those game to no longer match.
  • The bowl line-up is different then last year. We're down one bowl! No more Poinsettia Bowl. :: Sniff ::
  • Also, three other bowls got a rename: The Miami Beach Bowl is now the Frisco Bowl. The St. Petersburg Bowl is now the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl. O_o And the Russell Athletic Bowl is now the Camping World Bowl.
  • There aren't currently betting lines set on the two games involving Army and Navy, so I just added the spreads for those already available -- check Vegas Insider or similar sites. I did, though, use the first team as the "favorite" for those two games, so that I could do some testing with the "Odds of Winning" functionality, which doesn't work unless favorites are set. This is interesting to know, so that if you find a game has no favorite, at least pick one of the teams and either leave the Spread blank or set it to zero.
  • My wife, son, and I haven't had a chance to make our picks yet, so for those of you who like to use our picks as benchmarks of sorts, you'll have to wait until I update that later.
  • Finally, I did choose to keep the FCS-level Celebration Bowl as part of the line-up. Feel free to have your participants make picks for that game or not, as you like. It ends up being an exciting game, at least.
Without further ado...the files:
For those unfamiliar with the two-file system, the idea is that pool managers can distribute the simple, single person Entry Form version to those in their pool to make their picks and assign confidence points. The participants them email back that file, and the manager can simply copy, paste special... values those picks and points into the Summary file, which is where they manage everything.

As always, the file is protected, but not with a password, so feel free to unprotect the workbook and then unhide some of the sheets running this stuff behind the scenes to see how it works. And if you add some cool hacks/additions, pass them along, so we can all enjoy them.

Final, as also always happens each year, several folks, as they were pinging, pestering, checking-in with me offered to pay me or donate to me for the sheets. This, like the NFL pick 'em sheet and the new NCAA football pick 'em sheet I do, I do for free as a labor of love. That said, if you are so compelled, feel free to PayPal me whatever you like:

$5.00     $10.00     $25.00     $50.00

Really you just have to change that dollar amount in the URL -- https://paypal.me/excelgeek/5.

Enjoy, everyone!

Friday, August 11, 2017

NEW THIS YEAR! College Football Pick 'Em Pool!

Hey everyone! I recently had a person approach me to convert my NFL Pick 'Em Pool into a college football pick 'em pool. What a great idea! It was no easy feat, however, since for the college football pool, I had to allow the pool administrator to pick the games each week that he or she wanted to include in the pool, whereas for the NFL pool, the schedule is the schedule. Also, for this particular person, I needed to support the way they handled the bowl season. The result is pretty cool, though.

Here's how the pool works: at the beginning of the season the pool administrator determines the games that will be involved each week -- up to a maximum of 16 games each week -- and sends out the picks sheets for the entire season. All participants make their picks for the entire season at the beginning. They also can optionally have people answer some tie-breaker questions, though no scoring for these is accounted for in the master spreadsheet. Then the participants send their picks sheets in.

I wrote a macro that enables the pool admin to automatically pull in the picks from the participants' sheets, so that they won't have to manually key them in. They simply need to save the unprocessed picks sheets into a user-definable directory and click a button. Once they're processed, the pool administrator can move those picks files to a "processed" directory. What a time saver if you've got a couple hundred participants, right? I'll have ot figure out if I can do something similar for the NFL Pick 'Em...

I also adapted the automatic score updating from FootballDB.com, so as long as you've picked games tracked by that website, you can use that feature. 

Because the system is based off of the old NFL Pick 'Em pool file, you'll still have the choice to go straight picks vs. picking against the spread, and the choice of how to allocate points for correct picks. 

I can already anticipate, since my readers truly are the nicest, most appreciative people on the planet, that some of you will be offering to pay me or donate to me for the sheet. This, like the college bowl pool and NFL pick 'em sheets I do, I do for free -- because I enjoy them. That said, if you just _have to_ do something for me for my efforts, feel free to PayPal me whatever you like. It does help to cover my hosting costs, etc.:

$5.00     $10.00     $25.00     $50.00

Really you just have to change that dollar amount in the URL -- https://paypal.me/excelgeek/50.

Anyways...please enjoy this inaugural NCAA Football Pick 'Em pool. We're bound to run into a bug or snag or learning curve or two along the way, so when you do, just let me know, and I'll do my best to help resolve any issues.



Thursday, August 10, 2017

2017-18 NFL Pick 'Em Pool Files Are Ready!

Folks, I've completed and release this season's NFL Pick 'Em pool. Like past years, many of you have diligently been pestering me for weeks now. I had to wait a bit into the preseason, however, so that I could see how FootballDB.com was going to treat our now TWO teams from Los Angeles, so that my automatic score updater will work. Again this year, I have created a companion "Picks" sheet to distribute to pool participants, so they can simply email back the file for the admins to copy-paste into the master sheet. Just remember to always copy, paste special... values when moving their picks into the master sheet, so as to not jack up formatting or other stuff.

Without further ado, here are the files:

As also happens each year, several folks, as they were pinging, pestering, checking-in with me offered to pay me or donate to me for the sheet. This, like the college bowl pool sheet I do, I do for free. That said, if you just _have to_ do something for me for my efforts, feel free to PayPal me whatever you like:

$5.00     $10.00     $25.00     $50.00

Really you just have to change that dollar amount in the URL -- https://paypal.me/excelgeek/50.

Anyways...please enjoy this year's NFL Pick 'Em. If you encounter a bug or need help with using the sheet, let me know.



Sunday, March 12, 2017

2017 March Madness Files Are Ready!

Here we go, everyone! This year's much anticipated two-file ExcelGeek.com March Madness pool manager spreadsheet system is out!

The system works the same as in previous years. There are two files: The first is the "master" spreadsheet, used by the pool organizer to track the results of everyone's picks vs. who actually wins, etc. This is where you determine how many points a correct pick in each of the rounds is worth, as well. Also, the pool manager can make his or her picks in this file, too. The second file is the simplified "individual picks" spreadsheet used by the participants in the pool to make their picks and send the file to the pool organizer to automatically pull their picks into the master.

You saw that right, folks! Both the individual picks spreadsheet AND the more complex "master" spreadsheet are FREE this year. For those of you new to my March Madness spreadsheets, I typically charge a nominal amount -- $2.00 -- for the "master" file. I alluded to the notion of making both free in my last post, and I've got an ulterior motive for doing so that I'll explain in a bit. The files are still both locked down and protected, and just as before, the master spreadsheet requires a "key code" to unlock its Excel_Geeky magic.

Like I began doing in 2015, I don't make you email me the "lock code" the file presents to you when you first open it and then email you back the corresponding "key code" to unlock the file. I've automated the process via a webpage. This year, however, you won't have to submit a PayPal payment to see the "key code".

What you need to do is the following:
  1. Download the "master" file by clicking on the link above.
  2. Open the file. Make sure you've got macros enabled. If you didn't have macros enabled when you first opened the file, enable them, then close and reopen the file, making sure to enable macros when prompted. If the file doesn't display a "Lock Code" when you open it, something didn't work right. Try again.
  3. Copy the "lock code" the file presents you.
  4. Paste that code into the "Lock Code" field found on this linked page. Be sure to delete any leading or trailing spaces/carriage returns added when you paste it. For some reason it normally adds an extra trailing space or carriage return. A valid "lock code" will contain no spaces -- leading, trailing, or otherwise.
  5. Click the "Submit" button.
  6. If you've done everything right, you'll be presented with the "key code" you'll need to activate the file.
  7. Copy and paste that code into the spreadsheet into the proper place, click submit, accept my terms and conditions, and you're off and running!
Again, if you don't paste in your Lock Code or if you do it with leading or trailing spaces, you won't receive a "Key Code" or you'll receive an invalid one, and you won't be able to unlock your file. Do not forget this part! One nice thing about me not charging for the file this year, I guess, is that you can always try again without having to pay again.

So...why have I all of a sudden decided to make the "master" file free this year? Simple. I'm hoping that by showing generosity, I can encourage some of you to do the same. You see, two of my close friends are facing a major hardship. Their names are Tracy and Rodney "Hot Rod" Nelson. Hot Rod was diagnosed several years ago with Parkinson's disease. He walks with a limp, drags one arm a bit, and suffers off and on from debilitating tremors. Sucks. right? Well, he hasn't let that get him down. Up until lately he's gone to work everyday, enjoys having beers with his friends and his wonderful wife, Tracy, and continues to pour his soul into his custom '71 Chevy pickup, participating in car show after car show. That's his passion.

Last November he came down with what was thought to be a common cold, but that ended up being pneumonia. On top of that doctors determined had a virus that was affecting his liver, heart and spleen. While in the hospital they further discovered that he had a mitral heart valve not closing and, in fact, he likely had two separate heart attacks in the couple months before. After further testing, they determined that he needed to have triple bypass surgery and a mitral valve replacement. Following the bypass and valve replacement surgery, Hot Rod had additional complications necessitating more surgery, this time on his small intestine. Following that surgery things were not going well. He had to be moved to the ICU, put on a ventilator, and induced into a coma. Things were bleak. Through the grace of God, Hot Rod pulled through. He made it out of the ICU, but still has a feeding tube for quite awhile. Rod's at home now and just passed his swallowing test, so he's on the mend. Again, this is all in addition to dealing with his Parkinson's.

Rodney has been off of work since December 5th and has actually been in the hospital since January 12th. Tracy carries their high-deductible health insurance through her job, though since she works for a government contractor, her job can be inconsistent and is often in limbo. Hot Rod and Tracy are dealing with many out of pocket costs, and their bills are quickly mounting. They've got a great group of friends and family to provide support, but with more and more medical expenses mounting and not knowing when or if he'll be able to return to work, it's going to take more than this support system to help them financially recover.

Hot Rod and Tracy are salt of the earth people who've never hesitated to lend a helping hand to anyone in need, and now they are need of many helping hands. Since you're not having to pay anything for this year's spreadsheet, if you'd be willing to give even a small amount to the GoFundMe page that was started on their behalf, we can start to make a dent in the financial mountain they'll have to climb. If that's not a possibility, if you could help share their story and that GoFundMe page via Facebook or Twitter or any other way you can, that would also be a great way to help. If enough Good Samaritan's learn of their situation, maybe, just maybe, a miracle can happen.

If you're unsure about contributing directly to the GoFundMe page, feel free to simply PayPal me whatever you think is a good contribution, and I'll gather up those donations and make one big contribution at the end.

Thank you and bless you for helping if you can, and best of luck during March Madness, everyone!


Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Welcome Puneet and ExcelChamps.com!

Hey Everyone!

I'd like to take a moment to post about a new affiliate of ExcelGeek.com. Last summer the bright, young Puneet Gogia of ExcelChamps.com reached out to me to see if I'd be willing to add his URL to my growing list of "Other Excel+VBA Sites". Sure! I'm all about touting other Excel-related sites -- particularly those, like Puneet's, so full of basic Excel information and tutorials.

Well, Puneet's come back to me, this time with a new packaged Excel product -- an inventory management system. It's a pretty powerful tool that I'm confident some of my readers will find useful. You'll see that I added this banner ad to my right side bar.

To be clear, this is a paid endorsement, since I'm signed up under Puneet's affiliate marketing service and will get a cut of any sales generated on my site. That's not really why I'm doing this, though, and don't expect to get rich doing so. Sure, any little bit helps cover the costs of my hosting, etc., but what I'm trying to continue doing is helping out fellow Excel enthusiasts turned entrepreneurs while also sharing some incredible Excel solutions. If you're interested, check it out. If not, apologies for what may feel like a spam post.

In other news...who's getting geeked up (pun intended) for this year's NCAA March Madness? Selection Sunday is just 5 1/2 weeks away! I'm looking forward to getting those spreadsheets out, and I am toying around with the idea of making them completely free this year. Interesting, eh?