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Five Tips For Winning Your Oscar Pool

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I have never won an Oscar pool. One time, I came very, very close. I think I almost placed second. I won nothing. And frankly, that’s more than enough proof to justify to myself that I know precisely what I speak of when it comes to Oscar prognosticating.

After all, being an Oscars fan is not unlike being a sports fan. In both cases, no one really knows what the hell they’re talking about, but that’s the point. It's a fun way to pretend you have some authority on the subject, even when you know nothing. At least, that’s my hardcore analysis of it. So, with that in mind, I give you five FOOLPROOF TIPS to help win your office Oscar pool this year. You tell that snooty Peggy in Human Resources that she is going down, and going down hard.

1. Pay Attention To Everyone Else’s Predictions And Slavishly Follow Them

Listen to who people in the industry are predicting. Don’t go with any wild, outside the box predictions just because YOU have a hunch. Oh, you think Jeremy Renner could sneak in a shocking Best Actor win? You are wrong. That isn’t happening. Ever. Get your picks from people who know what they’re talking about. Entertainment Weekly. Roger Ebert. The Gurus of Gold. Trust me. This will help. Don’t go it alone, and don’t think you can intuit some magic insight about how Oscar voters vote that no one else can divine. That is stupid. Let everyone else in the office weed themselves out of the pool by making these wild stabs.

The only surprises that happen at the Oscars are the ones that, really, NO ONE sees. There may be a shocking win on Sunday night. I promise you it won’t be one you picked.

2. If You Can Help It, Don’t See Any Of The Nominated Films

Seeing the movies will just make you biased. Perhaps “An Education” was your favorite movie of the year. You don’t want that clouding up the fact that it has no prayer of ever winning Best Picture. The Oscars care not for your subjective whims, Film Boy.

3. The Pool Is Won Or Lost In The Annoying Small Categories

Everyone will pick the same winners in the main categories (only Picture and Director are relative tossups at this point). After that, your pool will come down to categories like Cinematography, Costume Design, and the dreaded Live Action Short and Animated Short categories. When it comes to all short film and documentary categories, it’s important to ask yourself one question: Is this movie about the Holocaust? If it is, check that box.

4. Don’t Submit More Than One Entry

This isn’t March Madness. It’s an Oscar pool. Don’t be Mr. Hedgebetter.

5. Don’t Submit Your Picks Until The Last Minute

You don’t want to submit your picks early, and then see one of your picks turn up arrested for arson, or find out that Mo’Nique killed her good will by agreeing to co-star in “Norbit 2.” Remember: these are actors you’re picking. They do stupid things. Don’t give them time to ruin you forever.

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