Cheaters Are Winning The Bucci Overtime Challenge (Update)

Damn it, this is important.

It's a longtime collateral hockey tradition: when a playoff game goes into overtime, you pick one player from each team you think will score the game-winner. If you're right, you get the admiration of your friends, and maybe a few bucks if you all threw in. With the advent of Twitter, the competition became national. But ESPN anchor John Buccigross has taken it even further.

Buccigross explains it:

Two years ago, I brought this simple game to Twitter. I just retweeted a handful of winners as I soon realized that on Twitter people crave to be retweeted. I was shocked at the response. Then for some reason, I tweeted out, “What if next year we make up T-shirts?” There was enough of a response that I gave it a shot and that brought the game to another level. Now, it’s become a small part of the hockey community. It’s a fun game that enhances watching OT as you root for one of your two guys to score.

The rules of the Bucci Overtime Challenge are simple. Before the start of overtime, tweet out your picks for the GWG scorers, and append the #bucciovertimechallenge hashtag. Winners are randomly selected from among the correct guesses, and they receive a free t-shirt and get retweeted by Buccigross. Everyone has fun. (Like at the expense of this guy, who actually won while picking Kaspars Daugavins for his Bruins scorer.) It's neat, especially since t-shirts are also available to buy, with proceeds going to some really worthy charities.

But if we don't follow the rules, society breaks down. Here are two of the winners, as retweeted by Buccigross last night.

Note the timestamps: 11:31 EDT. What else happened at exactly 11:31?

Come on, Bucc. People are literally tweeting out the scorer's name just after the goal's already been scored, and you're rewarding them? While there's an outside chance these winners are making their picks just seconds before the goal, this isn't the first time it's happened. If you don't feel like checking timestamps, at least scroll down a little further in your timeline. There are plenty of folks who want t-shirts and don't stoop to cheating in a Twitter contest.

See, I told you this was important.

Update: Buccigross has responded on Twitter, and will right this injustice:

Just read Deadspin post. It's both funny and of course, sad. Like I've said, I take early picks, middle and late picks. I guess some are too late. I don't see time stamps on my mentions. I see ten minutes ago, ect, but not exact time on my IPhone. I will keep trying to make sure picks are in on time. Maybe I will have to cut it off once the puck drops for the beginning of OT. I guess that's the answer.

Most importantly-we've raised over $11,000 so far that will go out to hockey related charities once Cup is raised. Then we will raise more.