Chesterton Tribune

Tribune wraps up 50th season of the Pigskin Picks contest with a look back

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In spite of the fact that at least one staff member at the time said it would never last, Pigskin Picks, the Chesterton Tribune’s football contest has continued for fifty years.

It was the brainchild of Fred Engelking, who was selling ads for the paper, and the first contest ad ran in the September 25, 1958 issue of the Tribune.

 In 1958 the Tribune was a large weekly paper, often with three sections and sometimes as many as 28 pages. The first Pigskin Picks contest was sponsored solely by the Tribune. It took up about one quarter of a page and listed eight college games. Contestants were instructed to circle their predicted winners and then to predict the highest number of points scored by any one team. That prediction would be used as a tie breaker. Records show it didn’t always break a tie.

 There was one prize of five dollars. That first year the contest ran for nine weeks and the winners were Glen Markley, who correctly named all of the winners, Richard Silverthorn, Carl Lee Hart III and Steve Pazak who tied, William Walstra (twice), Joe Drozda and W. D. Ashby who tied, Fred Berger, George Hass and Chester Schallon.

 After the first week the contest ad was about an eighth of a page in size.

 The second year there were fourteen sponsors and two professional games were included. The professional games in the first contest that year were Chicago Bears against the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Cardinals against the Washington Redskins. A second place prize was added and winners of that year’s first contest published on September 24, 1959 were Mike Koslowski and Mrs. F. Harris.

 Each ad had a game listed within it. Advertisers were L&M Boot Shop, Charles Smith Men’s Store, Skinner Standard Service, E.P. Hubbard Chevrolet, Taste Rite Restaurant, Johnston’s Sports, Casbon Electric, Andrew Lower Insurance, Duneland Distributing Co., Chesterton Paint and Wallpaper, Good Earth Co., Chesterton Automotive Supply, Engineering and Building Supply and Cities Service,

In April of 1961 the Tribune became a Monday-through-Friday paper and the Pigskin Picks ad that fall was half a page.  First prize was ten dollars and second prize was five dollars. The first winners that year were Alex Bishop and Jim Philips.

The advertisers in 1961 were L&M Boot Shop, Chas. M. Smith Men’s Store, Fry’s Record & Hobby Shop, Edwin Pearson Insurance, Consumers Concrete Corp., Dunes Valley Lanes, Graves-Olson Ford, Hanson Oil Co., Dres-Well Cleaners, Dixie Dairy, The Griffin Drive-In, Bartels Hardware, Roland V. Cline, general contractor and Johnson’s Funeral Home.

Random looks at contests through the years show the prize money increased several times, and the ad became a full page. The number of advertisers has varied from time to time.

 First winners in the fall of 1969 were Larry Mitchell and John Walsh. Karla Nallenweg and Al Gaston won the September 24, 1974 contest.

 The page ad which appeared September 18, 1978 had prize money of $15 and $7.50, and the winners were Charles Samila and Nikki Stephenson.

 Sometimes games were dropped from the contest for scheduling reasons. In the contest for September 12, 1988 a game was postponed by Hurricane Gilbert. That week the winners were John Rosetti and Mary Ray.

The first contest of 1998 was won by Jill Long and Rob Pomeroy.

A few rule changes have taken place, mostly to enforce the “one entry per person” rule. When a toddler was the winner, an age limit was imposed, and after relatives who lived across the country were listed as winners a rule added that contestants are required to sign their entries.

Whole families have entered Pigskin Picks and told the Tribune about the competition they enjoy. Children have to wait until they are ten years old to qualify. Many names appear often, either as prize winners or honorable mention. In recent years names such as Gustafson, Berg, Quartuch, Walker, Polakowski, Akers, Wellence and Lynch, in addition to some of those mentioned earlier, have frequently finished near the top.

This Year’s Winners

First place winners this season were Ron Donnella, Nick  Gustafson, Don Wilson, Scott Lindquist (2), Mike Berg,  Scott Pearson, Dave Povlinski, Jill Long and Jack Porter.

Second place winners were Tom Lynch, Mike Berg, Michael Stachowiak, Linda Burbach, Don Vankosky, Brian Gustafson, Jr., Paul  Atrosh, Mark Quartuch, Zane Feitshans, Susan Pearson, Jill Dravet and Karl Nallenweg. In case of ties duplicate prizes were awarded.

50th Year Sponsors

The Tribune thanks the sponsors who made the 50th year contest possible:

•Blythe’s Sports,

•Chesterton  Travel,

•Val’s Pizza & Grinders,

•Dean’s Tire and Automotive Services,

•Elaine Morris Allstate Insurance,

•White-Love Funeral Home,


•Winey Insurance Agency,

•Lake Shore Ford / Mercury / Toyota,

•Ruge & Sons  Meat Market,


•Broadway Liquors,

•Edmonds & Evans Funeral Home,

•Trout Glass & Mirror,

•Auto Clinic,

•Duneland Carpet Connection,

•Ellis Electric,

•Christine J. Newton South Shore Insurance and 

•George’s Gyros Spot.

Pigskin Picks will be back for the 51st season in September 2009.


Jack Porter wins final week of 50th season of Pigskin Picks

 Jack Porter, Karl Nallenweg and Linda Burbach, all of  Chesterton,  topped all contestants in the final week of the  Chesterton Tribune Pigskin Picks contest for the 2008 football season.

Porter was closest on the Game of the Week score for first place and Nallenweg was next for second place.

The three each missed three games for scores of sixteen.

Earning honorable mention for scores of fifteen are, in no particular order, Don Wilson, Robert F. Jackson, Nick Darnell, Rick  Shay, Kenneth Cichocki, Ray Germain, Gayle S. Polakowski, Paul Atrosh, Tom Lynch, Sydney Walker, Amy Carmody and Roxann Walker.


 Posted 12/1/2008