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.
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
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.
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
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
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:
•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,
•Edmonds & Evans Funeral Home,
•Trout Glass & Mirror,
•Duneland Carpet Connection,
•Christine J. Newton South Shore Insurance and
•George’s Gyros Spot.
Pigskin Picks will be back for the 51st season in September
Jack Porter wins final week of 50th season of Pigskin
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.