To clarify, the scores were tallied incorrectly and SC East is actually 5 points behind Mitchell. Finals were delayed by a fire alarm going off, and will begin at 8 with Mitchell performing at 9:40 and Sioux City East performing last at 10:05.
When I was a wee lad (okay, this was like 5 years ago), I wrote an article on the front page about an upcoming competition and predicted a group to win. This particular year there were only two choirs in the top division, so it was essentially an all-or-nothing situation. My language was even tamer than yours; I said it was "likely" that one of the groups would take first place even though the competitor was a solid choir as well. I chose the group I did for the same reasons you've given: history showed that this particular choir consistently dominated the field at this event, and odds were strong that they would do it again. Completely rational, logical, and phrased in a way that I thought was respectful of both groups. Also, it was an editorial and clearly just my opinion.
Here's the problem, though: any time you say one group is likely to win, you're saying the rest aren't. And although every group wants to win first place, it is just simply not possible for them to do so. All the time I see replies to predictions where someone says something like "Group C should be way higher on your list," but they seem to disregard the fact that it means you also have to move one or more groups down the list in order to put them there. It's not always logical, but that's how we operate.
I also wonder when I make prediction polls on Twitter, are people voting for the group they believe will win or are they voting for their favorite group who they would like to see win? The question is always presented as "who do you think will win?", and yet over 50% of respondents have not sided with the group who would ultimately come out on top. They could just be bad guessers, sure, but history has shown me that for whatever reason, we tend to make these things a little personal, too. We have an investment in our group and our friends, and we want good things to happen for them. Thus, when you make a prediction you may be entirely right, and still you risk upsetting some of the other groups in the process... fair or not.
I happened to attend the competition I had written about, and the director of the group that I had not predicted to win came up to me and voiced his severe disappointment in what I had written. I was in shock, to be honest. All I ever do here is try to unite groups and help promote show choir, and I certainly never intended to upset or insult anyone. It was just a prediction! I feel like there are articles written about football or basketball all the time that predict one team to take it over another. Why is show choir interpreted differently? I don't really don't know, although it seems reasonable to me that we should be able to have civil discussions about who we think might win or lose at a competition - after all, choirs go to compete. I also think it's human nature to want to guess who will win a head to head matchup of any kind. There's a billion dollar gambling industry that says so.
I said this before in the other topic discussing the rating system, but frankly I think we all need to lighten up just a little bit. Just a little! Everyone has opinions, and we should feel free to express them as long as they are presented in a respectful way. Just because someone makes a prediction in which your group isn't the winner, it doesn't make them a terrible human being that should be stoned in the town square. On the flip side, however, remember that in most cases there are many groups competing at a given event and everyone wants to do well - so as logical as your predictions might be - you need to expect that there always will be some disagreement. You have to be able to take the criticism (and the down votes) when you post, or you just end up making yourself look bad. Let your predictions speak for themselves, and be humble if you are not right. At the end of the day, we are all in this together. Every single time I visit a new school and meet a new choir, I am reminded that each group is made up of the same kinds of kids... working just as hard and trying to achieve the same goal. Unfortunately not everyone can win - in fact, the vast majority won't - but everyone deserves respect. Consider that when you make predictions AND when you "vote" on someone else's post.
He's not saying that you can't express your opinion. In fact, he's encouraging it, but only in a manner that is respectful and encouraging to others who actively use this site. While your posts aren't nearly as bad as others tend to be, in fact I don't find them particularly harsh at all, what you may view as a simple prediction using past evidence may come across harsh and judgmental depending on your tone to others. Jeff is merely asking for a simple "put yourself in their shoes" situation. Please continue expanding on your thoughts, as I know that I and many others enjoy seeing your thoughtful predictions and opinions.