Alfredo Arteaga’s love of football, especially college football, has been a lifetime affair. Growing up in northern California, he always dreamed of going to a bowl game—especially the Rose Bowl. Thanks to GoodBookey, David Meltzer (host of The Playbook podcast), great charity partners, and some savvy picks in our College Football Challenge presented by The Playbook, that dream came true.
“It’s the only contest I’ve ever won,” explained Arteaga. “Growing up, I always dreamed of going to the Rose Bowl, and while I had been to the stadium for the USC/UCLA game, actually going to the Rose Bowl Game and seeing the fanbases from Ohio State and Washington was truly a different level.”
Arteaga and Dan Janjigian, his best friend from college (who happened to be in the area while away from his Austin, Texas home), even enjoyed the gameday traffic. “If you know anything about me, I hate sitting in the LA traffic,” he said. “But we just enjoyed the slow ride on the side streets of Pasadena, taking in all the people clad in red and purple along the route, all the way to the golf course lot near the stadium, where groups were chanting and singing school songs all day.”
While the Rose Bowl trip checked off a bucket list item for Alfredo, winning was something he never counted on. “I love telling people how I won because it’s a metaphor for my life,” he ventured. “I had a pretty good first week of picks, but then, I basically was getting my teeth kicked in every week! But on the final week, I threw a Hail Mary and actually won at the end.”
To make the final grand prize drawing, Alfredo went from losing his teeth to a perfect run, picking every game correctly. “I thought I had a chance at it, and I needed Texas A&M to beat LSU.” College football fans may remember that season-ending rivalry game, as the Aggies pulled out a seven-overtime thriller, making FBS history in their 74-72 win over the Bayou Bengals.
“I played a lot of football and had every injury—and surgery, you can imagine,” he said. “But I always kept pushing through, because I believe that the adversity you face in life makes those good times better. It’s that contrast that keeps me always pushing through to my ultimate goals.”
If Alfredo has one piece of advice for the GoodBookey community, it’s “Just play. My story should really encourage people. This was my first time to play on GoodBookey, and I didn’t think I had a chance till that perfect week in the end. When I saw my name in the final drawing for the grand prize, I knew I was going to win. It’s so cool to be a part of this, knowing charities are benefiting from those of us who play.”
Thanks to everyone who made the GoodBookey College Football Challenge such a great success, including our partner David Meltzer, as well as great charities like the American Cancer Society and Wings for Warriors.