The Oakland Raiders recently announced that their longtime placekicker Sebastian Janikowski would not be returning to the team for the 2018 season. This news comes after Janikowski spent the entirety of 2017 on injured reserve; while there’s certainly a possibility that he gets picked up for another team, this could well mark the end of the road for the veteran kicker.

So why am I writing about this particular kicker? Well – I have a long and complicated relationship with Sebastian Janikowski.

See, here’s the thing – I played fantasy football for the very first time in 2002. I have played in at least one league every year since. Sometimes more than one. I have had ups and downs, good teams and bad. I’ve won championships and finished dead last and been plain old mediocre. My teams have reflected every facet of the fantasy football experience. And all of those 20-plus teams had exactly one thing in common.

Sebastian Janikowski.

Published in Sports
Wednesday, 07 February 2018 15:08

Pro Football Hall of Fame announces 2018 class

The Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio just got a little bigger.

Five players – linebackers Ray Lewis and Brian Urlacher, receivers Randy Moss and Terrell Owens and defensive back Brian Dawkins – were tapped for induction by the modern-era committee. Joining them will be Jerry Kramer and Robert Brazile via the senior committee and personnel executive Bobby Beathard as a contributor.

The list of finalists was trimmed from 15 to 10 and then to five, with those five being subject to a simple yea-or-nay vote – all five ultimately received the thumbs up.

The trio of first-time nominees that made the cut is an impressive bunch.

Published in Sports

Hm. So this is what hubris feels like.

My celebratory gloating following my triumph over Stella in the Wild Card round seems to have come back to give me a karmic bite on the behind. Our records for the Divisional Round were reversed – this time, it was Stella’s turn to go 3-1 and my turn to correctly pick just one single solitary game.

Published in Sports
Wednesday, 17 January 2018 13:30

UMaine alum Brian Gaine named Houston Texans GM

HOUSTON – The newest general manager of the NFL’s Houston Texans has ties to the University of Maine.

Published in Sports
Wednesday, 10 January 2018 14:40

Kibbles and Picks – Divisional Round 2018

Not going to lie – I feel a little better.

Sure, I suffered predictive indignity at the adorable little paws of my dog Stella yet again this NFL season. It’s not like I’m not used to it by now.

But things like this past Wild Card weekend certainly do buoy my spirits and let me feel – even if for a moment – that maybe my dog isn’t actually smarter than I am.

Published in Sports
Wednesday, 03 January 2018 14:05

Kibbles and Picks – Wild Card Round 2018

Longtime readers of The Maine Edge are likely aware of our ongoing web-based feature Kibbles and Picks, wherein I spend every NFL season attempting to pick more winners than my dog Stella. The 2017 season marked our fifth foray into these waters. Stella had emerged triumphant in three of the four previous years, including the last two.

And now it’s a three-peat.

Published in Sports
Friday, 29 December 2017 16:21

Kibbles and Picks 2017 - Week 17

Not going to lie to you folks – it’s not looking good.

I had a pretty solid showing in Week 16, going 11-5 with my picks. Alas, it wasn’t enough to make up any ground on Stella. In fact, thanks to her own 12-4 record, she actually added to her lead. She’s got a solid cushion of five games with just one week of picks left to go.

However … there’s still a chance.

Stella and I are at odds on eight games this week. Fully half the schedule is in play here on the season’s final Sunday. So the possibility of a furious, nigh-historic comeback is still real. Not likely, mind you – even taking six of eight games won’t cut it.

And so, for the final time in the 2017 regular season, here is Kibbles and Picks.

Published in Sports
Friday, 22 December 2017 15:15

Kibbles and Picks 2017 - Week 16

For the love of … what’s a guy got to do to make a move?

I went 13-3 – 13-3! – yet only managed to pick up one lousy game thanks to Stella putting up a 12-4 week of her own. We’re down to the wire – just this week and next remain – and Stella’s current lead of four games appears to be close to insurmountable.

It’s particularly tough sledding in Week 16, as there just aren’t that many matchups where Stella and I are at odds. Just five, in fact, and most of those are ones where I made contrary picks because we’ve reached a point where I have to gamble to have any shot at making up ground.

Published in Sports
Thursday, 14 December 2017 13:32

Kibbles and Picks 2017 – Week 15

The struggle continues.

Thanks to a 10-6 record in Week 14, I’ve sliced one game from Stella’s lead. She went 9-7, which means that her advantage is a still-daunting five games with just three weeks (counting this one) left. We’re in the home stretch – I’m running out of time to take my shot.

I’ve got seven games where I can potentially make up some ground here in Week 15. It’s a chance to make a huge move. Conversely, Stella can put this thing out of reach. Most likely, we’ll come down somewhere between the two extremes.

Published in Sports
Wednesday, 13 December 2017 13:01

Going Bowling 2017

It's that time of year again - that time when I use every bit of knowledge I have accumulated in another season of college football semi-fandom in a Quixotic attempt to predict the winners of every bowl game.

I've had some success in the past, but make no mistake - I have no idea what I'm doing.

It's a chance to see some college football teams that you know nothing about. You never know if you might stumble upon a game where something unprecedented takes place – in fact, I (along with my good friend Jason Preble) have a long history of stumbling onto the wildest, most unexpectedly entertaining bowl matchups of each season. I expect more of the same this year.

And with that - let's go bowling.

Published in Cover Story
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