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Thursday, 24 September 2020 13:03

Kibbles and Picks 2020 – Week 3

I’ve got some good news and some bad news.

The good news is that I had a heck of a run in Week 2. I missed on just three of the week’s 16 games, putting up a 13-3 record. As you might imagine, that was good enough for me to take a bite out of Stella’s early lead.

How big, you ask? Well … that brings me to the bad news.

See, Stella had a really good week as well, outdoing Week 1’s 11-5 record by one. That 12-4 means that my huge week only managed to reduce her lead by a single measly game. Any progress is good progress, but still – I could have used a bigger swing.

Maybe I’ll get it this week, where Stella and I once again differ on seven games. But here’s the thing – I only have so many 13-3’s in me. And behind her adorable face is a ruthless commitment to making sure I know just how big a fluke last season was. So … we’ll see?

Published in Sports
Thursday, 17 September 2020 19:12

Kibbles and Picks 2020 – Week 2

Sigh. Here we go again.

In Week 1, I managed to go a perfectly mediocre 8-8. Not great, but hey – none of us really know anything in this weird season. Hitting on half seems pretty good, right? Sure – right up until my dog goes 11-5.

Stella, staying true to her vow to leave no doubt that last year was a fluke, has leapt out to a three-game lead in the season’s first week. Things were relatively tight going into the late games, but she trounced me there, picking three of the four winners, whereas I needed that Steelers win on Monday night to even get to .500.

Obviously, there’s a lot of season left; this lead is far from insurmountable. Hell, we’re at odds on seven of this week’s contests, so I could potentially just erase that lead in one fell swoop. Of course, Stella could potentially put me in a hole so deep I spend the next two months just trying to dig myself out. But hey – that’s why they play the games!

Published in Sports
Thursday, 10 September 2020 14:33

Kibbles and Picks 2020 - Week 1

That’s right – we’re back!

Kibbles and Picks, the internet’s preeminent man-versus-dog football prognostication feature, is returning for its eighth year. I will once again be attempting to pick more NFL winners than my adorable dog Stella. Last year, after a four-year stretch of futility, I finally managed to win the Kibbles and Picks season title. That triumph was just my second in the history of the feature, leaving my all-time record at 2-5.

Stella was not amused.

As such, she has sworn to take me down and reassert herself as the top dog. And that effort to reclaim her crown starts … now.

The conflict starts strong this season, with the two of us differing on seven games in Week 1. It often happens that one competitor has a big week early and builds an immediate imposing lead. Will this be someone’s big week for 2020? If it is, well … we can probably guess whose.

Published in Sports

Well, that was … better? Not by much, but by a little.

There wasn’t really anywhere to go but up after our abysmal Wild Card performance – Stella and I both went 1-3 – so there’s that. And we definitely did go up – just not by much.

Stella and I both went 2-2 in the Divisional Round. We went one-for-two on our mutual picks, which hey – not bad. We had Kansas City beating Houston – we sweated that first quarter or so out before Patrick Mahomes and company stepped on the gas and absolutely curb-stomped the poor Texans. On the flip side, we (along with literally everyone else in the world) had the Ravens beating the Titans. Imagine our surprise when Baltimore struggled and Tennessee’s Derrick Henry basically turned into the second coming of Earl Campbell.

As for our differing games: I picked the Vikings for some idiotic reason, only to watch them get easily handled by the 49ers. Stella picked the Niners because she’s not dumb. Meanwhile, I lucked out with my Packers pick; it seemed solid, but then we got to the end of the game and the Seahawks had a real chance of pulling it out. Happily, Green Bay held out, meaning that I avoided going 1-3 for the second weekend in a row.

And so, we’re tied going into the Conference Championships. Granted, it’s at 3-5, but a tie is a tie – it’s anyone’s game. And we will have a winner, because we are at odds on one of the weekend’s two contests.

Published in Sports
Tuesday, 07 January 2020 12:50

Kibbles and Picks 2020 – Divisional Round

Well then. That didn’t go well for anybody, now did it?

Despite our shared regular season excellence, Stella and I both managed to lay a pretty significant egg during the Wild Card round. Of the four games I picked, I got exactly one right – Seattle over Philly. Of course, Stella also got exactly one right – Houston over Buffalo. The two predictions we shared – New England over Tennessee and New Orleans over Minnesota – were both sadly, heartbreakingly wrong.

Published in Sports

That’s it. I did it.

Despite Stella’s best efforts – a stellar 12-4 in Week 17 – I have managed to finally win another Kibbles and Picks title.

After winning in 2014 (the feature’s second year), I spent the next four years being shut out by my dog. This is all in good fun, of course, but I’d be lying if I said the streak wasn’t wearing on me a little. It’s ridiculous and I know it’s ridiculous, but on the other hand – my dog was better at picking football games than me.

But now, finally, courtesy of a respectable 10-6 final week, I am the Kibbles and Picks Champion. It was close – Stella cut my four-game lead in half with her performance – but ultimately, I came out on top. Sure, it was far from a dominating win, but it was a win. After too many close calls over the past four years, I’ll take what I can get.

Final regular season records

Allen: 161-93-1

Stella: 159-95-1

-

But now, we’re in the playoffs; the slate is wiped clean. Stella will seek her revenge over the course of the next month as we attempt to pick our way through the postseason.

Published in Sports
Saturday, 28 December 2019 01:31

Kibbles and Picks 2019 - Week 17

It’s so close.

The end of this whole embarrassing stretch is within reach. With just the season’s final week to be played, I have a solid four-game lead on Stella, a lead that carried forward from the previous week thanks to the matching 10-6 marks Stella and I put up.

Obviously, it’s all in good fun, but let’s be real – consistently being slightly worse at picking football games than a dog is something wears on you. Particularly when knowing about football is a part of your job. A small part, sure, but still – part of the job.

So to be this far along in this grand experiment, to have gone through six seasons prior to this one, and to have come out on top exactly once (and that was in the second year – I’ve lost the last four) is both hilarious and sad. But with a four-game lead, my victory seems imminent.

But a loss isn’t impossible, with Week 17 yet to be played. And there’s room to move, with Stella and I differing on seven of the week’s contests. It would take a borderline miracle for her to pull enough to move ahead. At worst, she’s have to go 6-1 to seize the win. Basically, as long as I’m right on at least two of those seven games, I win for the season.

So let’s see what we’ve got.

Published in Sports
Thursday, 19 December 2019 23:25

Kibbles and Picks 2019 - Week 16

Holy s—t – I might actually win this thing.

It’s not that Stella is underperforming – her 10-6 record in Week 15 was solid – so much as that I am on fire, putting up a 13-3 to add three more games to my lead. This action puts me at four games up with two weeks to play; I don’t believe that I have had this kind of advantage this far into the season since Year Two of this grand experiment (better known as the one year I actually won the damned thing).

I’m not counting my chickens though – there’s still plenty of time for me to blow it. And with us at odds on six of the weekend’s contests, Stella could certainly erase some or all of my lead with some good Week 16 luck.

Published in Sports
Thursday, 12 December 2019 16:08

Kibbles and Picks 2019 - Week 15

And the pendulum swings back.

It’s definitely starting to look like this season’s Kibbles and Picks is going to go right down to the wire. In Week 14, Stella repeated her solid 9-7 from the previous week, but I managed an 11-5 record. This means that what was once a one-game lead for Stella has once again become a one-game lead for me. And with just three weeks left, it couldn’t be any tighter.

Of course, considering we differ on fully half the schedule again this week – eight games – there’s still room for one of us to make a big move. My expectation, however, is that the tightly-contested back-and-forth continues.

Published in Sports
Thursday, 05 December 2019 15:11

Kibbles and Picks 2019 - Week 14

And just as quickly as I took back the lead, I bid it farewell once again.

Week 13 was not kind to me; I managed a subpar 7-9 record on the week. Stella didn’t have her best showing either, but her 9-7 was enough to turn my one-game lead into a one-game deficit. She’s on top again … and I haven’t got much time left to rectify that.

Of course, weeks like Week 14 certainly help. We’re once again at odds on fully half of the slate; eight games on which we disagree. Hopefully, that will serve to help my case this time around; if not, I could be looking at a tough hill to climb in the season’s final stretch.

Published in Sports
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