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Wednesday, 19 September 2018 14:23

Kibbles and Picks 2018 - Week 3

All right then.

We maintained the status quo after Week 2. Stella and I both wound up with identical 9-6-1 records (yet another tie – we’re hoping we’re done with all of that, but considering how lousy the kicking has been across the board, we might be in for more).

On our differences of opinion, we both batted .500. I was right on three, she was right on three and then there was of course Green Bay/Minnesota. For the record, I predicted victories for the Chiefs, the Colts and the Cowboys, while Stella picked Cincinnati, Miami and Chicago to win.

This week, we’re again at odds on seven different games.

Published in Sports
Wednesday, 12 September 2018 14:48

Kibbles and Picks 2018 – Week 2

Obviously, this isn’t going to last.

Yes, I have a two-game lead over Stella after Week 1’s games, sitting at 11-4-1 to Stella’s 9-6-1 (thanks to the still-kind-of-inexplicable Browns/Steelers tie). But does anyone out there REALLY think that this is any kind of harbinger of what is to come?

Basically, the Jets blowing out the Lions on Monday night was the difference between the 5-3 head-to-head record I put up and a 4-4 wash. Doesn’t seem likely that I’ll get that lucky every week.

As for Week 2, Stella and I are at odds regarding seven games on the slate. A lot of them have me picking the road team, while Stella prefers home cooking; we’ll see if that comes back to bite me.

Published in Sports

There’s no denying that Bill Walsh and Bill Belichick are among the greatest coaches in the history of football. One can argue about their relative placements in the pantheon, but it’s difficult to dispute either’s placement among the greatest of the greats. Meanwhile, Raiders owner Al Davis spent decades as the free-wheeling outlaw of the NFL’s leadership class, bringing his own unique ideas and passions to the game.

And Michael Lombardi worked under all of them.

Those relationships form the basis for Lombardi’s new book “Gridiron Genius: A Master Class in Winning Championships and Building Dynasties in the NFL” (Crown Archetype, $27). It’s a chance for Lombardi to impart the myriad lessons he has gleaned over his decades of working with some of the finest football minds in history.

Published in Sports
Thursday, 06 September 2018 10:51

Kibbles and Picks 2018 - Week 1

With the NFL season set to kick off mere hours from now, it’s time for the continuation of what has become a football season tradition.

That’s right – Kibbles and Picks is here again. For the sixth year, I will be picking the winners of every NFL game this season. And for the sixth year, my dog Stella will also be making her picks. We’ll go head to head in a classic battle of man versus beast … although to be honest, it hasn’t been much of a battle – Stella has beaten me the last three years and four years out of five overall.

Every year, it becomes increasingly obvious that my dog is a far superior football pundit (pun-dog? pup-dit?) than I am. But I’ll be damned if I’ll let that stop me. Besides – I feel good about what I’m bringing to the table this year.

Published in Sports

The 2018 National Football League season is upon us. We’re just days away from kickoff for the first game of the season – this year’s first matchup sees the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles hosting the Atlanta Falcons on Sept. 6.

As always, there's plenty to anticipate. Lots that we know, lots that we don't know - and a whole lot that we think we might know but don't actually really know. Anybody who has read one of these previews in the past know that I live my life in that last category.

And so once again, I will be attempting to anticipate how the season will play out. Once again, I will do my best impression of a monkey with a dartboard in an effort to make some sort of sense out of the whole mess. I’m even going to try to predict the 2018 regular season records of each team – a fool’s errand inside a fool’s errand.

(For those interested, I will also be continuing our popular “Kibbles and Picks” online-only feature, wherein I attempt to pick the winners in each week's schedule of NFL games and try to achieve a greater rate of success than that reached by my dog Stella (who has defeated me handily the last three years in a row and in four of five seasons overall, by the way). Check our website at www.themaineedge.com every Thursday or find Kibbles and Picks on Facebook to see if man can even the score against beast; it's possible, but I wouldn't count on it. She’s far better at this than I am.)

And so here it is - your almost-certain-to-be-way-off 2018 Maine Edge NFL Preview.

(y = division winner; x = wild card)

Published in Cover Story

There are a lot of reasons that the NFL has become the preeminent league in American professional sports. The telegenic nature of the game, the strength of the marketing machine, the undeniably impressive on-field athleticism – all key components to the game’s massive success.

But one of the very biggest has to be the proliferation of fantasy football.

As we approach the season’s kickoff, thousands of fantasy football leagues are the in process of holding their drafts. Millions of people are making their selections, deciding which combination of players gives them the best chance of coming out on top and winning money, trophies and/or bragging rights.

There’s an entire industry built around giving advice to fantasy football players. There are experts out there who spend countless hours breaking down statistics and trying to project which players are going to have big years and which ones are going to regress. They’ll tell you why you should select a player and when.

I am not one of those experts.

What I am is someone who has played fantasy football regularly for nearly two decades. I’ve won a championship or two along the way. I’ve also finished dead last once or twice. Mostly, I’ve fallen somewhere in-between. And since I’ve lived my fantasy life as part of that vast middle class, I thought it might be interesting to pass along a few bits of wisdom that I’ve picked up along the way.

Published in Sports
Tuesday, 01 May 2018 16:35

Your newest New England Patriots

This past weekend, the future of the NFL was unfolding in Dallas.

The NFL Draft took place over the course of three days as representatives from all 32 teams selected players from among the cream of the collegiate crop in an effort to separate the wheat from the chaff and hopefully land the next NFL superstars.

The Patriots haven’t been major players early in the draft for some time, but this year saw New England pick in the first round for the first time since 2015 – and they did it TWICE.

Don’t worry: Bill Belichick and company did plenty of wheeling and dealing in the middle rounds, moving up and down, stockpiling future picks (and landing offensive lineman Trent Brown) along the way.

Still, there’s something exciting about New England actually adding first-rounders to a team that made it to the Super Bowl last season. And they actually used more draft picks than usual; their haul of nine picks more than doubles the total of four they selected in 2017. New doesn’t always equal better, but it’ll be exciting to see how this all plays out.

Let’s meet the new guys.

(Obligatory annual caveat: This is not an effort to grade the Patriots draft class. Literally nothing has changed about any of these players except that they have been given an opportunity to potentially make an NFL roster. As to whether any or all of them cash in on that opportunity, well … I can’t say. And neither can anyone else, no matter how authoritative the sound on TV or on the internet. Grading a draft that just happened is nonsense; a worthless exercise. This is just an introduction.)

Published in Sports

Every life features moments that can change everything. There are some choices whose effects will reverberate throughout the rest of our lifetimes, coloring every subsequent experience and largely defining the kind of person that history will judge us to be.

And so it is that with great humility and great hope, I, Allen Adams, must once again declare myself eligible for the draft. Sorry – drafts.

Published in Sports
Tuesday, 20 March 2018 16:44

An exodus from New England

Patriots say so long to some free agent talents

Published in Sports

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
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