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Thursday, 17 October 2019 13:17

Kibbles and Picks 2019 - Week 7

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Stella and I put up identical 7-6 records on our picks last week, and so the score remains the same. I maintain my slim single-game advantage for the season and Stella continues to bide her time, allowing me another week of hope before my inevitable defeat.

Or maybe not.

We’re at odds on fully half the slate this week – seven of the 14 games are in dispute. And with an odd number, we’re at the very least ensured of SOME movement, even if it’s just one game. But Stella and I both played hunches and took some gambles here in Week 7. We’ll see whether they pay off.

Published in Sports
Thursday, 10 October 2019 14:09

Kibbles and Picks 2019 - Week 6

Can we all agree to just sweep Week 5 under the rug and move on?

Neither Stella nor I had much luck in an up-and-down and unexpected week. However, Stella still managed to squeak out an 8-7 record for the week, while I was right on a mere six contests.

That means that my three-game lead has been reduced to a single game. We’ve moved past the quarter-point of the season, so I can only imagine that Stella, having given me a chance to feel at least kind of good about myself, has decided that enough is enough.

We’ll see if this is the week where she starts burying me – we’re at odds on eight of Week 6’s 14 games, so there’s plenty of room to make a move. Whether she (or I – it’s possible) can make a big jump depends on the outcomes of the following.

Published in Sports
Thursday, 03 October 2019 11:58

Kibbles and Picks 2019 - Week 5

Another week, another game gained.

Neither Stella nor I had a particularly great week last week, but mine was just a little bit better – 9-6 to her 8-7. This means that I add another game to my lead, now up to three on the season.

Obviously, I know that this is all an illusion and that Stella will almost certainly rise up and crush me. I imagine her eventual victory may be rendered all the sweeter by the fact that she allowed me to have some modicum of hope before my ultimate demolition.

Will this be the week that she takes the power back? She certainly has the opportunity; the two of us are in disagreement on eight games this week – more than half the slate. It’s certainly enough for someone to make a big move; we’ll just have to see if that’s the case.

Published in Sports

Ho hum – another year, another undefeated start.

Someday, the New England Patriots are not going to be watch-settingly excellent every season. Someday, fans of the team will be left to wonder whether their beloved squad will have what it takes to make it to the postseason. Someday, the regular season outcome will be in doubt.

Today is not that day.

Tom Brady and company have once again started the season by winning their first four games. This initial quarter of the season could not have gone any better, with a trio of dominant performances followed by a hard-fought victory against a Buffalo team that is going to be considerably better than anyone really expected (on the defensive side, especially).

In basic terms, the fundamental goal in football is to score as many points as you can while giving up as few as you can. Simple. And after four games, there’s not one team in the NFL that can say they’re better at those two things together than the Patriots. As good? Maybe. But better? Not a chance.

Welcome back to the Progress Report.

Published in Sports
Thursday, 26 September 2019 12:51

Kibbles and Picks 2019 - Week 4

Week 3 was all about maintaining the status quo. Stella and I put up identical 11-5 records and so saw no movement in the overall race, with me maintaining a two-game lead.

One would think that 11-5 would be good enough to make some progress, but this is Kibbles and Picks – there’s no such thing as good enough. With a sharp like Stella in the mix, I can’t let my guard down for a second, or else she’ll smell my weakness and pounce.

This week, we’re looking at seven head-to-head matchups. So hey – looks like there’s going to be some movement for sure. What that means is yet to be seen, but I’ll admit to some nervousness.

Stella, as always, remains unconcerned.

Published in Sports
Thursday, 19 September 2019 13:05

Kibbles and Picks 2019 - Week 3

So … that was unexpected. And awesome.

While Stella struggled to hit .500 with her picks last week, landing precisely at 8-8, I was having an excellent Week 2. My record of 12-4 for the week not only eliminated the two-win lead that Stella sported after the first week, but catapulted me to a similar cushion of my own.

Now, is this going to last? Of course not – I’ve been doing this long enough to know that this is nothing more than a momentary blip, a slight speed bump on Stella’s road to yet another K&P victory. But for now, I have every intention of enjoying this.

For this week, we’re at odds on seven contests. That’s more than enough for Stella to knock me down a peg and remind me who has held the title for the past four years straight. Here’s what we’ve got.

Published in Sports
Thursday, 12 September 2019 13:28

Kibbles and Picks 2019 - Week 2

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

I got off to a good start, putting together a solid Week 1 – I went 10-5-1 (ties remain a bit of a wild card here at K&P, so the Lions/Cardinals tilt skews the numbers a touch). Still, double-digit wins is a strong showing.

Of course, Stella went ahead and put up a 12-3-1. Because OF COURSE she did.

That puts me in the hole to start things off. It’s a not-unfamiliar position – almost every season sees her come out of the gate hot, leaving me to spend the rest of the year struggling to catch up. It’s no surprise that she’s beating me, but her hitting at 75% on winners in the first week does not bode well for me going forward.

That said, there’s room for a whole lot of change this week. Stella and I are rarely at odds on as much as half the slate in a given week, but Week 2 sees us differ on 10 games. That means I’ve been given a huge opportunity to erase her early lead. It also means that she’s been given the chance to completely bury me before we even get to the bye weeks, so who knows?

Published in Sports
Thursday, 05 September 2019 12:49

Kibbles and Picks 2019 - Week 1

As the NFL prepares to kick off its 100th season, another less lengthy (but no less noble) tradition is also being observed.

That’s right, folks – it’s time for Kibbles and Picks.

This marks the seventh year of the internet’s preeminent man-versus-beast football prognostication feature, wherein I spend the season attempting to pick more NFL winners than my dog, the adorable and astute Stella. Of those seven years, Stella has triumphed in six, including the last four in the row. What was once a cutesy experiment has become a stubborn and fruitless attempt for me to hold onto whatever tiny shreds of my dignity still remain.

Seriously – I’m ostensibly supposed to know things about football. It’s part of my job. And yet, I get repeatedly trounced by a dog. Call me a glutton for punishment, I suppose.

Anyway – we’re back. Does anyone out there actually think I have a shot of preventing Stella from taking her fifth crown in a row? Probably not, but I hope you’re rooting for me.

We’re coming in hot in 2019; Stella and I are at odds regarding seven contests in the season’s first week, so there’s a chance that an imposing lead is built right off the bat … although if it is, I think we all know who will have built it.

Published in Sports
Tuesday, 27 August 2019 17:48

NFL officially out of Luck

Another NFL star has walked away before his time.

It’s Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck this time around; Luck announced his retirement from the league in an impromptu news conference following the team’s preseason contest against the Chicago Bears on Saturday. The plan had been to announce on Sunday afternoon, but when ESPN broke the story, Luck’s hand was forced.

“I’m in pain, I’m still in pain. It’s been four years of this pain, rehab cycle,” the 29-year-old Luck said as part of his remarks. “It’s a myriad of issues — calf strain, posterior ankle impingement, high ankle sprain. Part of my journey going forward will be figuring out how to feel better.”

Published in Sports

The 2019 National Football League season – the 100th in the history of the league – is upon us. We’re just a week or so away from kickoff for the first game of the season – this year’s first matchup sees the Chicago Bears hosting the Green Bay Packers on Sept. 5.

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 attempt to anticipate how the season will play out. Once again, I will do my best impression of a monkey throwing darts in my ever-Quixotic effort to make sense out of the whole mess. I’m even going to try to predict the 2019 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 four years in a row and in five of six seasons overall, by the way). If you’re interested, you can check out our website at www.themaineedge.com every Thursday or find Kibbles and Picks on Facebook to see if man can begin to 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 2019 Maine Edge NFL Preview.

(y = division winner; x = wild card)

Published in Cover Story
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