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Thursday, 21 October 2021 12:48

Kibbles and Picks 2021 – Week 7

So … it’s looking like this season might prove to be competitive after all.

While Stella’s still in the lead, I cut her advantage in half with my Week 6 performance – 10-4 against her 8-6. That means that she’s just a scant two games ahead of me. We’ve seen a fair amount of this back-and-forth in the season’s first month and a half; it remains to be seen if that struggle will continue going forward.

In Week 7 – which features just 13 contests due to six teams being on bye – Stella and I are at odds on six. Not a ton of room for movement unless one of us really cleans up (which is always a possibility with Stella, to be fair), but we’ll see how things play out.

Published in Sports
Thursday, 14 October 2021 14:36

Kibbles and Picks 2021 – Week 6

That was fun while it lasted.

Stella made sure that any gains I made in Week 4 fell by the wayside as she demolished me in Week 5. Under most circumstances, I’d feel pretty great about a 10-6 week … but this was not most circumstances. Stella was scorching hot, going off to the tune of 13-3, missing on just Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and Kansas City.

This leaves me four behind, but things could turn around quickly – despite there being just 14 games on the slate thanks to the beginning of the byes, Stella and I are at odds on eight contests! There’s room for me to erase the damage done in Week 5. Of course, there’s ALSO room for Stella to kick dirt on me as I flounder in a hole rendered nigh-inescapable.

She’s made some … let’s just call them interesting picks. Could it be that she’s feeling herself just a little? Or does she know something I don’t know? Ah hell – I think we all understand it to be the latter.

Published in Sports
Thursday, 07 October 2021 11:50

Kibbles and Picks 2021 - Week 5

What a delightful surprise!

It’s always nice when Stella takes pity on me and removes her paw from the accelerator for a moment. To wit, my 10-6 record in Week 4 outperforms her 8-8, allowing me to get back two games on her. Yes, she’s still in the lead, but only by a single game. We all know how it will ultimately play out, of course, but it’s nice to still feel a little bit of hope after the season’s one-quarter(ish) mark.

Now, that lead is guaranteed to change after Week 5 – we’re at odds on seven of the week’s contests, so there’s no opportunity for a tie. Whether Stella rebuilds her lead or I (gasp) tie or even pass her remains to be seen. I know what’s PROBABLY going to happen – I’ve been doing this a long time – but it’s nice to dream.

Published in The Sports Edge
Thursday, 30 September 2021 12:06

Kibbles and Picks 2021 - Week 4

And the trend continues.

I felt pretty okay about my 10-6 record in Week 3. Not bad, right? Right – except Stella went 12-4 and pushed her lead to three games. Yes, it’s still early and there’s plenty of time to right the ship, but let’s be real – when have I EVER righted the ship?

That said, I do have a shot to make some noise this week, as Stella and I differ on fully half of the week’s slate. Now, eight games means that I could conceivably erase Stella’s entire lead. However, it also means that Stella could bury me in a hole from which I’ll be hard-pressed to escape, even with three-quarters of the season left.

Remind me again why I put myself through this?

Published in Sports
Thursday, 23 September 2021 12:06

Kibbles and Picks 2021 – Week 3

And so it begins.

After a brief respite in Week 1, where Stella and I finished with identical 8-8 records, Week 2 finds the natural order restored. Specifically – Stella is winning once again.

Now, it’s not by a lot – she went 11-5 and I was hot on her heels with a 10-6 record – but a lead is a lead. She has historically proven quite reticent to relinquish said leads when she gets them, so … buckle up, I guess?

We’re at odds on six of the week’s contests this time around, so we’ll see what happens.

Published in Sports
Thursday, 16 September 2021 09:54

Kibbles and Picks 2021 – Week 2

And we’re off to an underwhelming start.

It’ll probably come as no surprise to anyone who followed Week 1’s upset-riddled slate that neither Stella nor myself had a particularly good week. In fact, we had pretty much the same not particularly good week – we both managed to go 8-8.

So we’re back at it with a clean slate this week, both of us essentially starting from zero. Not that we’re likely to see a ton of separation after this coming week, because Stella and I are at odds on just five of this week’s contests.

Published in Sports
Thursday, 09 September 2021 13:13

Kibbles and Picks 2021 – Week 1

That’s right! Everyone’s favorite man-versus-dog NFL picks feature is back!

For the ninth(!) year, The Maine Edge presents Kibbles and Picks, wherein I pick the winners of each week’s slate of NFL games in direct competition with my dog Stella. And for those keeping track of such things, Stella has outpicked me in six of those previous eight seasons.

Yep – out of eight attempts, I’ve outperformed my dog exactly twice. And both of those were close.

But hey – hope springs eternal or whatever. Maybe I’m steadfast or maybe just a glutton for punishment, but either way, I’m back to try again. So is Stella, though she’s less in her head about it than I am. She’s fully prepared to defeat me yet again – just because she is adorable and loves me doesn’t mean she’s going to take it easy on me.

It’s on. Wish me luck.

Published in Sports

Five months ago, 32 NFL teams set out on what would be one of the strangest seasons in the history of the sport. Playing games in the face of an ongoing pandemic, the league weathered some unique challenges. Should they have played? Depends on who you ask. But play they did.

Now, after all that, just two teams remain.

The Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will face off on February 7 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. It’s a historic matchup for a number of reasons – you’ve got the returning champion Chiefs looking to go back-to-back, while the Buccaneers become the first team to ever play a Super Bowl on their home field. Oh, and there’s this Brady guy who is about to quarterback in his record 10th title game.

There’s a lot happening here, is what I’m saying.

Let’s take a stroll through the teams and break down some of the positional matchups to get a sense of which squad stands superior. Of course, the most talented team doesn’t always win. The most prepared team doesn’t always win. The team we think will win doesn’t always win.

You get the picture. Anyone who tells you they KNOW what will happen is a charlatan who is almost certainly trying to sell you something. No one knows how this will all play out, but here’s my best guess – the best guess of a guy who, in the interest of full disclosure, got absolutely housed by his dog in picking winners this season (though my postseason run was solid).

Let’s break it down.

Published in Cover Story

Well – isn’t this something?

I find myself in a rare position – well, rare for me, anyway. After the events of the divisional round, I now sit a perfect 10-0 for the playoffs thus far, having accurately predicted the victor in every single playoff contest. Stella, for her part, was 2-2 this weekend, putting her at 5-5 overall.

It’s over. I’ve won, even with the conference championships and the Super Bowl to come. And yet we press on, each with our reasons for continuing – perfection for me, principle for her.

Published in Sports

And we’re back in print!

For those unfamiliar with this feature, Kibbles and Picks is a web feature that we’ve been doing here at the Edge for the past eight years. Every year, I pick the winners of the entire season-long slate of NFL games. My dog Stella also picks the winners of these games.

She is better at it than I am.

This past season marked Stella’s sixth regular season victory out of the eight. My lone victories were in Year Two and last season, but to be clear, this isn’t because I am bad at picking games – I’m probably average or slightly above – but rather it is because Stella (who I remind you again is a dog) is actively good at it. Her season record of 167-88-1 gives her a success rate of over 65%. My 162-93-1 landed me at just over 63% - still good, just not good enough.

Published in Sports
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