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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

BANGOR – Another literary genius has sprung from the fertile creative soil of our region, with a debut author preparing to take the world of letters by storm. But she is not just any author – this writer is a respected competitive chess player and a groundbreaking app developer. She decided that her next conquest would be the written word.

She is also a dog.

Longtime readers might remember stories from years past when we covered this pooch’s bevy of canine accomplishments – her surprise aptitude for chess, her elegant and effective coding ability – but this latest installment in her adventures presents an opportunity not just to promote her excellence, but to issue a confession.

This dog is my dog. She has always been my dog.

Published in Style

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

And that’s that.

It was a moonshot anyway – I had to be correct on all seven of the games on which we differed to come out on top – but at least there was a chance. Alas, despite an excellent 13-3 record on the week, I was able to carve away just a single game from Stella’s lead, thanks to her own also-excellent record of 12-4. Thus, by a margin of five games, Stella is the 2020 Kibbles and Picks champion.

I did what I could – a blazing 46-18 in the final month – but it just wasn’t enough, leaving me to once more bow to the superior football picking acumen of my dog. For the sixth time in eight years, I tip my cap to Stella.

ALLEN’S PICKS

Week 17 record: 13-3

Season record: 162-93-1

STELLA’S PICKS

Week 17 record: 12-4

Season record: 167-88-1

Published in Sports
Wednesday, 30 December 2020 21:19

Kibbles and Picks 2020 – Week 17

And here we are. One week left.

I managed to chip away a little more at Stella’s lead, but only a little. Our respective weeks matched our Week 15 output, meaning that I put up a strong 11-5 and Stella managed a just-slightly-less-strong 10-6. The result? I’ve reduced her lead to a not-quite totally insurmountable six games going into the season’s final week.

This means that the possibility of my overtaking her is still on the table, albeit highly unlikely. We differ on seven games; basically, if I get every one of them right, I eke out the win by a single game. However, if she is right on even one game, she locks in her victory.

I think we all know how this is going to wind up.

Published in Sports
Thursday, 24 December 2020 13:29

Kibbles and Picks 2020 - Week 16

Time is running out.

Yes, I gained another game on Stella this week, putting up an 11-5 record against her 10-6; both of us would have had even more impressive weeks had the Jets and Bengals not managed unlikely wins. Still, one game a week is not going to cut it. Stella’s lead is still seven games, and I’ve got just this week and next to catch up.

It’s looking grim … but not impossible.

Heck, we’re at odds on seven games this week. If I could somehow sweep the lot, we’re in a flat-footed tie going into the regular season’s last week. That’s unlikely, obviously, but I could maybe swing five, which would give me at least a puncher’s chance come Week 17. If Stella holds serve or – God forbid – outpicks me, that’s probably a wrap, with me likely having to take some ludicrous swings in the last week to even have a shot.

Published in Sports
Thursday, 17 December 2020 16:19

Kibbles and Picks 2020 - Week 15

Man – I needed that.

Thanks to an 11-5 run last week, I have cut three games from Stella’s lead; she managed to go just 8-8 for the week. That’s a big chunk and I’m happy to have it, but it does mean that I’m still eight games behind her with just three weeks (counting this one) left in the season. Basically, I have to do what I just did thrice more – if I do that, I squeak out the win.

As you might guess, I’m not exactly brimming over with confidence.

We’re looking at six games this week, although a couple of them feel like reaches – frankly, I have to start throwing some darts if I’m going to have any chance of catching up. The accuracy of those darts remains to be seen, of course. Stella certainly isn’t worrying about it.

Published in Sports
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