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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

Like the vast majority of you, I’m looking forward to putting 2020 in the rearview mirror. Still, there are certain things that warrant looking back upon.

Every year, I make all sorts of sports predictions. And every year, I use this year-end edition of The Maine Edge to hold myself accountable for those predictions. It’s not quite as robust a collection as you’ve seen in the past, of course.

For instance, the CFL cancelled its entire season, so there was neither a season prediction nor a Grey Cup pick. And when MLB began its truncated season in late July, I held off on a preview, largely because I questioned whether the season would actually reach its conclusion.

Even so, we’ve got a few predictions that we can look back on. As usual, I got some right and some wrong – par for the course, really. We’re doing things a little differently this time through – I’m offering up my championship game/series predictions for examination first, followed by a look at my NFL season picks.

Published in Sports

About five months ago, the NFL regular season kicked off. All 32 teams – minus a wink-wink-not-tanking tanking team or three – set forth on a journey that only two could complete: a trip to the Super Bowl.

We’ve arrived at that place. The Kansas City Chiefs will face off against the San Francisco 49ers in Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium on February 2. The Chiefs – led by quarterback Patrick Mahomes and coach Andy Reid – make their way back into the big game for the first time in half-a-century; the last time K.C. was here, the NFL/AFL merger hadn’t happened yet. Meanwhile, the 49ers have a storied Super Bowl history, but other than the Colin Kaepernick-led 2012 run, San Francisco hasn’t made it this far since 1994. That’s 25 years without a championship.

A significant drought is ending, one way or the other. But for who?

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 only just snapped the four-season winning streak put up by his prognosticating dog.

Breakdown time.

Published in Cover Story

The coming of the new year tends to inspire feelings of reflection, of looking back on the year that has passed. And so, as someone who spent part of that year telling you what was going to happen in the world of sports, I feel it my duty to share with you how it ultimately went.

As per usual, the results are … let’s just call them mixed.

You’re more than welcome to judge my ability (or lack thereof) however you see fit. I’m perfectly aware of the dart-monkey levels of accuracy I usually manage; you won’t be telling me anything I don’t already know.

Published in Sports

Back in September, 32 NFL teams began a journey that they hoped would end with a trip to Atlanta and an opportunity to lift the Lombardi Trophy as the victors in Super Bowl LIII.

After 16 games in the regular season and some hard-fought contests in January, the field has been whittled down to just two. The New England Patriots – back for the third year in a row and for the ninth time in the 21st century – are set to face off against the Los Angeles Rams, who haven’t been to the big game since they lost to these same Patriots back in 2002.

This rematch is to be played 17 years to the day after that one, a New England victory that would prove to be the first championship of the team’s dynastic run.

Obviously, these aren’t the same teams that faced off on February 3, 2002. However, two very important figures from that long-ago Patriots squad remain. Quarterback Tom Brady and head coach Bill Belichick are still here, continuing to build on the astonishing legacy (nine Super Bowls, eight straight AFC Championship appearances and 13 total) that they’ve spent the past two decades burnishing.

On the other side, we have the Rams, representing the new guard in the NFL. Head coach Sean McVay is just 33 years old – half the age of his opponent. Quarterback Jared Goff is 24 years old and in his third season; he was just six years old when Tom Brady entered the NFL. They’re a young and hungry group predicted by some to be the successors to the Patriots atop the football world, but they haven’t won anything yet.

So what’s going to happen?

While I’m not one to give too much credence to the necessity of experience, the reality is that this Patriots team has been in this spot A LOT. Meanwhile, just about everybody on the Rams sideline is new to this kind of big game pressure. Will that make a difference? Almost certainly. The amount of difference will likely determine who ultimately comes out on top here.

Still, it’s all about the matchups on the field. Let’s have a look.

Published in Cover Story
Wednesday, 01 February 2017 14:11

The Sports Edge – Heroes of the Dark Ages

Things change quickly these days. High schoolers can recall a time when there was no such thing as Snapchat. Gen-X types may remember a distant past before cellphones or at least have memories of the days when they were the size of a shoebox. 

Published in The Sports Edge
Wednesday, 01 February 2017 13:48

A Super Bowl breakdown

Patriots, Falcons meet in Super Bowl LI

Published in Cover Story
Wednesday, 28 December 2016 13:15

Revisiting past predictions 2016

A look back at the year’s sports prognostication

Published in Sports
Wednesday, 03 February 2016 12:07

The Big Game's golden anniversary

Breaking down Super Bowl 50

Back in the fall, 32 NFL teams started their seasons with a singular goal win the Super Bowl. Over the course of the past few months, team after team saw their dreams of hoisting aloft the Lombardi Trophy fall by the wayside. Now, the lengthy battle of attrition has finally come to its end.

It's time for the Super Bowl.

This is the 50th edition of what has become the biggest event in American sports. Hundreds of millions of people both here and all around the world will be watching as the Denver Broncos take on the Carolina Panthers for the right to call themselves champions.

Published in Cover Story
Tuesday, 26 January 2016 20:29

Winging It (01-27-2016)

Area restaurants chime in on classic Super Bowl staple

For many, the Super Bowl is a big deal (though it may be less of a big deal now that the Pats are out). But for some (present company included), the biggest Football event of the season is less about the game and more about food and the commercials.

One food stands out above the rest as a Super Bowl staple and that is chicken wings bone-in or boneless (also known as chicken tenders), typically fried and smothered in various sauces to become something greater than a simple piece of chicken. It becomes the centerpiece of an American event.

Published in Cover Story
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