Tom Mackie has played the "I Beat Burt" Contest almost as long as it's been in existence, since the mid-1990s.
He has also won a lot; he estimates about 16 times, including Week 1 of the NFL season.
The Amesbury resident of 28 years, who retired from the IRS in Methuen after 37 years, says following the Boston sports scene makes retirement even sweeter, especially football games on Sundays.
"I love all the Boston teams," said Mackie. "But I love the Patriots the most. They're just special to follow. I love the contest because it makes me follow all of the teams."
Mackie, 68, is married to wife, Judy (Scamporino), a Haverhill native. The couple does not have children.
But they do have a dog, a Newfoundland who is 14 years old.
"This is our fourth Newfoundland," said Mackie, of the large working dogs with water resistant hair.
Mackie says his wife doesn't have much interest in watching sports, particularly football, on TV, so he watches NFL games each weekend his own flat screen.
"We have two TVs," he said.
Mackie did not play a sport in high school, because he was a little small, but was a student leader in high school. He does, however, play golf every week as a member at Portsmouth (N.H.) Country Club, where he has been for 30 years.
As far as his personal preferences for picking games every weekend, Mackie says he usually picks an upset or two and then simply picks the better team, whether home or away.
And yes, he always picks the Patriots.
"I would've picked them (against Kansas City)," said Mackie. "They'll figure it out. Bill Belichick is the best coach in the league, maybe ever. If they lose to New Orleans this weekend? Then I might get concerned."
Road warriors in Week 1
It used to be easy selecting NFL games. When in doubt, pick the home team.
Well, it wasn't so easy last week as eight road teams won the 15 games, including the Chiefs over the Patriots, which was not part of the contest.
Week 1 in Year 21 started off with a bang, with 175 entries.
I had nine correct selections out of 14 (Miami-Tampa game was canceled). There were 38 entries with 10 or more wins.
Each week a maximum of 10 T-shirts are awarded. The first tiebreaker in Week 1 was total points for the Dallas Cowboys (19), replacing the Patriots for the week. Each of the Week 1 winners in the on-line version were within five points.
Here are the Week 1 winners:
Tyler Williams of Methuen
Marilyn Bourque of Newburyport
Cassie Dorman of Lynnfield
William S Russo of Methuen
Bill Felton Salem
Jack Hogan of Peabody
Christina Hitchcock of Derry, N.H.
Dianne Masiello of Salisbury
James Michael O'Neill of Beverly
Daniel Grayton of Methuen