Skip Oxford is superstitious when it comes to the New England Patriots.
He spends the first hour of their weekend games doing something around his Newburyport home. Then he puts on the TV and watches.
"I don't want to jinx them," said Oxford, who has been playing the 'I Beat Burt' Contest for over a decade.
"I have a ritual every weekend. I go to Mass on Sunday morning if I didn't go on Saturday. Then I do other things for about an hour when the Patriots game starts. Then I check all scores and put the Patriots on. Even if it's a playoff game or the Super Bowl, I always wait an hour."
Oxford, 70, was a former athlete at Wakefield High where he was a three-sport athlete in cross country, basketball and baseball. His basketball team was the Class B state champs in 1965.
As for the 2018 Patriots, Oxford is all in.
"I'm excited about Julian Edelman's return," said Oxford. "I'm really excited about Josh Gordon, hoping he can keep his act together. He reminds me of Randy Moss. I picked the Patriots to go up against the Rams in the Super Bowl and I'm sticking to it."
When seven out of 13 road teams win, you know it's going to be a tough week -- and it was for most entries. I had 10 winners, only losing three. There were only 17 entries that had 11 or 12 correct selections.
All of this week's winners were within four points of the Patriots point total (38).
With the Patriots offense on a roll, I expect a lot of 38-plus predictions in the first tiebreaker.
Local Week 7 winners
David Frederick of Danvers
Dan Ryan of Peabody
Peggy Pucillo of Peabody
Mark Welch of Rockport
Carol A Falcone of Gloucester