Nick Lazarakis won his third "I Beat Burt" T-shirt in four-plus years of playing the contest.
But this one, in Week 2, is a little extra special.
Lazarakis, of Peabody, got all 15 games right. Yup, he was perfect.
"I always pick the Patriots regardless of the opponent," he said. "I pretty much pick who I would root for."
Lazarakis says he treats Sundays in the fall and early winter like he treats Sundays the rest of the year.
Except two things:
One, three-plus hours are carved out for New England Patriots games.
And two, no cell phones.
The 1962 graduate of Peabody High, who recently celebrated his 50th reunion with classmates, is a bonafide, passionate Patriots fan. It apparently runs in the family, which includes his wife, Karen, his son David (of Haverhill), a golf pro at Salem Country Club, his daughter Kirstie (of St. Augustine, Fla.), and his two granddaughters, Julie (13) and Allison (6).
"Everybody in the family is a big fan," said the 72-year-old Lazarakis, who retired 18 months ago as a Design Engineer/Program Manager for Draper Lab working on Navy Guidance Systems for submarine fleet ballistic missiles.
Well, there is one renegade in the family, albeit understandable. Lazarakis' son-in-law, Edward, a native of north Florida. He apparently loves the Jacksonville Jaguars.
"He's a big anti-Patriots fan and anti-Tom Brady fan," said Lazarakis, who played golf at Peabody High. "He's just jealous."
Lazarakis said he's been playing the contest for four-plus years and pretty much has an easy time picking the games every weekend.
Big week for Burt
There are bad weeks and good weeks. And then there are very good weeks like Week 2.
I had 12 of the 15 games correctly pegged, missing the Monday night game in the Meadowlands from getting 13 wins.
While it was a relatively "easy" week, with 11 favorites winning. I picked only one upset, the Redkins over the Rams, and won that, which usually means a very good week.
Most entries have one to two upsets (some more). You lose those, well, you're not winning a T-shirt.
This week there were 187 entries and only 11 picked more winners than Burt. All of the winners will be given T-shirts.
By the way, Week 3 is going to be very, very tough with a lot of close games and home underdogs.
Week 2 winners
Nick Lazarakis of Peabody
Jack Maxner of Beverly
Richard Sharp of Newbury
Jeffrey McKeen of Rowley
Bob Flynn of Danvers
Tony Amenta of Beverly
Patrick Sears of Danvers
John Morrissey of Merrimac
Michael Alexander of Amesbury
Sol Eskenazi of Peabody
Ed Campbell of Newburyport