Kevin McElhinney has had a good year, at least comparatively speaking, over the two decades he's been playing the "I Beat Burt" Contest.
But the first tiebreaker has always been his biggest foil.
But in Week 11, he didn't need the tiebreaker. He picked them all right.
McElhinney was among a small handful of entries that picked all 13 games correctly.
"I love picking the games every week and I was doing pretty well," said McElhinney. "Apparently I had to pick them all right to win a T-shirt."
McElhinney, 57, and his his wife Debbie have one son, Timothy. But the best news, even better than finally winning a T-shirt, is that his son and daughter-in-law Nikki will be having their first child in January. That means he's got a new name coming: Grandpa.
Family is important to McElhinney, and there is a connection through Boston sports.
"My dad was a huge sports fan and I share that love of sports as well with my son," he said. " I fondly remember watching Bruins games with my dad on UHF Channel 38 with Fred Cusick and Johnny Pearson. It was great."
These days, Sunday is a special day in the McElhinney household. It usually starts with a morning jog, followed by grocery shopping and a full day of football watching, particularly the Patriots.
"The (Pats') defense looks very impressive," he said. "The offense needs some work, but hopefully with (lineman) Isaiah Wynn back, that will make the offense better. I'm really hoping to see (rookie wideout) N'Keal Harry improve as he plays more. Hopefully the kicking game won't come back to bite us without (Stephen) Gostkowski."
As for his secret to picking games, particularly this year, he says there is really only one. "I pick the Patriots to win every week," said McElhinney. "I usually right."
Back to back big weeks
Bring it on!
Enough of the arrogance -- two weeks of 10-3 marks -- but Week 12 was by far the biggest and best week of the 2019 season for favorites with nine of 13 winning.
Only a handful of entries had the Tampa Bay upset over Atlanta, while most people correctly had the Seahawks beating the Eagles and Ravens over the Rams, both on the road.
The only games I missed were Tampa, Jets and Redskins wins, all mini-upsets (under five points).
There were only nine entries that picked more winners (seven had 11 wins and two had 12 wins) so the first tiebreaker was not needed.
That's the first time there have been less than 10 T-shirt winners this year.
Week 12 winners
Eugene Barratt of Gloucester
Michael Bertolino of Gloucester
Casey Costigan of Amesbury
Paul Lawson of Gloucester
Tony Amenta of Beverly
Lynda Proctor Mahoney of Gloucester
Billy Duratti of Beverly
Bill Cullen of Peabody
Richard Kasabuski of Saugus