If St. Ann's High of Gloucester had a football team, avid sports fan and athlete Thomas Lattof probably would've played.
But he got something better out of high school ... his wife of 65 years in January, Grace Lattof.
"We only had about 100 students at the school, only 25 of which were boys," said Lattof. "I played basketball and baseball."
Football, though, is a big part of his retired life. Lattof said he watches college football on Saturdays and the NFL on Sundays and Mondays.
"I love the sport," said Lattof. "I look forward to the weekends, especially watching the Patriots."
Like a lot of life-long Patriots fans, Lattof never bets against the Patriots.
"Never," he said. "I think that's why I've won so much. I stick with a good thing."
Lattof said the Patriots have shown their true colors this season, especially under coach Bill Belichick.
"Considering Brady’s suspension, and the loss of their running back and the limited use of Rob Gronkowski, they're still going strong," said Laffof.
Lattof said he does his homework in making his weekly picks. He does lean towards home teams and he goes through injury reports on-line.
"I look to see if a key player or two is out," he said.
Lattof said while football is a great part of their weekend, it isn't his favorite. That comes the weekends his family comes over for Sunday dinner, including his son, Dean, and daughter-in-law, Laurie, and their children, Lucas (9) and Sophia (13). The Lattof's daughter, Donna, who passed away at 39, is represented by granddaughter, Rachel, and her husband, Mark, and three boys, Joshua (23), Justin (18), and Lucas (16).
Rare occurrence: Favorites rule
It's that time of year when the has-beens and never-weres start to find their way to the bottom. It also means the cream also rises.
While the Patriots had a tough game, of the 175 entries this week, only four chose the Jets. Pretty lucky, Pats fans.
Anyway, it was an "easy" week overall with more than 100 entries had at least seven wins. I had 10, with a few key picks, including the Packers. I didn't have the guts to pick Tampa Bay, but I felt an upset coming.
Each week a maximum of 10 T-shirts are awarded. This week, eight of the winners had 11 picks and two had 12. The first tiebreaker is the Patriots point total (20). All of the winners were within 12 points.
Week 13 is already up online. Good luck. Remember, favorites are on the upswing ... I'm just saying.
Week 12 winners:
David Frederick of Danvers
Allen Morris of Wenham
Debby Thompson Gloucester
Zack Thompson of Gloucester
Steve Carroll of Topsfield
Walter Ruszkowski of Rowley
Trevor William Harwood of Beverly
Mike Ciaramitaro of Gloucester
Jason Lane of Gloucester
Lisa Belanger of Peabody