Underdogs, road teams take over NFL

Courtesy PhotoDavid Eaton on Beverly, a Week 2 winner, shows off his "I Beat Burt" wardrobe.

They learn early in the Eaton family. Football isn’t just a game. It’s a part of the family.

Exhibit A recently when Dave Eaton’s 5-year-old grandson was sitting on his son’s lap while reading a book, “Hop on Pop” by Dr. Seuss.

His son go to the part which read, “Mr. Brown is out of town.”

“My grandson asked if that was Antonio Brown he was referring to,” said Dave, 72, of Beverly.

It wasn’t. But the message was sent. The Eatons love Sundays and football.

A married father of three, with four grandchildren, Dave is a Beverly native, having graduated in 1965, the first year the school became known as the Panthers.

Dave was a two-sport athlete — football and baseball.

“Sunday morning are for golf, until the snow flies,” said Dave. “But for 16 to 19 Sundays per year we are watching the Patriots and the greatest quarterback of all time.”

Dave, a retired sales manager at Wyeth Laboratories, has won the contest several times and says he uses the recipe in making picks as he did when hiring people.

“Past performance,” he noted, “is a great predictor of future performance.”

Dave’s expectations for the 2019 Patriots is the same for last year, the year before, etc.

“As long as they stay somewhat healthy, the Patriots are going to be in the AFC Championship again,” he said, “and there is a very good chance they’ll be back to the Super Bowl. They are winners.”

Same stuff, different weekend

You think this is easy, picking pro football games?

It used to be. On any given Sunday, a 11-4 week was pretty good. In 2019, you’re a champion at 11-4.

Another week where the underdogs outlasted the favorites, 7-6, and road teams outlasted home teams, 7-6.

I only had five correct picks out of 13 games. Four of my losses were teams that were leading late in the fourth quarter. Such is life.

You know what that all means. When I have a “tough” week the first tiebreaker is important. With the Patriots playing on Thursday night, the Green Bay Packers point total (23) became the first breaker.

The second tiebreaker is correct selections and that was need as well.

All of the Week 6 winners had eight or more correct selections and within one point of the tiebreaker. Because I had such a bad week, we added four extra T-shirts for those with eight or more correct picks.

Week 6 winners

Bob Flynn of Danvers

Marie Stanley of Danvers

Christina Crovetti of Amesbury

Paul Lawson of Gloucester

Kevin O’Malley of Gloucester

Maura Moore of Newbury

Pat Carroll of Topsfield

Al DeMille of Little River, S.C.

Wendy Carrigan of Peabody

Mike Ciaramitaro of Gloucester

Alexander Carter of Topsfield

Mike Bertolino of Gloucester

Daniel Dorman of Lynnfield

Raymond Flynn of Gloucester

Skip Oxford of Newburyport 

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