Bill Burt .. don't use big!

We have passed the halfway mark of the 2022 NFL season. Bill Burt is shown here with an “I Beat Burt” T-shirt.

The Mellor family, which hails from Salem, N.H., was looking for something to bond the family together during the pandemic.

“One thing we all liked was football,” said Jim Mellor, who lives with his wife and son, Manny, in Deerfield, N.H.

“We’d be over for dinner and football would be on TV. So one day I threw out there, ‘Let’s do the ‘Beat Burt’ contest,’ see who is the best at picking games.’”

His mom, Nancy, and sister, Becky Nelson, joined in, too.

“It’s been something fun for us, connecting us when we see other for Sunday dinners,” said Jim. “We’d watch Patriots games together sometimes. Football was a reason to get together and have some fun.”

His dad, John Mellor, was a long-time regular entry and winner of the contest. And big football fan. He passed away in 2018.

“He was analytical about his picks, which is why he was pretty good,” said Jim of his dad. “He looked at everything, point spreads, injuries, who’s playing well, who’s not. He won a lot more than we have.”

Well, Week 11, this past weekend, Jim did something his dad never, never did.

One particular pick he made, the Detroit Lions beating the New York Giants, was a big one.

It gave him a perfect weekend, 13 for 13, and the only entry to “Beat Burt” in Week 11.

I had 12 correct picks. I picked the Giants to win.

What was his reasoning for picking the Lions?

“They’ve had a weird season, in a lot of games and finding ways to lose,” said Mellor. “I figured they might pull it off against the Giants. It was a weird pick, but I got lucky.”

As for his secret, Mellor started laughing.

“Flat-out luck,” said Mellor, a 1990 graduate of Salem, N.H. “I don’t know a lot about the pro football, other than I like the Patriots. I check point spreads to see if I’m crazy on any picks. Trust me, I am no expert. It’s just fun, checking in with family, seeing who had the best week.”

You can email Bill Burt at

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