Keith Shevlin has a ritual on Sundays. Yard work early. Then pro football later.
The Salem, N.H. husband and dad, is a typical NFL fan. He enjoys the fact that on any given Sunday anybody can win.
There is one difference though from Shevlin, 48, and most local fans.
His favorite team to watch on TV is not from Foxborough. It's from Philadelphia.
“I have been an Eagles fan since 1979,” said Shevlin. “The Pats were atrocious as a kid. Their games were oftentimes blacked out. I picked up the Eagles bug when I turned 10. I followed Ron Jaworski, etc. I'm born and bred here in this area so my friends and family think it is quite odd."
When the Patriots played the Eagles in Jacksonville in February of 2005, he attended a Super Bowl party with friends.
"I was wearing a Donovan Mcnabb jersey. That took dedication," he said. "I was the only Eagles fan there and took ribbing all day. It didn’t help that McNabb threw up in his mouth at the end of the game.”
Shevlin works in risk management for Marriott Hotels.
“Playing this contest is more about bragging rights and forces me to keep up with the games a bit,” said Shevlin. “I feel like Jimmy The Greek, though I’m guessing the young people out there have no idea who I’m talking about.”
One thing fans, young and old, do know a lot about this year is that Shevlin’s Eagles could be on a collision course with the Patriots.
The Eagles are 10-1. The Patriots are 9-2. Both are ranked No. 1 in their respective conferences.
“It has been a blast watching the Eagles this year,” said Shevlin. “I had a few of my friends over for Monday Night Football a few weeks back when Eagles were on and they were impressed. Eagles are getting more exposure and have been on TV more often.”
As for a Super Bowl matchup, Shevlin is all-in. Literally.
“I am 48 years old and have only seen my team in the Super Bowl twice and I think I cried on both occasions,” he said. “An Eagles-Pats matchup in Super Bowl is a possibility.
“I told wife I am pulling some money out of my 401K account and will attend if Eagles get there this time (in Minneapolis),” he said. “Though I may be sleeping on the couch when I return.”
Easy picking in Week 12
You can thank me if you'd like. On Monday night, I selected the Houston Texans to defeat the home team, the Baltimore Ravens. It cost me the chance to lose to only three entries.
But instead I lost and finished a respectable 10-3, and allowed about 25 entries to be in the running for a T-shirt.
Each week a maximum of 10 T-shirts are awarded. All three tiebreakers were needed in Week 12 -- Pats points total (35), amount of correct selections (11-plus) and random draw.
All of the winners were within one point of the Patriots point total.
Week 12 winners
Lisa Alibrandi of Haverhill
Ed Nassif of Lawrence
David Murphy of Tewksbury
Dan & Elijiah Janco of Methuen
Ray Lundberg of Salem, N.H.
Steve Lemerise of Haverhill
Robert Dichard of Salem, N.H.
Khloe Rios of Methuen
Bob Parker of North Andover
Dave Heidler of East Hampstead, N.H.