"What’s it like to get beaten?"
I can answer that.
"What’s it like to get beat often?"
I can answer that, too.
"What’s it like to get beaten so badly you don’t want to go to work the next day?"
I can definitely answer that.
Well, it’s that time of year again. Time for me, Bill Burt, to eat more humble pie.
Welcome to the 23rd year of the “I Beat Burt” contest.
It started on a whim. We wanted to capture the essence of football fandom in the Valley; offer readers a chance to win a T-shirt; see if anyone bit.
Well, we’ve given away, or rather "awarded" over 4,000 T-shirts, all emblazoned with this proclamation: “I Beat Burt.”
They also are adorned with a caricature of me wincing after taking a football off the noggin.
We put the contest on hold one year and received many loud complaints. We didn’t do that again.
How to 'Beat Burt'
If you haven’t played before or need a refresher, here’s how to compete:
How can you play?
■ Visit eagletribune.com/beatburt and complete the entry blank. There are some mandatory boxes that must be filled in, like name, address, email address and phone number.
■ Cut out the entry form in The Eagle-Tribune every Wednesday and Thursday, check the teams you think will win and mail it in.
How can you win?
Well, there are a few steps:
■ You must pick more winners than I do.
■ If more than 10 people pick more winners than I do, we go to the first tiebreaker (number of points the Patriots scored).
If there is still a tie, the second tiebreaker is the number of correct selections. The third tiebreaker is a random drawing.
When will the results be announced?
■ We print the 10 winners every Wednesday in the newspaper and we announce it online, too. It is a good idea to follow the contest on our website, where results from all the weeks will be available.
How do I get my winning T-shirt?
■ T-shirts are picked up at the newspaper.
■ Don’t forget: This is not just a T-shirt. It’s a badge of honor, for beating my brains in.
Why have there been occasions when more than 10 T-shirts were awarded?
Sometimes, especially when I have a bad week and the Patriots score a “typical” number of points, like 27 or 31, we will have 20 entries that pick more winners and have the Patriots score exactly. We decided a long time ago, that you win a T-shirt if that happens. One time, 32 entrants won T-shirts.
What’s the best part of the contest?
That’s easy. It’s fun. It’s free. And it adds excitement to football season.
Trust me, even when I’m at Gillette Stadium covering Patriots games, I keep tabs on the results. I usually pick one to three underdogs per week, which usually causes mayhem.
Hint: I’m a risk-taker.
Time to brag
How can you boast about winning?
If you have won an “I Beat Burt” T-shirt, we want to know about it.
Send us a photo of you wearing it. If your entire family has won T-shirts, we want to hear your story and see a photo. Send it to me at email@example.com.
Let the competition begin.
I dare you: Beat Burt.
To fill out the Week 1 entry blank go to www.eagletribune.com/beatburt
E-mail Bill Burt at firstname.lastname@example.org.