Newburyport man has Pats' game ritual

Week 8 entry blank is already on-line. Give it a shot and you can win a T-shirt like the one Bill Burt is holding.

Skip Oxford is superstitious when it comes to the New England Patriots, his favorite team (surprise!) whom he picks practically every week.

He spends the first hour of their weekends doing something around his Newburyport home. 

Then he puts on the TV and watches.

"I don't want to jinx them," said Oxford, who has been playing the "I Beat Burt" Contest for over a decade. "I have a ritual every weekend. I go to Mass on Sunday morning if I didn't go on Saturday. Then I do other things for about an hour when the Patriots game starts. Then I check all scores and put the Patriots on. Even if it's a playoff game or the Super Bowl, I always wait an hour."

Oxford is married to wife Kristine with one son Gregory, who with his Rita, have two sons Greg and James.

Oxford, 70, was a former athlete at Wakefield High where he was a three-sport athlete in cross country, basketball and baseball. His basketball team was the Class B state champs in 1965.

As for the 2018 Patriots, Oxford is all in.

"I'm excited about Julian Edelman's return," said Oxford, who works ... "I really excited about Josh Gordon, hoping he can keep his act together. He reminds me of Randy Moss. I picked the Patriots to go up against the Rams in the Super Bowl and I'm sticking to it."

Road warriors

When seven road teams (out of 13) win, you know it's going to be a tough week. And it was for most entries.

I had 10 winners, only losing three. There were only 17 entries that had 11 or 12 correct selections.

All of this week's winners were within four points of the Patriots point total (38). 

With the Patriots offense on a roll, I expect a lot of 38-plus predictions in the first tie-breaker.

Week 7 winners

E. J. Lennon Jr. of Methuen

Daniel Beauchesne of Salem, N.H.

Roy Dennehy of Windham, N.H.

Paula Thompson of Methuen

Bob Casey of Fremont, N.H.

Karen Foucault of Bradford

Chris Simonian of Methuen

Mary Paquette of Salem, N.H.

Kevin McElhinney of Methuen

Joan Toshach of Bradford