Perfect and finally a winner

Methuen's Kevin McElhinney got all 13 games right two weeks ago winning his first "I Beat Burt" T-shirt in several years of trying.

Kevin McElhinney has had a good year, at least comparatively speaking over the two decades he has been playing the "I Beat Burt" Contest.

But the first tiebreaker has been his biggest foil.

In Week 11, he didn't need the tiebreaker. He picked them all right. He was among a small handful of entries that picked all 13 games correctly.

"I love picking the games every week and I was doing pretty well," said McElhinney, of Methuen. "Apparently I had to pick them all right to win a T-shirt."

McElhinney, 57, is married to wife Debbie and they have one son, Timothy. But the best news, even better than finally winning a T-shirt, is that his son and daughter-in-law Nikki, will be having their first child in January.

Which means he's got a new name coming, Grandpa.

Family is important to McElhinney and there is a connection through Boston sports.

"My dad was a huge sports fan and I share that love of sports as well with my son, Timothy," he said. " I fondly remember watching Bruins games with my dad on UHF Channel 38, with Fred Cusick and Johnny Pearson. It was great."

As for these days, Sunday is a special day in the McElhinney household. It usually starts with a morning jog, grocery shopping and then a full-day of football watching, particularly the Patriots.

"The [Pats] defense looks very impressive," he said. "The offense needs some work, but hopefully with Isaiah Wynn back, that will make the offense better. I'm really hoping to see N'Keal Harry improve as he plays more. Hopefully the kicking game won't come back to bite us without [Stephen] Gostkowski."

As for his secret to picking games, particularly this year, he says there is really only one.

"I pick the Patriots to win every week," said McElhinney. "I usually right."

Back to back big weeks

Bring it on!

Enough of the arrogance -- two weeks of 10-3 marks -- but Week 12 was by far the biggest and best week of the 2019 season for favorites with nine of 13 winning.

Only a handful of entries had the Tampa Bay upset over Atlanta, while most people correctly had the Seahawks beating the Eagles and Ravens over the Rams, both on the road.

The only games I missed were Tampa, Jets and Redskins wins, all mini-upsets (under five points).

There were only eight entries that picked more winners (six had 11 wins and two had 12 wins) so the first tiebreaker was not needed.

That's the first time there have been less than 10 T-shirt winners this year.

Week 12 winners

Patti Goudreault of Auburn, N.H.

Ellen Carter of North Andover

Tom Barnacle of Methuen

Arlene Lennon of Methuen

George Assad of North Andover

Bill Clarke of Hampstead, N.H.

Rick Gardella of Kingston, N.H.

Diego Nico of Seabrook, N.H.

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