Dead last two weeks ago, sports writer Rob Burns has charged into a slender lead entering the final week of The Daily World Pro Football Forecasting contest.
With a 12-4 record last week, Burns (143-67-1) owns a one-game advantage over Sports Editor Rick Anderson (11-5 last week) and Special Sections Editor David Haerle (10-6) with one week remaining.
Burns would lose the Lock of the Week tiebreaker to both his rivals. That would be fine with Burns, who has adopted the motto, “Ties are for wimps, except that they’re OK in soccer” (a motto that admittedly has failed to make Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations). But since he differs with each of his pursuers on an even number of games this week (two with Haerle; four with Anderson), a tie in the overall season standings is unlikely.
It’s also hang-on time for Hoquiam teacher and coach Curtis Eccles, who owns the lead in the prestigious Guest Forecaster of the Year competition.
His final challenger is Aberdeen banker and coach Brandon Barnes, who will need a 14-2 record to surpass Eccles.
A former all-league basketball player at Aberdeen High School, Barnes is currently the branch manager at Anchor Bank in Aberdeen. He helps out his father, Leonard Barnes, by serving as the junior varsity boys hoop coach at Aberdeen.
Regardless of this week’s contest outcome, this has been a big month for Barnes. His wife, Madalene, gave birth to the couple’s first son on Dec. 11.
Barnes describes himself as an avid Seattle Seahawks fan who roots for other teams only in situations where a certain outcome can help the Hawks.
Burns, Anderson and Barnes agree on a Seattle victory over the St. Louis Rams. Employing a risky strategy that could decide the contest, Haerle picks the underdog Rams.
GAME ANDERSON BURNS HAERLE BARNES
Bucs-Falcons Falcons Falcons Falcons Falcons
Jets-Bills Bills Bills Bills Jets
Ravens-Bengals Bengals Bengals Bengals Bengals
Bears-Lions Lions Bears Bears Bears
Jaguars-Titans Titans Titans Titans Titans
Texans-Colts Texans Colts Colts Colts
Packers-Vikings Packers Packers Vikings Packers
Dolphins-Patriots Patriots Patriots Patriots Patriots
Panthers-Saints Saints Saints Saints Saints
Eagles-Giants Eagles Giants Giants Giants
Browns-Steelers Steelers Steelers Steelers Steelers
Raiders-Chargers Chargers Chargers Chargers Chargers
Cards-49ers 49ers 49ers 49ers 49ers
Rams-Seahawks Seahawks Seahawks Rams Seahawks
Chiefs-Broncos Broncos Broncos Broncos Broncos
Cowboys-Redskins Cowboys Redskins Redskins Redskins
Lock of Week: Saints Broncos 49ers Broncos