Defending champion Rob Burns has conceded defeat in The Daily World Pro Football Forecasting Contest.
Despite a respectable 11-4 record last week, Burns trails contest leader Rick Anderson by nine games with three weeks remaining.
“It ain’t happening,” Burns asserted earlier this week.
Like Al Gore in the 2000 presidential election, Burns has reserved the right to rescind his concession if subsequent events warrant — although he is unlikely to challenge the validity of the outcome in court.
He is also drafting a statement thanking readers for their comments and backing during his reign and has pledged support to the new champion in that person’s Super Bowl prediction (unless he disagrees with it).
With a 12-3 record last week, Anderson (127-68-1 overall) increased his lead to three games over Vidette reporter David Haerle. Bolstered by the San Francisco 49ers’ victory over the Seattle Seahawks, Haerle remained within striking distance with an 11-4 record.
Guest forecaster Brendan Carl, also of the Vidette, went 9-6, enabling Anderson and Burns to win the Daily World-Vidette Challenge. They are eagerly awaiting the payoff for that triumph.
Willapa Valley teacher/coach Matt Bannish is this week’s guest. A 1981 Willapa Valley graduate, Bannish played on state championship football and basketball teams at Valley before launching a distinguished college basketball career at Skagit Valley and Seattle Pacific.
A middle school teacher at Willapa Valley, he returned to the bench this season as the Vikings’ head girls basketball coach. He said the Seahawks “are the closest thing I have to a favorite NFL team.”
Bannish’s appearance this week begins a two-week guest forecasting challenge. His twin brother Mark has agreed to be next week’s guest.
While the panelists agree on a Seahawk victory over the New York Giants on Sunday, they have made four different selections as the Lock of the Week. Considering their record in that category over the past month, they are advising readers not to wager large sums of money on any of them.
GAME ANDERSON BURNS HAERLE BANNISH
Redskins-Falcons Falcons Falcons Falcons Falcons
Cards-Titans Cards Cards Cards Cards
49ers-Bucs 49ers 49ers 49ers 49ers
Saints-Rams Saints Saints Saints Saints
Seahawks-Giants Seahawks Seahawks Seahawks Seahawks
Bears-Browns Browns Bears Bears Browns
Texans-Colts Colts Colts Colts Colts
Bills-Jaguars Jaguars Jaguars Jaguars Jaguars
Patriots-Dolphins Dolphins Patriots Patriots Patriots
Eagles-Vikings Eagles Eagles Eagles Eagles
Chiefs-Raiders Chiefs Chiefs Chiefs Chiefs
Jets-Panthers Panthers Panthers Panthers Panthers
Packers-Cowboys Cowboys Cowboys Packers Cowboys
Bengals-Steelers Bengals Steelers Bengals Steelers
Ravens-Lions Lions Lions Lions Lions
Lock of Week: Colts Saints Seahawks Panthers