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Football bragging rights

Want to challenge 'Pigskin Pundits' in weekly NFL picks?

By Staff | Sep 03, 2020

Whether the National Football League’s season will be played in its entirety due to COVID-19 remains to be seen, but that will not stop the Courier Publications/VillageSoup sports staff from maintaining a decades-long tradition.

For the 22nd straight year, the sports staff ushers in its annual "Pigskin Pundits" weekly NFL game selections, where readers/fans are invited to test their football wits against the “professionals.”

For decades, the weekly picks were featured in Courier Publications’ newspapers The Courier-Gazette, Camden Herald and The Republican Journal. Now, those picks are made exclusively on the organization’s websites — knox.villagesoup.com and waldo.villagesoup.com.

Each year during the pro football season, Sports Director Ken Waltz, Associate Sports Director Mark Haskell, sports reporter Zack Miller, media company owner Reade Brower and a weekly guest have gone head-to-head by picking that week’s slate of pro football games.

After 17 weeks, the guest with the best weekly record will return to pick against Waltz, Haskell, Miller and Brower for the playoffs and Super Bowl. The guest with the best weekly record also will receive a year's subscription to one of Courier Publications' newspapers or one of the organization's websites.

For the past two years, the guest winner has been Brad King of Camden, who has clearly proven the “king” of the guest pickers. Last year, he went 12-3-1 in Week 1 to earn the right to pick against Brower, Waltz, Haskell and Miller in the playoffs, while two years ago, King went 11-4 in Week 12 to earn the honors.

Last year, after 17 regular-season weeks, Waltz finished 165-90-1 (.647 winning percentage), Brower 159-96-1 (.624), Haskell 158-97-1 (.620), Miller 155-100-1 (.608) and guests 158-97-1 (.620).

In the playoffs, Miller went 9-2, Waltz and Haskell 7-4, Brower 5-6 and King 3-8. Miller, Waltz, Haskell and Brower correctly picked the Kansas City Chiefs to beat the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl 54, with Haskell’s prediction of 33-23 the closest to the 31-20 final score.

Those interested in being a weekly guest picker should email Haskell at mhaskell@courierpublicationsllc.com.

Courier Publications' sports staff can be reached by email at sports@villagesoup.com or by phone at 594-4401.

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