June hit in December. And with it, a September champion was denied being the Gridiron Guru’s first double-winner in 2014.
And Betty Wiedow has the boys of December to thank.
Wiedow, aka June, of Phoenix, Arizona, along with Week 1 winner Hesperado (Marcia Kuzma of Hesperus) and KittyCent were alone at the top in Week 14, fittingly picking 14 of the 16 games correctly.
The New England Patriots, who have long owned December, provided the tie-breaker, and Wiedow picked the Patriots to win 24-17. She wasn’t far off as the Pats defeated San Diego 23-14, giving Wiedow the win.
Kuzma wasn’t the only Gridiron Guru type to come close to a second victory this season – Week 12 winner Noah Lopez (nlopez) of Durango was among 17 players one back with 13 correct picks. And Waylon Foreman (waylon) of Farmington, the Week 12 winner, was among a host of players with 12 correct picks.
The Gridiron Guru was even in the mix, finishing with 11, along with three other previous champs (Shauna Dooley-Wallace, Durango, Week 4; Doug Carman, Bayfield, Week 3; and Alison Foote, Aztec, Week 7).
But it wasn’t a balmy December week for two other former champs, including a December winner: Gary Hudson of Cordova, Maryland, the Week 11 winner, and Frank Hawkins of Bayfield, the Week 13 champ, were among the losers with eight and seven correct picks, respectively.
Hawkins won with 13 correct picks last week.
Thursday, Dec. 11
Arizona at St. Louis (NFL Network): The hottest first-half team against possibly the hottest second-half team this season. The latter is home and coming off back-to-back shutouts. Pick: Rams, 19-17. Line: Rams by 3½.
Sunday, Dec. 14
Miami at New England: The Patriots are tough to beat, particularly at home, this time of year. Throw in the fact that the Pats win the division title with a victory and you’ve got a no-brainer. Pick: Patriots, 34-17. Line: Patriots by 7½.
New York Jets at Tennessee: You’ve got to be a hard-core Jets or Titans fan to watch this one. In the ugly game of the week ... Pick: Jets, 20-19. Line: Jets by 1.
Denver at San Diego (KCNC, KREZ): Like the Patriots, the Broncos can clinch the division title with a victory. Unlike the Pats, they’re not at home. But it won’t matter. Pick: Broncos, 27-19. Line: Broncos by 4.
Houston at Indianapolis: The Colts are the third AFC team that can clinch a division title with a win. Make it three-for-three on that front. Pick: Colts, 30-20. Line: Colts by 6½.
Cincinnati at Cleveland: Johnny Football, Johnny Football, Johnny Football. Pick: Browns, 17-16. Line: ’Pick em.
Green Bay at Buffalo: Yes, the Packers’ defense looked bad after Atlanta was forced to play catchup last week. But the Buffalo offense isn’t nearly as capable. Pick: Packers, 34-16. Line: Packers by 5/
San Francisco at Seattle: The Seahawks appear to be back to their old selves, or getting closer. The Niners are still searching for an identity. Pick: Seahawks, 20-17. Line: Seahawks by 9½.
Dallas at Philadelphia: It won’t be a repeat of the Eagles’ Thanksgiving Day blowout, but close. Pick: Eagles, 31-17. Line: Cowboys by 3½.
Washington at New York Giants: Two disappointments. Expect the same from the game. Pick: Giants, 10-6. Line: Giants by 6½.
Minnesota at Detroit: Longtime inhabitants of the Metrodome, the Vikings have won two in a row outdoors in their temporary home at the University of Minnesota. A return to a dome won’t be kind to the Vikes. Pick: Lions, 27-13. Line: Lions by 7½.
Jacksonville at Baltimore: The Ravens have been here before – backs against the wall in mid-December. Pick: Ravens, 31-16. Line: Ravens by 13½.
Pittsburgh at Atlanta: The Steelers and Falcons put up a ton of points later in their games last week. But the Steelers are banged up and the Falcons will be on a short week. Pick: Falcons, 17-16. Line: Steelers by 2.
Oakland at Kansas City: Can the Raiders put together back-to-back solid weeks for the first time in more than a year? No. Pick: Chiefs, 30-19. Line: Chiefs by 10½.
Tampa Bay at Carolina: Cam Newton’s out. So is the betting line. But Newton’s Panthers are the smart bet here against the hapless Bucs. Pick: Panthers, 17-13. Line: None.
Monday, Dec. 15
New Orleans at Chicago (ESPN): Not what ESPN was hoping for in a late-season matchup. Pick: Saints, 36-33. Line: Saints by 3.