Tom Hanks’ character Jimmy Duggan in the movie “A League of their Own” tells one of his player, “There is no crying in baseball.”

Well, some of us have discovered there is plenty of crying in football. Well, crying not from playing, but after picking the weekly outcomes of National Football League games.

Kristin Falla

Add a cup of angst, pinch of sorrow and boatload of regret and you have a typical week of trying to figure out who will come out on top in these professional gridiron clashes of the titans.

Exhibit 1: Jacksonville Jaguars 9, Buffalo Bills 6.

Enough said.

Who saw that coming? No one. That is right, no one.

No rhyme or reason. No pattern. No consistency. It is the weekly ups-and-downs, peaks-and-valleys life of a “Pigskin Pundit” and one we enjoy — sometimes.

Well, Week 9 was another not-so-great experience after a no-so-great Week 8. What will Week 10 bring? Hope? Clarity? More of the same? We shall find out.

After 136 games, the status quo has stayed the same. Like what we we did there? Redundant. You bet. Just like the mediocrity week-to-week results.

Perhaps this week will be different.

The ninth week of the “Pigskin Pundits” saw leaders Reade Brower and Mark Haskell finish 9-5, Ken Waltz 8-6, Zack Miller 7-7 and guest, Mike Fuller of Islesboro, 4-10.

Reade Brower

Thus, through nine weeks, Haskell and Brower sit at 90-46 (.662 winning percentage); Waltz, 87-49 (.640); and Zack Miller, 85-51 (.625). The guests also are 83-53 (.610).

The numbers show Haskell and Brower hold three- , five- and eight-game advantages over those in the field.

The Week 10 guest is Kristin Falla of Tenants Harbor.

Thus far, Brower has experienced the most productive week among the “Pigskin Pundits” at 13-2 in Week 8, while Scott Cournoyer of Swanville has been the best guest picker at 12-4 in Week 3.

The guests’ records: Howard Fogg Jr., Monmouth, 8-8 in Week 1; Troy Smith, Waldoboro, 11-5 in Week 2; Scott Cournoyer, Swanville, 12-4 in Week 3; Bradley Strong, Rockland, 10-6 in Week 4; Mike Curtis, Thomaston, 10-6 in Week 5; Jason Karam, Warren, 10-4 in Week 6; and Meagan Miller, Warren, 8-5 in Week 7; David Page, Winslow, 10-5 in Week 8; and Mike Fuller, Islesboro, 4-10 in Week 9.

The “Pigskin Pundits” of Courier Publications/VillageSoup are in their 23rd consecutive year as they make weekly game selections, with a guest each week.

Ken Waltz

Each year during the pro football season, Waltz (sports director), Haskell (associate sports director), Zack Miller (community editor, former sports reporter), Brower (company owner) and a weekly guest go head-to-head to pick the winners (no scores or points spreads involved) of that week’s slate of games.

Readers/fans are invited to test their football wits against the “pros.”

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

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 — stage.cg.10upmanaged.com and stage-villagesoup.cg.10upmanaged.com — and appear most Thursdays.

For nearly a quarter century, the media foursome and guests have returned for the harder-than-it-looks weekly guessing games.

After 18 weeks, with the regular season extended to 17 weeks and one bye week, 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 the Courier Publications/VillageSoup newspapers or one of the organization’s websites.

Mark Haskell

The NFL’s Week 10 schedule includes:

Thursday, Nov. 11

Baltimore at Miami

Sunday, Nov. 14

Atlanta at Dallas

New Orleans at Tennessee

Jacksonville at Indianapolis

Cleveland at New England

Buffalo at New York Jets

Detroit at Pittsburgh

Tampa Bay at Washington

Carolina at Arizona

Minnesota at Los Angeles Chargers

Philadelphia at Denver

Seattle at Green Bay

Zack Miller

Kansas City at Las Vegas

Monday, Nov. 16

Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco

The following are the Week 10 picks of the Courier Publications/VillageSoup “Pigskin Pundits” and guest:

Brower — Baltimore, Dallas, Tennessee, Indianapolis, New England, Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Arizona, Los Angeles Chargers, Denver, Green Bay, Kansas City and San Francisco.

Waltz — Baltimore, Dallas, Tennessee, Indianapolis, New England, Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Arizona, Los Angeles Chargers, Denver, Green Bay, Las Vegas and Los Angeles Rams.

Haskell — Baltimore, Atlanta, Tennessee, Indianapolis, New England, Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Arizona, Minnesota, Philadelphia, Seattle, Las Vegas and Los Angeles Rams.

Zack Miller — Baltimore, Dallas, Tennessee, Indianapolis, New England, Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Arizona, Los Angeles Chargers, Denver, Seattle, Las Vegas and Los Angeles Rams.

Falla — Baltimore, Dallas, New Orleans, Indianapolis, New England, Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Arizona, Los Angeles Chargers, Philadelphia, Green Bay, Kansas City and Los Angeles Rams.

History lesson

Last year’s top guest picker was Howard Fogg Jr. of Monmouth. He earned a 13-3 record in Week 2 to earn the distinction. As the defending guest champion, he returns as the Week 1 guest in 2021.

After 17 weeks of the 2020-21 regular season, Brower finished 166-89-1 (.651 winning percentage), Waltz, 164-91-1 (.643); Haskell, 163-92-1 (.639); and Miller, 160-95-1 (.627). The guests finished 159-56-1 (.624).

Ultimately, after 256 gridiron clashes from September to January, that included one tie, Brower prevailed by two games over Waltz, three over Haskell and six over Miller, as well seven over the guests.

In the postseason, Haskell proved the top picker with a 10-3 record, while Waltz and Fogg finished 9-4; Miller, 8-5; and Brower, 6-7. Waltz, Miller and Fogg correctly picked the Buccaneers to win Super Bowl LV.

For the guests in 2020, in Week 1, Dave MacNeill of Warren finished 8-8; Week 2, Howard Fogg Jr. of Monmouth 13-3; Week 3, Rusty Worcester of Cushing 7-8-1; Week 4, Emily Cole of Waldoboro, 6-9; Week 5, Ryan Jackson of Warren, 10-4; Week 6, Richie Oliver of Jefferson, 9-5; Week 7, Casey Holmes of Dixmont, 9-5; Week 8, Matt Petrie of Wiscasset, 8-6; Week 9, Erik Benner of Friendship, 10-4; Week 10, Sandy Cameron of Belfast, 6-8; Week 11, Meagan Miller of Warren, 9-5; Week 12, Austin Haskell of Rockland, 11-5; Week 13, Lucas Brower of Rockland, 11-4; Week 14, Garrett French of Warren, 11-4; Week 15, Brad King of Camden, 10-6; Week 16, Sam Clement of Bennington, Vt. (originally from Lincolnville), 9-7; and Week 17, Laurie Cole of Rockland, 12-4.

For the media crew, Miller and Waltz finished tied with the best weekly records at 14-2 in Week 2, while, for the guests, Fogg earned the best weekly mark at 13-3 in Week 2, thus will pick against the media members in the playoffs.

In 2019-20, 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).

Among the ‘Pigskin Pundits,’ Brower had the best weekly records at 14-1 in Week 8 and 13-2-1 in Week 1, while Brad King finished 12-3-1 in Week 1 for the best mark among the guests.

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 LIV, with Haskell’s prediction of 33-23 the closest to the 31-20 final score.

Guest participants in 2019-20 were: Week 1, Brad King of Rockland, 12-3-1; in Week 2, Michele Scheffler of Jefferson, 8-8; in Week 3, Howard Fogg of Monmouth, 11-5; in Week 4, Ethan Butler of Appleton, 7-8; in Week 5, Scott Case of Belfast, 7-8; in Week 6, Emily Cole of Waldoboro, 9-5; in Week 7, Casey Holmes of Dixmont, 11-3; in Week 8, Jacob Light of Warren, 10-5; in Week 9, Chad Blake of Rockland, 6-8; Week 10, Brad Strong of Rockland, 4-9; Week 11, Otis Kneeland of Stockton Springs, 10-4; Week 12, Chris Hart of Rockport, 10-4; Week 13, Sandy Cameron of Belfast, 11-5; Week 14, Dagney Ernest of Thomaston, 10-6; Week 15, Lynsey Carr of Augusta, 11-5; Week 16, Connor Kneeland of Stockton Springs, 12-4; and Week 17, Laura MacDonald, 10-6.

In 2018-19, Waltz was the “top dog” in the regular season as he finished 161-93-2 (.634 winning percentage), thanks to a 16-0 final week, while Miller was second at 157-97-2 (.618), Haskell third at 151-103-2 (.594) and Brower fourth at 142-112-2 (.559). The guests finished 148-106-2 (.583).

Overall, Waltz finished 167-98-2, Miller 162-103-2, Haskell 158-107-2, Brower 150-115-2 and guests 159-110-2.

Brad King of Rockland, who went 11-4 in Week 12 and earned the right to pick against Waltz, Haskell, Miller and Brower in the playoffs.

In the postseason, Brower finished 8-3, Haskell and King 7-4, Waltz 6-5 and Miller 5-6. All five correctly picked the Patriots to defeat the Rams in Super Bowl LIII.

Courier Publications/VillageSoup sports staff can be reached by email at sports@villagesoup.com.