As hall-of-fame pitcher and Boston Red Sox television announcer Dennis Eckersley nonchalantly and matter-of-factly states after poor performances: “Yuck.”

Perhaps even: “Double yuck.”

That is the feeling of the “Pigskin Pundits” after another forgettable week trying to figure out which of two National Football League teams might win a specific game.

Reade Brower

As the pundits and their weekly guests have discovered, it is harder than it looks.

To be fair, no one from this group is lighting the early-season NFL world on fire. Newcomer Jim Leonard is doing the best and defending champion Reade Brower and Mark Haskell are close behind. Ken Waltz and the guests have, well, to be kind, stunk.

Perhaps this is the week the fortunes of all, especially the bottom-feeders, turn.

As they say in the unpredictable world of weekly football game picking, we shall see. The proof will be in the proverbial pudding.

In Week 3, Leonard finished 9-7, Haskell 8-8, Brower and Waltz 7-9 and guest, Zach Smith of Belfast, 6-10.

Three weeks into this already crazy NFL campaign, Leonard is 27-20-1 (.574 winning percentage), Brower and Haskell 26-21-1 (.553), Waltz 24-23-1 (.511) and the guests 19-28-1 (.404).

For the guests, Sam Adolphsen of Hope finished 6-9-1 in Week 1, Rachel Coor of Damariscotta 7-9 in Week 2 and Zach Smith of Belfast 6-10 in Week 3.

The Week 4 guest is Dan Falla of Tenants Harbor.

Thus far, Brower has the best weekly record at 12-4 in Week 2.

Jim Leonard

The MaineStay Media/VillageSoup “Pigskin Pundits” include Brower (company owner), Waltz (sports director), Haskell (associate sports director) and Leonard (The Republican Journal reporter).

Those four, along with a different weekly guest, will pick the outcome of games.

The NFL games got under way on Sept. 8 and, after 18 weeks (17 games) of the regular season, which includes a bye week for all teams, and a few weeks of playoff battles, it will be time for Super Bowl LVII on Feb. 12, 2023 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Az.

As the dog days of summer quickly transition into the brisk days of fall, the start of the regular season is upon us as 32 teams gear up for a run at the coveted Vince Lombardi Trophy.

And, on a Midcoast level, sportswriters and sports aficionados look to prove their mental mettle for bragging rights.

For the 24th year, the MaineStay Media/VillageSoup sports staff ushers in its “Pigskin Pundits” weekly NFL game selections, where readers/fans test their football wits against the “pros.”

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.

The prognosticators and weekly guest go head-to-head when they pick the winners — no scores or points spreads involved — of that week’s slate of games.

Mark Haskell

After 18 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 MaineStay Media/VillageSoup newspapers or one of the organization’s websites.

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

The games for Week 4 include:

Sept. 29

Miami at Cincinnati

Oct. 2

Minnesota at New Orleans

Cleveland at Atlanta

Washington at Dallas

Seattle at Detroit

Tennessee at Indianapolis

Ken Waltz

Chicago at New York Giants

Jacksonville at Philadelphia

New York Jets at Pittsburgh

Buffalo at Baltimore

Los Angeles Chargers at Houston

Arizona at Carolina

New England at Green Bay

Denver at Las Vegas

Kansas City at Tampa Bay

Oct. 3

Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco

The Week 4 picks for the “Pigskin Pundits” and guest include:

Brower — Cincinnati, Minnesota, Atlanta, Dallas, Detroit, Indianapolis, New York Giants, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Los Angeles Chargers, Arizona, Green Bay, Las Vegas, Kansas City and San Francisco.

Waltz — Cincinnati, Minnesota, Cleveland, Dallas, Detroit, Indianapolis, New York Giants, Jacksonville, New York Jets, Buffalo, Houston, Carolina, Green Bay, Las Vegas, Kansas City and Los Angeles Rams.

Dan Falla

Haskell — Miami, Minnesota, Atlanta, Dallas, Seattle, Tennessee, New York Giants, Philadelphia, New York Jets, Buffalo, Los Angeles Chargers, Carolina, Green Bay, Las Vegas, Kansas City and Los Angeles Rams.

Leonard — Miami, Minnesota, Cleveland, Dallas, Detroit, Tennessee, Chicago, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Los Angeles Chargers, Carolina, Green Bay, Denver, Kansas City and San Francisco.

Falla — Miami, Minnesota, Cleveland, Dallas, Detroit, Tennessee, Chicago, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Los Angeles Chargers, Arizona, New England, Las Vegas, Kansas City and San Francisco.

History lesson

Last year’s top guest picker was Ryan Verrill of Warren, who finished 12-2 in Week 14, and earned the right to pick against Waltz, Haskell, Brower and Miller in the postseason.

In the playoffs, Haskell and Miller finished 9-4, Waltz 8-5, Brower 7-6 and Verrill 6-7, as Haskell, Waltz and Miller correctly picked the Los Angeles Rams to defeat the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI.

Overall in 2021-22, Brower finished 188-96-1 (.662); Haskell, 184-100-1 (.648); Waltz, 180-104-1 (.634); Zack Miller, 176-108-1 (620); and guests, 176-108-1 (620).

MaineStay Media/VillageSoup sports staff can be reached by email at sports@villagesoup.com.