Final picks story

So after all was said and done, a “Rookie,” Marlene Matutino, beat out everyone for the top prize in The Garden Island’s Gridiron Challenge.

So exactly how’d she do it? Well, at the beginning of the season, she was extremely hesitant to accept my invitation, but after a few hot fudge sundaes, she gladly accepted the challenge. However, I really didn’t know how deadly she would be, but I guess her humble demeanor treated her well.

For winning the contest, she’ll receive $50 from each panelist to go directly towards her charity of choice, the Kaua‘i United Way, who will also be taking in more money, thanks to Matutino’s team, who won the team competition.

Her team now receives $50 from each team that also goes to the Kaua‘i United Way.

The TV team was led early on by Wala‘au’s Dickie Chang, who led until the Superbowl (Seattle let you down, my friend. I worry). However, Matutino grabbed the title by picking Pittsburgh for five points and she also nabbed the closest combined score of the two Superbowl teams for another five points. Her guess of 37 was the closest to the actual score of 31 (21-10, Pittsburgh).

David Bice finished up the season in second-place, tied with Bruce Smalling. Bice, who was trailing Chang all season long, finally overtook “Da Wizard” after the Superbowl (Congrats, Dave!).

Chang took third-place after a foolish Superbowl pick (sorry, Seattle), but his Kaua‘i Food Bank won’t go hungry, because there’s always next season.

KONG’s Ron Wiley and the Surf’s Shelly Cobb ended up with respectable marks and Paul C. Curtis and Shanna Pollard fought for the last-place spot, with the publisher taking the coveted basement slot.

See ya next season!

Duane Shimogawa Jr., sports editor, may be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 257) or


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