Some quick thoughts for a low-motivational day at work:
· Thank you to everyone for your kind words about the passing of my father. Every day I think about him. And every day I’m sad that I’ll never talk to him again.
· By the way, did I ever mention that he was the only person I ever knew who had a hole-in-one AND bowled a perfect game?
Even less relevant thoughts as I continue to try and look busy at work:
· My son brought this one to my attention. Every single active pro team in the Bay Area won. The 49ers, Raiders, Warriors, and Sharks all won. Sharks and Warriors both play tomorrow to try and make it an undefeated week. God only knows if this ever happened before (or will ever happen again).
· Jesse Palmer? What, was Andrew Firestone’s phone busy? With the next 49er game against the New York Giants, anyone who thinks this is anything but a Jerry-Rogers-stealing-Greg’s-playbook move is kidding themselves. And if you don’t know who Jerry Rogers is, he’s the guy who pretended to like Marcia just so he could steal Greg’s playbook before the big game. Greg figured it out and tricked him into stealing a bogus playbook, and … oh, never mind.
And speaking of football… [segue into my misguided NFL preview]:
· Falcons at Dolphins – The Fins continue to astound me with their dazzling, almost manic inconsistency. This will be a down cycle week as the Falcons should roll them by at least a touchdown, 27-17.
· Lions at Vikes – Fran Tarkenton leads the Vikings against Greg Landry in this NFC Central battle. Oh, it’s the NFC North? What happened to the Central? Err, Detroit’s defense is the best squad in this game. In fact, it’s Detroit’s defense and a three-way tie for last. Lions eat the Vikes 19-10.
· Raiders at Chiefs – A lot of Bay Area scribes are trying to hype this game as the NFL’s greatest rivalry. Wrong! It’s the AFL’s greatest rivalry, and since the AFL has been gone for, oh, 35 years, it’s about time to realize that this isn’t Curley Culp against Jim Otto or Otis Taylor against Willie Brown. Chiefs should prevail at home, but a late touchdown by the Raiders makes it seem close, 30-24.
· Titans at Browns – Can you imagine what it feels like to be the broadcast crew assigned to this stinker? I would guess that you should be polishing up your resume on Monster.com if this is what the network thinks of your abilities. This wins the award for “Football Game with the smallest regional broadcast area”, just beating out a Vermont/Delaware Division III tilt. Who cares? 16-13. Toss a coin.
· Panthers at Bucs – Who thinks the Panther defense was salivating at the sight of Chris Simms coughing up fumbles left and right against the 49ers? Mark my words. Rattay will be in the game to start the second half. It won’t help. Panthers will control the clock and the ball game. 24-13.
· Bengals at Ravens – Letdown game for the Ravens after a hard fought game on Monday. I think the Ravens see the Steelers more as a rivalry than the Bengals because of the similarity in smash-mouth styles. The Bengals seem to be letting off the gas a bit to try and make it seem like they’re a balanced offense. They’re not. But they’re good enough to beat the Ravens 27-16.
· Texans at Jags – Houston is on a roll… not. Jags gagged one up against the Rams and will be ready to turn Fred Taylor loose for one of his 140 yards and 2 td games. Game will be low-scoring because the focus will be on running for both teams. Jags 17-6.
· Chargers at Jets – LT has more touchdown passes than Daunte Culpepper. If he doesn’t, it sure seems like it. San Diego seems to hitting their stride. Another road win. 24-14.
· Bears at Saints – Y’know, I’m still not buying the Bears as a good team. Good defense OK. Boring offense OK. Good team? No. Saints have basically mailed in this season. You know those guys who have an excuse for everything that goes wrong when you’re golfing? “My ball ended up in a divot”, “I had to putt through a ball mark”, “I had a bad lie”, “There was mud on my ball”, or as the Saints seem to be saying every week “Our city was flooded and we don’t feel like trying”. Bears should win. Saints should lay down (again). Seems like a trap game. I’ll go against the tide, Saints 17-13.
· Seahawks at Cards – Speaking of trap games… Historically, Mike Holmgren underprepares his teams for games against crappy opponents and overprepares for good teams. He should have three plays outlined, Shaun Alexander right, Shaun Alexander left, Shaun Alexander up the middle. That’ll be enough against an execrable Cards team. 24-6.
· Giants at 49ers – Let’s see, the Giants beat the Skins 36-0, and the Skins beat the 49ers 55-17, so the Giants should beat the 49ers 45-8. Hmmm, it isn’t that easy, is it? Shouldn’t be, but the score might be closer to 31-13.
· Steelers at Packers – Charlie Batch alert. Load up on Willie Parker and Jerome Bettis. With no Ben, the Steelers might run 50 times. Packers? Well, who cares what they do? Brett Favre gets more attention for ONE Super Bowl than Troy Aikman got for THREE. Remember, Trent Dilfer, Kurt Warner, and Mark Rypien have won just as many Super Bowls as Favre. And none of them were alcoholics addicted to painkillers. It’s amazing how the NFL and ESPN always skate past that when they’re sucking Favre’s tool. Eff Favre 23-10.
· Iggles at Skins – Sheesh, how the mighty have fallen. The Iggles are in desperation mode, with their next three games coming at the worst possible time, with their top skill players nursing injuries. Their defense made Jake Plummer and Tatum Bell look like Otto Graham and Jim Brown. Can the Skins rebound from the skunking against the Giants? I say yes, Skins 24-17.
· Colts at Pats – Since ESPN and ABC will pump this game like a teenager with a Penthouse, I won’t bore you with any AFC Championship preview palaver. I said at the beginning of the year that this would be the year of Peyton, and I haven’t backed off of that. Colts will ROLL 34-17.