Last week was horrible for anyone who tried to handicap Week 7's NFL contests, but for me it was particularly galling.
I made my picks Wednesday or Thursday or something like that, and then decided in the nick of time to change three of them. For your records, I originally chose Cincinnati, Oakland and Tampa Bay to beat Carolina, Arizona and Philadelphia respectively. Then before game day I switched all those choices to the other teams. I wound up going 0-3 in those games, and a terrible 4-9 for the week.
What has to happen here is that I need to acknowledge that when the Holy Fire fills me up with NFL knowledge 54 hours before the games, that I should accept it. I shall not question it. Remember Lot's wife. Or Job. Or Alex Karras, or whoever the heck it was. If The Divine calls me on Thursday night, then by gum I'm going with it Thursday night. No more waffling on Saturday afternoon.
What lesson did we learn this week? The 'nads are open for business on Thursdays. If you try to revive them on Saturday, you are doomed. You are flaccid and weak. You are Jon Cryer. You are not Charlie Sheen.
Do not allow me to change any of these picks unless some team's plane goes down over the Pacific. God forbid.
Geez. I feel like such a chump. At least everybody went into the tank last weekend, and I'm still only 5 games out of first place in the big contest I'm part of. (Tied for 13th out of 58, stat fans.) This week's a little easier.
Arizona at Green Bay - Hello, Coach Green. I'm Dante Alighieri, and I'll be your tour guide for the rest of the season. Watch the first step, it's a little steep. And I don't really think you'll be needing that sweater. It gets balmy down here.
Pick: Green Bay.
Atlanta at Cincinnati - The only game of the week that's causing me any real grief in the prediction department, only because speculation about both of these teams' demise appears to have been a little bit premature. I'm again being lured by the promise of candy into the back seat of the Falcons' beat-up sedan, but I'm gonna resist. This time.
Pick: Cincinnati. Not totally confident about it, though.
Baltimore at New Orleans - I know I've been pimping the Saints all season, but c'mon, fellas -- beating Philadelphia was kind of taking the whole thing a little too far, wasn't it? As for the Ravens, defense wins championships. Unless your offense requires a compass.
Pick: New Orleans.
Houston at Tennessee - Houston ruined my Survivor game last week. I hate Houston.
Jacksonville at Philadelphia - Jacksonville ruined my Survivor game last week. I hate Houston.
Seattle at Kansas City - Against my better judgement, I was going to pick the Seahawks anyway, just to get Christian and his sig file off my back. But the news about Damon Huard (see below) at least makes me a little more comfortable about doing so. This could be a laff riot. Either that, or absolute misery for both teams. Hopefully I'll be sick on Sunday morning so it'll justify the cough syrup I'll need to get through this.
San Francisco at Chicago - Hardcore pornography for Bears fans.
Tampa Bay at New York Giants - Chucky's shown up at last, and the Buccaneers have a little two-game winning streak happening. Isn't it adorable? Ooooh, look at them trying to wave to the Panthers! They're so cute when they're that age.
Pick: New York.
St. Louis at San Diego - I have no idea why I don't think this will be a Charger rout. This is why I don't pick the spread coverage on these games. If I did this column would be funnier than McSweeney's. San Diego wins, though. I just don't know by how much. I'm going back to bed now.
Pick: San Diego.
Indianapolis at Denver - Colts versus Broncos in Horse Bowl 2006! And John Elway's not even in it! But I still can hear him whinnying! Um... this was gonna be my upset special, but I discovered Denver is actually favored in the game by 3 points. This should be a ridiculously good game. I'm gonna kick like a Pinto and pull the Trigger (I crack myself up), and finally call the Colts' perfect season finito.
New York Jets at Cleveland - The Jets are not contenders. They're just trying really hard to impress a girl.
Pick: New York.
Pittsburgh at Oakland - Ben Roethlisberger is a question mark for this game. The Raiders don't even know how to use a semicolon.
Dallas at Carolina - I feel bad for Bill Parcells, but I have to admit the whole quarterback controversy in Dallas strikes me as hilarious for one reason. Parcells benches Bledsoe, and names Romo as his starter. Then, mid-week, Terrell Owens finally says something about how his chemistry with Bledsoe wasn't very good. Isn't Owens supposed to start criticizing his chemistry with the QB before that QB gets benched? Wait, we're getting a wire report here... "T.O. Says Danny White Is Off His Game!" Take cover, Staubach! Anyway, this couldn't happen at a worse time for Dallas.
New England at Minnesota - Talking about the Vikings makes me wanna listen to goth music.
Pick: New England.
Last week: 4-9. Ugh.
Season: 65-35, but after last week it feels like 53-47. I hear a Joy Divison record off in the distance.
On pace for final record of: 166-90.