Another NFL season is almost here! Which means another season of crappy prognosticating is back!
As always, all lines pulled from today's USA Today.
Season to Date SU: 0-0-0
Season to Date ATS: 0-0-0
Upset of the Week: 0-0-0
Week 1 Upset of the Week: Texans (+7) over Steelers.
This week's theme? Classic sitcom theme songs. The better the game, the better the sitcom attached to it. Although I saved a classic for last ... and no, its not "Good Times" ...
* at Giants (-4) 27, Redskins 20. Solid opener to the season. Huge early NFC East showdown, although all NFC East battles figure to be huge showdowns. Redskins have to travel to all 3 divisional foes in the first six weeks. Sucks to be them. A game this good, needs a classic attached to it. So ... cue the music! "(really cheezy late 70s intro ...) Come and knock on our door! (Come and knock on our door!) We've been waiting for you! (We've been waiting for you!) Where the kisses are hers and hers and his -- Three's Company too! Come and dance on our floor! (Come and dance on our floor!) Take a step that is new! (Take a step that is new!) We've a lovable space that needs your face -- Three's Company too! You'll see that life is a ball again! Laughter is calling for you! Down at our rendezvous! (Down at our rendezvous!) Three's Company too!!!"
This has potential.
That, and I freaking love Ralph Ferley.
* Bengals (+1) 31, at Ravens 13. How is Baltimore favored? A game this mediocre ... cue the music! "Here's the story of a lovely lady! Who was bringing up three very lovely girls. All of them had hair of gold, like their mother. The youngest one in curls ... here's the story, of a man named Brady, who was busy with three boys of his own! They were four men, living all together, but they were all alone. 'Til the one day when the lady met this fellow! And they knew that it was much more than a hunch! That this group must somehow form a family! That's the way they all became the Brady Bunch! The Brady Bunch! The Brady Bunch! That's the way they became the Brady Bunch!"
* Jets (-3) 24, at Dolphins 14. This is a virtual must win for the Jets, given the next two weeks. Lose this one, you're staring 0-3 in the face. (Jets host the Patriots next week, then visit San Diego on a Monday nighter). Huge early test for the Era of Favre. (And my nerves). So ... oh, I got a perfect one to fit Lord Favre arriving in Manhattan. Cue the music! "We'll we're movin' on up! (Movin' on up!) To the east side! (Movin' on up!) To that deluxe apartment in the sky! We're movin' on up! (Movin' on up!) To the east side! (Movin' on up!) We've finally got a piece of the pie!"
* Texans (+7) 30, at Steelers 21. As shown in my season predictions, I am really high on the Texans this year. I love this team. And I don't say this about many other teams fans ... but theirs deserve a winner down there. Awesome, awesome fanbase down there. As noted elsewhere on this site in the Chiefs / Texans trip recap. Hmm ... cue the music! "Now the world don't move to the beat of just one drum! What might be right for you, may not be right for some! A man is born, he's a man of means, then along come two, they got nothing but their jeans, but they got Diff'rent Strokes, it takes Diff'rent Strokes, it takes Diff'rent Strokes to rule the world! Everybody's got a special kind of story. Everybody's got a way to shine! But it don't matter that you got not a lot, so what? He has his, you have yours and I'll have mine! And together we'll be fine, 'cause it takes Diff'rent Strokes, it takes Diff'rent Strokes, it takes Diff'rent Strokes to rule the world!"
* Jaguars (-3) 31, at Titans 24. One of the better games of the day. Jaguars need to establish themselves as a legitimate threat to the AFC powers. Legitimate title threats win these type of road games. OK ... go! "Thank you for being a friend. Travelin' down the road and back again. Your heart is true, you're a pal and a confidant. And if you threw a party, invitin' everyone you knew? You would see the biggest gift would be from me! And the card attached would say, thank you for being a friend!"
* at Falcons (+3) 3, Lions 2. Cue the music! "Good Times! Anytime you need a payment. Good Times! Anytime you need a friend. Good Times! Anytime you're out from under. Not gettin' hassled! Not gettin' hustled! Keep yo head above water! Makin' a wave when you can! Temporary layoffs? Good Times! Easy credit ripoffs? Good Times! Scratchin' and survivin'? Good Times! Hanging in a chow line? Good Times ... Ain't we lucky we got 'em? Good Times! ... Just starin' out of the window, watchin' the asphalt grow, wonderin' why it all looks hand me down (Good Times! yeah yeah! Good Times!) Keepin' yo head above water! Makin' a wave when you can! Temporary layoffs? Good Times! Easy credit ripoffs? Good Times! Scratchin' and survivin'? Good Times! Hangin' in a chow line? Good Times! Ain't we lucky we got 'em? (da da da da da!) Good Times!!!"
(Note: this is an awful, awful game ... but the worst game of the week has always been the "Good Times Game of the Week", so named because any sane person would opt to watch 3 hours of "Good Times" over that contest. My point being, I freaking love Good Times. But I had to attach the song to the worst game on the board.)
* at Bills (pick) 28, Seahawks 24. Great opening day matchup. I obviously think positive about both teams, since I have one in the playoffs and the other in the Super Bowl. Big statement game for the Bills early on, if they've arrived like I think they have, they gotta hold serve at home in games like this. Should be fun to watch. Great matchup, demands great sitcom. Cue the music! "Makin' your way in the world today takes everything you've got. Takin' a break from all your worries, sure would help a lot. Wouldn't you like to get away? Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name! (da da da da!) And they're always glad you came! (da da da!) You wanna go where people know, your troubles are all the same! You wanna go where everybody knows your name! (interlude ...) Where everybody knows your name! (da da da da!) And they're always glad you came! (da da da!) You wanna be where people see, people are all the same! You wanna be where everybody knows your name!"
Admit it, you're singing along as you're reading. I'm singing along as I'm typing. Which might explain the weird looks I'm getting in the office right now ...
(side rant: this is I think THE single biggest reason the sitcom is dead on TV right now. There's no cheezy or awesome theme song to draw you in! The last non-animated sitcom to have a catchy theme song? "Friends". I'm telling you, if someone would bring the TV sitcom theme song back to life, they'd have a winner on their hands, even if the show is crap. Back to the picks).
* at Eagles (-7) 45, Rams 10. Since there is not one redeeming feature about this matchup, cue the music! "Show me that smile again! Don't waste another minute on your cryin'! We're nowhere near the end! The best is ready to begin ... oooh ... as long as we got each other, we got the world spinnin' right in our hands, baby you and me! We gotta be! The luckiest dreamers who never quit dreamin'! As long as we keep on givin', we can take anything that comes our way! Baby rain or shine! All the time! We got each other, sharing the laughter and love ..."
(see, I just proved my point. "Growing Pains" was awful. But admit it, you knew the second you read the first phrase what the show was, who the characters were, major plot lines. I'm telling you, bring back the sitcom theme song!!!)
* Cowboys 27, at Browns (+5) 24. Solid matchup early on. I'm not sold on the Browns, but this is a huge statement game for them. I just don't think they're up for this big of a test yet. So ... let's see who stuck with this show for the 9th and (not as awful as the critics said it was) final season. Cue the music! "(harmonica with the familiar opening theme from the first 8 years ...) If what doesn't kill us is makin' us stronger, we're gonna last longer, than the greatest wall in China! Or the rappin' of a drum! If there's one thing that I learned, from waitin' for my turn, its that in each life some rain falls, but you also get some sun! And we'll make out better than ok, hear what I say ... yeah, any day ..."
* at Chargers (-9 1/2) 34, Panthers 20. I'm taking Norv Turner and the points?!?! Whoa! "Who can turn the world on with her smile? Who can take a nothing day, and suddenly make it all seem worth while? Well its you girl and you should know it! With each glance and every little movement you show it! Love is all around, no need to waste it! You can have the town, why don't you take it? You're gonna make it after all! You're gonna make it after all! (toss the hat!)"
* at 49ers (+2 1/2) 17, Cardinals 13. My God. Wretched. Uuh ... man, I need a sitcom sh*tty enough to match this game. I already used Growing Pains, Diff'rent Strokes, and the Brady Bunch. Hmmm ... yes! Got it! "Welcome back! Your dreams were your ticket out. Welcome back! To that same old place that you laughed about. Though the names have all changed since you hung around, still those dreams, they remain, and they've turned around. And who'd have thought they'd lead you (who'd have thought they'd lead you) back here where we need ya? (Back here where we need ya?) Yeah, we tease him a lot, 'cause we got him on the spot, welcome back! Welcome back, welcome back, welcome back! Welcome back, welcome back, welcome back!!!"
* at Colts 24, Bears (+9 1/2) 20. Should be a fun Sunday nighter. Especially if Manning isn't at 100 percent. And since the game will be played in Indy ... (gulp) and this sitcom was based in Indy ... (gulp) ... screw it. Let's do this. "This is it! (This is it!) This is life, the one you get, so go and have a ball! This is it! (This is it!) Straight ahead, and rest assured you can't be sure at all. So while you're here, enjoy the view. Keep on doin' what you do. So hold on tight, we'll muddle through, One Day at a Time! (One Day at a Time!) So up on your feet! (Up on your feet!) Somewhere there's music playin'! Don't you worry none! We'll just take it as it comes! One Day at a Time! (One Day at a Time!) One Day at a Time! (na na na na!) One Day at a Time! (One Day at a Time!) One Day at a Time! (na na na na!) One Day at a Time!"
(further proving my "solid theme songs make even crappy, how the hell did this ever get green-lighted" debacles watchable. And memorable).
* at Packers (-3) 20, Vikings 14. Huge early game for both teams. Winner gets a leg up on the division. And answers some QB questions. Hmm. Underrated matchup. Breaking in talent that can go on to huge things afterwards ... yup, time for Steve's most underrated "comedy" ever. "Some walk by night, some fly by day. Nothing could change you, set and sure of the way. There is the sun and moon, they sing their own sweet tune. Watch them when dawn is due, sharing one space. We'll walk by night, we'll fly by day! Moonlighting strangers who just met on the way. Who just met on the way. Who just met on the way ..."
(I could listen to Al Jarreau all day. And yes, for the purposes of these picks, "Moonlighting" counts as a comedy. Because it was damned funny.)
* at raiders (+3) 14, broncos 10. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: anytime these two fine franchises get together to do battle, you root for lots of injuries, a couple deaths, and general mayhem and destruction of the teams, the fans, the organization, and the city hosting this blessed event. (Polite way of saying, if the terrorists hit oakland on Monday night, I won't view it as a national tragedy). You gotta believe. OK, something uplifting, inspirational, "we can do it!" There's only one call to make here. Hit it! "Schlemel. Schlmazel. Hazzenpfeffer Incorporated! We're gonna do it! Give us any chance, we'll take it! Give us any rule, we'll break it! We're gonna make our dreams come true! Doin' it our way! Nothing's gonna hold us back now! Straight ahead and on the track now! We're gonna make our dreams come true! Doin' it our way! There ain't nothing we won't try! Never heard the word "impossible"! This time there's no stopping us! We're gonna do it! On your mark, get set, and go now! Got a dream and we just know now! We're gonna make our dreams come true! And we'll do it our way, yes our way! Make all our dreams come true! And we'll do it our way! Yes our way! Make all our dreams come true! For me and you!"
(If you're ever in Milwaukee, you absolutely have to take the tour of the Lake Front Brewery. Enjoy the Cattail Ale, marvel in awe at Bernie the Brewer's chalet and slide ... and proudly sing along as the conveyor belt takes the glove you put on it for a ride ... make all our dreams come true! For me and you!)
The Chiefs prediction:
* at Patriots 27, Chiefs (+16 1/2) 16. I think we'll keep it closer than people think. Then again, I'm the quack who's predicting a 6-2 start and a 10-6 finish for the Red and Gold, so what do I know.
And the choice for the Chiefs game? Come on. Its a no brainer. The best "sitcom" of my childhood. Hit it! "(da da da da!) Its time to play the music! Its time to light the lights! Its time to meet the Muppets on the Muppet Show Tonight! Its time to put on makeup! Its time to dress up right! Its time to raise the curtain on the Muppet Show tonight! Why do we always come here? I guess we'll never know. Its like a kind of torture to have to watch the show! And now let's get things started! Why don't you get things started? Its time to get things started! On the most sensational, inspirational, celebrational, Muppetational this is what we call the Muppets show!!! (gonzo trumpet voice) !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Its perfect. "Its like a kind of torture to have to watch the show! Why do we always come here? I guess we'll never know!" If that doesn't describe what we're facing at high noon on Sunday ... or most Sundays this fall ...