Listen, Curt, I’ve got that rubbing ointment you asked for. I guess your butt must really hurt, considering how hard you jumped on that bandwagon. Washington to win the Super Bowl? Stop the presses! The man goes out on a limb! Of course, I understand why you want to play the favorites this year. Should we remind everyone? Curt? Are you turning red? . . .

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the man who selected New England to beat Chicago in Super Bowl XX and Denver to beat San Francisco in Super Bowl XXIV and was off only by a mere 81 points.

Curt. My friend. My grey-haired, hiccuping clown.

Let me call a doctor.

You are obviously dizzy. The room is spinning. After a series of terrible Super Bowl predictions, you are trying desperately to salvage your reputation as one of the nation’s finest football writers, which, quite frankly, would be in a lot of trouble if any of us believed it in the first place.

But Curt. You’re going about this the wrong way. Don’t just follow the masses and say, “They must be right. Look at all of them.” What do the masses know? I told you that at the bar the other night, remember, when you jumped into the conga line wearing nothing but a bed sheet?

“Curt,” I said, “what are you doing? Those people are buffoons!”

“Boolah! Boolah!” you said.

By the way, nice legs.

But OK. Let me spell this out: Everyone picks Washington because Washington annihilated the Falcons and Lions in the playoffs, and Buffalo had to struggle to beat Denver. Everyone picks Washington because the Skins’ offensive line is older than Mt. Rushmore and supposedly more solid. Everyone picks Washington because everyone else picks Washington.

But they’re wrong.

Think about something, Curtis, if you can think this late in the week. Buffalo was one kick away from entering this game as defending Super Bowl champion. The Bills have a beef with this game; they think it owes them. They also have some guys named Cornelius Bennett, Darryl Talley and Bruce Smith, all of whom could knock Mark Rypien out with one mean hit. And if that happens, what becomes of the Redskins? It’s Stan Humphries time! Look out! Wasn’t Stan in the conga line with you?

Washington has cruised along too easily. I choose the Bills because the Skins seem ripe for a fall. And I’ve had plenty of practice watching people take a tumble, having worked alongside you all these Super Bowls.

So Curt, I hate to break your heart again, but what can I do? You picked the wrong guys. I feel for you, I do, but I guess there’s always next year. In the meantime, rub some of this ointment on the place where you think.

And rub some on your head, too.

Buffalo 31, Washington 20.

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