Hey, Dr. Football. Where have you been?
Digesting a turkey.
No, the Michigan-Ohio State game.
Speaking of that, who’s playing quarterback for Ohio State?
Last I heard, they were checking to see whether Troy Smith had any eligibility left.
Hey, Dr. Football. Are the Lions for real?
Of course they’re for real. You can touch them and everything. What dimension do YOU live in?
No. I meant are they a playoff team?
It figures the Lions would get good just when one entire division, the NFC South, decided to defect from the NFL and join the Flag Football Conference. This means while a 6-10 team might go to the playoffs from the South, there’s an overload of winning teams elsewhere.
The Lions are up against Arizona, Seattle, San Francisco, Philadelphia and Dallas for a wild-card spot. And they’re all having good seasons.
What about Green Bay? All the Lions have to do is win as many games as the Packers and beat them at Lambeau in late December.
True. And all I have to do to be Elvis is be reborn in a previous life.
Elvis! Hey. I know that dude!
And Johnny Manziel is heard from.
MSU’s Hoyer vs. Football’s Johnny
That’s right, Dr. Football. It’s Johnny Football. And I only have one question.
No, I am not your father.
I’m going too fast, aren’t I?
Nah, man. My question is: How come I’m not starting? I played good last Sunday.
You led one fourth-quarter scoring drive, when it was 20-3. And your team still lost badly.
Yeah, but how come I’m not starting?
You really do have one question. Maybe because Brian Hoyer is still 7-5, which, in Cleveland Browns math, is like being 30-3. Maybe because your coach believes your team still has a shot at the playoffs and he wants to stick with what largely has worked for months.
Yeah, but how come I’m not starting?
I need an aspirin.
How about some Papa John’s, Doctor?
Not now, Peyton.
Dear Dr. Football, what do you make of Janay Rice saying the Baltimore Ravens gave her a script for her news conference with her husband, Ray.
Well, let’s see. The Ravens vigorously deny this. They do, however, admit to giving Ray Rice a cheatsheet, which included the following notes: I Take Full Responsibility For What Happened That Night. We Will Not Let This One Night Define Who We Are. I Was Wrong. I Made a Mistake. I Regret My Behavior. I’m Embarrassed. I Hold Myself to a Higher Standard and I Failed.
Gee. What didn’t they tell him?
What socks to wear.
Brady’s potty mouth on sideline
Yo, Dr. Football. Did you see that catch by Giants receiver Odell Beckham?
Only 10,000 times. I have a TV.
What did you think?
Same thing as everyone else in Detroit: How did the Lions draft Eric Ebron and pass on this guy?
Was Ebron really a first-round pick?
Yes. If the first round had 50 picks.
What’s the issue with him?
Well, if you’re a tight end who really doesn’t block and really can’t run through people, it would help if you caught passes.
I bet he’d catch MY passes.
Have more pizza, Peyton.
Excuse me, Dr. Football. I’m a Sunday school teacher. I was wondering whether you knew what Tom Brady kept yelling on the sideline as the Patriots were losing to the Packers?
Uh … “Good Gravy!” Something like that.
Speaking of gravy, how was your turkey?
So we’re back to Michigan-Ohio State.
Who do you think will get the U-M job?
Well, I’m not totally ready to dismiss Jim Harbaugh, just because so many people have and often so many people are wrong. Greg Schiano might work. The fact is, if you’re looking for experience, drawing power and a longtime winning record, there are precious few candidates not already wrapped up.
What about Rich Rodriguez?
Apparently, all the people who point to Rich Rod as “the one that got away” are forgetting he “got away” with a 15-22 record at Michigan and was 2-7 against the Big Three rivals, even worse than Hoke. What “gem” was Michigan letting go of at the time?
A dusty one?
Maybe one who needed a change.
So he’s not the answer?
He’s not even the question.
Ready for that pizza now, Doc?
Peyton. I’d rather you pass the dessert.
To send a question for Dr. Football next week, contact Mitch Albom:firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out the latest updates with his charities, books and events at MitchAlbom.com. Follow him on Twitter @mitchalbom.