It occurs to me that we are entering that magical time of year when every major sport on the face of the planet is in motion. We have baseball (the World Series), basketball (exhibition season), hockey (regular season, which might as well be an exhibition season), tennis (somewhere in Tokyo they’re playing), golf (somewhere in England they’re playing), cross-country, lacrosse, soccer, squash, racquetball, Ping- Pong, horseshoes — and, of course, football. College football. Pro football. Semi-pro football. And the Lions.

What does this mean?

It means a lot of beer nuts, that’s what it means.

And now, this week’s picks. . . .
* TAMPA BAY 30, DETROIT 20: Used to be the Bucs were terrible. But they got better. How come everybody can say that but the Lions?
* MINNESOTA 21, GREEN BAY 20: Herschel Walker injures his knee coming out of the shower, leaving the Vikings with just 10 players.
* CHICAGO 23, HOUSTON 13: I see both teams walking around Soldier Field with their biceps bulging. “Go ahead,” they say to each other. “Think you’re tough? Go ahead. You ain’t nothin’.”
* CINCINNATI 34, MIAMI 24: The Bengals’ two quarterbacks are named Boomer and Turk. Whatever happened to Bill?
* ATLANTA 23, NEW ENGLAND 8: Roses are red, apples are fruity, if the game ain’t in Boston, don’t side with Doug Flutie.
* NY GIANTS 25, WASHINGTON 20: Here’s all I want to know about the Giants, now that they’re back to winning. Are we gonna have to put up with that Gatorade stuff again?
* SAN FRANCISCO 104, DALLAS 6: Jimmy Johnson is too busy handing out uniforms to the 853 players he acquired for Herschel Walker.
* SAN DIEGO 20, SEATTLE 10: If injured Brian Bosworth shows up, will he and Jim McMahon fit in the same stadium? With those two swollen heads, will there be room for any spectators?
* DENVER 12, INDIANAPOLIS 10: They should just clear out the stadium and let John Elway play Eric Dickerson one-on-one. That’s all this is about, anyhow.
* CLEVELAND 51, PITTSBURGH 0: Wait a minute. Haven’t we seen this already?
* NEW ORLEANS 28, NY JETS 17: It’s sleepy time down South.
* PHILADELPHIA 31, PHOENIX 26: Because this is the battle of the PH’s, I look for a balanced game.
* LA RAIDERS 17, KANSAS CITY 16: Art Shell says he’s going to return things on the Raiders to how they used to be. Which means they’ll be out partying Saturday night until around 4 a.m.
* LA RAMS 28, BUFFALO 6 (Monday night): Is there anyone else on the Bills besides Jim Kelly? I thought he was their only player.
* RECORD LAST WEEK: 10-4.
* RECORD VS. SPREAD: 6-8.
* SEASON RECORD: 45-25.
* SEASON VS. SPREAD: 33-34-3.
* BEST PICK LAST WEEK: Philadelphia 30, NY Giants 28. Eagles won, 21-19.
* WORST PICK LAST WEEK: Buffalo 24, Indianapolis 20. Colts won, 37-14.

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